Friday, January 30, 2015

The Family's Real Jewelry Box

The Family’s Real Jewelry Box

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                Johnny’s mom had a jewelry box.  It sat by the sink in his parents’ bathroom, next to where   That box was filled with earrings, necklaces, and bracelets, accumulated over the years through Valentine’s Days, birthdays, and Christmas.  No doubt each one had a story behind it, some more meaningful than others.  But those same earrings that mom wore to work would occasionally get toothpaste splashed on them.  The bracelets that mom wore to church would sometimes be found under the living room couch, the result of a Saturday afternoon of the kids playing ‘grown-up.’  Why didn’t mom just hide her jewelry box?  The jewelry was valuable, but not valuable enough to protect from the everyday chaos of life.
Johnny and his sisters brushed their teeth for many years.

                Years later, Johnny found out that his mom had another jewelry box.  A secret one, hidden away in the closet above dad’s ties.  High enough that water wouldn’t splash on its contents.  Hidden enough that little hands wouldn’t have a chance to play with what was inside.   This box held more valuable things.  The special anniversary earrings that cost more than they usually would have spent.  The ring that was passed down from mom’s grandmother.  This wasn’t just a jewelry box.  It was the one dad would’ve grabbed if the house were on fire.  This was the jewelry box for the family’s real valuables.  And it was kept in a special place.

                I believe our life has both a jewelry box and a real jewelry box.  The regular jewelry box contains things that are important to us in some way.  The house we were so excited to move into.  The degree we worked so hard for.  Our favorite hobbies.  Our favorite sports teams.  Our best outfit.  Vacations.  The bank account we try to keep afloat. 

But hopefully some things are even more valuable to us than those are.  Hopefully we have a real jewelry box, one we keep back in the closet of our heart, reserved for the things that go even deeper.  Here we find the types of things worth living for, and even worth dying for.   What should go in that real jewelry box? 

In the letters of First and Second Peter, the apostle Peter mentions five things that he calls “precious,” in contrast with things that perish. 

And I suggest that Peter is someone worth listening to on the subject of what has value.  For all his flaws, Peter was a man who walked away from his fishing business to follow Jesus long before Jesus became well-known.  The rich young ruler wasn’t willing to give up his wealth to follow Jesus, but Peter was.  Peter had the ability to see what was truly worth living and dying for. 

Writing years after Jesus’ death, resurrection, and return to heaven, here are 5 things that Peter calls “precious,” deserving of a special place in our hearts and lives:

1)      Precious Faith“so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ;” (1 Peter 1:7)
2)      Precious Blood“knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life…but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ.” (1 Peter 1:18-19)
3)      Precious Savior “And coming to Him as to a living stone which has been rejected by men, but is choice and precious in the sight of God, …this precious value, then, is for you who believe…” (1 Peter 2:4-8)
4)      Precious Heart“Your adornment must not be merely external…but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God.” (1 Peter 3:3-4)
5)      Precious Promises“For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.”  (2 Peter 1:4)

I think you’d agree those are things that aren’t just left out next to the kitchen sink.  These good things – godly things – should be kept in a place in our hearts where the world can’t contaminate them.  We hold them close.  No matter what life throws at us, these valuables are non-negotiable.  Burn the house down if you will, even if it takes everything in our regular jewelry box – but these true spiritual valuables are staying with us no matter what.

This week let’s be reminded what is truly valuable in life.  And let’s make sure we give those real valuables the priority they truly deserve. 

God has blessed us with some things that have eternal value.  They are truly precious.  Let’s hold them close.

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