Friday, September 7, 2012

Like a Treasure in a Field

It was so great to have our former leader, Joe Lechner come back to M28 to talk to us last night. He gave us a fresh perspective on a story that we have all probably heard dozens of times before. The scripture we looked at was Matthew 13:44. This verse gives us a clear view as to why we are willing to sacrifice everything to follow Christ because it's about seeing the kingdom of God for what it really is.
Matthew 13:44... "The kingdom of God 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 that he had and bought that field."

Seeing God's kingdom for what it really is should radically affect how we view discipleship.

The first thing Joe said about this verse is that we need to grasp the value of the treasure. The field that the treasure was found in does not belong to the man (nobody knows why he was really poking around in it in the first place). So to have the treasure he found, he needs the field, but the man knows he can't afford the field. So in order to buy the field, he has to sell literally everything that he owns.

Just think about everything you have (iPods, laptops, shoes, toothbrushes, video games, clothes, books, big things and little things). We all have a lot, right?

It's going to cost this man a lot to buy the field and get the treasure, but listen to this next part.

In his joy, he sells all that he has to get the field so he can have the treasure that is hidden in it. He knows that the treasure is worth exceedingly more than all that he is giving up.

This is what transforms sacrifice into joy.

Don't forget the first part of verse 44. The kingdom of Heaven is like the treasure. The kingdom of Heaven requires the sacrifice of idols in our lives, but it is worth so much more eternally than anything we give up in this life. It's as if we don't give up anything because we receive 100 fold.

The victory of this treasure is seeing the kingdom for what it is in order to break the chains of the sin that the world tells you will satisfy you, but really leads you to death.

The last thing Joe told us to do is make sure we had a clear vision of the treasure, to make sure our eyes are open to the spiritual reality of things. He did this by using a story about Elisha and his servant from 2 Kings 6.

The king had sent an army to capture Elisha and Elisha's servant was freaking out at how much they were outnumbered. So in verse 17, Elisha prayed that his servant's eyes would be opened. When God opened his eyes, the servant saw that God's army outnumbered the king's.

What changed was that the servant's eyes were opened spiritually, not physically. He got to see the situation for what it really was when he looked with spiritually opened eyes.
2 Corinthians 10:4 says that "The weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds."

We need to see this for ourselves that it's true. We will never believe the kingdom of God to be eternally valuable until we see it and experience it for ourselves.

I pray that our eyes be opened to the spiritual, eternal treasure of God and His kingdom and that they remain open in the times we are tempted to doubt and look to other things to fulfill our lives.

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