Before you read about the next treasure, would you please review the first treasure? Has the knowledge that God sets your value in the amazing measure of His love penetrated your heart? Unless you are anchored in the richness of God's unsurpassed love, the rest of the treasures in my box will be as meaningless as the toy in a child's fast-food meal.
So, here is my second treasure: God delights in me, even though I am not perfect.
When I accepted Jesus as the One who redeemed me from my slavery to sin, I became a member of His family and nothing – nothing! – will ever separate me from His powerfully passionate love. However, receiving God's love and knowing His delight are two different experiences.
Think about how you experience love and delight in your family. You love your family because they are family, but you delight in them for what they do. I have wonderful daughters and adorable grandchildren whom I will always love, but when they do things that display the values by which I live, I delight in them. The same is true with God. He loves me because I am in His family, but He delights in me when I obey Him.
Consider a time when He alerts me to something that I have been doing – say exaggerating the truth. When He shows me that exaggerating the truth is lying, I delight Him as I begin the process of removing that sin. Proverbs 12:22 states, "Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but those who act faithfully are his delight."
Now here is the most precious part of this treasure: God does not wait until I am completely free of this sin to delight in me. As soon as He sees the sincere change in my heart, He delights in me. I may battle that sinful habit for years, but God is delighting in me all the way, because He sees my heart. He knows that even if my sincere repentance, obedience and love for Him are flawed, they are real and He delights in them.
The Bible has two beautiful examples of this truth. The first example is from the Old Testament: In 2Chronicles 12, God sent word to the kingdom of Judah that He was abandoning them to the Egyptian army. King Rehoboam and the leaders, however, humbled themselves before God and God changed His mind. The Pulpit Commentary describes God's reaction this way: "So God delights to meet the first advances of returning penitents with such foretastes of mercy as will lure them on to desire its full fruition."
You are probably more familiar with the example from the New Testament. In Luke 15, the prodigal son repents of deserting his father and returns home. Here is what Luke 15:20 says about his return, "And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him." The son had done or said nothing – just shown up – and the father delighted in him.
I love the idea of delighting God. When I feel discouraged or too weak to resist the sinful habit I am removing from my life, I take out this treasure and let God's delight give me the confidence to resist the temptation and to draw nearer to God so that I might experience more of His love and delight.
Now what do you think, treasure or trinket?