Recently I had the immense privilege of speaking at our home school co-op’s semester closing program. I wanted to share my words here as well. While written out with the intention to be spoken, they may not be as well suited to impact in places when read. But the message is just the same- Christ must be and is our superior treasure! In this season of gifts, please see Him as your greatest one!
Christmas time… a glorious time… a time of so much beauty and so much hope and so many gifts!
We wait for the gifts with such excitement – make our wish lists and anticipate and stare at the space under the tree and tear packaging open. This is a season of treasure.
I remember last year- there was a season of hard. A season of hard and loss and pain, and I remember this very distinct moment, saying to my husband with an understanding that could never have been grasped in an easy season- “This is why Christ has to be our superior treasure.”
Christ, our Superior Treasure- this phraseology I owe to John Piper, whose writings and sermons and wisdom I have immeasurably benefited from. Christ, our Superior Treasure- our favorite thing, most valued commodity, our greatest prize.
Standing there, in that time of sorrow and loss, I knew in the depths of my soul, that this was why Jesus had to be #1. Because He was truly all I had. And what I really really wanted.
There’s this song we sing, called “All I Have is Christ”, and it’s one of my favorites and always has been, but there was a day before I had learned these deeper lessons, and when life started hurting, that I caught myself unable to sing it. Because for the first time I started understanding it. Up until that point I’d sing out “Hallelujah, all I have is Christ!” with smile beaming and hands lifted and not a care in the world. Life was good. And yay all I have is Christ! But then life started to hurt and the song began and I realized what I was declaring when I sang it. And I knew I couldn’t honestly. I wanted Christ, but I wanted Christ plus. Christ plus the baby I didn’t hold, the friendships I was missing, the dreams and hopes unfulfilled. It didn’t feel so chipper to sing that I only had Christ. I wanted a whole other wish list I wasn’t receiving.
But then through more brokenness, He broke me of this and showed me that day the beautiful freedom of letting go of all those other desires and instead of fearing more loss, reveling in the release of knowing I truly had Him. I had Him, Him the greatest of all treasures and nothing, nothing could take Him away! Unlike all these other treasures of life, not only was He the greatest by far but He was the one that was guaranteed. Guaranteed to be mine and to stay and to be enjoyed, always.
I want to encourage you to recognize Christ as your superior treasure and I want to give you 3 quick reasons why:
First of all: because every good gift is from Him and nothing that is good is withheld. James 1:17 says, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights.” Everything, every single thing, in your life that you deem good is a direct gift from God. Each beautiful, good, lovely, cherished thing, relationship, experience, asset, could have a “from” tag- to you, from your Heavenly Father. And those things that aren’t good? Well even in that we’re promised, He will work ALL things for good to those who love Him. So it really is, all good. And what of the good you want but are not given? The wish list never appearing with a pretty bow? Well, we find comfort in Psalm 84:11 that promises us, no good thing does He withhold from His followers. If we have not received it, it is not good for us.
The second reason I want to give you to recognize Christ as your superior treasure is: because with Him we have everything- Romans 8:32 tells us, “He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?” He has given us the superior treasure of Himself, and then also freely gives us all things. Life abundant now, and an eternal inheritance in His Kingdom. A New Heaven and a New Earth. Heaven, right here, God dwelling again with us in a completely perfect and restored universe. What an unfathomably generous Father.
And the last reason I want to give you to recognize Christ as your Superior Treasure is: because He is. He is your superior treasure. Whether you recognize it or not, He is. Whether you receive Him or not, He is. He is the greatest gift to ever be offered to you. He came to this earth for you, as a weak, vulnerable, needy baby; and lived a harsh life to die a cruel death, for you; and then He rose to conquer death and claim all victory and He offers Himself to you- Him, your superior treasure.
I just finished teaching my Sign Language class here today for the semester, and I ended the semester the same way I always do- my level 3 students could really tell you. I ended with a plea. A plea to follow Jesus. Follow Jesus. Follow Jesus. I tell them what I’ll tell you now, that just because we’re a Christian co-op does not mean we are all Christians. You can be home schooled and in a Christian co-op and in church every Sunday and not know Jesus. Please, come to Him. Receive and recognize Him as your superior treasure. You can talk to me- I am an open book, and there is nothing I’d rather talk about more than journeying with Jesus. I know you could also talk to our director. You can even just go directly to Christ and pour your heart and yourself out in surrender to Him.
This Christmas season, let the lights of Christmas point you to the Father of lights.
I want to close with a passage from 1 Chronicles 29:11-18, as a response of praise to God and a prayer for us all here. This passage is a prayer of David’s after receiving from the Israelites their gifts to build the temple. Though a different people and a different setting, there are many principles in this passage that fit beautifully with these thoughts today as we ponder Christ our Superior Treasure, the abundant gifts we’ve received from Him, and the gifts of the season we offer.
“Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, indeed everything that is in the heavens and the earth; Yours is the dominion, O Lord, and You exalt Yourself as head over all. Both riches and honor come from You, and You rule over all, and in Your hand is power and might; and it lies in Your hand to make great and to strengthen everyone. Now therefore, our God, we thank You, and praise Your glorious name.
But who am I and who are my people that we should be able to offer as generously as this? For all things come from You, and from Your hand we have given You. For we are sojourners before You, and tenants, as all our fathers were; our days on the earth are like a shadow… O Lord our God, all this abundance that we have provided to build You a house for Your holy name, it is from Your hand, and all is Yours. Since I know, O my God, that You try the heart and delight in uprightness, I… have willingly offered all these things; so now with joy I have seen Your people, who are present here, make their offerings willingly to You. O Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, our fathers, preserve this forever in the intentions of the heart of Your people, and direct their heart to You.”