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Treasure Hunt

Posted: 5/31/19 at 3:00pm. Column by Ed Jordan.

Have you ever dreamed about discovering a treasure buried in your yard or your acreage?

When I was a teenager, we would explore mining sites in the mountains of Nevada. It was always great to think that we would discover some treasure that had been forgotten or hidden.

Most of us dream of gaining an improbable treasure, which is why so many people buy lottery tickets. How might our lives change if we were suddenly richer than we ever imagined?     

In Matthew 13:44, Jesus tells a parable along these lines. Matthew 13:44 (HCSB) says: “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure, buried in a field, that a man found and reburied. Then in his joy he goes and sells everything he has and buys that field.”

How might our lives change if we were suddenly richer than we ever imagined?

The man’s response was to joyfully recognize his great fortune, discover who owned the land, then sell all he had to buy it. The simplest truth in this passage is that God has a treasure for each of us to claim, and it is hidden until we discover it.

When we discover God’s treasure, we must do whatever it takes to make it our own, for the treasure is worth more than everything we own. That treasure is the kingdom of God; it is the treasure of Jesus, God’s gift to the world (cf. John 3:16).

Many people today want to discover a treasure—a whole new kind of life—full of blessings, security, and purpose. God has placed this treasure in Jesus. In fact, Paul says that all the treasures of God are stashed inside Jesus.

Jesus is the treasure box containing all the other treasures. Heaven, and God ruling daily in our lives, is available right now, to all who receive the gift by giving themselves to be God’s and having him rule in and through our lives. Receiving Jesus as our Lord and Savior opens up the treasure box.

Paul prayed this prayer for us in Colossians 2:2-3 (HCSB): “I want their hearts to be encouraged and joined together in love, so that they may have all the riches of assured understanding and have the knowledge of God’s mystery —Christ. All the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hidden in Him.” When you receive Jesus, you receive access to all the treasures of God.

Wow! How great is that? What would you give to open that treasure box? What does this new life, this new start, this new kind of life cost?

It cost Jesus everything, as he died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins and made forgiveness of those sins possible. Once we receive Jesus, we receive the gift of the forgiveness of every sin we have ever committed. We receive a clean slate with God. We can now enter into God’s Holy presence through prayer.

What does it cost to gain this treasure? Everything.

While we don’t “buy” God’s gift of new and eternal life, it does cost us everything. Yet our “everything” is nothing by comparison with the life we gain living with—and for—Jesus.

We have to give up, give over, and surrender to God: all our selfishness, greed, hatred, hostility, pettiness, pride, and all our own agendas. We lay all those down and give them to Jesus. We then ask Jesus to come and live within us.

We ask that he will give us the aspirations that God desires, the power to say “no” to sin and selfishness, and the willingness to say “yes” to the things that God wants to develop in, and accomplish through, our lives.

By giving up our “everything,” which by comparison is “nothing,” we can exchange it for “God’s everything,” which is infinitely more than our greatest concept of everything.

But the choice is yours. Some people discover the treasure of God and receive it joyfully and wholeheartedly. Some people know where to find the treasure, but they can’t bring themselves to give up everything in order to take hold of it. Others never discover God’s treasure that is hidden right under their noses.

Which kind of person are you? 

ed-jordan2Award-winning columnist Dr. Ed Jordan is pastor of Gwynn’s Island Baptist Church, Gwynn, VA. You may also read his past columns.

He can be reached at szent.edward@gmail.com.