Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls,who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it.
Matthew 13:45-46 (NKJV)
Recognizing its great beauty and value, this merchant willingly sold all that he had in order to obtain the pearl he had found. Everything else was nothing beside it. In fact, everything put together could not possibly even come close to it. He had to have it and he was willing to sell everything he had in order to obtain it. This pearl was all that he needed and once he obtained it, he stopped seeking. He had found the greatest treasure of all.
We cannot buy or earn our salvation. The price was paid by the blood of Jesus Christ. Does this mean there is no need to sacrifice ourselves? No. On the contrary, we must be willing to offer ourselves up to God as a living sacrifice.
What are you willing to sacrifice to God? Are you willing to sacrifice comfort, wealth, family, friends, health, and so forth if necessary? Are you willing to walk a dark, difficult and lonely road if need be? Are you willing to face ridicule, heartache and suffering? Are you willing to give up your will for His? Are you willing to submit to and accept God's correction?
It is one thing to say yes. It is another thing to actually do it. Sacrificing ourselves is not an option. In order to obtain the "Pearl of Great Price", we must do so.
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Yes, well done. Theologians can debate the words, but they won't change the depth of teaching in those profound words of our Lord.
One pearl. Worth all we have. Don't try and offer less. HE sure didn't.
Profound. God bless sister.
Yes, profound and right to the point, K .
I cannot post this as a reply because this comment was a guest comment but as the author of this blog, I would like to address some of the points made in regards to the oldest son mentioned in the story of the Prodigal Son.
First of all, the oldest son did not give all that he had. How do I know this? Because Jesus tells us that the father says to this angry and disgruntled son, "'My son,' the father said, 'you are always with me, and everything I have is yours." Luke 15:31 (NIV)
You implied that the oldest son had been worked to death and I might agree with you except there is a problem. First of all, the father in the story is revealed as a man of great wealth and that he has servants. A wise and loving father would certainly want his son to learn "the family business" from the ground up for the son's own benefit but the man revealed in this story is a man who freely gave his younger son his inheritance even though culturally what the youngest son did when he requested that he do so was say to his father, "I wish you dead." That is one of those things that are lost in translation but it is true. That is what it meant in 1st century Palestine if a child demanded their inheritance while their father was still living. It was a terrible thing which would have shocked Jesus' listeners.
This man also not only waited but RAN to meet his wayward son. In Jesus' day, the social status of a man was determined by the length of his robe. In our society, any woman can tell you that the longer a loose garment such as a dress or skirt is, the more dangerous it is to run in it. Additionally, slaves and children ran. Men of wealth and power did not. Other people ran for them.
Finally, this father shows that he cares about the feelings of his eldest son. He does not ignore them nor take them lightly. He listens to his complaint and then addresses it with a loving reply. This definitely is not the picture of a father who is an unreasonable or cruel taskmaster so your idea that the father was working his eldest son to death simply does not stand up to reason.
You wrote: "Give all you got and you will become a bitter person."
Interesting. That is exactly what Jesus Christ did. He gave all that He had. Do you believe Him to be bitter? What about the countless people who have given all that they have, including their lives for the sake of the Gospel? Do you really believe those people would not do it again? Then we have Jesus using the widow who gave the two mites as an example. Does she strike you as a bitter woman, grudgingly giving all that she had? Of course not! Instead we see a picture of a woman who simply desired to be a blessing. She was not looking for recognition nor reward and I think therein lies the key. Our motivation behind the giving, not just of money but of our time and of ourselves.
What are our motives for doing what we do? I think that often times we may fool ourselves into believing they are always pure but are they? Often times we do the things we do or give as we do because we secretly desire recognition. Jesus speaks about this. Other times, we do so because it gives us a sense of power or it makes us feel good to be "a rescuer/savior". Often it is done due to pride so we can say to ourselves and sometimes others, "Look what I have done!" or we refuse to let anyone else do anything or help us because we are the only ones who can do it properly or get it done.
If these things are what drives our motivation, our sacrifice is not acceptable to God. In the Old Testament, God speaks about acceptable and unacceptable sacrifices and He not only rejects unacceptable sacrifices, He abhors them. Is it any wonder that we walk away bitter and disappointed after offering up an unacceptable sacrifice? We offered God garbage!
Sometimes there is another problem other than motives however. We truly want to be a blessing and a help. Our heart is in the right place but there is a problem. Like a servant who just jumps without asking the master what they wish done, we jump in with zeal, pushing others aside or not giving them a chance to respond to God and do things God never asked us to do The result is burn-out. This is particularly common in small churches, I believe and I know all about it because I have experienced it! The sad result is service and sacrifice is no longer a joy. It is a duty.
You wrote: "If only we could recognize that the father clothed the prodigal in a robe of Rightousness just believe and leave the works to our Lord "
I am afraid you missed the entire point of this blog. First of all, you applied a different parable to it. I only addressed that because you brought it up. This blog was about "The Pearl Of Great Price", not "The Prodigal Son". Is there a difference in what Jesus was trying to teach His listeners? Yes, there is. The subject of the first story is sacrifice. The subject of second story is reconciliation.
This blog is not about salvation. Titus 5:3-7 says:
"Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life."
We are not saved by works, we are saved by grace.
However, I was rather surprised that you seem to think God does not call His people to labor within the Kingdom of God. That's not what Jesus said.
"The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest. Matthew 9:37-38 (NKJV)
He also tells us the parables of The Vineyard and The Talents.
James writes: "Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone." James 2:17
Paul writes: "Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord." 1 Corinthians 15:58.
How can you possibly suggest that we are not to sacrifice and work for God?