Devotions

An Estate Sale Treasure

A few days ago while running an errand I spotted those hot pink “Estate Sale” signs dotting my neighborhood.  Impulsively, I decided to pop in and check things out.  For a weekday morning  the cars were spread thick on each side of the street.

Even though I didn’t know these people, estate sales, in general, always make me a twinge sad.  Questions run through my mind: Who were they?  What kind of lives did they lead? What legacy did they leave behind?

I crossed the threshold into their lives laid out as an open book.  Every room seemed to breathe hushed whispers of their life interests and passions. There were floral paintings, basketball memorabilia, and some humble vintage pieces. Other items were quite ordinary…the everyday dishes, pots and pans, cookie sheets and dish towels.  What stories could they tell?

Spare rooms housed games, movies, and the usual “lightly used” exercise equipment that seems to adorn just about every American’s garage.

Everything was for sale.

Everything.

A steady stream of people strategically moved from room to room like worker ants on a mission to find that one crumb of hidden treasure. The noise ranged from a respectful hush to a noisy yell when something needed to be moved to a customer’s car. A purchase meant the continuation of the story.

I made my way upstairs and found a bookshelf tucked in a little corner.  I cocked my head to one side reading the spines from right to left, north and south in a rhythmic movement.  Nothing caught my eye.  Turning around, I spotted a few old movies stacked neatly in a line on an ordinary, oak, veneer desk and decided on a few to buy. At 4 for $6.00, they were a bargain. You can get a small glimpse into another’s life by the books and entertainment that they have stockpiled.  But, I couldn’t stop thinking who these people really were and how nothing we have materially in this life will be useful in the next.

I’m sure we’ve all heard the saying, “You can’t take it with you,” haven’t we?  Well, it’s true!  Those material treasures we hold so dearly will one day slip from our very own grasp only to be passed on to another or cast aside to decompose in a landfill somewhere.

Eventually everything will get rusty, old, and waste away.

Everything.

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The very wise Solomon spoke of it this way in Ecclesiastes 5:15,

“As he came from his mother’s womb, naked shall he return, to go as he came;

And he shall take nothing from his labor which he may carry away in his hand.”

At the risk of sounding like this blog post is a complete downer, I want to let this inevitable thought flame the fire of freedom to live intentionally.

When Jesus gave instructions on how to live a full and “rich” life in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 6 & 7), He spoke both to the multitudes and to His followers. People.  Though living over two thousand years ago, when the world was drastically different, they faced the same choices of the unchanging human heart.

“Do not  lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal.”

– Matthew 6:19

“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”  – Matthew 6:21

Will my heart be set on the temporality of what I can see or the permanency of the unseen…the eternal?  Will I live clenching my fist so tightly to fleeting things, even treasures, trying to withdraw satisfaction, emotion, or contentment from them?  Or, will I thoroughly enjoy blessings from the hand of God realizing they truly aren’t mine to keep?  Will I take great care of them as a good overseer yet, hold them so loosely, so that when they decay, break, are lost or taken away it does not change my ultimate focus?

No matter how hard we try to slow down the process, it’s the unstoppable law of entropy that wins every time! But, what about when thieves break in and steal? That’s a challenging one to handle and one I have experienced in the past. Precious things, in an instant, treated with evil intent, and complete haphazard thoughtlessness, gone.  While there is a grieving and forgiving process to work through, the undeniable fact still lingers that those items remain temporal.

But rather…

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So, what is the treasure my heart should be laying up? I think there are quite a few verses which would give us the answer, but one comes to mind that I think sums it up very well.

Jesus said,

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it. You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” – Matthew 22:37-39

The treasure is found in an investment in the eternal…the most important, my personal fellowship time with the infinite and unchanging God {through His Word} and the second, my relationship with my neighbor, which extends far beyond the family next door, but all of mankind. It’s all about relationship. It’s always been all about relationship. Two things are eternal in this life: God and His Word and the souls of men. Having a proper perspective of them both sets all the rest of life in balance.

While I left the sale with a handful of old movies, I really left with a treasured gem. It wasn’t anything surprisingly new to me, but a  gentle reminder {one that hit the refocus button}.

Love God Intensely

Love People, No Matter Who They Are

Live Simply

Live life with a lite touch on that which is fading. Live intentionally, stockpiling true treasures… that which is indestructible, rob-less, and can never fade. Lay up the everlasting treasures.

So the next time you see those bright estate sale signs dotting your neighborhood, you just might want to turn in. Who knows, you too may leave with a lasting gem!

Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus

By Helen Lemmel

Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.
.
O soul, are you weary and troubled?
No light in the darkness you see?
There’s a light for a look at the Savior,
And life more abundant and free!

Through death into life everlasting
He passed, and we follow Him there;
Over us sin no more hath dominion
For more than conquerors we are!

His Word shall not fail you, He promised;
Believe Him, and all will be well:
Then go to a world that is dying,
His perfect salvation to tell!

~

To learn more of the interesting history of this hymn and its composer see:

http://womenofchristianity.com/turn-your-eyes-upon-jesus-by-helen-lemmel-hymn-story/

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6 thoughts on “An Estate Sale Treasure

  1. We can’t take anything with us, but isn’t it wonderful that we can send our treasures on ahead for safe keeping—beginning with our very immortal souls on down to the cup of water offered in His name, it’s all safe in God’s keeping. “I know Whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I’ve committed unto Him against that Great Day.” 2 Timothy 1:12

  2. Your words touch deep ..
    In the midst of sifting through belongings I am reminded to hold loosely that which I cannot take with me. The good stuff will always be eternity .. for He shares His treasures in full display.

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