EVERYTHING I’VE GOT
Lord teach me what’s really important in this life.
Read MATTHEW 13:44–52
44 “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.
45 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. 46 When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.
The Parable of the Net
47 “Once again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was let down into the lake and caught all kinds of fish. 48 When it was full, the fishermen pulled it up on the shore. Then they sat down and collected the good fish in baskets, but threw the bad away. 49 This is how it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous 50 and throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
51 “Have you understood all these things?” Jesus asked.
“Yes,” they replied.
52 He said to them, “Therefore every teacher of the law who has become a disciple in the kingdom of heaven is like the owner of a house who brings out of his storeroom new treasures as well as old.”
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
“Everything else is worthless when compared with the priceless gain of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord” (Phil. 3:8, NLT). Express this to God in fervent prayer.
What really matters? It is easy to be absorbed in our own worries and to miss the hidden treasure; to be satisfied with second-best. But nothing surpasses the importance of the kingdom of heaven. Everything else is “garbage” (Phil. 3:8).
A novel called The Last Pearl Fisher of Scotland by Julia Stuart deals with the last full-time fisher for freshwater mussel pearls. He is searching for the pearl that will complete a necklace for his wife. He risks everything to find this one correctly shaped, textured and colored pearl. He’s obsessed with his pursuit. In another book— Reachable: How Indigenous Missionaries Are Changing the Face of Missions—Worldlink president Jack Nelson shares the real-life story of another obsession, this time for Jesus. Bobita and Ramen, having renounced Hinduism for Christianity, endure beatings to unconsciousness by family and neighbors. Following loss of property and expulsion from their village, they return. Otherwise, how would these people hear about Jesus?
We all value our comforts and some of us our reputation for level-headedness and common sense—but we are called to passionate action, which makes light of comforts and sometimes belies all prudence. Nevertheless, it’s worth pursuing for the real thing.
Part of gaining the correct perspective on life now is to understand the reality of what’s down the road: death and final reckoning. The kingdom of heaven separates. Some fish are worthless and must be discarded, while others are keepers. The righteous are committed to their King and are living a life that proves it. The wicked have squandered their lives on something else. The righteous understand what really matters and can’t keep that to themselves (52). As people of the kingdom, we have something to share. Like Matthew, who “enabled the church to hold onto its Jewish heritage even while looking ahead to a Gentile future” (Michael Bird, “Meeting the Gospel of Matthew,” patheos.com), we draw on God’s revelation in the Old Testament and build on what we know through Jesus.
Do you see yourself as a seeker? What are you determined to find?
Lord, thank You for turning me from worthlessness into a item of value for Your kingdom.