The Price Of Faithfulness In The Kingdom Of God
"THE PRICE OF FAITHFULNESS IN THE KINGDOM OF GOD”
It is true that the kingdom is available to us only by grace through faith; but genuine faith means genuinely embracing and yielding to God's superiority, not simply acknowledging it and then passing it by as if it did not exist.
THE KINGDOM IS A TREASURE,
and those who really believe it, will sacrifice everything else in their lives for its agendas. Professed Christians who desire worldly wealth and status but are far less consumed with the advancing of God's kingdom must reconsider the true state of their souls.
When we preach that people who simply pray a prayer will “automatically” be saved from hell regardless of whether they truly commit their lives to Christ in trust that he is saving them from sin (from selfishness, from going their way instead of his), we preach a message other than the one our Lord has taught us.
TREASURE HIDDEN IN A FIELD
People in Palestine often hid treasures, and a treasure might remain concealed if the hider died before he could salvage it. Probably the central character of this parable is a peasant working a wealthy landowner's field who when plowing turns up a cashbox or jar containing coins. Once he buys the field, the field's contents legally belongs to him freeing him to later "rediscover" the treasure.
"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."
While most discovered-treasure stories emphasized the finder's
extravagant lifestyle afterward or some compromise between the field's seller and buyer Jesus lays the entire emphasis on the price the man is ready to pay to invest in this treasure far greater than any he already owns.
HIDDEN TO THE WORLD
Although this treasure, like the kingdom, is hidden to most of the world, not only does the man recognize that its value outweighs all he has, but (unlike most of us today) he acts accordingly.
The fact that Jesus authorizes us to do acts of compassion in his name (Mt 9:36) does not authorize us to use his power to get whatever we want!
Jesus commands those who would be his followers to radical faithfulness and radical dependence on God. His followers must be meek, must not retaliate, must do what is right when only God is looking, must depend on God for their needs and pursue his interests rather than their own, and must leave spiritual measurements of others' hearts to God.
In short, true people of the kingdom live for God...
...not for themselves.
For where your treasure is,
There your heart will be also.
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...in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them... 2 Cor 5:19
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