“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
Did you promise God everything when you first came to faith? Do you sing “all I am, all I have is yours”? Now, after the fact, and after the stirring worship of a Sunday morning, is He really a treasure in whom you have invested everything?
In these parables from Matthew's Gospel, nothing was held back. Jesus warned His audience to “count the cost” BEFORE they built (Luke 14:28). Jesus challenged the ruler who came looking for a cheap entrance into the kingdom with the very thing that stood between him and the door—and the man walked away (Mark 10:22).
We like to make it easy for people to come into the kingdom. Jesus never did. Did we suppose that the God who asked His own Son to give His life to save us, would demand anything less of us in becoming His followers? We don’t pay for our salvation, but oftentimes we act as though grace were cheap.
Is not Jesus worth everything we are and have? The Scriptures tell us that He is precious (1 Peter 1:19; 2:4). Is He? Is He worth everything? Did I once promise everything but I’ve since taken some of it back for myself? Do I sing “all I am and all I have is yours” and then withhold what I have said I have given?
Just how precious is what I have in Christ to me? He needs to be precious enough to forfeit everything in order to pursue His kingdom and His righteousness (Matthew 6:33). We do ourselves harm when we don’t demand that of ourselves. We harm those who are coming to faith when we make too easy something that is not so easy at all. But while it might not be easy, it is certainly worth all that we have to give.