What would you trade for your salvation if you didn’t have it?
There’s a powerful parable that Jesus teaches in Matthew 13 where he talks of a man who finds a hidden treasure in a field. He quickly sells everything he owns so he can afford to purchase the field and the treasure along with it.
When I was a young I loved to collect and trade baseball cards. It was one of my favorite hobbies. I remember I traded for a Willie Mays card and it was by far my most valuable card. Willie Mays was one of the greatest baseball players ever to play the game. Then one day I took a handful of cards to a flea market where you could swap cards with vendors and other collectors when I saw a Hank Aaron card in the display. Hank Aaron another all-time great and at that time held the MLB Home Run Record at 755 Major League Homers in his career. I had about 6 or 7 cards with me that I was ready to trade, including my Willie Mays card. I knew that if I wanted to get that Hank Aaron card I was going to have to trade all of those cards to get it. I tried to haggle with the guy until finally I put all of my cards on his glass display and he agreed to trade. He got 7 of my cards including my Mays card, but I got this Hank Aaron card.
45 “Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a merchant on the lookout for choice pearls. 46 When he discovered a pearl of great value, he sold everything he owned and bought it!
There are things in this life that are incredibly valuable, and if you don’t have them you would do just about anything to get it. In fact at times you envy those that have what you don’t have. We would trade everything you owned just to obtain that one thing. What is it? For the man in Matthew 13:44 it was a great treasure,
44 “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure that a man discovered hidden in a field. In his excitement, he hid it again and sold everything he owned to get enough money to buy the field.
For the merchant, and for me in that story about the baseball cards, it was a pearl of great value. That would make you trade everything that you’ve worked so hard to get in order to obtain, the valuable pearl.
Let me ask you another question, Have you ever done something for someone that you cared about? Something that would make their life easier and happier, almost in an irrational way? Or maybe something like that has been done for you? Perhaps it’s a parent that has given you an opportunity that you wouldn’t have had otherwise. Maybe you were awarded a scholarship at a school that you couldn’t have gone to otherwise.
My mind goes back to 2018 when our boys were born, how the doctors took care of them for 3 months in the hospital while they fought literally for their lives. Without those doctors and nurses, there’s no way our boys would have survived, they needed too much. But I guarantee that if you were to walk over to the nursery right now and ask them how thankful they are for those nurses and doctors they would look at you like you weren’t making and sense. Because they don’t yet understand the depth of their need. I wonder if we find ourselves in the same position as my 3, 3 year old boys? Except we don’t fully understand the depth of gratitude that we have for Jesus.
When we’re talking about salvation, we often times talk about how easy it is to find God, how He is standing in the door, How He is in pursuit of us, and on and on, But something that we probably don’t talk enough about is the fact that, though our salvation is free to us, it wasn’t free to Jesus. It cost Jesus His life. And yet He willingly took the cross because He loves you. Check out Romans 5:6-11,
6 When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. 7 Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good. 8 But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. 9 And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God’s condemnation. 10 For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son. 11 So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God.
Because of Jesus, we are friends with God. Because of Jesus you and I have a line of communication with God, our creator in heaven! So this week when we gather around friends and family and we're talking about being Thankful, Let’s list our salvation at the top of our list. But let’s not just be thankful on days set aside for thankfulness, let’s be thankful all the time. As the world fell into pandemic mode I remember thinking that after all this is over, we’re never going to see the world the same again (I’ve not walked down a fully stocked toilet paper isle the same way since!) I hoped that as we rise out of pandemic mode that we would be more thankful for the small things that we have to be grateful for. The sad thing about our own humanity is that too often we’re only working for the next big thing, I certainly know that I’m guilty of this. We need to remind ourselves of the bigger picture. If you’ve given your life to Jesus, you already possess the greatest treasure that this world has to offer.
What should you do with it?
Treasure it. Nurture it. Strengthen it.