At church today, we were challenged to evaluate our mindsets in relation to the kingdom of heaven based on the following parable:
“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. 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 kingdom of heaven – this treasure – is worth everything we have and more. Yet so many of us (myself included) are guilty of treating our pursuit of the kingdom of heaven as a less significant goal that pales in comparison to our education, career, or worldly plans. In doing so, we wrongly demonstrate to those around us that the kingdom of heaven is of low value. There are many ways in which I have failed to uphold the importance of the kingdom of heaven. Being too hasty to fit in with my group of friends and spending more time socialising, drinking and participating in leisure activities rather than ensuring that my relationship with God was right. I care more about making sure that my life is “comfortable” by looking into getting a better job with a higher salary, lusting after the next designer handbag, and satisfying my appetite in my hunt for food.
But those who perceive the value of the kingdom of heaven will sacrifice everything to obtain it:
“What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ – the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith.” (Philippians 3:8-9)
To reach the kingdom of heaven we need to have a knowledge of Christ that is gained through experience and not merely a factual reflection of what is written in the Bible. The pastor today alluded to the notion of a Turnstile Christian – someone who has made the initial pledge to take up the cross and honour God, but who has yet to do more in their Christian life and transform their understanding by dedicating their life to serving the Lord everyday (sidenote: read Joshua 24:15). This cannot happen unless we put in the effort to have the kingdom of heaven become a greater treasure for us.
After reflecting on this message, I’ve come up with some ways for me to pursue God and become a “Kingdom Christian”:
- Keep up the biblogging!
- Look for ways to serve God. I’ve signed up to help out at Vacation Bible School over the summer, but I also want to look at volunteering at a local Christian charity that provides after-school classes and tutoring for underprivileged Nepalese immigrant children.
- Aim to become a prayer warrior. Pray steadfastly and give all my needs to the Lord. Thank God constantly for all his blessings.
- Encourage other Christians in their walk with God, and non-Christians with their problems by bringing them to God.