The Greatest Treasure

Jessie KnightDevotional

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When I was around eight or nine years old my grandfather had a yard sale. The night before the sale, my siblings and I were scoping out all the items that would go on sale the following day. As we were looking around, my younger brother spotted a blue bowling ball. The minute he saw this bowling ball he was fixated on it. He had to have it.

Later that night, when we were all supposed to be sleeping, he called for a ‘kids meeting’. We quietly gathered in his room where he pleaded his case. We needed that bowling ball, he said. He outlined all the reasons why we should pool our hard-earned money (we probably had about $7 bucks between us) to buy this bowling ball.

I looked at my small amount of change and thought about what else I could buy with it – maybe some candy at the corner store, maybe something else at the yard sale – and I looked at the bowling ball and thought, what the heck am I going to do with this? We don’t even have any pins.

I just couldn’t give up everything I had for something I didn’t see the value in.
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When I was in University, I met a group of Christians who believed that they could change the world. We read the stories of Jesus and were inspired by his compassion and radical acts of love and mercy. We heard his teachings and believed his promise that we could do the things that he had done.

Our faith was more than religious practice and duty. Our gatherings and time in prayer fueled us so that we could go out into the streets, bringing a message of freedom and hope. We took in the homeless, mentored the fatherless and invited lonely people into community. We saw people become free of eating disorders and depression. We saw the way that people’s lives changed when they found Jesus. We saw the way he was changing our own lives.

The Christian’s path is not always easy. In fact, it can require a great deal of sacrifice. Jesus calls us to a way of life that is defined by self-sacrificial love. We are asked to put others before ourselves. We are asked to pray for our enemies and forgive people who wrong us. We are called to be a generous and compassionate people who love when it is difficult to love. We follow a king who gave up everything for us. And we in turn must be willing to give up everything for him.

But the beautiful thing is that when you truly experience the treasure that is God’s love, you trade your old life in with joy. All the things that you once held dear become trivial in comparison to the fullness of life that is found in a relationship with him.

My friends and I often gave up our privacy for the lonely, our money to the poor, and our time to the mission, but in return we were given great joy and fulfillment. We were bringing heaven to earth.
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In the scriptures, Jesus speaks a lot about something called the kingdom of God or the kingdom of heaven. In this kingdom, Jesus reigns over his people, and they follow him and live according to his ways. This kingdom is not so much a physical place as it is a way of life where people live according to the characteristics and values of their king. This is the same kingdom that Jesus speaks of when he prays, “Your kingdom come, let your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. (Matt 6:19)”

Jesus uses many parables to describe what the kingdom of heaven is like. In one of them he says,

“The kingdom of heaven is like a 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

The only way someone gives up everything is if they recognize the great value of what they have found. Once you find it, you know you can’t let it go. The kingdom life is one of deep meaning, purpose and world-changing love. It is a way of life that requires sacrifice, but it is a way of life that leads to the greatest of treasures. It is there for the taking, but in order to find it, you must first start digging.
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“There are whispers of a treasure, buried deep within the ground.
They say the one who put it there, will never let you down.
They say that when it’s in your hands, it’s worth more than gold,
Cause when anything, means everything, it’s all you need to hold.

And they say that when you find it, that you’ll never want to leave it,
And you’ll give up all you have if you can only keep it.
You won’t let this go.

There are whispers of a treasure, buried deep within the ground,
The secret to new life if it can be found,
Standing in that open field, I looked around,
And a still small voice said, “go ahead, dig down, dig down”.

And they say that when you find it, that you’ll never want to leave it,
And you’ll give up all you have if you can only keep it.
You won’t let this go.

There are whispers of a treasure, buried deep within the ground.
They say the one who put it there, will never let you down.”

– Pastor Jessie Knight