February 29

Matthew 13:44-46 44"The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field. 45"Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. 46When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.

Jesus spoke in terms of 100%. That was nothing new to the Jews. One of their favorite passages was to love the Lord with ALL your heart, soul, mind and strength. (Deuteronomy 6:4-5) The things we become familiar with seem to lose their power of influence over us. It is as if our heart becomes calloused to the depth of meaning in those words. We rattle the verse off without even thinking about its meaning. Jesus rephrased it in a parable to help them become re-sensitized to it. He compared it to a treasure. It was a common thing in that era for people to bury their treasure for safekeeping. Sometimes a person would die and his treasure would never be found. The man in the parable stumbled across a lost treasure. If he purchased the field, the treasure would legally be his. You have stumbled across a treasure, too. The Holy Spirit had a great deal to do with the direction of your stumbling, but nevertheless you have found it.

The problem with this treasure is that it comes with the Lordship of Jesus in your life. In other words, you can't just take it without cost. Yes, salvation is free because the Father paid your debt through the Son. Jesus is referring to living in the kingdom of heaven. That is to have Christ as your king. He cannot be your king unless you make yourself His obedient subject. Do you see the great value, both now and through eternity, of giving up everything else for the blessedness of living in the kingdom? This is discipleship! Jesus told His disciples that unless they gave up everything, they could not be His disciples. (Luke 14:33) You cannot really be a learner of the life of Jesus when other things come first.

Consider: Living in the kingdom begins when you see He is the treasure of all treasures and nothing else is worth a distant second in your heart. Have you seen Him?