Recently, I met a person on the main street who offered to sell me a treasure map. He said, "I have marked the letter X where this treasure is located in the St. Lawrence River. You will be a very rich man if you buy this treasure map from me." You guessed it. It was a fake!
Instead, I believe that there is a better treasure map for churches and individuals to follow that is marked with the letter P.
Firstly, P on my map stands for "play". We are so serious today in our churches that it is enough to frighten our treasured children away. Do you ever have a games night? Many churches have table tennis or pool tables in their basements. Has your church sponsored a hockey, soccer, or softball team? While Jesus did not play these games, He did emphasize having times of rest and relaxation.
Mark 6:31b – He said to them, "Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest." (NIV)
Secondly, P on my map stands for "plan". We planned a trip to Florida in great detail. Yet when my doctor told me to put my house in order, as I had only a few weeks to live, I was not prepared. I remembered that Jesus told us to lay up treasures in heaven, not on earth.
Matthew 6:19-20a – Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven. (NIV)
What plans do you have for storing up treasures in heaven? Are they plans to aid the work of Christ within your community, your home, and your church, going about doing good in Jesus' name, and being ambassadors of the kingdom of reconciliation? Or are your plans self-centred and empty?
Thirdly, P on my map stands for "prayer". I believe prayer is so important. Unfortunately, in today's world, noise, noise, noise seems to be everywhere. I am fortunate to have a quiet corner where, every morning, I can read the Word and sit for ten or fifteen minutes to meditate and listen for God to speak to me. Remember that the Lord was not in the wind, the earthquake, or the fire. It was only when everything was quiet that Elijah received God's message. Do we take time to listen to the whisper of God today within our individual and corporate prayer lives? Or do we allow the distracting noise of the world to drown God out?
Another point regarding prayer is that we often forget to say thanks. Do you recall Jesus healing ten men with leprosy?
Luke 17:17-18 – Jesus asked, "Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?" (NIV)
Is it possible that we are doing the same thing today within our personal lives, within our churches? Have we lost our sense of gratitude and praise to and for the greatest treasure of all, Jesus Christ, our Saviour and Lord?
Prayer: By sitting in a quiet corner, may we find You where we have never looked. We ask You to kindle the flame of Your searching Spirit within us. Warm us with courage to travel where You want us to go. Give us the eyes of faith to see Your brightness and to say thank You for all that You have given us. Amen.
Listen to this devotional
Listen while you read: "Guide Me O Thou Great Jehovah" (Lyrics)