Matthew 13:44 - The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again and then in his joy, he goes and sells all that he has and buys the field.
Kenny Chesney has a hit song entitled "Everybody Wants to Go to Heaven." This song has always grated on my nerves to an extent. However, it holds an element of truth. The chorus of the song repeats the phrase, "everybody wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to go now." The essence of the song is that eventually, after we have lived a long, full life, it would be nice to have a mansion in heaven, but there are other things that are more worthwhile right now. Similarly, I one time had a dream that Jesus came back for His Church, and everyone was disappointed because they had to stop doing what they were in the middle of.
This small parable in Matthew talks about the priority that should be given to Christ and His Kingdom. A man stumbles upon a treasure in a field and hides it again so that no one will find it before he has a chance to claim it for himself. Then he goes and sells all that he has in order to buy the entire field in which the treasure lies. This shows the great extent to which he labors in order to possess the treasure. He recognized that the treasure might not always be there, and thus he hurried in order to secure the transaction. Though he was not expecting to find the treasure, he immediately placed it in priority, showing how much the man values the treasure. The treasure is greater than anything else than the man owns and therefore he is willing to forsake all else. Likewise, we should recognize the great value of the kingdom of heaven and prioritize our lives accordingly.
Unfortunately, we sometimes take the approach that Christ will always be there and that heaven can wait. We are therefore in no hurry. However, in the parable of the ten virgins (Matthew 25:1-13), Jesus makes it clear that his return is inevitable and we must be ready.
What value are you currently place on Christ? Discipleship requires more than simply using Jesus as a ticket out of hell. It requires us to place Him above all else and make the necessary changes in our lives in order to do so.
The Challenge today is to ask yourself in what area of your life do you need to place Christ first. What are you still holding onto in this life that you need to "sell out" to Christ.