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Topic: Salvation
Scripture: Matthew 13:44; 1 John 5:11
Source: “Woman Finds 8.52 Carat Diamond at AR’s Crater of Diamonds State Park” by staff writers, NWA (Northwest Arkansas), posted NWAHomepage.com, 6/26/15
Author: Illustration Exchange

MURFREESBORO, AR – An 8.52-carat white diamond was found Wednesday (June 24) by Bobbie Oskarson of Longmont, Colorado, at Arkansas’s Crater of Diamonds State Park, according to park officials. Clear white and icicle shaped, this gem is the fifth largest diamond found by a park visitor since the state park was established at Arkansas’s diamond site in 1972. Twenty minutes into her search, she found the diamond in a couple scoops she had dug from a small mound of dirt. … She named her gem the Esperanza Diamond, both her niece’s name and the Spanish word for “hope.” At this time, Oskarson plans to keep the gem.

Park Interpreter Waymon Cox said, “Ms. Oskarson and her boyfriend Travis Dillon saw the Crater of Diamonds State Park on an Arkansas highway map while in the nearby town of Hot Springs and decided to visit the park. And what a lucky first visit it was for her!”

CNN reports, “Visitors get to keep what they find at the state park’s 37.5-acre search field, which is named for an ancient eruption that scattered the area with gems. The area, which became a state park in 1972, is the only public site in the world where anyone can dig for diamonds and keep them.”

The park works hard to ensure that visitors have every opportunity to find buried treasure, regularly turning over the earth to loosen it and bring more gems close to the surface. As a result, Oskarson is hardly the first to find a valuable gem in this unique park. There have been 227 certified park finds already just this year! And while her diamond is quite large, over the years there have been several finds even larger. In fact, the largest diamond ever discovered in the U.S. was unearthed at this same location in 1924.

Application:

Just imagine, an 8.52 carat diamond, laying there just below the surface, free for the taking! But no one should really be that surprised. After all, it’s called “Crater of Diamonds State Park!” Hundreds, if not thousands, of lay-miners have found precious gems of all kinds (not just diamonds) in this treasure rich park.

Now imagine something even more wonderful. The treasure of God’s love and forgiveness, offered to all, free for the taking! But no one should really be that surprised to hear testimony after testimony from millions of seekers who have discovered the hope of new and abiding life in Christ.  After all, Jesus called it “Eternal Life!”

So what are you waiting for? Lay claim to your own “Esperanza”–the hope–of eternal life!

“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field” (Matthew 13:44).

“And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son” (1 John 5:11).

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