Our family has enjoyed watching all of the Pirates of the Caribbean films recently after one of my daughters became obsessed with them. Pirates are driven by treasure. Jack Sparrow cannot resist the chest of gold and willingly accepts the curse to have a piece of the treasure.
The Bible speaks a lot about our treasures, not gold coins in a treasure chest, but that which we prize above all else. For the believer, true treasure is found in Christ and is all we gain by being in him. Its counterpart is idolatry, when we treasure that which we shouldn’t and replace God with anything other than him.
In this edition of the magazine, we explore some aspects of treasure and idolatry. Paul Spear shows us some of our heavenly treasures, Phil Swann gives us an overview of idolatry and how it arises from our hearts, and I use some passages in Revelation to show how our idols can be revealed in a crisis. Bringing it all down to earth, Linda Lewis tells us how she found her treasure in Christ and allowed the Lord to lead her down a variety of paths.
As Easter approaches, we have Sammy Davies’ excellent article on the biblical theme of the exile and how this culminated in the cross. Alongside this, John Woolley wonderfully explores the impact of the words of Jesus on the cross: ‘It is finished.’ Why not share these articles with someone who is yet to trust in Jesus?
Continuing our two series for the year, Michael Ots tackles another tough question, ‘How can we find hope in a fearful world?’ and our attention is drawn to another country that experiences severe persecution and is in need of our prayers, Yemen. James Sibley marks 500 years since Martin Luther’s stand against the pope in the Diet of Worms (which is not about strange eating habits!) and Jonathan Hunt encourages us to get our children’s ministry back into action after the pandemic as he marks 75 years of Go Teach Publications.
Finally, we have some joyful accounts of how God is at work in universities throughout lockdown told by Sarah Pickett and some practical suggestions for keeping your church growing in a pandemic from Owen Batstone. Along with the book reviews, special Christmas updates and other news, we pray that God uses all these articles to bless you and encourage you in him.