The Parable of the Hidden Treasure
“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field,
which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes
and sells all that he has and buys that field."
The Parable of the Pearl of Great Value
“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search
of fine pearls, who, on finding one pearl of great value,
went and sold all that he had and bought it."
New and Old Treasures
“Have you understood all these things?” They said to him, “Yes.” And he said to them, “Therefore every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like a master of a house, who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old.”
- Matthew 13:44-46, 51-52 -
Many tear-stained, cherished scribbles of my journal entries describe the arduous yet glorious journey it has been for me to arrive at a place where I would select a word like “treasure” for this year.
Let me give you a little background. I notice new concepts until they are saturated and weaved into my thinking and way of life, then I categorize these concepts into themes. Once I sense the Lord introducing a new lesson, I verbalize it, write it down, and expectantly wait to see it unfold in my life and circumstances. To name a few, my themes have been titled: Power; Healing; Established; Growth; Rest; Authority; Obey; Forward.
In past seasons/themes my focus on the Lord was specifically for emotional healing or surrendering to obedience from sin. But this year is different because while I will keep the old lessons with me, I'm overjoyed to tell you that God has been shifting my focus off of myself and onto His Presence. It feels like I’m finally living.
There are two main circumstances which have contributed to this. First, I’m currently reading through the Old Testament with a couple of friends. Fittingly, in January we were in 1st & 2nd Kings, and now we’re in 1st & 2nd Chronicles. There’s been much mention of royalty, kingdoms, and riches lately. Secondly, on January 1st, I moved into a house of five great girls (Happy New Year to me!). They inspire me and enrich my world, as they draw out the artistic, poetic, creative part of me.
I’m on the road of discovery: Discovering dreams planted deep within my heart. Discovering who I am apart from other people’s influence. Discovering what makes me come alive. Seeing beauty in and all around me. And I love it - it’s like finding hidden treasure.
I see 2016 as an unchartered map. The “X” at the end of the map is the ultimate Treasure, Jesus. He is the Prize of life. I will spend my days pursuing this Treasure, believing that He is far greater than any riches this world could give me. And along the way, He gives riches of joy and abundant life and of being used by Him – moments of glory to keep us following the map.
We find our true lives in Christ, and the more we are pursuing Him, the more we discover just who we're made to be. Something that fascinates me is the fact that God has already granted fullness of life and full access to Himself, at the moment we step into relationship with Him. Our lives are then an ongoing voyage of discovering those things that have been given. I’ve had riches and every spiritual blessing in Christ since I first surrendered my life to God, but I will spend my whole life uncovering just Who He is. The mystery of knowing God…
Being near to Jesus is the key. Apart from Him, I am nothing. I want to be where He is, so I’m going to fearlessly embark on this voyage. Practically, this year I am choosing to surround myself with people who are also on this pursuit toward Christ. I'm choosing to take initiative in my life and say “yes” to the things that scare me because I know I care about those things, and I will see God’s power work in me. When I allow His Spirit to be released in my life, I know I will see amazing things. He has already been working to transform me into a person I never thought I could be or to do things I never thought I’d have the courage to do! In “Found: God’s Will,” John MacArthur asks, “…Has He ever been able to release that power, to fill your life so that you can become what He is?”
What am I living for? Like the Scripture passages stated in this post, I’ve found hidden treasure superior to anything in this world. Philippians 3:8 reiterates this point: “I count everything as loss,” because nothing else compares to the “surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord”! I have made Acts 20:24 my life verse. It says, “But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.” This year, I am looking forward to discovering the abundant life God has for me on this grand and glorious journey.
My challenge to you is to prayerfully select your own "One Word." When you do, share it with us! Let us know what God is teaching you and what you are hoping for in 2016. After choosing your word, check out The Giving Keys. As a symbol of my "One Word," I'm choosing to wear "treasure" around my neck on one of their custom necklaces. This will serve as a reminder of my purpose and aim for this year.
Recommended Track of the Week: