by Pastor Mark Banyard
One of my favorite games when I was a young boy was a game we called ‘pirates’. We would find somewhere in the backyard where we could dig a hole, put something (the treasure) into the hole and bury it. Then we would get a piece of paper and a pencil, draw a little map, and put an ‘X’ to mark the spot where the treasure was hidden. In the Disney movies, pirates were always fighting with each other for the pieces of paper to put the map together to find out where the treasure was. It was all about finding the treasure.
Do you know that God has treasures for you? He has things that are so valuable that we could never buy, that we could not afford to buy even if we have all the money in the world. He has treasure that He wants to give to us. It is hidden, but the good news is that He wants to reveal to us where the treasure is.
Romans 16:25 – 27 reads, Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery kept secret since the world began but now made manifest, and by the prophetic Scriptures made known to all nations, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, for obedience to the faith — to God, alone wise, be glory through Jesus Christ forever. Amen.
Here Paul speaks about something that has been hidden. He does not use the word ‘treasure’, but he talks about a ‘mystery’ – something that the wisest man in the world could not find or know unless God revealed it to him. Do you know that we are here as the body of Christ individually and corporately because something that was hidden for ages has now been revealed to us? Maybe you already know that. But do you really understand how valuable the treasure is? Sometimes we become so familiar with it that no longer are we in awe of the value of what has been given. This treasure or mystery was hidden for ages but now Paul says it has been revealed. We are the people of the treasure. We are those to whom the mystery has been revealed. Do you walk in the excitement and awe of this revelation?
1 Corinthians 2:6-7 says, However, we speak wisdom among those who are mature, yet not the wisdom of this age, nor of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory. When you think that the world is in control of you, you should read verse 6. Things that have been hidden are now being revealed. In Christ it has been revealed to us, the mystery of God. Since the beginning of time, God has always wanted two things. He wanted a people for Himself and a dwelling place on earth with His people. We are the container or the wineskin in which the treasure dwells.
In Ephesians 3:7, Paul wrote that he became a minister of the gospel according to the gift of the grace of God given to him by the effective working of His power. In verses 8-9 he added, To me, who am less than the least of all the saints, this grace was given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to make all see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the ages has been hidden in God who created all things through Jesus Christ.
The mystery of God has been entrusted to us, although at the time of the entrusting, we were unworthy. What God has revealed to us needs to be personal in order for it to change us. Yet when we become too comfortable or too at ease with what has been revealed to us, somehow the value of the treasure diminishes. We may still appreciate it, but it has been brought down to earth rather than remain in the fullness of its heavenly glory.
Deuteronomy 29:29 states that The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law. Unless God reveals the secret things to us, they do not belong to us. But the things that have been revealed belong to us. They have been given to us. They are the gift of God to us, not only to us but to our children forever that we may follow all the words of this law. This is an amazing truth and we need to revisit it if we are talking about the beginning of new beginnings. The new things that God is going to reveal or perhaps have already been given to us. Sometimes you are given something but you do not realize it. Perhaps because it is so valuable you do not realize that it belongs to you now. You are honoring the gift so much that you dare not touch it, wear it or use it. It is so valuable that you never take ownership of it and therefore, you never get to enjoy it. However, you can also become too familiar with what God has given that you forget how invaluable the gift is.
Secrets belong to God, but once they are revealed, they belong to us. They are to be enjoyed, appropriated and used. They are to transform and activate us, to bring us into new perspectives. They are to empower us and give us authority. They are given so that Jesus’ ministry would continue through us on the earth. They are to reveal and proclaim that Jesus lives, that He is victorious.
So often when we partake of the bread and the wine during communion, we feel sad. Yes, we were sorrowful for our sins, but don’t let the enemy convince you to get stuck there. The communion is to remember His death but at the same time it is to declare that Jesus has risen. His victory and His presence are ours today! Thus, God has revealed things to us that now belong to us. They are like treasure hidden in the field.