“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.” [Jesus said]
Matthew 13:44

This is one of those passages we often use to teach about how valuable the Kingdom of Heaven is – it’s so wonderful that this man went out and sold all he had so that he could have it. I wonder how often we allow the passage to challenge us. If we have truly found the Kingdom of Heaven – that is, eternal life in Christ, do respond as this man did. There are two phrases in the passage that challenge me:

  • Notice that the passage says “in his joy” he went and sold his possessions so that he could buy the field. Are we joyful in our obedience when it requires sacrifice on our part? If not, perhaps our focus is on the wrong thing – our focus should never be on our sacrifice, but on the wonderful treasure that will be ours – Jesus.

I have been convicted lately about how self-focused my life is at times. Yes, I regularly serve the Lord in a number of ways, but the self-focus comes in when I become aware of the cost of serving – generally, a loss of personal time, energy or finances. Perhaps that’s an indication that I sometimes allow my focus to get fuzzy or even all out of whack. Lord, help me to continue “in joy,” not giving recognition to any loss I might experience along the way.

  • The passage also says that he sold “all he had” to purchase the field. Have I gone all in? (I can guarantee you that I have not.)

As pondered this passage in my mind, I was in an airport waiting for my flight. Not far from me there was a young couple with a little girl. She was perhaps about three years old – at the age where little girls love to walk on their tippy toes, almost bouncing from place to place. Her mom was standing next to several pieces of luggage while giving the little girl a bit of freedom before requiring her to sit quietly in an airplane for several hours. The little girl would get about fifteen feet away and her mom would call to her and tell her to come back. The little girl would obediently turn and bounce back to her mom. It occurred to me that at any second the child could choose to disobey (as children learning about freedom are want to do). I am fully confident that the mother wouldn’t hesitate to leave her belongings for a second to run after her child. I was standing there with my laptop bag between my legs, my arm resting on my purse with half an eye on my cell phone that was laid on the counter next to me charging while reading a book* and pondering this passage. I was ever aware that at any moment my treasured possessions could be pilfered if I wasn’t diligent in the crowded airport. Yet I’m certain this mom would gladly leave all her possessions behind (not even selling them as in the parable) if her most treasured possession began enjoying too much freedom.

In my heart, have I sold all my possessions to pursue the Kingdom of Heaven?  Am I willing to hear God say “give this away?” or “go here?” I want to believe that I am…

How about you? Is Jesus your most treasured possession and do you treat all your other possessions accordingly?

In my previous blog, I wrote about the disciplines practiced by early Christians before their baptism on Easter Sunday. They devoted themselves to prayer, repentance, fasting and giving. I have purposed in my heart to ask God to give me some person or organization to give financially to each week. We’re coming up on week three and God has been already identified where I am to give. It has been a joy to give, but in the back of my mind, I’m becoming aware that week four is coming up…And I’m starting to feel the financial pinch. I am excited about God using me…but it won’t be as easy in the coming weeks as it has been in the first couple of weeks. This is evidence that in my heart, I’m not “all in.”

I’m convinced that if I want to experience more of the Kingdom of Heaven, my heart needs to be predisposed to joyfully sell it all. Clearly Christ is worth the price.

How are you challenged to joyfully sell all you have? Share your story with me, as a comment below or on Facebook. As David Platt says in his book Radical, Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream, “For when we abandon the trinkets of this world and respond to the radical invitation of Jesus, we discover the infinite treasure of knowing and experiencing him.”


*This blog was inspired by the first chapter of David Platt’s book Radical, Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream, copyright 2010 by author, published by Multinomah Books ebooks, Colorado Springs, CO.

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