Summary: Sermon on building pearls from our injuries.
THE TREASURE OF PAIN
Sermon by: Pastor John Bloch
Firestone Park Baptist Church. Akron, Ohio
A man was exploring some caves by the sea shore. In one of the caves he found a canvas bag with a bunch of hardened clay balls. It was like someone had rolled the clay balls and left them out in the sun to bake. They didn't look like much but they caught the mans attention and he took them out of the cave with him. The man walked along the shore line and every now and then he would throw one of the clay balls out into the ocean as far as he could till he dropped one onto a rock and the clay ball cracked open. Inside the clay ball was beautiful, precious stone - treasure in clay.
Excited them man started breaking open all the clay balls. Each one contained a precious stone. from the 20 or so clay balls he had left he found thousands of dollars of precious stones. Then, it struck him. He had been walking down the beach for a long time. He had thrown maybe 50 or 60 clay balls out into the ocean. Instead of thousands of dollars he could have had tens of thousands of dollars, but he had just thrown it away.
Its like that with people as well. We look at someone, maybe even ourself's, and we see the external clay vessel. It doesn't look like much from the outside. It isn't always beautiful or sparkling, so we discount it.
We see that as less important that someone more beautiful or stylish or well known or wealthy. But we haven't taken the time to get to know that person, and if we ask God to show us that person the way He sees them, then the clay begins to peel away and a brilliant gem begins to shine.
We look at the old dry clay, gray and dull. It means nothing to us at all. We see nothing of worth in it, nothing to be proud of, nothing to treasure. However, when the clay ball was broken, when it was damaged and fell apart a treasure could be seen. After the damage, after the pain, after the hurt only then could we see something of worth, something to hold onto.
I've said that Christianity is the only so called religion that can measure its success by its failures and some have looked at me and said that they didn't agree with me so today we are going to look at success, a treasure, Actually a pearl. Then we are going to see that a failure, an injury had to have taken place to produce that pearl.
Please turn to the book of Revelation, chapter 21, verse 21 and stand when you get there.
21 And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass.
Rev 21:21 (KJV)
So what we are looking at is a glimpse of what the gates of Heaven look like. Scripture tells us that this wall around the city has 12 gates, 12 gates made from 12 pearls. Did you get that? Each gate is made from one pearl! That must be one giant pearl isn't it? The value of the gates alone would be amazing. You all know how i need to break things down so that i can understand them so i did the same with this. I wanted to understand the cost of a pearl and did some research. Pearls are prices by the size, the color, the shape, the luster, the surface quality, and the thickness of a clear coating around them. The worlds most expensive peal is known as "The pearl of Lau Tzu". Its 9 inches across, weighs 14 lbs. which is 31,000 carats, and its cost was 60 million dollars. So by doing just some simple math we can say that this pearl is worth just over 6.5 million dollars per inch across. So, lets take that math to the gates of heaven, now i haven't seen the gates and I haven't been able to find anyone who has been able to say exactly how big they are but i would say that its safe to say they are going to big enuff to walk threw right? Well, the rough opening of a two door gate is 90 inch's, that would give a value of about 58 trillion dollars! I'm not trying to put a monetary price on the rewards of being a Christian, im trying to show that God has no limit to his blessings. If that's the entrance way just think about the rest of His city. Now we are going to change gears real quick, we are going to go from the treasure to the pain, from the end value to the ultimate cost and to do this we need to understand how pearls are formed. First off they are formed in an oyster and its commonly known that they make pearls from sand however, something else needs to happen first. It needs to suffer from an injury. When an oyster gets an injury to its soft inner body and it has an open wound then a single pc. of sand gets into the wound it forms a defensive sack around the pc. of sand, its the oysters natural way of trying to heal, almost like a scab. The oysters body starts to form types of calcium that collect to this pc. of sand inside the sack and it hardens. This ultimately forms the pearl. We would not be able to enjoy the treasure of the pearl endless the oyster was injured.