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Having But Not Knowing What You Have
By: Dr. Skip Myers
web posted July 24 2006
I heard the story of a man who bought a painting at a yard sale for just a few dollars. He bought the painting because he liked the frame and wanted to use it with another piece of art he had at home. It sat around the garage for months collecting dust. Finally, he decided to get rid of the ugly picture in the frame and replace it. As he began to remove the picture from the frame, he noticed that another painting was underneath. For some reason his curiosity got the best of him and he very carefully began to remove the top picture. The painting underneath looked extremely old and fragile. Well, to make a long story less long, the painting underneath was a lost work of art by one of the masters. He sold that painting at auction for millions of dollars.
Just imagine how this man felt when the gavel dropped at that auction and he went home a wealthy man. He gained all this wealth because he bought a nice looking frame at a yard sale. Now, just imagine how the person who sold him the frame must have felt. They probably had the thing sitting in their attic for years and the whole time they had no idea what they had. It was probably just something passed down from one person in the family to another. No one ever thought to look beneath the surface.
Everyday, I meet people who take this approach to their relationship with the Lord. They have appreciatively accepted what the Lord has given them just like they would an old painting from a relative. Religion has been in their family for generations and they don’t want to break the chain. They take it and safely store it away never taking the time to examine just what they have. So, they continue on living life only to the extent they can accomplish it on their own. Meanwhile, tucked away somewhere in the attic of their lives under a religious picture is a spiritual masterpiece waiting for someone to uncover.
The gentleman in our story uncovered the masterpiece while he was taking the piece of art apart. People are afraid to take their relationship with the Lord apart. They never take the time to analyze what is beneath that dusty covering of religion. No wonder people don’t want to come to church if all they see in the Lord is an old, dusty piece of art that doesn’t seem to fit in with the new, modern décor of their lives.
Let me challenge you to examine just what you have in the Lord. Peel away the religious topping and see what lies beneath. It’s okay to do this. You don’t have to be afraid. You’re not going damage God! You’re not going to find some long, lost code that will disprove the very basis of faith. You see, what you are analyzing and examining is absolute truth. So it’s okay to question; that’s how we learn. The greatest minds in history have done so and actually concluded that He is exactly who He said He is.
Just remember, the man in the story took the painting to an expert who helped him know just what he had. There are experts who can help you know the wealth you have in a relationship with Christ. Don’t try to figure it out on you own. And by expert, I’m not necessarily talking about a preacher—although we can be good for something sometime. (Ever wonder why your preacher may be rather “long-winded? It just might be that he is talking about something he really loves each Sunday morning and is just trying to help you love it the same.) And there are believers whose faith is flowing out of them because it is the wealth inside of them. Use them to help you get an appraisal of His worth to you.
Take time to really read this passage of scripture. It contains a wealth of wealth. That’s just what He is in you; He is the wealth of God freely given by faith.
I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places. (Ephesians 1:18-20)
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