When I was a kid many matchbox cars were exchanged among friends. Then, I grew up into a mature 10 year old and it was baseball cards that were traded on the school playground during recess.
When we make a trade we are placing value on what is being traded.
Society is built on trading. A purchase at the store is a trade. Our government assigns a value to the paper in your wallet. The paper that has a 20 on it is worth more than the one that has a 5 on it. And based on that: We trade….. because we value….stuff.
You go to a movie and purchase a ticket. That purchase says something. It says – I will part with this money (money that I value) to gain 2 hours of entertainment (because at this moment, I value entertainment more. Live it up! Let’s throw in the jumbo 5 gallon bucket of popcorn.) Why….? Because it’s “worth” it! Well, not always…. but you get my point.
Matthew 13:44 contains one of the shortest parables in the Bible. Here it is:
The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all he has and buys that field.
1. We measure the worth of something based on what we are willing to give up to gain that something.
Amazingly simple – isn’t it? And we see it all the time all around us and….. in us! We are all different in what we value / treasure and yet we are all alike in that we value / treasure things.
If we didn’t, marketers and advertisers would be broke and hungry! Let’s face it…. Marketers feed their families every evening because, we value / treasure…. stuff.
Do you ever wonder what will be the next amazing igadget. It already seems long ago when the first iPad was released. My pursuit of it was not immediate, but my saving for one almost was.
Here is the principle at work in everyday life. When I fell in love with my istuff I found Matthew 13:44 in view.
- istuff was what I valued.
- I was willing to separate myself from something else I value…. (money)
- to then go and purchase something I valued more (istuff)
- When I gave up the one thing I valued (money) to GAIN something I valued more (istuff) – I had JOY in what I gained. I was excited with my new purchase even though I was separated from my valuable money! Are you tracking with me?
When we are willing to separate from one thing we value (in this case money) to gain another thing we value (in this case istuff) that transaction is a measure of worth / value / treasure. And the greater the joy one gets from that transaction reveals the greater the worth / value / treasure.
2. If I am unwilling to part with one treasure (money in this case) to get the other treasure (istuff) well then…. money is the greater treasure to me.
3. What we are willing to sacrifice and the amount of joy we have in sacrificing reveals our true treasure.
Back to our parable:
Jesus is saying, this is what the kingdom of God is like. And I can not agree more. I get to do church life with a bunch of joyful, sellers of the worlds stuff, that have bought that field. (re-read Matthew 13:44 above)
How about you?
Friend, if you sell all and gain Christ. Your gain is joyful – eternal – and worth it! What a gain it is to lose the world and gain Christ!
Christ IS the treasure!
“He is no fool who gives what he can not keep to gain what he can not lose.” Jim Elliot
Everything in our life finds proper value once we have properly valued Him. We take time for what we value. And we behold what we love. It is not the duty of beholding that changes us, though, but rather the beauty of the one we behold. Henderson, Daniel Transforming Prayer: How Everything Changes When You Seek God’s Face
There’s a treasure great in beauty
Far surpassing earth’s great wealth
He is Jesus, Prince of Glory
Source of all grace, peace, and health
There’s a fountain ever flowing
Satisfying all who drink
He is Jesus, spring of joy
To all who hail Him as their King
There’s a power, holy power
Breaking bonds of captive men
He is Jesus, mighty Jesus
Holy warrior and sinner’s friend
There’s a Savior rich in mercy
Quick to pardon all our sins
He is Jesus, great Redeemer
Reconciling God and man
There’s a glorious Lord returning
And all will bow to Him alone
He is Jesus, King of nations
Reigning from His gracious throne
There is one to whom our praises
Will through every age ascend
He is Jesus, King forever
Whose wondrous rule will never end