Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Where Does Your Treasure Lie?: The Eight Hundred-Forty-Pound Emerald

In recent news reports, an 840-pound Brazilian emerald, reported stolen, turned up in a crate inside a Los Angeles warehouse. Unfortunately, the emerald, worth an estimated $400 million, is the subject of a court battle over ownership. There are numerous allegations of theft, of reneged commitments, and of use of the emerald as collateral on loans. The emerald is described as a "black boulder with protruding arm-sized green crystal cylinders." This gem may be the most highly valued in history.

The L.A. Police investigator on the case said, "It seems like the more we talk to people, the more people claim to have ownership over this thing." Big surprise! The greed displayed by the claimants is incredible.

This gem has been around. It was transferred from Brazil to California, to New Orleans where it lay submerged for several weeks after Hurricane Katrina, and back to California, where it was transferred between warehouses. For a gem worth so much, it does not appear that its "owners" took very good care of it.

the question becomes, where does your treasure lie? Is your treasure money or trinkets (even 840-pound ones), or is it the glory of Jesus Christ? Are you counting on the wealth of the world to give you comfort here, or are you being worn-out for the Gospel?

Jesus said,
Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But 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. (Matt. 6:19-21)

These men disputing the emerald have fleeting lives which, it seems, are being spent on the pursuit of wealth. We Christians have wealth far exceeding the value of this emerald and which is waiting for us, eternity. Our "pearl of great value" is the awaited Kingdom of Heaven and its light, Jesus Christ. Jesus said, "The kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it." (Matt. 13:45-46) Do we act upon this truth? We must pursue Jesus and his glory as if he were more valuable than an 840-pound emerald . . . because he is!

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