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UCGia Bible Insights Thursday, February 01 2024

Selling all for the Kingdom of God

Eternal life in God's Kingdom is infinitely more valuable than any physical things we may possess. Until we're willing to part with what we value above the Kingdom, we won't be able to capture the vision God holds out to each of us.

Matthew 13 contains some of the most famous examples Jesus used to describe the Kingdom of Heaven and the Word of God. The Kingdom, He said, is like seed sown in a field (verse 24), or "the kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed" (verse 31). In verse 44 Christ tells us "...the kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field."

In another example He describes the kingdom of heaven as “…like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it" (Matthew 13:45-46). Jesus is teaching we must have an all-in approach to gain the Kingdom and be prepared to "sell all!" In both short parables, a person had to "sell all that he had" to buy the treasure of ultimate value—and in life that treasure is the Kingdom of God.

A couple of years ago the author of this article and his wife accepted a job transfer to another state. They had to get their home ready for sale and pack all their possessions, but in 22 years they had accumulated a lot. After sorting through it and giving some things away they decided to have a garage sale and sell some of the items they did not want to take with them.

Over two days they sold most of their unwanted items, but during that time they noticed some of those who came by were not there merely to buy, they needed to talk. One lady who stayed to chat had recently lost her husband to cancer and told them how much she had loved her husband and how lonely life was now. She had come looking not for a little trinket, but for human contact with another person who would listen to her for a few minutes.

Another man was interested in buying a set of stereo speakers. While bargaining over the price, he asked for a glass of water and started telling them about his personal life. His wife had recently left him, and he was left to raise their teenage daughter. As well as that blow, his business partner had recently absconded with the money from their business, and he was facing bankruptcy.

These conversations emphasized to the author and his wife that relationships are far more important than all the possessions we can accumulate. It isn't how much we have accumulated at the end of our life that's important. What is of most value are the relationships we have maintained and preserved through a lifetime of focusing on others, on God and on His Kingdom. Jesus Christ gave clear instructions as to the priorities we should have and exhorted us to, "Seek..first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you" (Matthew 6:33), adding in Luke 12:15: "...one's life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses" (Luke 12:15).

Christ's two parables about ultimate treasure are telling us quite clearly that we must be willing to part with all that we have to buy the treasure or pearl of great price. When we're more interested in accumulating and holding onto money, cars, homes, status or pride and ego—all modern idols of our culture—then we cannot properly prioritize the Kingdom of God. Until we're willing to part with what we value above the Kingdom, we won't be able to capture the vision God holds out to each of us.

We should ask ourselves what are we unwilling to give up? What is more valuable to us than the treasure hidden in a field or the pearl of great price, representing the Kingdom of God and the hope of eternal life God offers us?