;

Crosswalk.com aims to offer the most compelling biblically-based content to Christians on their walk with Jesus. Crosswalk.com is your online destination for all areas of Christian Living – faith, family, fun, and community. Each category is further divided into areas important to you and your Christian faith including Bible study, daily devotions, marriage, parenting, movie reviews, music, news, and more.

Intersection of Life and Faith

<< First15 Devotional

The Parables of the Hidden Treasure and Valuable Pearl - First15 - May 8, 2018

  • 2018 May 08
  • COMMENTS

The Parables of the Hidden Treasure and Valuable Pearl

Weekly Overview:

Jesus loved to use stories to illustrate profound, life-transforming concepts. He loved to use real and genuine settings, characters, and ideas that apply to all of us to reveal God’s heart of pursuit and love. This week we’re going to spend time allowing the parables of Jesus to speak directly to our situations, mindsets, and core beliefs about who God is. Open your heart and mind to be transformed by the powerful and captivating stories of Jesus.

Scripture:“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

Devotional:

If you could only have one thing in life, what would it be? Take an honest look at your heart for a minute today. What do you love most? What would you give up everything else for?

Would you believe that your heavenly Father’s answer to those questions is you? That the Creator of the universe loves you most? Would you believe he would give up everything to have relationship with you? I heard a life-changing sermon from Pastor Robert Morris of Gateway Church in which he proved, by looking at Genesis 2, that God’s greatest desire is relationship with us. After God creates Adam in his own image, God says, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him” (Genesis 2:18). God brings every created animal before Adam to see if he deems any of them suitable as a helper, and Genesis 2:20 says, “But for Adam there was not found a helper fit for him.” Then without consulting Adam, God puts him to sleep and forms a woman out of his rib. Seeing the woman upon waking, Adam says, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man” (Genesis 2:23). How did God know Adam would want a woman as his helper? How did God know she would be the desire of his heart? God knew Adam most longed for a bride because Adam was made in God’s image, and God’s greatest desire is for relationship with us, whom the Bible calls his Bride.

Let the truth of God’s heart sink in for a minute. Out of everything else God has created or could have created, he most desires relationship with you. And he so longed for you to know him fully that he sent Jesus to die to make restored relationship possible. God calls us to himself daily with his love. He stands at the door of our heart and knocks, beckoning us with his loving-kindness to simply come and know him.

Once we truly grasp the depth of God’s desire for us, the only true response is to give up everything for him. He laid the foundation for our commitment to him with the greatest single act of love, and he simply waits, beckoning us to respond, living our lives with him as our highest priority. And he doesn’t do so selfishly, but because the absolute best way for us to live our lives is in total commitment to him.

In Matthew 13:44-46, Jesus tells a parable explaining this response to God’s unending love. He says, “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. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it.” The kingdom of God is the greatest treasure, the pearl of greatest value. Relationship with him is worth our entire lives. Pursuing him with all our heart is the absolute greatest ambition we could have. Paul described this pursuit in Philippians 3:8 when he said, “Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ.”

So again, reflect on your own heart. What do you value above all else? God’s not angry with you if it truly isn’t him. You see, the truth is that our pursuit of God will only ever match our revelation of his goodness.God knows that if he isn’t truly the greatest desire of your heart, it’s because you don’t fully know how good he is. If you had the full revelation of his love for you, living totally for him wouldn’t even be a choice. So great is the worth of knowing Jesus that as you see him, you will naturally give up everything to know him more.

So, today as you enter into prayer, know the first step in growing in your pursuit of God is acknowledging the posture of your own heart. How strongly do you desire deeper relationship with him? How much would you give up to know him? What do you seek fulfillment in during your free time?

The second step is receiving a fresh revelation of his incredible love for you.Spend time simply encountering his heart. Meditate on the truth that he desires relationship with you above all else. He so greatly enjoys you that he pursues you with all of his focus and energy.

Last, respond to a revelation of his love with your own love. Worship him, adore him, and live for him with your life. You will encounter him in anything you do as worship. He will pour out his presence, favor, and blessing in any area you live out of love for him. Colossians 1:13-14 says, “He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” And Luke 12:31 promises us, “Instead, seek his kingdom, and these things will be added to you.”

Pursue a deeper relationship with your heavenly Father today through prayer. As you live for him and seek his kingdom first, you’ll discover all he has longed to add to your life.           

Guided Prayer:

1. Reflect on your own life. How strongly do you desire deeper relationship with him? How much would you give up to know him? What do you seek fulfillment in during your free time?

“The Lord looks down from heaven on the children of man, to see if there are any who understand, who seek after God.” Psalm 14:2

2. Meditate on the depth of God’s love for you. Receive a fresh revelation of how greatly he enjoys you. Think about the story in Genesis of how God’s greatest desire was relationship with his Bride.

“Looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.” Hebrews 12:2-3

“O my dove, in the clefts of the rock, in the crannies of the cliff, let me see your face, let me hear your voice, for your voice is sweet, and your face is lovely.” Song of Solomon 2:14

3. Respond to God’s love with your own. Spend time simply adoring him. Spend time in solitude sitting with him, encountering his heart, and giving him your own. He paid the highest price for you just to be able have a relationship with him. So take time and be the reward of his sacrifice.

“You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13

May we answer the call to live for love with our lives today. May we live in response to this benediction found in Hebrews 12:28:

“Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe.”

Extended Reading: Philippians 3

For more information on today's devotional click here!



Archives

Follow Crosswalk.com