I think most of us would agree, the things most valuable in this world are the things that cost us the most. Whether it’s fine jewelry, nice cars, pursuing a dream, learning an instrument or a new skill; these things have cost associated. Some cost money, others time, energy or courage. The Word of God says it’s quite similar when it comes to kingdom things. He speaks of searching for “wisdom as hidden treasure” and says to “look for it as for silver.” (proverbs 2:4)
I think we sometimes get a warped message when it comes to the cost of following Jesus. We’re often prone to focus on what we have to sacrifice. But, the other side of this coin has to do with what we gain.
Jesus Himself told a story to illustrate the point:
“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 13:44-46)
Notice, the man “sold all he had”. And that is often the part I have paid the most attention. However, a light has recently been coming on for me. Why would the man sell all he had unless….unless the treasure was worth more than everything he had?!
So many times in my relationship with God, I have focused on how much I needed to sacrifice. I think God is helping me begin to see Himself and His ways in a brighter light; This God we seek and worship is the God who “did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all– how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?”(Romans 8:32) This God is One who is abundant and needs nothing. He can’t be outdone or outgiven. Just like the man in Jesus’ story– did it really cost him something or was it a no-brainer?! Give what I have to get something better?
I love that on the scales of our relationship with God, the weight is always tipping completely to His side. He is the Initiator, the Sustainer, and the Finisher. There is no comparison when it comes to what we give and what He gives.
I know that there are areas of my heart that I haven’t grasped this concept (I haven’t gotten the word from God that He’s done working on me). There are things of lesser value I hold onto because I just can’t see the greater treasure in that area yet.
Then there other areas, where I have “tasted and seen that the Lord is good”.(Ps. 34:8) Where I have seen the prize and done what was necessary to get there. I have a feeling I’m not alone. So, I’m praying for me…and I’ll pray for you too, that God- in His grace and mercy- will continue to get this message to deeper and broader places in our hearts so that we will know that what He calls us to spend, give up, or leave cannot even compare with what we will gain. I pray we will value that which is truly valuable.
“Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost. Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of fare. Give ear and come to me; hear me, that your soul may live.”
Between you and God, are there areas where you could begin to spend more of yourself, your money, your time, your energy to gain something of greater value? Prayer? Studying God’s Word? Seeking out Christian Fellowship? Investing your life into someone?
Or, is there a dream God has put into your heart that you have been afraid to attempt for fear of failure or even not thinking you could have it? Perhaps you can begin to give up fear for courage? Invest more into your talents and using them to serve and multiply and bring glory to God? Give up self-reliance, worry, and fear for greater dependence, trust, and joy in Christ? Others God is speaking to you?
Don’t be afraid to step out into the dreams God has put into your heart for His glory and the joy of all people in Him (that includes you!!)
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”