2 Timothy 3:16-17 “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
When I say the words national treasures, what things come to mind? Maybe Washington D.C., there we have many national treasures. Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument, the White House, the Constitution, the graves of the fallen soldiers. If you drive to Philadelphia, you could see the Liberty Bell or see where our Declaration of Independence was signed. Travel across America and you can find national treasures everywhere. Mount Rushmore, The St. Louis Arch, the Statue of Liberty, everywhere the flag of the United States. Historic landmarks, famous battle grounds, homes of well-known people through history. We have museums, we set up tourist sites, we give special attention to things America has deemed a national treasure. It doesn’t stop with the physical either, some people have become national treasures too. George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Edison, Betty White, here in Michigan Henry Ford the founder of our auto industry. The list alone in America can go on and on.
Then there are places outside America. The Great Wall of China, the Eiffel Tower, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, England and the Queen, the 7 wonders of the world. Even animals can become national treasures. Here in America it’s the Bald Eagle and in China they treasure the Panda Bear.
Looking at the definition of National Treasure we read: something that is greatly valued by the people of a country.
When something is of great value you take care of it, right? You don’t just toss it aside in your junk closet or basement. For our landmarks we make sure to keep the grounds clean and tidy up everything around or in it. For many things I listed in America, we want to show case it to others so we do what we can to keep it appealing for people to come visit.
These treasures have come about over hundreds of years of history and we place much value on them, yet there is a national treasure that’s been here since the beginning of time that we tend to push aside more times than not. God’s Word, scripture, life throughout history, the records of history. First through generations by word of mouth, then to scrolls, onto the Bible and since then many more versions yet the same God and the same story. How we as humans have gotten it so mixed up when we place so much value on worldly “national treasures” yet neglect the most valuable treasure given to us by God himself.
You might have one Bible, you may have several but how often do you open its pages and search for learning, for answers, for stories, for sharing? Many of us probably have the Bible app on our phones but do you only open it for church or when asked to read something? Following is a poem I found that really puts things into perspective.
They lie on the table side by side
The Holy Bible and the TV Guide.
One is well worn and cherished with pride.
Not the Bible, but the TV Guide.
One is used daily to help folks decide.
No, not the Bible, but the TV Guide.
As the pages are turned, what shall they see.
Oh, what does it matter, turn on the TV
So they open the book in which they confide.
No, not the Bible, but the TV Guide.
The Word of God is seldom read.
Maybe a verse before they fall into bed.
Exhausted and sleepy and tired as can be.
Not from reading the Bible, from watching TV
So then back to the table side by side,
Lie the Holy Bible and the TV Guide.
No time for prayer, no time for the Word,
The plan of Salvation is seldom heard.
But forgiveness of sin, so full and free,
Is found in the Bible, not on TV. -author unknown
You may be saying “no that’s not me”, but replace the T.V. Guide with your smart phone and what do you see? Hours spent scrolling through Pinterest or Facebook, everything worth a second look. Maybe some Tik Tok or a game or two, maybe five before you’re through. The T.V going in the background nothing serious to be found. The evening comes to an end with the same to be said. The Word of God never opened, yet you’re off to bed.
I cannot write this without being as guilty as everyone else. Our days get busy, we enjoy our quiet do-nothing evenings and then we need our sleep. I write this more as a reminder to us all as we think about where we place our ideas of what we treasure. Yes, America has a lot of national treasures and they are cool to see and learn about our history. But as you enjoy these treasures remember there is one that I believe should be placed above the rest and that’s the Bible. God inspired the words for our learning and for our enjoyment and if God put something out there for us then I believe it is important to treasure. Like your personal treasures of heirlooms or worldly things you don’t just toss aside, take care of the Bible. Open its pages, get to know Jesus and grow with Him. Don’t let it collect dust; make time through each day to read its pages and be inspired.
Today pray this prayer with me, “Holy Spirit, unless you move in my heart and in my mind, the Bible will be little more than words on a page. Guide my thoughts, lead me in my prayers, so that these words might become Your living and active sword in my hand. The T.V. and smart phones can easily pull me away from opening Your national treasure. Help me use my time wisely so that I will have the mind to read the Bible and find what You want me to know each day. I love you and want to serve you each day. In the loving name of Jesus my Savior. Amen.”
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