Friday, May 12, 2006

The Rare Jewel

I continue to preach a series through 1 Timothy at Covenant Presbyterian Church; I've finally come to the next-to-last sermon, on 1 Timothy 6:3-10. As you'd expect, I'll be talking quite a bit about godliness, contentment, and how these things equate to great "gain." I've been thinking about all of this in light of a re-reading of Jeremiah Burroughs' classic book, The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment.

While Burroughs' has the Puritan emphasis upon "duty," there are a number of striking passages in the book. One of the best, that gets at the heart of what I'll be saying on Sunday, is this:

"In the house of the righteous is much treasure; his house--what house? It may be a poor cottage, and perhaps he has scarcely a stool to sit on. Perhaps he is forced to sit on a stump of wood or part of a block instead of a stool, or perhaps he has scarcely a bed to lie on, or a dish to eat in. Yet the Holy Ghost says, 'In the house of the righteous is much treasure.' Let the righteous man be the poorest man in the world--it may be that someone has come and taken all the goods from out of his house for debt. Perhaps his house is plundered and all is gone; yet still, 'In the house of the righteous is much treasure.' The righteous man can never be made so poor, to have his house so rifled and spoiled, but there will remain much treasure within. If he has but a dish or a spoon or anything in the world in his house, there will be treasure so long as he is there. There is the presence of God and the blessing of God upon him, and therein is much treasure" (pp. 34-5).

No comments: