One Man’s Trash

A few weeks ago, just before the world turned upside down, an original Salvador Dali wood engraving was found in a local thrift store here on the Outer Banks. A volunteer spotted it and took it to a local art appraiser. It turned out to be one of 100 engravings Dali did in the 1950’s on Dante’s Divine Comedy. It was quickly sold to a couple in Portsmouth. The donor of the artwork was not known, but we can probably assume that they did not understand the value of what they gave away to the thrift store.

The hackneyed phrase, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure” comes to mind. People often have different opinions on the value of things.

What do you hold high in value? What do you treasure the most in your life?

One of the things I treasure the most in my life is something that was freely given to me…my salvation through Jesus Christ. Offered to us without price, Jesus died on the cross so that we might be saved. We can’t buy it. We don’t deserve it. We can’t work for it. It is like a priceless Dali sitting in a thrift store, just waiting to be claimed.

In the early chapters of Acts, the disciples are continuing their ministry after Jesus’ death. They were preaching and healing in Jesus’ name. The Jewish leaders were questioning them about where they got their power. Peter stood among the elders and gave them Jesus:

Acts 4 (Contemporary English Version)

The next morning the leaders, the elders, and the teachers of the Law of Moses met in Jerusalem. The high priest Annas was there, as well as Caiaphas, John, Alexander, and other members of the high priest’s family. They brought in Peter and John and made them stand in the middle while they questioned them. They asked, “By what power and in whose name have you done this?”

Peter was filled with the Holy Spirit and told the nation’s leaders and the elders:

You are questioning us today about a kind deed in which a crippled man was healed. 10 But there is something we must tell you and everyone else in Israel. This man is standing here completely well because of the power of Jesus Christ from Nazareth. You put Jesus to death on a cross, but God raised him to life. 

The world around them rejected the One who had the power to save them. They thought he was worthless because he didn’t fit into their image of what the Messiah should look like. Their image revolved around political power and dominance. Jesus’ messiahship was all about sacrificial love and salvation.

11 He is the stone that you builders thought was worthless, and now he is the most important stone of all. 12 Only Jesus has the power to save! His name is the only one in all the world that can save anyone.

The rejected stone has become the capstone of the world.

If you treasure him, let your life reflect his value in everything you say, do, think, and post. People should be able to see God’s artwork in your life, and want His treasure for themselves. Remember… you’re the only Jesus some will ever see. That is priceless.

Wooden Treasure Photo via Facebook

A Pig’s Tale

A pastor’s job is never done. All day long we are about our Father’s work, laboring with him to save souls. Then we get in our cars to take our weary bodies home, still thinking about saving souls.

Then there was that one day when I got in my car and had the chance to save something else. A 300-pound pig.

I was driving home from my office on Kitty Hawk Road when the little lass in the picture darted across somebody’s front lawn and ran in the road directly in front of me. I made a U-turn, parked in someone’s driveway, and set about chasing her. She had a good head start, but I am a less-than-300-pound runner, so I caught up. She turned to look at me as though to assess what kind of game we were playing, and suddenly I realized that I had absolutely no idea what I would do if I actually caught her. All I wanted was to keep her from getting hit on our busy road.

At that point I was only a block away from the Kitty Hawk Police Department. Having been raised to trust and respect the men and women in blue, I immediately set out to get my new friend over to the police station. Listen, it was a good plan…even their cars say they “protect and serve.” I was sure that in Kitty Hawk, that is not limited to people.

So I began to walk toward the station, calling, “Here, Piggy Piggy!” For those of you laughing, what exactly would YOU have said?? After all, Piggy and I had not been formally introduced.

At first she just stared at me. I think she liked the chase better. But after rooting around a little more in somebody’s yard, she began walking my way. (Do you think she maybe recognized the call of a savior?) I had to stop traffic when I needed to get her to cross the road (next morning‘s Sentinel headline: Why Did Piggy Cross the Road? To Get to the Police Station) and she trotted right over to my side.

I piggy-piggied her right up to the front door of the station, and walked in the front lobby and told the very startled receptionist, “I’m here to report a rogue pig.”

“Excuse me, M’am, a rogue WHAT? Oh….well, that’s just Caroline. She gets out all the time.”

She called an officer up from the back and he took one look at the pig and said, “Caroline, did you take yourself out for a walk again? Come on, let’s get you home.” And the Caroline and the officer trotted off to a property behind the police station where Caroline was safely delivered back home. Thus ends my pig tale.

Caroline is apparently a notorious Kitty Hawk wanderer, and I was not the first to save her. In fact, it was obvious to me that Caroline wanted to be saved.

How about you?

2 Peter 2 (The Message)

21-25 This is the kind of life you’ve been invited into, the kind of life Christ lived. He suffered everything that came his way so you would know that it could be done, and also know how to do it, step-by-step.

He never did one thing wrong,
Not once said anything amiss.

They called him every name in the book and he said nothing back. He suffered in silence, content to let God set things right.

He used his servant body to carry our sins to the Cross so we could be rid of sin, free to live the right way. His wounds became your healing. You were lost sheep with no idea who you were or where you were going. Now you’re named and kept for good by the Shepherd of your souls.

Jesus used his servant body to carry our sins to the cross so that we might be saved. His actions enabled us to be free to live the right way. By his wounds we are healed! No longer lost sheep, (or pigs) we know the way home. Jesus did that for you.

Are you longing to be saved? Today is the day. Kneel down and confess your sins. Ask Jesus to cleanse you and make you whole. Ask him to live in you from now until he calls you home. Dedicate yourself to a life of following him, serving him, learning about him, and never straying from his path again.

Jesus saves. Is he calling you? Get yourself home.

They call me the Wanderer.