This week, I am sharing a TREASURE from one of my favorite authors, Graham Cooke. This is the word that I need desperately at this time, and I could never say it as well as Graham does. Here’s a quote from THE LANGUAGE OF LOVE by Graham Cooke:
Throughout His earthly ministry, Jesus spoke to the treasure God had deposited in people. He even blessed the spiritual treasure that the person themselves did not realize they had. In Luke 19, Jesus met a crooked tax collector named Zacchaeus. Not once did Jesus reveal the man’s sin. All He did was bless him and honour him. Humbled, Zacchaeus knew what to do: “Look, Lord, I give half of my goods to the poor; and if I have taken anything from anyone by false accusation, I restore fourfold.” The man simply stopped cheating others, signed away half of his possessions, and made a contract with Heaven to restore what he had previously stolen. “I robbed you of a hundred dollars; here’s four hundred back”—that’s God at work in one of His special treasures.
God has placed His fingerprint in the people around us, and we need to speak to that spiritual treasure. In John 1, the disciple Philip brought his brother, Nathanael, to meet Jesus. Nathanael, at first, was skeptical: “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” he asked. But when he finally met Jesus, the Lord spoke to the treasure in him: “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no deceit,” Jesus said, noting that He had prophetically seen Nathanael sitting under a fig tree earlier that day. “Rabbi, You are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel,” exclaimed Nathanael, who left everything behind and became a disciple. Jesus had spotted the treasure—that piece of God’s Spirit that had been deposited in Nathanael’s life—and spoken to it. Nathanael, in turn, became a pillar of the early Church.
SPEAK TO THE TREASURE
Jesus knew that whatever He spoke to would rise up in people. Humanity always speaks to the earthen vessel, noting every crack, flaw, and warp: “If you put this right, and change that, then we’ll let you in and accept you.” God is not remotely like that. He speaks to the treasure in a person and releases it from the captivity of the flesh. He extracts the precious from the worthless. We often try and do the opposite; we take out the trash and see what’s left. When we speak to the treasure in people, it moves to the surface of their lives, from the hidden to the obvious. The rubbish always comes with it. When people see their own worth, they get rid of their own carnality. That’s why the prophetic and the pastoral go so well together. But God knows there is treasure in each of us and He wants to bring it to the surface. Don’t let your view of the worthless obscure that which is precious about a person.
“I HAVE FOUND THE PARADOX THAT IF I LOVE UNTIL IT HURTS, THEN THERE IS NO HURT, BUT ONLY MORE LOVE.” MOTHER TERESA
THE LANGUAGE OF PROMISE
We have got to change the way we think of, and behave around, other people. We don’t have any enemies except for the devil and his demons. The Apostle Paul believed this: “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places,” he wrote in Ephesians 6:12. We don’t have any human enemies, only people who we are not finding treasure in. Fortunately, God can give us a different type of vision to help us see people in a new way.
“Let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God,” Peter wrote in 1 Peter 3:4. “Incorruptible” in this verse means that the beauty will not pass away; unlike a flower that blooms and withers, that which is precious in God’s eyes stands forever. When God looks at you, He sees what is precious—what He most loves about you right now.
Last week when I took my friend to her PT session, I encountered the Lord’s treasure in a suffering lady in the waiting room. I had the blessed opportunity to encourage her and pray for her. I think I was at least as much blessed as she was! How wonderful it was to touch another soul in Jesus’ name.
Let’s pray together:
Lord help us to remember, it is not about me. Open our spiritual eyes to see the precious treasure You have placed in each person we encounter, and bless and honor them as You do. Let us be Your channel of grace to others, loving them as you do and bringing them UP…up to Your presence and grace and favor and blessing. Amen.