If you’re hunting for treasure, you won’t find it until you go to where it is. Obvious, isn’t it?
I have always loved the academic study of the Bible and of what we, as Christians, believe. I’m glad to have had the opportunity to do it. It’s given me useful tools to understand my faith. But, (and it’s a big ‘but’) over the years, I’ve discovered that such study lacks one vital thing – it’s not life-giving. It informs the mind, but it doesn’t nourish the spirit. I thought I was getting ‘treasures of wisdom and knowledge’ out of books and out of a ‘bookish’ reading of the Scriptures. But Paul says that the real treasures are not found there; they are ‘hidden in Christ’. It’s to Him I must go, if I’m going to find them.
It's not that there’s anything wrong with the Bible – far from it! It’s absolutely vital – it’s the plumb-line of truth. But there was something wrong with me. My reading of the Bible was all with my mind, not with my spirit. What I was getting was dry. I wasn’t getting the water of life. When your spirit becomes engaged, you’re not just studying the written word, you’re listening to the Living Word, Christ Himself. And it’s in Him that you find the ‘treasures of wisdom and knowledge’.
Imagine that you’ve got a catalogue of hidden treasures, everything exactly described – priceless jewels; amazing ceramics; wonderful pictures, all beautifully described. It makes for great reading. Which would you rather have: the catalogue or the treasures? The catalogue is useful. It tells you what to look for and it’ll help you recognise it when you find it. You won’t get duped by something that isn’t part of the treasure. But you’d be pretty silly just reading the descriptions and not searching for the treasure, wouldn’t you?
Reading the Bible with the attitude of a ‘treasure hunter’ makes all the difference. You’re using what you read as your guide to bring you deeper into Jesus. And that’s where you find life-giving treasure.
Once, some of Jesus’ followers were deserting Him. He asked the Twelve whether they were going to leave Him too. “Lord, to whom shall we go?” replied Peter, “You have the words of eternal life” (John 6:68). We still need to go to Him, or else all our Bible study will be little more than reading a catalogue.
Prayer: Father, thank You for the Scriptures; thank You that in them You reveal the treasures of wisdom and knowledge that I can find in Jesus. Father, I’m sorry for the times when I’ve read about all that can be mine in Him, but I’ve never truly come to Him to receive it. Lord Jesus, I come to You now that I might receive from Your riches all that You want to give me. Amen.
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