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Previous Challenge Entry
Topic: Treasure (12/15/03)

TITLE: A Costly Treasure
By Derek Elkins
12/16/03

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“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.” (Matthew 13:44-46, NIV)

How much is heaven worth to you? How much is your salvation worth? Can you claim to have sold everything to claim the greatest treasure or the finest pearl? The concept of sacrifice is often mysteriously absent from the pulpits of America. Perhaps this is because sacrifice no longer fits into the vision of the American dream. However, just because a society deems something has no value does not mean that a believer has to as well. To the believer, sacrifice is everything. To the believer, sacrifice and all that it entails, is the only path to the Promised Land.
Look at the crux of both parables. Both men had to sell everything they had in order to purchase the greatest treasure. We have before us the most awesome treasure known to mankind: everlasting life, and we treat it as if it were nothing, and as if it cost us nothing. We treat this treasure as if it were a decision to make, or another purchase to consider. But this is life eternal and it costs everything.
Our entire lives must be sold to afford this purchase. This is no disposable lighter or some miniscule determination, such as which socks to wear today. No, this is a life-shattering, bond-breaking, never-going-back purchase and once that decision is made, once that commitment has been set, there can be no turning back. And that is the level of faith that it takes to receive the kingdom of heaven.
We have got to understand the seriousness of this treasure and the cost that it requires of us. No wonder there is so much apathy in the modern church. Small wonder that there is so much complacency. When the single most incredible gift ever offered to man is reduced to a simple decision to accept Jesus Christ as Savior, ignorant of the consequences and costs, salvation is reduced to a cheap parlor trick. Salvation is worth no more than a rubber dollar bill.

· The disciple is forever enslaved to righteousness.

Application – Have I fully counted the costs for this treasure of heaven? How much sin is there between me and full commitment?


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