Valuing the Kingdom
“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.”
“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
One of the things that happens in a crisis is that we begin to reevaluate what’s important to us.
Jesus teaches that the kingdom of heaven is meant to be the most important thing, that we’re to pursue it at the cost of all else. We are to pursue God’s kingdom first and all the other things that we need will be added to us. We are to “sell all that we have” in order to lay hold of it.
When we’re cozy, it’s hard to pursue God’s kingdom with our whole hearts. Often, the benefits of health and prosperity—rich blessings from God in themselves—become hindrances to the pursuit of the kingdom. But during a crisis, when so many of the comforts that we’re accustomed to get stripped away, we have little choice but to ask the hard questions.
Some of us will look forward to the day when we can re-embrace the comforts and ease of our normal lives. But I encourage an alternate rout. Instead, let us take this time and guide ourselves according to God’s word, according to his values. Let’s reevaluate how we live our lives according to what God himself values.
The trouble is that that requires a lot of trust. We have to trust that God really will provide for us. We have to trust that the kingdom of heaven is worth it. We have to believe that what God calls us to, even though it may involve suffering and hardship, is really worth it in the end.
The good news is that we can see just how worth it it was for Jesus, for he was willing to die for the kingdom of God. And look at how great was his reward—eternal life. More than that he invites us in to kingdom, invites us into eternal life. It will cost us our lives as it cost him his. But his promise is that our reward will be like his as well.
A crisis will always force us to reevaluate. Where will the kingdom of God end up for you?
Father, it’s easier and more natural for us to pursue our own kingdoms and comforts. But you teach us to chase after the kingdom as though it were the most valuable thing in the world. Indeed, it is. With it comes life and life abundant, even eternal life. Teach us to put down our idols, our world pursuits, and to pursue your kingdom first. Teach us to trust that all these other things will be added unto us. Have mercy.
In Jesus’ name,