I cannot envision my life without God. Thanks to His grace and mercy, I said yes to the Lord’s request years ago to enter into a committed relationship with Him. He accompanies and upholds me as I experience the blisses and hardships of human life. Jesus Christ is the core of my existence, devotion, and day-to-day living. However, this was not always the case.
How Important Is This Relationship With God
When I reflect on my past, I recall an era in which God was not as important to me as He is now. Nevertheless, I’m regularly humbled due to how insufficient my faith and love can occasionally be. Some would concur that growing closer to God is a lifelong process. Therefore, we will constantly struggle against temptation, vice, and sin as we seek to grow in holiness. If we are honest, the majority of us can relate to this experience. Do we not all struggle with the calling to live entirely for God and His glory?
As I meditate on the Word of God these days, a variety of questions arise that I want to share with you. When was the last time I sincerely assessed how much I value my spiritual life? How important is my relationship with God compared to my other relationships? Does the Lord truly take precedence in my life over the material objects I possess? Do I wholeheartedly proclaim the greatness of the Lord and rejoice in God my savior? (Lk 1:46-47)
Sell What You Have
In Matthew’s Gospel, we read about a parable that Jesus told His disciples about what is truly valuable in our lives. “The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure buried in a field, which a person finds and hides again, and out of joy goes and sells [everything] he has and buys that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant searching for fine pearls. When he finds a pearl of great price, he goes and sells [everything] he has and buys it.” (Matthew 13: 44-46) This man joyfully sells everything he has to purchase the field that contains the hidden treasure. What he possessed was nothing in comparison to this treasure buried in the field. He was resolved to own this treasure and, therefore, surrendered everything he previously owned. How do we respond to the opportunity to possess something truly priceless – as priceless as a profound relationship with God?
God knows that we endeavor to follow His commandments and to be real Christians. Nevertheless, God desires more. This was the circumstance that the rich young man encountered as narrated in Mark’s Gospel (10:17-23). He wanted to know what he must accomplish to inherit eternal life. Christ referred him to the commandments of not killing; not committing adultery; not stealing; not bearing false witness; not defrauding, and honoring his father and his mother. When the rich man replied that he has observed them from his youth, “Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said to him, ‘You are lacking in one thing. Go, sell what you have, and give to [the] poor and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.” (vs. 21) The rich man departed feeling sorrowful given that he had numerous assets. Have we been doing the same, not willing to sacrifice what’s necessary to follow Christ?
And Store Up Treasures In Heaven
We must sell everything we have. But what does this actually mean for us today? Certainly, we are not mandated to sell everything we possess unless we have made a vow of poverty as a religious. Lay Christians seeking God’s kingdom are summoned to put into practice a spiritual poverty – in other words, to be poor in spirit. This comprises of being detached as much as possible from our physical belongings and properties to be attached to God alone. Nevertheless, we must “sell” or leave behind everything that separates us from the kingdom of God. These may not necessarily be material items but may be unhealthy and destructive relationships; spiritual vices; our love for power, recognition, and wealth; our propensity to enter into occasions of sin, and our habitual sins.
Christ offers us a reassuring and heartening word today: “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and decay destroy, and thieves break in and steal. But store up treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor decay destroys, nor thieves break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.” (Mt 6:19-21) We accumulate treasures in heaven when we think, speak, and act solely for the glory of God and the salvation of souls. To live for heaven is to acknowledge the value of the pearl of great price. Paul the Apostle understood this well and stated, “[But] whatever gains I had, these I have come to consider a loss because of Christ. More than that, I even consider everything as a loss because of the supreme good of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake, I have accepted the loss of all [possessions] and I consider them so much rubbish, that I may gain Christ.” (Phil 3: 7-8) Indeed, to find Christ is what it means to unearth the hidden treasure and the field containing this treasure characterizes our life. To purchase this field is to be determined to live a fruitful life and to gain Christ is to acquire the field of life that contains the Hidden Treasure that is Christ and live one’s life unified with Him. Without Christ, we have naught but with Him we have everything!
Let us hear the Lord in all this. “I’m the true Treasure of your life and your heart. Nothing in life is more precious than you being with Me and I with you. Whoever finds me discovers that it is worthwhile to forsake all things that separate oneself from Me. You also discover in finding Me that nothing is more valuable than surrendering to Me with all your heart. This results in the immense joy that I have desired to give you ever since I created you with love.”