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What do you treasure most?  What great love cannot be taken away from you by anyone?  What turns your crank in life when it comes to earthly living?  I would have to say, Jesus is the one who gives me meaning, and purpose, and direction.  He is the one who makes it all worth it, but then what?  I believe it is family.  Matthew 6:19-21 says a lot to me where it says


19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; 21 for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.  Treasure used as a verb is defined -a valuable or valued item.  Next to Jesus I treasure family.  They have great value to me and my worth as an individual is undergirded by what my family thinks of me.  To have family is a great “treasure” that we many times might take for granted, but we never should!  When you think about it God chose to send His son into the world through Mary, a virgin, and Jesus grew in wisdom and stature for thirty years around His “family.”  Of course, you have heard the snide remarks made about Jesus and His growing up years where someone might say, “Well, Jesus was the perfect Son!”  I’m very sure He was a perfect son, which would make Him a perfect family member.  He went to sleep at night and woke in the morning with family.  When Jesus was on the cross He looked at Mary, His mother, and said, John 19:26 “When Jesus then saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing nearby, He *said to His mother, “Woman, behold, yourson!” 27 Then He *said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” From that hour the disciple took her into his own household.  The coordination of family was important to Jesus, even on the cross.  So, my goodness, shouldn’t our coordination of family be important to us?  Shouldn’t we “treasure” our family?  Yes, we should.

It has become increasingly evident that if our families are low on our priority then our society begins to crumble.  We see early evidence of that in our own country, and it is a plague that has taken deep root in our fabric and caused us to be more concerned with wealth, position, and lust, than family.  Family should never be sacrificed on the altar of “getting ahead” and left behind for fruitless pursuits. Family must have priority and that priority should always show that family is treasured.

Clovis Chappell, a minister from a century back, used to tell the story of two paddleboats. They left Memphis about the same time, traveling down the Mississippi River to New Orleans. As they traveled side by side, sailors from one vessel made a few remarks about the snail’s pace of the other. Words were exchanged. Challenges were made. And the race began. Competition became vicious as the two boats roared through the Deep South.

One boat began falling behind. Not enough fuel. There had been plenty of coal for the trip, but not enough for a race. As the boat dropped back, an enterprising young sailor took some of the ship’s cargo and tossed it into the ovens. When the sailors saw that the supplies burned as well as the coal, they fueled their boat with the material they had been assigned to transport. They ended up winning the race, but burned their cargo.

God has entrusted cargo to us, too: children, spouses, friends. Our job is to do our part in seeing that this cargo reaches its destination. Yet when the program takes priority over people, people often suffer. How much cargo do we sacrifice in order to achieve the number one slot? How many people never reach the destination because of the aggressiveness of a competitive captain?

I know I am still willing to be changed into a better husband and father, but it will always take me remembering what I treasure next to Jesus, and that is family.  This year let God show you a new thing by exploring the importance of family.  Is your family a “treasure” to you?  It should be.  Are you willing to make changes in your life to make it that treasure?  You’ll have to.   If you aren’t close to your family, then you are missing a blessing and that blessing has many wonderful benefits for all.  Rudyard Kipling once wrote about families, “all of us are we–and everyone else is they.” A family shares things like dreams, hopes, possessions, memories, smiles, frowns, and gladness…A family is a clan held together with the glue of love and the cement of mutual respect. A family is shelter from the storm, a friendly port when the waves of life become too wild. No person is ever alone who is a member of a family.

I hope this year finds you polishing your treasure and that treasure is your family.  You will have no regrets if you make your family a priority in your life and your legacy will be passed down throughout more and more generations with the same great love for….FAMILY!!!

HAPPY THANKSGIVING AND MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!

The Pilgrimage continues…..

David Warren

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