Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Finding Treasure

When was the last time you made a discovery that left you pleasantly surprised? As for me and my wife, it was about a year ago. For years we thought the Schwan's home delivery truck that passed through our neighborhood was filled with expensive frozen foods that were much too pricey for us. That was until Brian, our salesman, knocked on our door. He gave me a catalog of their many products, and explained what made Schwan's unique. My wife and I were pleasantly surprised to find that not only was their food very affordable, it was also delicious.

That's not the first time that my wife and I made a find that was pleasantly surprising. You see, we used to think that Christianity was rigid, restrictive - like a straightjacket! But we eventually came to see things much differently.

I agree with Timothy Keller who wrote, "In may areas of life, freedom is not so much the absence of restrictions as finding the right ones, the liberating restrictions." Liberating restrictions are those that produce greater power and scope for our abilities and a deeper joy.

Jesus talked about such a discovery: "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." (Matthew 13:44) The "kingdom of heaven" (living under the Lordship of Christ) is something that will totally re-make you. It is not more religion. It's not adding another self-help book to your library. It is giving yourself utterly to Jesus Christ. It is a "treasure".

When the man finds the treasure he sells all he has to purchase it. He is basically saying, "What good is all this stuff if I don't have this." How could he do this? How could he seemingly give up so much? Because he had already made the emotional transfer - "in his joy". He saw the value of the real treasure.

Someone put it well when they said: Anyone who will not give themselves utterly to Jesus has not realized that He gave Himself utterly for you.

Pastor Van Morris

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