Wednesday, November 30, 2005

The Treasure of ...Life!

This is a truth I need to remember!

“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. Matthew 13:44-46”

Does this description sound like any believer you know myself included? Do we cherish the kingdom this much?
Now I’m sure that we have all made small or once in awhile large( at least we think they’re large)concessions here and there because of our faith, but do we put our everyday All into it!
Now, I’m not saying that you or me should go out right now and sell everything of value that we don’t need and give it to the poor. But then again, why am I not saying that? Is it because it’s unrealistic or because I don't want to believe that is what these verses are actually saying? Or because I’m just too comfortable. Besides no respectable Christian would ever advise me of doing anything of the sort nor do they live that way themselves. No, these can't be valid reasons!
What did Jesus tell the rich young ruler? He told him that “you shall not commit murder, you shall not commit adultery; you shall not steal; you shall not bear false witness; Honor your father and mother; and You shall love your neighbor as yourself. Matt. 19:18-19” (When the man said he had done all of those things) Jesus said to him, "If you wish to be complete, go and sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me. Matt.19:21"
Did Jesus say to him “Wow good job on keeping those laws, some of them are pretty tough. I mean, for years people have forsaken them, but not you. You’re a man among men, let me give you a pat on the back. If only Judas here were as good as you. Haha just kidding Judy ol’ boy”
No, of course this sounds nothing like Jesus. Jesus was there to tell the truth about the Father and about His kingdom. He was there to speak the truth about how it was worth far more than the treasures/pleasures of this life. Selling everything we own may not be the point. My point is that, why when we have found and received such a great blessing as to be called sons of the most high God, and an inheritance such as eternal life in the presence of God and the angels, do we act as if it were a chore? Why do we try to hold on to the pleasures of this life?
“But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law. Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. Galations 5:16-25”
So let us rejoice that our names are written in the lambs book of life, and let us fix our eyes on Jesus the author and perfecter of our faith. Let us lose our lives that we might find life. These are days of deception and propaganda, a world constantly telling us that the fun we have and ease of life we enjoy are the most important things in life. They say in more subtle ways “Eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow you die!” and we swallow it hook, line, and sinker!

I’ll end with this quote from the apostle Paul who considered his life as nothing in comparison to the riches found in Christ Jesus.
“Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith. Gal.6:7-10”


Anonymous said...

What an incredibly hard thing. I would definitely need God's help for something like that. Did you know a fruit of the Spirit is Self control. i.e. we need The Lord in our life to have self-control.
Love your columns keep 'em coming!

Yogger said...

You should read the novel "Obsessed" by Ted Dekker... it's all about this kind of thing... it's actually really good when thinking about the Scripture passage you quoted.

my 5 cents said...

Hmmmm... i have many of the same thoughts, john. yet, at the same time, have we not also given up all for the treasure already? is that not the first step in becoming a follower of christ?

but i know what you mean. if only i could maintain the incredible wonder of the kingdom/treasure! But alas, the wickedness of my heart and my own wretchedness and sinfulness seen to constantly get in the way. i think paul sums it up very well in romans... the thing i want to do i do not do and that which i don't want to do i do.

Harold Jamus said...

I'm commenting on how familiar you look... you are a good looking guy. We fooled them all meez precious! And weez both likez hobbitizzez and ice creeeeeam!!