Collecting

To be human is to be a collector. 
We just seem to accumulate things.  Collections range from a garage filled with so much stuff you could never park a car there, to carefully indexed and displayed collections of books, paintings, model cars, guns, recordings, films, etc.   People collect things.  Some of us find it difficult to let go of the past and those boxes of random objects in the garage are all that’s left of it in the physical world.  Others of us have become so fascinated by an object that we can’t seem to get enough of them.

On days of rest and recreation, our collections call to us. 
A casual trip to the garage reminds us of all the boxes we need to go through so we quickly get back in the house.  For those intentional collections, the possible ways to enjoy them are many:

  • We can just look at them, appreciating their value and meaning.
  • We can look for more of them online or out in the market place.
  • We can choose one or more of them to play with.
  • We can catch up on the indexing and cataloging for it seems we are always behind on that.

As a Christ-follower we also accumulate valuables:

  • Moments with the Master, times of presence and power filed neatly away in our hearts for times when we need to remember,
  • Truths eternal, packed into certain words and into the many names of God for times when enemies or errors confront us,
  • People we love and who love us in return, gifts of grace from God’s own hand for times when we need a human touch or a word from a friend, and
  • Blessings all around us, far outnumbering the things we still need, for every moment of every day, the provision of Jehovah Jireh, the Lord Who Provides.

The treasures we have accumulated speak peace to us, bring a smile to our face, relax the tension in the back of our neck, and give us pause in that wonderful gap between the work of the week and the worship of the Lord’s Day.

Follow your interests.
Collect wonderful things that fascinate you.  If God made them, they were made for you to enjoy.  If human beings made them and they are honorable, those artists and craftsmen have created from the image of God in them.  That same image in you responds to their work and it is a good thing.

We must also look deeper than our various collections of things to the astounding accumulation of grace stored in our hearts, indexed in our minds, and available to our spirits.  They are kept in heaven’s secure vaults where there are no moths, no decay, no thieves, and where nothing is ever lost.

To be human is to be a collector.

Scriptures:
Luke 12:32-33
“Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys.
Matthew 6:19-21
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Matthew 13:52
He said to them, “Therefore every teacher of the law who has been instructed about the kingdom of heaven is like the owner of a house who brings out of his storeroom new treasures as well as old.”
Colossians 2:2-7
My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.  I tell you this so that no one may deceive you by fine-sounding arguments.  For though I am absent from you in body, I am present with you in spirit and delight to see how orderly you are and how firm your faith in Christ is. So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.
Romans 11:33-36
Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out! “Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor?”   “Who has ever given to God, that God should repay him?”   For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen.
Ephesians 1:18-19
I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, I love the Bible, that shinning collection of stories and words of wisdom and unbelievable poems and essays that brings You to me. I love the massive collection of worship songs Your people have written and sung through the ages, going all the way back to King David. I see Your Church as a collection of narratives, stories of grace so amazing and I see beyond their stories to the people in Your collection, people You have called out of darkness into Your marvelous light. I consider my own story, a narrative of Divine intervention, of miracles of miles and inches, of moments of astounding grace and most of all, the people in my life, good people and true. When I count my collection of blessings, there is no ending to them. Thank You, Lord. Amen.

Song:
Count Your Blessings
Words: Johnson Oatman; Music: E.O. Excell

1. When upon life’s billows you are tempest tossed,
When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.

Refrain:
Count your blessings, name them one by one;
Count your blessings, see what God hath done;
Count your blessings, name them one by one;
Count your many blessings, see what God hath done.

2. Are you ever burdened with a load of care?
Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear?
Count your many blessings, ev’ry doubt will fly,
And you will be singing as the days go by.

Refrain

3. When you look at others with their lands and gold,
Think that Christ has promised you His wealth untold;
Count your many blessings, money cannot buy
Your reward in heaven, nor your home on high.

Refrain

4. So, amid the conflict, whether great or small,
Do not be discouraged, God is over all;
Count your many blessings, angels will attend,
Help and comfort give you to your journey’s end.

Refrain

Semper Reformanda!
Stephen Phifer

© 2017 Stephen R. Phifer All Rights Reserved

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