Summary: A sermon about giving all to follow Christ.
“What are We Searching For?”
What do you long to see and experience more than anything else in the entire world?
Have you ever thought to yourself: “I would give anything for that?”
If so, what was it or what is it?
For instance, would you give anything to see all racial divisions erased?
Or would you give anything to see all hungry people fed?
Would you give anything see all wars come to an end?
Would you give anything to see all children taken care of, all Christians united, all persons living with mental illness given peace of mind?
And how about hatred?
Would you give anything to eradicate hatred from our world?
Would you give anything to stop people from hurting one another?
Would you give anything in order to end all suffering?
And would you give it joyfully—without a thought about the cost?
It’s been said that when we are “swept up with the longing for an end to violence, suffering, and destruction, we may very well find ourselves giving up everything in order to experience salvation in Christ.
And when we find other people who are ready to let go of whatever holds them back from being a part of God’s Movement in the world—we find Church!!!”
I think that’s pretty cool.
No matter how simple the two parables we just read may seem, there is much depth to them.
Think about this for a minute.
God gave up everything in order to get rid of evil.
God gave up everything in order to save what God loves—human beings, the people He created in His image.
God came down from heaven.
He became one of us.
He endured the difficulties of this life, temptation, pain…
…all the things that go along with being a human in a broken world.
He wept for His friends.
He mourned over the death of a loved one.
He taught us what is important in life—to love God and to love other people.
He showed us, by example, how we are to live our lives.
He showed us that God is love, and that God is merciful, forgiving and, again, head over heals in love with every human.
He humbled Himself.
And, ultimately, He died so that we may live.
And listen to how the author of the letter to the Hebrews describes it: “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross.”
“For the joy set before him”…
Jesus gave up everything—even His very life—for “the joy” of saving human kind—of bringing redemption to you and to me.
Of recapturing His “treasure hidden in a field”…
Of buying back His “pearl of great value.”
The Kingdom of heaven is like—that!!!
God’s love is like that!!!
Salvation is given at such a price.
It cost God everything to save us, restore us, bring us back to Himself.
It cost God everything to set things right.
And God gave all God had for this joy of saving you and me and all who will believe.
Now what does that have to do with these two parables we just read this morning?
Well, is not what God has done for us—when we are able to comprehend it—when we get a grasp on it—when we are able to believe it—when we “stumble upon it” so to speak the greatest treasure in all the world?
Isn’t it worth giving up everything else in order to obtain?
“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.”
With “joy” he sells all he has in order to buy that field so that he may have that treasure which is the Kingdom of God—the salvation Jesus Christ gave His all for in order for us to obtain.
Salvation and living a life of love is the greatest treasure in all the world.
And giving everything we have in order to be in relationship with Jesus Christ—with our Creator is the greatest joy.
It completely transforms our lives.
Notice how quickly the man in the parable went and sold all he had to buy that field?
When we do something “in joy” it is not a burden.
It is not a sacrifice—it is a “joy.”
Augustine, when commenting on his moment of salvation, of faith, of decision said this: “What I feared to be parted from, was now a joy to part with.”
When we give everything in order to follow Christ, the sacrifice we make is really no sacrifice at all.
It’s not some sad and mournful thing we feel like we “have to do.”