Let's dig a little deeper into this scripture:
Matthew 13:44-46 (NIV)
"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."
This scripture says this guy gave up EVERYTHING for this field. So, whatever was in this field must have been much much better than anything he already owned... it was worth the sacrifice.
In this Bible passage, the field is the Kingdom of Heaven. So, I think the point Jesus was getting to in this story is that Heaven is so valuable that a person would be willing to give up the things of this world in order to gain it. Give up the temporary "fixes" that seem to fill our lives right now, but really don't last.
Have you ever felt down and depressed and decided to eat a yummy dessert or candy bar to feel better? Or go shopping for a new outfit? Or go drinking with your friends? Or spend time on the internet, watching TV or a movie?
How long does it make you feel better? Usually not very long, huh?
I think so many times in my life I have chosen the temporary "high" instead of the eternal "high" that Jesus wants to give me.
We don't give things up on this side of heaven because Jesus wants to take away our fun. No, we give it up because we truly understand why... we understand there is an amazing treasure in that field that is worth giving up everything else to gain it.
I love this next story and think it illustrates this point well.
The cheerful girl with bouncy golden curls was almost five. Waiting with her mother at the checkout stand, she saw them: a circle of glistening white pearls in a pink foil box.
"Oh please, Mommy. Can I have them? Please, Mommy, please!"
Quickly the mother checked the back of the little foil box and then looked back into the pleading blue eyes of her little girl's upturned face.
"A dollar ninety-five. That's almost $2.00. If you really want them, I'll think of some extra chores for you and in no time you can save enough money to buy them for yourself. Your birthday's only a week away and you might get another crisp dollar bill from Grandma."
As soon as Jenny got home, she emptied her penny bank and counted out 17 pennies. After dinner, she did more than her share of chores and she went to the neighbor and asked Mrs. McJames if she could pick dandelions for ten cents.
On her birthday, Grandma did give her another new dollar bill and at last she had enough money to buy the necklace.
Jenny loved her pearls. They made her feel dressed up and grown up. She wore them everywhere--Sunday school, kindergarten, even to bed. The only time she took them off was when she went swimming or had a bubble bath. Mother said if they got wet, they might turn her neck green.
Jenny had a very loving daddy and every night when she was ready for bed, he would stop whatever he was doing and come upstairs to read her a story. One night when he finished the story, he asked Jenny, "Do you love me?"
"Oh yes, Daddy. You know that I love you."
"Then give me your pearls."
"Oh, Daddy, not my pearls. But you can have Princess--the white horse from my collection. The one with the pink tail. Remember, Daddy? The one you gave me. She's my favorite."
"That's okay, Honey. Daddy loves you. Good night." And he brushed her cheek with a kiss.
About a week later, after the story time, Jenny's daddy asked again, "Do you love me?"
"Daddy, you know I love you."
"Then give me your pearls."
"Oh Daddy, not my pearls. But you can have my babydoll. The brand new one I got for my birthday. She is so beautiful and you can have the yellow blanket that matches her sleeper."
"That's okay. Sleep well. God bless you, little one. Daddy loves you." And as always, he brushed her cheek with a gentle kiss.
A few nights later when her daddy came in, Jenny was sitting on her bed with her legs crossed Indian-style. As he came close, he noticed her chin was trembling and one silent tear rolled down her cheek.
"What is it, Jenny? What's the matter?"
Jenny didn't say anything but lifted her little hand up to her daddy. And when she opened it, there was her little pearl necklace. With a little quiver, she finally said, "Here, Daddy. It's for you."
With tears gathering in his own eyes, Jenny's kind daddy reached out with one hand to take the dime-store necklace, and with the other hand he reached into his pocket and pulled out a blue velvet case with a strand of genuine pearls and gave them to Jenny.
He had them all the time. He was just waiting for her to give up the dime-store stuff so he could give her genuine treasure.
What are you hanging on to?
--- Author Unknown
Talk to God about your "pearls". Are you hanging onto some things in your life that are keeping you from getting the "genuine pearls" your Heavenly Father wants to give you?
Are you living for this life or are you willing to give up everything now in order to get the Kingdom of Heaven later? Do you realize the great value there is in Heaven... no more tears, complete fulfillment, anything you enjoy here on earth 100x better?
Heaven is not just about angels with harps sitting on clouds. It is about eternity... forever. Are you willing to settle for the temporary highs of today and give up the eternal highs of forever?
Journal your thoughts to God and listen for what He has to say to you today.
Shelley has a heart for teen girls that began from her own journey of finding her true beauty in Christ. She is currently serving God by helping other Christians learn to let their light shine.
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