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Where is our Treasure?

I have a riddle.

What can’t be sold nor loaned, purchased nor leased, requires everything yet gives up nothing?

Here is a clue:

“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. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.”  Matthew 13:44-46

Matthew 13:44-46

The answer to the riddle is the kingdom of heaven. It’s a treasure that costs everything but requires nothing to receive.

So, where is our treasure?

Treasures on earth are distinct from heavenly ones.

For one, there is a time limit. The other is eternal.

A person may receive happiness, fun, or even contentment from having treasures on earth, but it is fleeting. It never seems to be enough. Like a mist that evaporates in the air, everything in happens quickly and then it is gone.

Even though we possess treasures on earth, we don’t own any of it.

Heavenly treasures are something to receive in the future – like an inheritance, it is a promise to be fulfilled.

I paid nothing to receive it, but it cost everything. It’s something I own now but will receive later. Somebody has already paid it for me.

Past:    Payment made
Present:   Payment received
Future:  Value to come

Where is my treasure now?

If there is nothing on earth that can compare to the value of heavenly treasure, then a person ought to be willing to give up everything to receive something far greater. This prompted the man’s willingness sell everything to purchase land with treasure or another man to purchase a fine pearl.

“You give up nothing when you give up everything because Jesus plus nothing equals everything.”

Rev. Brad Snyder

The kingdom of heaven has already been purchased for us and can be received right now. Faith in Christ receives full possession of God’s greatest gift for all people.

Earthly treasures are a never-ending pursuit in something you can never own, the kingdom of heaven is a completed pursuit that one can immediately own.

Faith receives true peace instead of longing for security.

Faith receives pure joy rather than longing for normalcy.

Faith receives rest rather than longing for purpose.

But let’s be honest.

If our salvation truly depended upon on selling everything you owned would you do it?

Would you be willing to give up everything — your job, your house, your family?

The rich man who met Jesus along the road thought that he had everything, but Jesus said he had nothing. That’s why he told him to sell everything then come and follow him.

He couldn’t do it and went away sad.  And frankly, neither could we.

This allows me to grasp that salvation must only come from God. It is a gift – a treasure that was already bought and paid for. Being saved is something that will happen in the future. A status of the Christian faith is knowing that you will be saved from the consequences of sin while living a life in a world mired in sin.

So, where is our treasure?

Perhaps it depends on what you treasure.

If life’s circumstances cause all our earthly treasures to be liquidated – our money, security, health, our way of life, we can still have love, joy, and peace. Sometimes God allows difficult circumstances to occur to keep our eyes fixed on what believers ought to treasure the most.

If all we are doing is possessing what God has given us – earthly and heavenly treasures — then we may not be truly treasuring the gift. Since we have all that we need in Christ, we can afford to pass God’s gifts on to others. People are desperately needing it.

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