August 26

Encouragement for Today

 

“Treasures of Truth”

Renee Swope, Speaker, Director of Proverbs 31 Speaker Team


Key Verse:

 

Colossians 2:2-3, “My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” (NIV)

 

Devotion:

 

My family loves a treasure hunt! Often I will find my son, Andrew, hiding behind the couch with paper and pencils, sketching a secret map that will lead our family on an adventurous search.

 

Recently, my husband was planning a father-son camping trip with friends. The highlight of the outing was going to be a Friday night “treasure hunt.” They spent more time planning for the treasure hunt than they did for the camping trip. A few days before they were to leave, I found them searching the house for cardstock paper so they could dampen it with water and make a crinkled paper treasure map. I even found wet paper drying on hangers in the shower the day after.

 

Of course, the treasure hunt wouldn’t be complete without loot. Two days before departure, they went on a preliminary treasure hunt to the dollar store where they bought water guns for eleven little pirates! They even found an old can of gold spray paint in the garage to mark pinecones and branches as clues to finding the hidden treasures. On Friday morning, my husband informed me that he was taking half a day off work so they could get to the site early and bury the treasure box. He even took a big shovel so he could dig a hole for it! Treasure hunts – there is nothing like them!

 

Did you know that God wants us to approach each day of our lives like a treasure hunt? Just like Jesus, He wants us to go to a quiet place each morning where we can dig into His Word and find a treasure to hold onto just as we would a precious jewel. The Bible says God’s promises and principles are treasures we are to find and hide in our hearts. They are also jewels we are to share with others. Our key verse in Colossians reminds us that Jesus is our most precious find and that in Him we uncover all of the “treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”

 

Just like Eve, who tried to gain the treasures of wisdom and knowledge outside of God’s plan, our Creator knew we’d seek cheap imitations of the riches intended for His children. He knew we’d be tempted to chase after temporal things. That is why Jesus told us to be careful as we choose the things we treasure. He instructs us in Matthew 6:20-21:  “Store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Knowing we would naturally seek to add to our wealth, He wanted us to be guarded in our quest and focused on the riches that would lead to our greatest gain.

 

But we must honest with ourselves. Finding God’s treasures won’t just happen. There are daily distractions that lure us toward dime store trinkets. As we hunt for kingdom treasures we must be focused and intentional in our search, unwilling to waver even as we struggle toward the prize. For the reward of what we seek will be worth the cost of what it takes to find it.

 

Like the man Jesus described in Matthew 13:44, when we discover the treasures God has for us, we’ll count all we valued in this world as a loss compared to the immeasurably great worth of knowing Him.

 

My Prayer for Today:


Lord, You are my greatest treasure! Your Word promises to light my path as I seek to live the life You have called me to. I come to You with a renewed desire to search Your Word for nuggets of truth – just as one looking for a treasure hidden in a field. I pray that when I uncover a truth, I would also apply its power in my life as I seek to obey your precepts. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.


Application Steps:

 

Create a treasure box of truth and begin your treasure hunt today:

  • Buy or make a treasure box that will hold index cards. 
  • If you have children, let them help with creating and decorating it.
  • Write short Bible verses on index cards and put them inside.
  • Each day, or week, choose one treasure of Truth you want to memorize.
  • Read and pray the treasure aloud.
  • Carry the treasure with you or write the treasure of truth on sticky notes and put them all over the house – on mirrors, in lunch boxes, on the fridge, etc.
  • At the end of the day, or week, share how the treasure of Truth applied to your life.

 

Reflection Points:

 

Reflect on Matthew 13:44 – The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field. (NIV)

 

  • Do you examine God’s Word as if you are looking for a treasure, or do you simply skim over it to fulfill an obligation?

 

  • Like the man in the parable, is there anything you need to give up to make your relationship with Jesus the most valuable treasure you seek?

 

  • Is there a truth God has given you that is a treasure you can share with others? Will you share it today?

 

 

Power Verses:

Proverbs 2:1-8, “My child, listen to Me and treasure My instructions. Tune your ears to wisdom, and concentrate on understanding. Cry out for insight and understanding. Search for them as you would for lost money or hidden treasure. Then you will understand what it means to fear the LORD, and you will gain knowledge of God. For the LORD grants wisdom! From His mouth comes knowledge and understanding. He grants a treasure of good sense to the godly. He is their shield, protecting those who walk with integrity. He guards the paths of justice and protects those who are faithful to Him.” (NLT)

 

Psalm 119:11, “Your word I have treasured in my heart, that I may not sin against You.” (NAS)

 

Matthew 13:44, “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.” (NIV)

 

Additional Resources:

 

Searching for God’s Treasures (conference CD set), by Renee Swope

 

Intimate Moments with God, with Sharon Jaynes, contributor

http://proverbs31.gospelcom.net/newresources_intimateMoments.htm

 

Mining for Gold in the Heart of Your Child, by Renee Swope

http://proverbs31.gospelcom.net/newresources_miningGoldChart.htm