For the Youth…You have the Chance to be Rich!
Written April 2, 2012
If you have had class on North Carolina state history the name Conrad Reed might ring a bell. He was the person that the North Carolina gold rush is so closely linked. In 1799 it is said Conrad found a 17 pound shiny rock while playing in a creek at his family home in Cabarrus county. A jeweler saw the stone and told Conrad to name his price. Not knowing the value of gold, Conrad sold it for $3.50, a normal week’s wages! Later a slave held by the Reed family named Peter found a 28 pound nugget. With this Reed began to mine and became a wealthy man.
I did some figuring on that 17 pound nugget. If it was only about 6% pure gold, basically 1 pound, it would have been worth somewhere in the neighborhood of $27,000 by today’s standards! For the record that $3.50 he sold it for would have only been somewhere around $1500 in today’s money, a fraction of the nugget’s actual worth. Thankfully, this story has a happy ending, as Reed became a wealthy man upon figuring out that he not only was literally sitting on a gold mine, but he also realized the true value of gold and did not make that $3.50 mistake again.
In thinking about these historical events, I want you to ask yourself a question. What is valuable to you? What is so precious in your life and would sicken you to sell for $5, $50, or even $5,000,000? We all agree that Reed made a bad move in selling that stone for less than what we pay now for a meal at Wendy’s. Here’s the thing, you have those type of deals come your way every week sometimes more often than that. The reality is that the deals that come your way have the ability to be much worse than if Conrad Reed had sold a 17 pound piece of pure gold for 35 cents. How could this be? Listen to what Solomon wrote in Proverbs chapter 2
1My son, if you receive my words and treasure up my commandments with you, 2making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding;3yes, if you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding, 4if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures,
5then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God.
Proverbs 2:1-5 (ESV)
If you read through all the book of Proverbs you’ll find out pretty quickly that the majority of the book is Solomon trying to impart wisdom to his son, and telling his son about the great value of pursuing the wisdom of God. Though Solomon was one of the richest guys that has ever lived he knew something, that it was nothing in comparison to knowing God and having that wisdom of God in his life. I emphasized the words “if” and “then” in this passage because I wanted to make sure that we all recognize that receiving wisdom and instruction are voluntary actions we choose do. Wisdom and instruction are things that are received and sought after, it cannot be forced on another, it only comes by choice.
Youth, each week, many of you twice a week in coming on Wednesday nights, have the opportunity to be taught by teachers that love you and are doing their very best to train you in the ways of God. They are essentially handing you nuggets of pure gold the size of watermelons and, each week, and you have to decide what to do with them. The lessons that they teach from the Scriptures are lessons to help your life be built on a strong foundation of God’s truth and in turn bless your life. They are not rules to ruin your life or to tell you all the things you are doing wrong. They are the impartation of God’s perfect way of living life that bring safety, wisdom, and goodness. Listen to what Solomon says next in Proverbs 2
6For the LORD gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding; 7he stores up sound wisdom for the upright; he is a shield to those who walk in integrity, 8guarding the paths of justice and watching over the way of his saints. 9Then you will understand righteousness and justice and equity, every good path; 10for wisdom will come into your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul; 11discretion will watch over you, understanding will guard you, 12delivering you from the way of evil, from men of perverted speech, 13who forsake the paths of uprightness to walk in the ways of darkness, 14who rejoice in doing evil and delight in the perverseness of evil, 15men whose paths are crooked, and who are devious in their ways.
Proverbs 2:6-14 (ESV)
Just wondering, what kind of deals have you made lately? Have you exchanged something of incredible value for something that is terribly cheap? My plea is that you would not count these times that you have in Sunday school, Wednesday nights, and during the worship hour as worthless rocks only worth a few dollars, but you would treasure these lessons in your heart and allow God to establish Himself more and more in your lives. My hope and prayer is that each of you would grow up and become great men and women of God, having your lives established in Him and His Word, serving Him and rejoicing in all the wonderful things He has planned for your lives.