“The kingdom of heaven is like a 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 ESV
This past Sunday, we wrapped up a four week teaching series on stewardship by walking through the parable of the hidden treasure (Matthew 13.44). Can you imagine finding treasure in field, hiding it, then selling everything you own to buy that field? It sounds crazy, foolish even! Your house, your car, your clothes – gone. Your purses, your boots, your video games, your televisions. . . SOLD for a field and some treasure. What could be so valuable that you would sell everything you have to own it?
We learned on Sunday that the kingdom of heaven is a treasure that valuable. Belonging to God’s kingdom is worth more than everything we own. Anything and everything we know and invest in pales in comparison to it. That means our jobs, our relationships, our 401Ks, our families, our houses, our cars, our possessions, our time, our talents, the opinions of others – all of the things that we cling to are nothing compared to it. The pursuit of the kingdom of heaven exceeds our expectations, interrupts our life, results in action and decision which then produces joy.
I don’t know about you, but there are definitely times when I struggle to believe that an interruption that results in action and decision, and usually that decision is to let go of something, is going to bring me joy. How can releasing my job, my family, my money or any of my other possessions bring me joy?
When I find myself asking those questions, it is time for me to remind myself of who God is and what Jesus did for me. In Hebrews, it says this:
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” –Hebrews 12:1-2 ESV
These verses remind me that Jesus is the founder and perfecter of my faith. I did nothing to earn it or to deserve and I can’t lose it. These verses remind me of the promise and hope I have in Jesus – that through His righteousness, I will one day be seated at the right hand of God. These verses remind me that Jesus endured the cross with joy and if He can die on a cross for my sin, I can release whatever weight I’m clinging to and look to Him and do so with a joyful heart.
We have to understand that everything we need to live is a blessing from God. We also have to understand that our giving is never about the gift itself. If we believe that God gives us everything we need to live and then some, we also must believe that He doesn’t really need it back. So, when we give of our time, our talents, and our money, it isn’t about fulfilling a need that He has. It is about what happens inside us when we give. When we give back to Him, we are demonstrating with our actions that we love Him, that we trust Him, that we need Him, and that He is a priority.
The End. Amen.