Have you heard of the Hope Diamond? It it’s been described as the most perfect blue diamond in the world. It is one of the most valuable gems on the face of the planet, and worth $250 million.
It has an amazing history, having passed from King Louis of France to Marie Antoinette, Catherine the Great to King George of England, and ultimately to various wealthy people. Yet, despite its enormous value, one of the eccentric owners of this rare blue diamond would often strap it to her pet dog’s collar. There are also stories that she would frequently misplace it at parties, and then make a children’s game out of “Finding the Hope.”
The Hope Diamond ended up with the New York diamond merchant Harry Winston, who ultimately donated it to the Smithsonian Museum. Today, it sits guarded behind bulletproof glass. By the way, Winston sent the Hope Diamond to the Smithsonian through the US mail in a plain brown paper bag! Imagine something worth $250 million being sent though mail in a brown paper bag. (This is why men should never wrap gifts.)
The Hope Diamond on a dog’s collar or in a paper bag—something so valuable, yet so unappreciated. It reminds me of the most precious gift that God has given to us—something we may not appreciate. I am speaking of our salvation. God has saved us, is saving us, and will save us from future judgment. No other gift comes close to that.
I think that, far too often, we take the gift of personal salvation for granted. The Bible calls it “so great a salvation”! When we believe in Jesus Christ and turn from our sins, this glorious gift (worth far, far more than the Hope Diamond) becomes ours. The Bible says, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast” (Ephesians 2:8 nkjv).
Let’s not take God’s salvation for granted today.
Hardly a day goes by now that I don’t speak with or hear from someone who has lost a loved one through death.Give Thanks . . . In Everything
Sometimes, worship and thanksgiving can be a sacrifice. That may be because we are down, depressed, or things are not comfortable for us. Perhaps hardship or tragedy has struck our lives in some way and we do not want to thank God. Yet, the Bible urges us to give thanks to the Lord. Psalm 106:1 says, “Praise the Lord! Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever” (nkjv).Knowing God’s Will Is Not Always Easy
Let me say something that may surprise you: the will of God is not always easy to discern.
It may seem that hope is in short supply in our times of crisis. But Pastor Greg Laurie says, “Hope grows in the garden of adversity.” Tune in for A NEW BEGINNING Friday as Pastor Greg helps us find strength and direction, from the Lord Himself. It’s a reassuring edition of A NEW BEGINNING!All Sermons by Greg Laurie