Editor’s note: This column originally ran on Jan. 3, 2017.
“There is gold in them thar hills!” Over the years many people have sought their fortunes in the mountains of Colorado. I am sure there are still some treasure seekers out there.
Have you heard of “The Cave of Gold” in Marble Mountain or “Dead Man’s Cave” outside Silver Cliff? If not, you are missing out … maybe.
Instead of wasting your life seeking perishable earthly treasures, I want to tell you about a treasure that Jesus described as “the kingdom of heaven.” To find and acquire this treasure is to be blessed beyond your wildest imagination.
Have you found and acquired this treasure? How can you tell if you have? Have you joyfully abandoned all else to have “the kingdom of heaven”?
In Matthew 13 Jesus spoke repeatedly about “the kingdom of heaven.” This is a place ruled by the Lord Jesus. Sinful humans like you and me could not ever be a part of this heavenly kingdom apart from the saving work of the Son of God. Through his perfect life, substitutionary death and powerful resurrection, all who repent and believe the gospel can gain entrance into this kingdom by the grace of God.
In Matthew 13:44 Jesus said: “The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in the field, which a man found and hid again; and from joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.” This parable describes the typical response of a person who both finds and comes to possess “the kingdom of heaven” – joyful abandonment.
This man was not looking for priceless treasure that day but came across it nevertheless. That is the way it is for many souls who just happen upon the message of the kingdom. Maybe that describes you today. The question is: Do you understand the extreme value of what you have found?
“The kingdom of heaven” is the find of a lifetime. By coming to Christ in repentance and faith you are blessed to receive forgiveness of all your sins, Christ’s righteousness, peace with God, eternal life, an inheritance in heaven which will never be lost and so much more.
No wonder the soul that finds this treasure is filled with joy and allows nothing to come between him and acquiring this treasure.
If you or I found such a treasure and just walked away, unwilling to joyfully abandon all else, we would be terribly foolish. This is the bargain of bargains! Like Jesus said: “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul?” (Matthew 16:26a).
How about you? Do you understand the value of what is offered to you in Christ? Would you allow anything in this world to come between you and “the kingdom of heaven”? Of course, you cannot buy your way into heaven, the price is far too high. The redeemed of the Lord only gain entrance through the precious blood of Christ (1 Peter 1:19).
I pray that you will receive this kingdom with joy and not walk away with grief (Matthew 19:16-22). Joyful abandonment is a sure sign that a soul has come to possess this kingdom. Does this describe your response?
The Rev. Jim Karg is the former pastor of Cotopaxi Community Church in Cotopaxi.