Pandemic. Fires. Hurricanes. Earthquakes. Tornadoes. Division. Cancelled celebrations. Lost jobs. Lost lives. Most of us will never be able to forget the year 2020. This year we have all endured different, challenging circumstances, but we do share at least one thing in common. Through all of this, we have become very aware of the things we most love, cherish, and value. For many, this has been a season of soul searching, and for some an eye opening experience. Some of us may be asking, “When will things go back to the way they were?” Others remark, “I hope we don’t go back to the way things were!” Interesting, isn’t it? Thoughts of losing our possessions, our jobs, or our loved ones, can initiate an evaluation of what we treasure most. Jesus had a lot to say about treasures. His teachings reveal what is most valuable.
“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.” (Matthew 13:44)
A treasure is defined as something of great value, an item we highly prize. We’ve heard this word used to describe gold, precious metals, and riches. In the days before banks or other establishments were in place, many would hide their riches/money in their fields—hence, hidden treasure. In this parable, Jesus says the Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure! He is telling us—His Kingdom is priceless! His Kingdom is worth more than the most precious of jewels, and no amount of money can buy our way into it. Yet, our cost is covered, the great price was paid when Jesus shed His blood on the cross to open the way into this Precious Kingdom. Christ fulfills our deepest needs, He satisfies our desires, He calms our fears and makes us clean before God. He gives us hope for the future. Can you think of anything more valuable than life eternal with the One who saved you?
The apostle Paul said it beautifully in Philippians 3:7-9:
But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith.
Paul is saying that the Kingdom is so valuable, that if we lost everything in this life—including our life—but get the Kingdom, it would be an incredible trade off! Once we find the value of God reigning in our lives we will joyfully give up everything to possess it! We don’t get the Kingdom because we give up everything; we give up everything because nothing else matters but having the Kingdom.
During the trials of this year, 2020, some of us have turned to God for refuge and strength; others have run because of the losses endured. As a follower of Jesus, we must understand the value of salvation, the greatness of knowing Christ so that we can stand firm and be ready if we are faced with losing everything in our life. Are you ready for this? Most of us yearn to be, we want to be, and we desire to be ready! Paul experienced far more pain and dreadful hardships than we may ever face; yet he says it was all worth it for the sake of Christ.
Be encouraged by Paul’s testimony sisters! Your suffering has meaning. Your troubles are noticed. A God who loves you wipes your tears. As you cling to less of this world – know that you will ultimately have so much more in the Kingdom of Heaven!
Holding Fast to Hope,