Matthew 13:44-46: "Again, the kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it."
The Kingdom is PRECIOUS
Lives are given in the pursuit of hidden treasure & fine pearls.
The gates of the new City of God in Revelation are made of pearl.
The Kingdom is PERSONAL
The parable of the yeast Jesus just told might lead some to believe that participation in the Kingdom will ultimately be universal (inevitably experienced by everyone, faithful or not). Jesus here clearly teaches otherwise.
Make no mistake - you must decide for yourself. You may seek the Kingdom and gain it, or walk on and forfeit it.
The Kingdom is DISCOVERED in different ways
I marvel at the diversity of our stories of new life!
Some of us were young, some were old. Some sought it with all their hearts, others were pursued by the hound of heaven down every dark alley until they finally surrendered. Some of you were students, some of you were programmers, some of you were bikers, some of you were mothers, some of you were sailors, some of you were widows. I know one of you was on your death bed and now you live to tell the story of God's great redemption!
The Kingdom is discovered in different ways, but the story of redemption, the story of transformation, the story of amazing grace and love is always the same. Praise God for our stories!
The Kingdom is FREE but comes with a COST
This is not a paradox; it makes perfect sense when we consider other realities we accept:
You cannot head south and north at the same time.
You cannot lie down and run at the same time.
You cannot stay on the beach and ride the waves at the same time.
I think of a gold miner who inherits a claim with unlimited gold. Until he mines the earth, digs it out, gets really dirty, he really has nothing.
The Great Exchange: Genuine faith is a go for broke decision to let go of everything that holds you back in order to take a hold of the very best thing in life. To grasp the very best, we must release what is lesser.
Most of us will not be asked to trade a bad life for the Kingdom; most of us will be asked to trade a good life for the Kingdom.
Matthew 16:26: "For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?"
Jesus is not asking you to ABANDON responsibility or family.
On the contrary, when you truly belong to Christ, it will be evident in your profound commitment to love others, in your greater sense of personal responsibility, and in deeper fellowship.
Great shame is brought upon us by those who abandon responsibility under the pretense of following Jesus.
What is Your Price?
"He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose."
Jim Eliot, Martyr and Wheaton College Alumnus