Treasuring God

This past Christmas we as a family had the privilege of visiting Caspersen Beach in Venice, FL. This beach is held by most to be the best place on the planet to dig for petrified shark’s teeth. These fossilized shark teeth range in size from one-eighth inch long to three inches long and represent at least ten different species, several of which are extinct.

For eons, sharks have died in the Gulf of Mexico. Their carcasses sink to the ocean floor and are covered by layers of sand and silt, where they decompose, leaving only their teeth and jaws. Sharks have seven rows of teeth; each row consists of 40 or more teeth. The front row is used to feed until they wear out, at which time they are shed and a new row of teeth moves up and into place. The teeth wash ashore here and are relatively easy to find.

As we walked along Caspersen beach we saw many people digging in the sand with long-handled steel sieves, hoping with each basketful to discover a prize fossil. Some people had been out early in the morning with headlamps. People come from miles away to search for the elusive teeth on this lovely natural beach.

David, the girls, and I walked the beach with our sand buckets and shovels. As David waded into the water and brought a shovelful of sand to the beach we dug through the stuff hoping to find a treasure as well. God did allow us to find a few sharks teeth and one woman graciously gave us one from her treasure box.

Reflecting on our day at Caspersen Beach God spoke to us.

Where is our treasure? What are we seeking?

Matthew 6:21 tells us where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

Matthew 13:44-46 says that the Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure hidden in a field.

Philippians 3:8 After Paul considered everything he had accomplished in his life, he says that it was all “a loss” when compared with the greatness of knowing Christ. This is a profound statement about values: a person’s relationship with Christ is more important than anything else. To know Christ should be our ultimate goal.

Let us consider our values. Do I place other things above my relationship with Christ? Take a moment to ask God to speak to us. Ask Him if our treasure or priorities are wrong. He can reorder them.

In order to know Christ I need to spend time in His Word and talking with Him. He desires to speak His truth into my heart and life.

Amos 8:11-13

We need to ask God for an appetite for His Word. In the book of Amos the people had no appetite for God’s Word when the prophet Amos brought it. Because of their apathy, God said He would take away even the opportunity to hear His Word. We have God’s Word in the Bible. It is available to us. May God give us the desire to dig into His Word for the answers to life’s questions.

Job 23:12

Job treasured the Words of God more than his daily bread.

Psalm 119:2 Blessed are they who keep His statutes and seek Him with all their heart.

Blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied) are they who keep His testimonies, and who seek, inquire for and of Him and crave Him with the whole heart. Amplified Bible (AMP)

Psalm 119:10 I will seek You (God) with all my heart…do not let me stray from Your commandments.

In the summer of 2010 David and I did a 12 week study on Psalm 119. (A Lamp Unto My Feet by Steve Gallagher). Psalm 119 is written as a prayer by David who loved the Lord but was well aware of his tendency to stray from God’s precepts. He longed to be kept by the Lord. The cry of David’s heart was to live by God’s commands. I would highly recommend this study.

Deuteronomy 4:29 But if from there you will seek (inquire for and require as necessity) the Lord your God, you will find Him if you [truly] seek Him with all your heart [and mind] and soul and life. (AMP)

In the preceding verses it’s talking about the Israelites living in idolatry. If I am devoting my energies, my devotion, and worship to anything other than God, I too am living in idolatry. “But if from there” indicates we can change. We have a choice to make.

Do I want to know God? God promised the Israelites that they would find Him when they searched with all their hearts and souls. God is knowable and wants to be known – but we have to want to know Him.

Matthew 6:33 To “seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness” means to turn to God first for help, to fill your thoughts with His desires, to take His character for your pattern, and to serve and obey Him in everything.

What is really important to you? People, objects, goals, and other desires all compete for priority. Any of these can quickly bump God out of first place if you don’t actively choose to give Him first place in every area of your life.

Hebrews 11:6 God will reward those who pursue a relationship with Him.

See the book: Vera The Kings Daughter by Harvey Yoder

I Chronicles 28:9; 2 Chronicles 15:2; Jeremiah 29:13; James 4:8 all tell us that if we seek for God He will be found. If we come near to God, He will come near to us.

Psalm 34:10 At first we may question David’s statement, because we seem to lack many good things. This is not a blanket promise that all Christians will have everything they want. Instead, this is David’s praise for God’s goodness – all those who call upon God in their need will be answered, sometimes in unexpected ways. Remember, God knows what we need, and our deepest needs are spiritual. Many Christians, even though they face unbearable poverty and hardship, still have enough spiritual nourishment to live for God. David was saying that to have God is to have all you really need. God is enough.

Psalm 105:4 If God seems far away, persist in your search for Him. Verse 5 tells us to remember the wonders that God has done.

How has God been faithful to me in the past?

Jeremiah 29:13 God’s people were in exile in Babylon. Although they were in a different place and time, God was with them. God can be sought and found when we seek Him wholeheartedly. God can set us free from our captivity.

Hosea 10:12 It is time to seek the Lord. Is my heart ready for God to work in it? I want my heart to be prepared for God versus stony and hard.

Isaiah 55:6 Seek the Lord while He may be found; call on Him while He is near.

Isaiah tells us to call on the Lord while He is near. God is not planning to move away from us, but we often move far from Him or erect a barrier between ourselves and Him. Don’t wait until you have drifted far away from God to seek Him. Later in life turning to Him may be far more difficult. Or God may come to judge the earth before you decide to turn to Him. Seek God now, while you can, before it is too late.

Hebrews 11:6 God wants a personal, dynamic relationship with you that will transform your life. Those who seek God will find that they are rewarded with His intimate presence.

That is my desire for each of you.

–Karen Brubacker 2/2012