The High Cost Of Treasure

Erin Davis 12/11/12
Category: Faith ; 22 comments

Move over Shakespeare and Mother Goose. When it comes to great stories, I'm afraid Jesus has you beat. One side of Jesus we often miss is that He was a magnificent storyteller. Over and over in the New Testament, He hooks us with a great story and then, bam! He knocks us over the heads with a powerful, and life-changing truth.

treasure chestWe'll be reading several of Jesus' best stories (a.k.a parables) this month on the blog as we focus on the power of stories, but for today's story time, I'd like to turn our attention to a little tale about treasure.

Matthew 13:44–46 actually tells us two great stories, tied together with one moral.

"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.

"Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it."

Jesus was a little light on the details in these stories. I guess He didn't want us to miss the point, but let's read between the lines a bit and see what we can learn.

Story number one finds a man digging in a field. His shovel hits something hard. He hears a "chink." Maybe he stoops and starts digging with his hands. What he finds takes his breath away. Treasure! Gold. Pearls. Rubies. Diamonds. There is so much treasure he gets the giggles. But the laws of the land aren't in his favor. It isn't finders keepers, but rather whoever owns the land owns the treasure buried in it. So the man sells everything he has. His house. His donkey. His favorite trinkets. He uses the money to buy the field and the treasure is his. He has to give up everything to get the treasure, but it is a good trade.

Story number two tracks a pearl merchant. It's his business to know a good pearl when he finds it, and one day he cracks open an oyster to find the mother load. It's the most beautiful pearl he's ever seen. It's more valuable than any other pearl in the sea, but buying it would cost him dearly. He sells everything. His boat. His nets. His home. He uses the money to buy the pearl of great price. It is a good trade.

Let's think through the story behind the story. What is the treasure? What does the pearl symbolize? Jesus tells us that both represent the kingdom of heaven.

His followers thought He meant an actual kingdom with castles and armies and a throne, but Jesus was referring to the inheritance we receive when we accept Him. He was talking about the gift of knowing and being known by God.

That all sounds very much like a Hallmark card. It's lovely to think of being a Christian is like striking it rich or digging up a precious pearl, but don't miss the rest of the story.

Following God will cost you. In fact, it may cost you everything you have.

So the lesson in these stories is really two-fold. Following Jesus will cost you. (It may cost you everything.) It is worth the cost.

A good story gets us thinking, and these stories have me thinking about the cost of faith in my life. If faith isn't costing me anything, I think I can assume that I'm digging up the wrong treasures. If there is a cost, I need the reminder that God and His kingdom are worth it.

How about you? What is following Jesus costing you? Do you know what it's like to forfeit everything for the treasure of knowing God?

Comments

HEY, GIRLS! We love hearing from you, but feel limited in the ways we can help. For one thing, we’re not trained counselors. If you’re seeking counsel, we encourage you to talk to your pastor or a godly woman in your life as they’ll know more details and can provide you with ongoing accountability and help. Also, the following comments do not necessarily reflect the views of Revive Our Hearts. We reserve the right to remove comments which might be unhelpful, unsuitable, or inappropriate.

    Meelisa
    Wow
    on Tuesday, December 11, 2012 at 8:35 am
    The part where it said "Following God will cost you. In fact, it may cost you everything you have."

    That is so TRUE!
    Thank You LYWB!!!!!!!1
    Emily Elizabeth
    Off topic...
    on Tuesday, December 11, 2012 at 9:18 am
    Hey everyone!! This is kind of off topic, but something that has been on my mind a lot.

    There's this boy I know, and I think about him all of the time (literally)! And I know he doesn't have a crush on me, and I don't even think that he's that great. So what's the deal?

    I have crushes from time to time, but they are normally on people I'm friends with for a long time. And I just met this guy in a show. Now we did have to fall in love in the show, and the show ran like 30 performances so that may have something to do with it...

    If anyone can offer advice or help, please do.

    -- Emily Elizabeth

    P.S. the only contact in the show was hugging/holding hands/fake kissing.
    Patricia Angelene
    Rebuked
    on Tuesday, December 11, 2012 at 9:44 am
    I am new to this site and this is the first blig I've read and I was rebuked right away..I am the kind of Christian who says that I believe and love God but isn't willing to sacrifice..who just kept on living the life that I want to have..disregarding what God wants me to do...I'm struggling so much about this...so please pray for me...
    Christina
    Glorified Treasure
    on Tuesday, December 11, 2012 at 10:02 am
    I gave a while back my bad friends, bad shows, bad music, etc. I wouldn't take any of it back. It took time, but God changed my heart and i love where i am!

    We go through trials and hard times, but God always has His hand in the situation. Trials can be used as faith testers and there are other reasons for them.

    In order to live for Christ, we have to be broken first. To fully live for Christ, we have to be chisled away by God so the sin is taken away. The tough times will hurt, but don't lose faith and stand strong. We are bein chisled by the One who owns the future, the end result will be perfect! Heaven is perfect and we are sinless there, but as long as we are on Earth, He is working on us.
    GratiaDei
    Exactly!
    on Tuesday, December 11, 2012 at 10:07 am
    Thank you very much for this post! I become so angry at the modern church for this very reason. It seems to me as if most people sell Jesus, almost market him. They say "God wants to give you the desires of your heart". I think they forget that Psalm 37 is speaking about God's faithfulness and how he will remember those who love and obey Him. I thought we were supposed to be transformed unto Christ's likeness. How does it honor Him to ask for whatever you please? I think this is one of the great paradoxes in life. Humans are constantly searching to find fulfillment. They try all sorts of things: drugs, sex, money, etc. But they cannot find fulfillment until they stop trying to attain it. When people preach Jesus as the solution to all their problems, they just transfer the same mentality to Him: fulfill me. Please don't misunderstand me. Christ is the only way our human hearts will ever be fulfilled, but not when fulfillment is all we are seeking! We come to Christ because we need Him, desperately, and with His redemption comes that fulfillment we search for. When we realize that we don't have to be constantly searching for anything, because Christ fulfilled everything 2,000 years ago, that is when we find true joy. And it is because of this great love that we are willing to suffer for His sake. I'm certainly no saintly person; I don't like to suffer any more than the next person. Right now I am facing the possibility of moving, away from everything and nearly everyone I have ever known. I am terrified, but I do trust God. Mind you, that doesn't make it much easier, but I will follow His lead, because He is good, and I am His. To end with, I love this quote from C.S Lewis: “I didn’t go to religion to make me happy. I always knew a bottle of Port would do that. If you want a religion to make you feel really comfortable, I certainly don’t recommend Christianity.”

    Grace

    P.S. I thought of something my grandmother used to ask (this, of course, is my paraphrase): "If nothing is going wrong in your life and your world is perfect, then where do you think you fall on the heavenly spectrum?" Something to think about, eh?
    Christina
    Re: Patricia
    on Tuesday, December 11, 2012 at 10:09 am
    I can tell you, i've been there. A few years ago and before that i was doing what i wanted, though i've been saved since 5. There were reasons in between there as to why i did this, but there is no such thing as an excuse not to live for God, no matter what you've been through or your background. It took a very hard trial to get me back on the right path. The trial was about 3 months, anoerexia was about a year, and there was some other things in there. I tried maybe 3 years in a row to change how i was after i was convicted at church camp one year, it didn't work. It took time and a slow process, there were people in there as well that helped me and were a spiritual influence. I used to be like most teenagers now a days, but now i'm more like those adult women that were in my life and a spiritual influence. God has to change your heart, but do read your Bible and pray everyday. It may not seem like it'll help, but i am serious that you need to do it. Open your heart and let the Word fill it. God will change your heart, but you do have to be willing to change. Read your Bible daily and it will help. It wasn't myself doin the work, but it was God changing my heart and He still is. I continue to grow and learn new wisdom daily, i have changed immensly within just a few years.
    Tabitha
    Emily Elizabeth
    on Tuesday, December 11, 2012 at 10:18 am
    Emily Elizabeth, first of all, you're normal. :) Playing that part in the show awakened your natural instincts. It's hard to really play a part without feeling and make it look real.

    It will wear off. Give it some time. You don't have to beat yourself up for feeling like this, it's only a season of your life and it will end. If you are planning to continue acting you may want to prepare yourself, it may happen again or may not. You may want to ask yourself questions to determine what it was that triggered the crush and what you can do to protect your heart. When God is bringing a relationship together, He prompts the guy's heart to pursue relationship with the girl, so it's okay to let a crush fade - you won't mess up God's plan by trying to protect your heart from guys who aren't your future husband.
    Also, speak truth to your heart. Whatever is true and helpful in bringing peace to your heart is a good thing to think. If you know that you would not want to be in a serious relationship with a man like him, remind yourself of that.
    Emerson
    Family and friends...just left.
    on Tuesday, December 11, 2012 at 11:29 am
    Following the Lord has...sent people running. When I was a baby Christian, my friends left, and gave me excuses to why....it ended up coming down to.."You're too open about your "religion" " ....Ouch. I was a new believer too, so my walls went up, and I became scared...now I'm not so new...it's been four years. But my extended family is backing off....When Jesus asks if we're willing to leave everything and follow Him...sometimes that means people. Sometimes my guard still goes up, and I end up shutting my mouth, and not trusting. But the Lord quickens my heart, and reminds me of the verses that talk about how He is God, and He doesn't change...that He will never forsake me.
    Prayer request: Please pray for my old friends, that they come to Him...fully surrendered. And my family...that they come to Him, whatever the cost, so we can mend hard relationships.
    Kayla Ellis
    To Emily
    on Tuesday, December 11, 2012 at 12:07 pm
    Hey Emily, I definitely can relate with you on that. When it comes to crushes, we definitely need to guard our heart. One way to do this is to just dig into the Word of God and to just let God fill your heart. When I was between 12 and thirteen years old (im now almost 16), i wasn't keeping a guarded heart. I had just moved again so i was surrounded by new people i didn't know. Anyways, there was a guy down the street and we started becoming really good friends before i knew it i had a big crush on him and he wasn't a christian and i fell for him. and Before i knew it, he liked me too. He sent me a text one day and it said "I Love You" and my heart fell for him and i thought "I Loved him too". He asked me out on the street corner after school one day but i told him No because i couldn't date and he asked me many many more times and each time i said no. But even then i still liked him maybe even "loved" him. I moved a year and a half after we met and i would talk to him here and there and then my best friend told me he was dating this person and then this person, and well i was like whatever but then my friend told me he dated her and told her he loved her and my heart broke in two. I gave away a piece of my heart because i didn't keep a guarded heart. We never had any physical contact but i was emotionally connected. So emily i just encourage you to keep a guarded heart, because in our world today that's so important. Just dig into God's word and let him transform your heart and give him your feelings and let him take them. For me, sometimes this is so hard but it does truly help.
    marie sumo
    giving up everythings
    on Tuesday, December 11, 2012 at 12:45 pm
    Following Jesus really didn't cost me at first. i have been saved for a very long time now, im in my 20s now, so since childhood, i knew and believe God, but decided to live for me. But God took over my heart at the end of 2011 till this day. so i lost my friends who don't understand why i don't want to party anymore, or drink like i used to before. I really wasn't a big drinker, but one cup of anything will have me acting wild and unpleasing. Having relationships with guys that i know i wouldn't marry because we both have different views of life. It's hurts especially when that guy had you physically, emotional but never return any feelings to satisfy you. i thank God because i was getting off from Him and getting too deep into my life. Im still missed those things and think about it every now and then, but i donot want to return to that area and just want to move forward living for God so my little cousins (girls) can follow my lead to pleasing God.
    Lorree, with the LYWB team
    @ Emily Elizabeth
    on Tuesday, December 11, 2012 at 6:00 pm
    You have received some wise advice from the gals above, so I won’t repeat what has already been shared with you. I encourage you to find Scripture to memorize and whenever you find your thoughts straying towards this boy and the feelings you have, spend time reading/quoting that Scripture as a means of taking your thoughts captive (2 Cor. 10:5). As you begin to focus on Scripture rather than your thoughts or emotions, I think you will find that you will be doing better in controlling your thoughts. I’m praying for you!
    Patricia Angelene
    Re:Cristina
    on Wednesday, December 12, 2012 at 12:04 am
    Thank you very much.Truly, I know I can't change by myself. I believe that until now I'm still in the process of what God wants me to be-to be Christlike. And I am always thankful that God never gives up and will never give up on me...I just feel like that sometimes I tend to take this for granted..just because of the knowledge of God's unending love and grace..I know that whatever I do I will be forgiven and accepted. But it should not be this way, I really need to medidate more on his Word and talk to Him more often to have a change of heart..to become what God wants me to be..I pray that like you I will change immensely through God and for His glory as well. Godbless!
    josephina
    Re: Emerson
    on Wednesday, December 12, 2012 at 12:34 pm
    I am so happy to hear that other people's undesirable reactions to your new faith have not turned you away from God. It's hard but it may help to remember that you're not the only one who feels this way. I've also been through this, both unsuccessfull and successful, and many others have too. "No temptation has overtaken you that is unusual for human beings. But God is faithful, and he will not allow you to be tempted beyond your strength. Instead, along with the temptation he will also provide a way out, so that you may be able to endure it." 1 Cor 10:13

    Even our own families can be torn apart if they hate The Truth. "I came to turn 'a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law." Matthew 10:35
    Jenna
    Thanks and @Marie Sumo
    on Wednesday, December 12, 2012 at 4:07 pm
    Thanks LYWB for this reminder-- I needed to be reminded that I have a job as a Christian, starting with getting serious about reading my Bible.

    And @marie, you go girl for giving up what you knew wasn't right for God! I know that it can be hard especially when you are surrounded by "friends" who say doing that stuff is ok. But you are right, I have little cousins as well and we have to be to Christian example. :)
    Sarah, with the LYWB team
    @marie sumo...
    on Wednesday, December 12, 2012 at 5:23 pm
    You are to be commended, dear precious one. You have indeed given up the things of this world in order to follow Christ. You will not regret it as you stand before the Lord one day (Rom. 14:12; Heb. 4:13), especially with younger eyes watching you as an example of a Christ-follower. We are so proud of you! May the Lord bless you and keep you and make His face to shine upon you and give you His peace (Num. 6:24-26).
    Sarah, with the LYWB team
    @Emerson...
    on Wednesday, December 12, 2012 at 5:37 pm
    Bless you dear one. Your post was so beautiful where you said, "But the Lord quickens my heart, and reminds me of the verses that talk about how He is God, and He doesn't change...that He will never forsake me." What a beautiful testimony of a young lady and her Heavenly Father. Thank you for sharing your story with us!

    Be assured of my prayers for you. I have paused this afternoon to thank the Lord for you and your witness...and to pray for salvation for your friends and family...and thereby peace in your relationships.

    God bless you.
    C.Jazzy101
    My Story in High-School 10 years ago
    on Thursday, December 13, 2012 at 8:32 am
    Hi!
    I have a story I'd like to share!
    Originally, I had a home-room and then to my complete surprise my home-room was changed.

    I saw some people I knew. And then one day they started brag about how wonderful Brook Back Mountain was. (It's the story about homosexuality, a gay love-story....) I decided to speak up and say I disagree with it.

    And instantly everyone around my table tuned in and everyone and they all asked me: "Do you believe it's right or wrong?" I said "I believe homosexuality is wrong, and also the movie."

    At least ten people asked me. Then also, finally, at the end little did I know that all the rest of the class-room and the class-room next door was listening in.

    And it wasn't until one guy yelled and cussed me out Then all the kids, all sixty of them clapped because of one guy cussing me out for what I believed in. I went home in tears.

    There was two specific high-school students who started to insult me for my name, and the teacher as well the very next day. They insulted me because of my name. It's a Christ with an a.
    Christa.

    If that makes sense because I have the name Christ in it. They made fun of me for my name, and also for my beliefs against why I don't believe in homosexuality and how I believe it's a sin. They didn't like it.

    And so every-day I would be insulted because of my name, and go home crying because I just spoke up and said why I disagreed with homosexuality. There were times when my family members who weren't very happy.

    Finally, around Easter time my Mom had this idea, "Why don't you get Chocolate bunnies for those two main people who are verbally abusing you."

    I'm thinking in my head, I am not using my money that I was going to use for my family for those who were insulting me for standing up for what I believe and for insulting me for what my name means!

    Then God said: "Buy the Chocolate bunnies." Then I finally agreed, "I said fine." I bought two chocolate bunnies for Ester and when I went in (even though the verbal abuse was still happening, I gave them two Ester cards.

    Finally, they said: "Is this another Christian thing of yours." I said no. They read the cards, the two specific people who were verbally abusing me. And then my teacher goes: "Christa I don't understand."

    From then on not a word was spoken to me. I replied: "I just wanted to do something nice." My teacher was stunned in sllence! Every verbal abuse towards me and because of what my name means and also because of me disagreeing with homosexuality stopped. I had a wonderful time at Prom, a good guy friend from church came with me. And they did not bother me from then.

    God was good!
    That happened nearly ten years ago!
    You may be surprised, even in high-school or college God will challenge you like God challenge me for standing up for what you believe in and for the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. It was an experience I will never forget!
    Sarah, with the LYWB team
    @C. Jazzy...
    on Saturday, December 15, 2012 at 11:21 pm
    Wow, C.Jazzy!! What a beautiful testimony!! What a mom you have--full of wisdom! Wow, you have blessed us with your story! Indeed I can see why you would never forget that experience, and even better yet neither will the Lord :-) ...
    "Blessed are you when men cast insults at you, and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely, on account of Me. "Rejoice, and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. (Matt. 5:11-12)

    Yes, indeed...God is good!
    C.Jazzy101
    @Sarah Thank-you!
    on Sunday, December 16, 2012 at 7:22 pm
    Hi Sarah!
    Thank-you so much! That did bless me!
    I haven't really shared that story. Didn't think much of it.

    May it be a blessing to you all. May God bring a comfort to our nation about what just happened in that Elementary school.

    That means a lot! :)
    Maybe God can use the story that happened in High-school for good! :)
    Lady E
    Cost of following God
    on Tuesday, December 18, 2012 at 1:49 pm
    Following God costs me the "pleasure" of sin, and my very life. I know that I was bought with a price and that my body is not my own, so I can't do the things that I used to do. I monitor what I wear, read, listen to, and watch. I don't hang out with the people that I used to hang out with, and I have to guard my heart and mind from the enemy's influence. I also manage my time to limit time spent on the Internet and spend time in God's word. Sometimes it seems like a lot, but God reminds me of the sacrifice that Jesus made for me and it doesn't seem like so much after all. Additionally, the joy that I have now is unlike any joy that I had before I started following God. I know a peace that, unfortunately, many people will never know. So the cost of following God is well worth it. 
    Clarissa
    Hmmm....
    on Saturday, January 5, 2013 at 2:10 am
    Now that I really think about it, I'm so early into my Christian walk that following God hasn't really cost me anything yet. Every time that it's about to cost me something, I back down from stepping out in faith. I guess I'm too in love with the people that I have in my life to boldly profess my faith in Jesus. I don't really know what's wrong with me, does anyone have any advice? It's like in the Bible when it says that you can't serve to masters. I have to learn how to stop serving the world and start serving Jesus. It's not that I don't want too, it's that I'm afraid too. Not trying to get all defensive, but part of the reason why I'm afraid is because when I was little I had no friends and I was teased and made fun of because I was different;I'm afraid of having no friends again. Now that I think about it though, I will never be alone in stepping out in faith; God will always be by my side.
    Sarah, with the LYWB team
    @Clarissa...
    on Sunday, January 6, 2013 at 11:49 pm
    You are on an incredible journey. Following Jesus and growing in your relationship with Him brings great joy and blessedness. It is not always an easy journey, but you will find He keeps His Word...He will indeed never leave you or forsake you (Heb. 13:5). I pray you will find great confidence in Him and His presence as you serve Him...and Him alone. God bless you, sweet one.

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