#639. GO ALL IN! (29/8/22)
(During the summer, I will not be producing our usual daily devotionals. Each week, I will only produce one group study based on the Sunday message. Daily devotions will resume - God willing - on Monday 5th September)
On Sunday, we looked at Jesus’ teaching on The parable of the Pearl of Great Price and The Parable of the Buried Treasure; both of these are teaching the same idea: The Kingdom of God (Knowing God and entering His Kingdom) is the greatest thing! And this, although costing nothing, will cost you everything!
“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. “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.” (Matthew 13:44-46)
i. THE KINGDOM IS SUPERIOR TREASURE
These parables are about the superior value of the Kingdom of God. Pearls and treasure were, and still are, things we want. Today, we may use the illustrations of money, career, relationships, fun… as things we seek to bring us true life and satisfaction. However, Jesus wants us to see that no treasures are as wonderful and satisfying as knowing the King and being in His Kingdom. On Sunday Phil shared, about how a youth pastor once said to him as a teenager:
“Find out what the most important thing in life is and make it the most important thing in your life.”
These are wise words and echos Jesus’ intention that we see the incomparable nature of the Kingdom and go all in!
ii. THE KINGDOM IS HIDDEN
Both the treasure and the pearls are not, at first, easily seen. Jesus wants us to understand that The Kingdom of God can seem foolish, small or worthless initially; its glory is revealed to those who will seek God. This is what parables do; they use a simple story to search our hearts as to whether we will listen and respond or just enjoy the tale!
We are all Pearl merchants and treasure seekers and Jesus wants us to turn our searchlight to seeking to know Him as our greatest joy.
iii. THE KINGDOM COSTS EVERYTHING
In these parables, we see that they ‘sold everything’ to obtain the thing of worth. What does this mean? To sell everything means at least:
I get rid of self-confidence in order to put my trust in Christ alone for salvation.
I get rid of all other gods or idols in order to have Jesus.
I get rid of ungodly ambition and submit good ambition to the greatest ambition of living for the King and the Kingdom.
My greatest love, my ‘first love’ is the King.
Jesus invites us to enter the Kingdom freely. Through faith in Him - His death for our sin and receiving Him as Lord - we enter the Kingdom. However, Jesus wants us to understand that to be in the Kingdom means that we have a new King -Jesus- whom we love to serve with all our being - we are all in! Paul could say of himself:
‘For me to live is Christ and to die is gain.’ (Philippians 1:21)
‘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’ (Philippians 3:7-8)
Paul knew the free gift of salvation in Christ whilst, at the same time, knowing that it cost him everything.
There are many ways to remind ourselves of how precious the King and His kingdom are: Listening to preaches on Sunday, learning in our Community Groups, reading our Bibles, worshipping…However, this is a moment to reinvigorate ourselves with the WHY we are doing what we are doing. Stay there for a bit. There’ll be other Sundays where we talk more about our response in terms of doing for others, sharing with others, but today Holy Spirit wants us is remember the ‘why’. Remember How precious that treasure and that pearl is, and go ‘all in’!
Perhaps you’d like to pray something like:
“Lord Jesus, I see it now; I see that all these other pearls and treasure do not compare with the beauty that is you. I want to give it all up, in order to get that Pearl of great price and hidden treasure. I want to go ‘all in’ for you. I want to live my life for you.”
QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION OR PERSONAL REFLECTION
Did God speak to you about anything from this blog or Sunday’s message?
Parables are simple stories that teach a simple idea; both of these parables are teaching the same thing; how would you put this point in your own words?
Jesus is teaching us the superior worth of the Kingdom of God for which we are to give everything. How do giving everything and salvation by faith alone fit together? (Philippians 3:8-9)
In what ways can we develop a heart and community that is 'all in' for Jesus?
SIV (Serve, Invest, inVite) - How will the teaching of these parables make us effective in reaching our community for Jesus?
SIV (Serve, Invest, inVite) - Do you have any non-believing friends that you would like to pray for?