Posted by: reformbama | September 28, 2011

Treasure Or Trash

We are children of God, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ. Romans 8:16–17 
Homer and Langley Collyer were sons of a respected New York doctor. Both had earned college degrees.
In fact, Homer had studied at Columbia University to become an attorney. 
When old Dr. Collyer died in the early part of this century, his sons inherited the family home and estate.
The two men—both bachelors—were now financially secure.
But the Collyer brothers chose a peculiar lifestyle not at all consistent with the material status
their inheritance gave them. They lived in almost total seclusion. They boarded up the windows of their house and 
padlocked the doors. All their utilities—including water—were shut off.
No one was ever seen coming or going from the house. From the outside it appeared empty.
Though the Collyer family had been quite prominent, almost no one in New York society remembered 
Homer and Langley Collyer by the time World War II ended.
On March 21, 1947, police received an anonymous telephone tip that a man had died inside the boarded-up house. 
Unable to force their way in through the front door, they entered the house through a second-story window.
Inside they found Homer Collyer’s corpse on a bed. He had died clutching the February 22, 1920, issue of the 
Jewish Morning Journal, though he had been totally blind for years. This macabre scene was set against an equally 
grotesque backdrop.
It seems the brothers were collectors. They collected everything—especially junk. 
Their house was crammed full of broken machinery, auto parts, boxes, appliances, folding chairs, 
musical instruments, rags, assorted odds and ends, and bundles of old newspapers. Virtually all of it was worthless. 
An enormous mountain of debris blocked the front door; investigators were forced to continue using the 
upstairs window for weeks while excavators worked to clear a path to the door.
Nearly three weeks later, as workmen were still hauling heaps of refuse away, someone made a grisly discovery. 
Langley Collyer’s body was buried beneath a pile of rubbish some six feet away from where Homer had died.
Langley had been crushed to death in a crude booby trap he had built to protect his precious collection from intruders.
The garbage eventually removed from the Collyer house totaled more than 140 tons. 
No one ever learned why the brothers were stockpiling their pathetic treasure, except an old friend of the
 family recalled that Langley once said he was saving newspapers so Homer could catch up on his reading if he 
ever regained his sight.
Homer and Langley Collyer make a sad but fitting parable of the way many people in the church live. 
Although the Collyers’ inheritance was sufficient for all their needs, they lived their lives in unnecessary, 
self-imposed deprivation. Neglecting abundant resources that were rightfully theirs to enjoy, 
Homer and Langley instead turned their home into a squalid dump. Spurning their father’s sumptuous legacy,
they binged instead on the scraps of the world.

A Rich Legacy to Enjoy

Too many Christians live their spiritual lives that way. Disregarding the bountiful riches of an inheritance 
that cannot be defiled (1 Pet. 1:4), they scour the wreckage of worldly wisdom, collecting litter. 
As if the riches of God’s grace (Eph. 1:7) were not enough, as if “everything pertaining to life and godliness” 
(2 Pet. 1:3) were not sufficient, they try to supplement the resources that are theirs in Christ. 
They spend their lives pointlessly accumulating sensational experiences, novel teachings, clever gurus, 
or whatever else they can find to add to their hoard of spiritual experiences. Practically all of it 
is utterly worthless. Yet some people pack themselves so full of these diversions that they can’t find 
the door to the truth that would set them free. They forfeit treasure for trash.
Where did Christians ever get the notion that they needed anything other than Christ? Is He somehow inadequate?
 Is His gift of salvation somehow deficient? Certainly not. We are children of God, joint heirs with Christ, 
and therefore beneficiaries of a richer legacy than the human mind could ever comprehend (Rom. 8:16–17). 
Christians are rich beyond measure. All true Christians are heirs together with Christ Himself.

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