The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. Matthew 13:44
I have a new perspective about this verse.
“You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” Mark 10:21
And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold and will inherit eternal life. Matthew 19:29
The kingdom of God is worth more than ANYTHING we possess.
When we follow Jesus, earthly possessions are of no real value to us – sentimental value is a trap, it causes us to look back and to hold onto THINGS. Earthly possessions weigh us down, slow us down, hindering our work. Jesus said the better use of our stuff is to sell it and help those in need. In doing so, we’re storing up heavenly treasure that is of much greater value (a hundredfold).
So, in light of the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, what are we pursuing?
For years my husband has worked 2 jobs. He is a hard worker and a good provider. We’ve aspired to have a nice house and vehicles. We try to be generous with others. We’ve taken some very nice vacations. We have a house full of stuff that we’ve collected over the years and on our travels. We’ve paid off our student loans and helped our older daughter pay for college. We’ve even saved a bit for his retirement years. We are middle income Americans.
That puts us in the top 1% of the world’s wealthiest people.
I’m afraid we’ve done this all wrong. Forgive us Lord.
The past couple of years have been a time of preparation, teaching and strengthening for me. A time where God is removing our love of things and teaching us to love what he loves – the least of these. Two international mission trips have strengthened this message. His call on my life to complete the Camino de Santiago de Compostela has driven the nail in the coffin. The Way, as it is called, is a spiritual pilgrimage that requires that you carry everything you will need for 6 weeks. That alone has caused me much mental anguish, you can see how far I have to go. You will carry a backpack that weighs no more than 10% of your body weight for more than 480+ miles on foot, over mountains, through valleys in all kinds of weather conditions. This is NOT a vacation. This is a calling to move a mountain, or at least climb a few.
At age 45, 190+ pounds, a bad back and extremely out of shape, this calling was laughable. I was focused on what I could do not on what God could do. I figured, it would be easier to carry a 19lb backpack if I lost 19lbs of fat first. I’ve done that and now I figure if I have to carry all this fat 500 miles, I’d like to reduce it as much as possible. God has given me the strength and drive to accomplish what I have never before been able to do.
When Jesus asked the young, rich man to sell everything he had, it seemed as if He was asking the impossible. But with God, all things are possible. Jesus will ask you to do the impossible – He’ll ask you to do what you KNOW you cannot. This requires FAITH. It requires that you seek God and His strength and provisions. It requires that you TRUST Him completely; not knowing the outcome, and leaving that all in His capable hands.
I hope you will find the treasure – the Kingdom of God. I hope you will sell everything you have to get it. I hope you learn the joy of less. Say yes, when God calls you to the impossible, knowing He can do all things.
Store up treasure in heaven, give what you have to those who need it.
Be encouraged. Press on.