I own some baseballs signed by Hall of Famers and a football signed by Super Bowl-winning coach Tony Dungy. Under his name he wrote “Matthew 16:26,” the Scripture where Jesus says it does no good to gain the whole world if we forfeit our souls.
My little collection of memorabilia pales in comparison with the value of historical relics like George Washington’s personal copy of the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights, which sold for $9.8 million in 2012. The book, specially printed for Washington in the first year of his presidency (1789), bears his own bold signature.
A short letter handwritten by Abraham Lincoln months prior to his election as President of the United States sold at auction in 2013 for $18,720. According to news reports, a South Carolina woman inherited the letter from her father, but she was unaware of its monetary value until she brought it to a taping of TV’s “Antiques Roadshow” and had the letter appraised.
Can you imagine the value of a personal message bearing the signature of God?
Treasure in Your Heart
“‘This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel after that time,’ declares the Lord. ‘I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people’” (Jeremiah 31:33).
Moses carried down from Mount Sinai covenant laws written on “tablets of stone inscribed by the finger of God” (Exodus 31:18), but God always has wanted his people to carry his law in their hearts, not just on tablets of stone. The Lord said, “These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts.” “Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds” (Deuteronomy 6:6, 11:18).
My grandchildren are never far from my mind. I talk about them often because I have them in my heart. The psalmist felt that way about the Lord and his precepts. He prayed, “I have hidden your word in my heart” (Psalm 119:11).
God’s message isn’t a heavy burden we lug around like tablets of stone; it’s a joy that, like Jesus’ mother Mary, we treasure in our hearts. Andrew Murray compared God’s law written on our hearts to invisible ink that makes the message clear when it’s exposed to the right kind of light.
Max Lucado tells about visiting the towering 90-foot-tall Christo Redentor (“Christ the Redeemer”) statue in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Impressive as it was, Max noticed that the carved figure has what he calls “blind eyes,” as if to imply that the Lord is blind to the needs of the people swarming below him. On the outside of the figure’s cloak is a Valentine-like heart carved out of stone. Sadly, Lucado observes, many people see the Lord as a blind redeemer with a stony heart.
But the eyes of Jesus are not blind; they see everything. His compassionate heart was broken for us when he poured out his love on the cross. Through the gospel of his crucified and risen Son, God personally penned a love letter that we carry around engraved on our hearts. We are “a letter from Christ . . . written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God” (2 Corinthians 3:3).
What dollar amount could you put on that?
David Faust serves as the Associate Minister at East 91st Street Christian Church in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Based on International Sunday School Lesson, © 2013, by the Lesson Committee. Scripture quotations are from the New International Version ©2011, unless otherwise indicated.
As you apply today’s Scripture study to everyday life, be sure to check out this week’s Study Questions.