Daily Devotional

“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.” (Matthew 13:44)

A few days ago I walked past a convenience store and did a double take when I spotted the grand prize for the California Lottery - $1 billion dollars – the second largest Powerball jackpot in U.S. history!

No, I didn’t buy a ticket.  And yes, it did cross my mind for a second.  Until I thought of how all that money would most-likely destroy my daughter, my family and my ministry.  I like to think that I’m a fairly mature, grounded follower of Christ.  But I think a billion dollars would wreck me.  It would make me fat, lazy, and conceited.  It would make my daughter spoiled, independent, and self-entitled.  As a family, we would be seduced by everything the world has to offer because we could afford anything our hearts desired.  Worst of all, we might be tempted to think we don’t need God.

That’s why the proverb says: “Give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread. Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’ Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God” (Prov 30:8-9).

In the Parable of the Hidden Treasure, Jesus revealed that there is something far more valuable than anything this world has to offer.  It’s the kingdom of God.  In this one short verse, there are five glorious truths about the kingdom.

1. It’s a heavenly kingdom.  In other words, it’s not earthly.  It’s not composed of things this world has to offer, like winning lottery tickets.  It’s spiritual and eternal in nature (Lk 17:20-21; Jn 18:36).

2. It’s like treasure.  Not treasure that can be deposited in a bank, but real treasure nevertheless.  Treasure that can be stored up in heaven and will last forever (Mt 6:19-20).  Jesus said: “where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Mt 6:21).  So I wonder what you treasure the most in life.  Is it your family, your health, your looks or intellect, your success?  Or is it the kingdom of God?

3. It’s hidden.  It’s not something that is apparent to most people, and like all treasure it has to be searched for and sought after.  Seeking God is not easy, but the reward is worth the effort.

4. It’s the source of genuine joy.  In the parable, the man who finds the treasure is filled with inexplicable, outrageous joy because he recognized the value of what he found.  If you’ve discovered the kingdom but you’re lacking joy, you probably forgot how outrageously rich you are.  It’s like you won the lottery!  How could you win heaven’s lottery and not be ridiculously excited?  The jackpot is eternal life!

5. It’s worth giving up everything we have.  In the words of Jesus: “For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?” (Mk 8:36).

To sum it all up, if you could pick between winning a billion dollars or entering the kingdom of God, which would you choose?  To put it another way… what do you really treasure the most in life?
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
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