The World's Greatest Treasure
I recall hearing how the Duke of Norfolk once sent a priceless family treasure to the King of England as an expression of his love and esteem. It was the Portland Vase, a rare antique which had been handed down for generations. Wanting to share this treasure with the nation, the King had the vase placed in the British Museum.
Sometime later came disaster. In the Duke's own realm his chief servant plotted to overthrow the Duke and take his place. He was subsequently caught and dismissed.
Eaten up with resentment, the servant vowed to get even with the Duke. Remembering the Duke's priceless gift to the King of England, he went to the British Museum in London to find it. When no one was in sight, he climbed over the barrier, picked up this priceless treasure and smashed it into a thousand pieces.
"Save every piece," the King said when hearing of the tragedy. "This is my most treasured gift. We'll search for someone who can repair it no matter what the cost." Eventually, a man was found who, with painstaking skill, sorted each broken fragment, and meticulously placed it back where it belonged.
Though I cannot vouch for its authenticity, this story offers a graphic illustration of God's dealing with mankind. Biblical accounts tell of an angel who lived in heaven. Second only to God, he was brilliant, beautiful, and majestic. His name was Lucifer, son of the morning. He, too, had a problem with pride. Plotting to overthrow God, he said, "I will ascend into heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will set enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain. I will make myself like the Most High."1
Lucifer, now identified as Satan, the Devil, was caught and dismissed from his pinnacle of power and cast out of heaven.2 Filled with bitter resentment, he was determined to strike back at God. This is when he changed to a being filled with evil and determined to destroy the apex of God's creation—mankind. He did this by causing mankind to sin and consequently be separated from a God of purity and holiness—in whose presence no sinner could ever survive.
But because God is also a God of infinite love he sent his Son, Jesus, to save broken humanity by dying on the cross to pay the penalty for your sins and mine, so we could be freely forgiven and placed back into God's "masterpiece" of creation.
When Jesus healed all the sick who came to him, and forgave the prostitute, the thief, the despised tax collector and all who asked for forgiveness, he was picking up the broken pieces of his creation and lovingly placing them back into God's master design. All were of infinite value to him.
And when God found me, another piece of broken humanity—a fallen, lost sinner—he picked me up, forgave my sin, healed my spirit, and placed me back into his great plan. Today, Christ the Savior is still seeking the lost and calling young and old alike everywhere to come to him for forgiveness, to receive his gift of eternal life, and to be placed back into his divine plan. "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened," Jesus said, "and I will give you rest."3
Christ's invitation includes you too, dear reader. Today he is calling you to come to him for forgiveness, wholeness and the gift of eternal life. This indeed is the world's greatest treasure.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank you that you gave your Son, Jesus, to die on the cross to save me from the consequences of my sins and to forgive me, and thereby place me back into your master plan for my life. I confess that I am a sinner and, believing that your Son, Jesus, died to pay the penalty for all my sins, I accept Jesus as my Lord and Savior. Please help me to become the person you want me to be and always live to faithfully serve you. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."
If you prayed this prayer and genuinely meant it, please go to www.actsweb.org/decision.php to let us know and we will send you a free copy of the eBrochure, "How to Grow."
Note: For this complete article and more help go to: http://tinyurl.com/greatest-treasure. This website includes a photo of the Portland Vase.
1. Isaiah 14:13-14 (NIV).
2. Isaiah 14:12,15.
3. Matthew 11:28(NIV).