January 4, 2024
Volume 28, Number 1
Jessica Vincent has been a fan of “Antiques Road Show” for years. She dreamed of one day finding an object that would be declared valuable by an expert, even after others had overlooked it. She recently had her wish come true.
While perusing merchandise at a Goodwill store near Richmond, Virginia, Vincent spotted a vase that stood out because of its colorful pattern. Thinking it would look nice in her home, she purchased it for $3.99. She then posted pictures of it in Facebook glass art groups and learned it was a rare piece that others would pay dearly to obtain.
Experts were contacted, and they paid a visit to inspect the vase for themselves. It was determined to be a rare and flawless creation by an Italian artist and was put up for auction. When the gavel fell a price just over $107,000 was paid by an unidentified collector.
“One man’s junk is another man’s treasure” is a well-known proverb. It’s unknown who brought the valuable vase to that Goodwill store, but they obviously regarded it as little more than junk.
Jesus told a parable about a merchant in search of beautiful pearls: “… when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it” (Matthew 13:46). The merchant knew the worth of the pearl and sold all he had to obtain it. But why had no one else already spotted it? Apparently, others were not trained to understand its true value.
The “pearl” of which Jesus spoke almost certainly points to the gift of salvation which He would soon make available to humanity by His death on the cross. The cost of following Jesus is staggering: “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me” (Matthew 16:24). That’s a price that the majority of people aren’t willing to pay. Why should we?
Two verses later Jesus gave the reason for making such an investment: “For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matthew 16:26). When we grasp the big picture of our existence, we value things differently.
I suspect that virtually every thrift store in America has inexpensive used Bibles for sale. Some have been passed over by dozens of people who saw no value in them at all. But those who understand that life on earth is a training ground for eternity know that this Book is a treasure. From an ancient Book we learn about our perilous condition in sin, and we hear the Good News of a Savior who offers to deliver us from those sins.
The Bible you buy at Goodwill may never sell for big money, but the results of living according to its teaching will be worth many times more than all the silver and gold on earth.
Come to the light God offers! Study His word, the Bible. Worship Him in spirit and truth (John 4:24). Get in touch with us if you’d like to discuss these ideas further.
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Copyright, 2024, Timothy D. Hall. All scripture quotations, unless otherwise noted, are from the New King James Version (Copyright, 1990, Thomas Nelson, Inc.).
“LightGrams” is produced by the Central Church of Christ, 2722 Oakland Avenue, Johnson City, Tennessee, 37601, and is written by Tim Hall, minister. It is sent free of charge every Thursday to all who request it. To subscribe or to receive more information, write to “Tim@GraceMine.org” (our E-mail address), to the U.S. mail address above, or call (423) 282-1571.
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