Laurentius was a deacon in the church at Rome in 258 A.D. His pastor had just been martyred and Laurentius believed his own martyrdom would soon come as well under the Roman authorities. So he gathered all the poor in their church and distributed among them the “treasures of the church which had been committed to his care ” as Foxe’s Book of Martyrs puts it. Hearing of this, the persecutors became alarmed and seized him and commanded him to give an immediate account to the Emperor of the Church treasures. Laurentius was happy to comply !
What he did next was not out of spite or mocking of the authorities. He did what he was told and brought many of the elderly, helpless and poor to the governor and said, “These are the TRUE treasures of the Church” ! Needless to say,the Roman officials failed to see any humor or spiritual lesson and set about to torture and execute this fine Christian servant. He died on August 10, 258 with such dignity and courage despite incredibly grueling tortures that MANY came to Christ – indeed he was a treasure of the Church himself !!
In our church, as in many, exist even still “church treasures” . In ours we have the many faithful souls who attend and serve EVERY week. We have Ushers, Sunday School and Junior Church teachers, Officers, the Church cleaning crew, musicians, children, elderly, encouragers. Let me park here for a moment – every Sunday almost without fail a man stops by at the end of church and tells me how much the message meant to him. Seriously, I don’t pay him ! His is a minstry of encouragement. Something as basic and simple as that is a treasure in our church.
I think many times we go to church with the notion of seeking out treasure. Maybe its a nugget in the Bible we havent seen before, maybe its a great friendship we long for, maybe a needed pat on the back. All good, yes, shouldn’t our motive be more to BE a treasure? As we simply strive to be what God wants us to be every day we become that treasure ! As Job was going through all his trials he wrote this, “But He knoweth the way that I take: when He hath tried me, I shall come forth as GOLD” (23:10) !! Job was in our lingo essentially saying here “God knows how it is with me, when I’m tried, I’m gonna choose His way !” Even in great trials you can find reason to be genuinely joyous as God is trying to develop you into a person of even greater worth. So like Job, let Him do it. Don’t chafe against life’s twists & turns, keep going through them doing what’s right because when you do – YOU become not buried treasure but very visible, Christlike treasure making God shine all the more !!
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