What was given up

Following Jesus can be challenging. There seems to be so many demands to meet. Change this. Submit here. Humble yourself there. If that isn’t enough, there also seems to be so much to let go and give up. You may be thinking that I’m trying to convince you that it is all worth it. I believe it is, but what I want you to know is that you are worth it. How? Join me as we explore what Jesus says was given up.

1 Read Matthew 13:44; Mark 10:29-30; Isaiah 33:6

Jesus tells one of his shortest parables in Verse 44 of Matthew, but it could be quite disturbing to the average person in 2021. He proclaims that the Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure hidden in a field that a man decided to sell all he had, to buy. I don’t know about you, but that seems like a rather impulsive decision. If someone did that today would it be called faith or foolishness? Is there a difference? Let us know on social media using #MessageMag.

2 Read Matthew 13:44; Nehemiah 8:10; Psalm 51:12

The man in the story not only makes a rash decision but, according to Jesus, was joyful about it. There’s no specificity as to what the treasure was, but it had to be something that justified the quickness with which he made the decision. It had to be something awe-inspiring for him to watch all his possessions pass to someone else, while having a smile on his face. Could you do it? Would you truly be willing to give up all you have for a so-called “treasure”? Yes or no, let us know on social media using #MessageMag.

3 Read Matthew 13:44; 2 Corinthians 4:17; Galatians 6:9

Obviously, the man believed that what he was giving up was less valuable than what he was gaining in the treasure he found in the field. Can I ask a difficult question? Do you ever feel like God has asked you to give up too much? Are there any parts of your life that you know that God is urging you to let go of but you don’t want to? What is causing you to hesitate? Why is it so hard? I would love to pray with you about it. If you feel impressed, give me a call at 614-266-9568 so we can pray together!

4 Read Matthew 13:44: John 14:6; Colossians 3:11

Matthew writes to the Jews to convince them that Jesus is the Messiah they’ve been waiting for. The language of the Kingdom of Heaven is striking because they are currently under the rule of the Kingdom of Rome. Matthew is intentional about letting his original readers know that Jesus taught there is a difference between the rule and ruler of Rome and the rule and ruler of Heaven. What do you believe this short parable says about the rule and ruler of The Kingdom of Heaven?

5 Read Matthew 13:44; 1 Corinthians 2:14: 1 Corinthians 1:25; Matthew 6:19-20

Is it possible that The Kingdom of Heaven and those that are possessors, are those who are not concerned with what things look like in the present because they know who holds the future? Maybe you have made sacrifices for Jesus’ sake. Does knowing you have made a divine investment soften the sting of what others may think of how your life is going? Or has what you’ve given up hovered in your mind on a daily basis? Share your thoughts using #MessageMag on social media. 

6 Read Matthew 13:44; Revelation 14:1; John 3:16

Have you read or heard this parable before? I have. I always thought that in the story we were the man. I was always sure that Jesus was the treasure that we are supposed to sell all we have to get, and be joyful about. Can I make a clarification? We are the treasure, and Jesus is the man who sells all he has when he finds us. Let that sink in. Literally, put the magazine down or look away from the screen and meditate on your position in the parable as the treasure, instead of the one finding the treasure.

7 Read Revelation 14:1; Romans 8:37; Isaiah 54:17

The gospel is not about what you give up for God, it’s about what God gave up for you. Jesus traded the worship of angels for the wool of a lamb. He forfeits boundless omnipresence for blood running down His face. He gave up the comfort of a throne to get on His knees and pull you and me out of the dirt, and calls us treasure. The least we can do is tell someone what was given up so that we can conquer and prosper in life now, and in the life to come.

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Rashad Burden is the pastor of the Mount Olive and Shiloh Seventh-day Adventist Churches in Southern Alabama.


This article is part of our 2021 March / April Issue
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“Again, 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,”

Matthew 13:44 (NKJV)

 

The Kingdom of God and Heaven

A Reflection

Going Long: One Time Investment Strategy

From Ellen G. White’s Christ’s Object Lessons, “Hidden Treasure”, p. 106-107.*

The Saviour saw that men were absorbed in getting gain, and were losing sight of eternal realities. He undertook to correct this evil. He sought to break the infatuating spell that was paralyzing the soul. Lifting up His voice He cried, “What is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” Matthew 16:26. He presents before fallen humanity the nobler world they have lost sight of, that they may behold eternal realities. He takes them to the threshold of the Infinite, flushed with the indescribable glory of God, and shows them the treasure there.

The value of this treasure is above gold or silver. The riches of earth’s mines cannot compare with it.

“The depth saith, It is not in me;

And the sea saith, It is not with me.

It can not be gotten for gold,

Neither shall silver be weighed for the price thereof.

It can not be valued with the gold of Ophir,

With the precious onyx, or the sapphire.

The gold and the crystal can not equal it;

And the exchange of it shall not be for jewels of fine gold.

No mention shall be made of coral or of pearls,

For the price of wisdom is above rubies.”

Job 28:14-18.

This is the treasure that is found in the Scriptures. The Bible is God’s great lesson book, His great educator. The foundation of all true science is contained in the Bible. Every branch of knowledge may be found by searching the word of God. And above all else it contains the science of all sciences, the science of salvation. The Bible is the mine of the unsearchable riches of Christ.

By many, man’s wisdom is thought to be higher than the wisdom of the divine Teacher, and God’s lesson book is looked upon as old-fashioned, stale, and uninteresting. But by those who have been vivified by the Holy Spirit it is not so regarded. They see the priceless treasure, and would sell all to buy the field that contains it. Instead of books containing the suppositions of reputedly great authors, they choose the word of Him who is the greatest author and the greatest teacher the world has ever known, who gave His life for us, that through Him we might have everlasting life

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This article is part of our 2021 March / April Issue
Subscribe –>

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ELLEN G. WHITE (1827-1915), one of the most published authors in the world, named one of the “100 Most Significant Americans of All Time” by the Smithsonian Institution in 2014, was a co-founder of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

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*You can read The Desire of Ages in its entirety online at www.whiteestate.org/onlinebooks.

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