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)
Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth. (Matthew 19:21-22)
These two Scriptures paint very different pictures of how we respond to God’s call to follow him. In the first, a man finds a treasure hidden in a field. The treasure is so great that he ‘sells everything he has’ to buy the field. This he does ‘with great joy’. The second story tells us of a young man who came to Jesus to ask about inheriting eternal life. When Jesus tells him to ‘sell everything he has’ so that he might be free to follow Jesus, he refuses and leaves ‘in great sadness’. The first man understands the value of the hidden treasure and knows that no price is too large to pay to secure it. The second does not recognize the eternal value of the kingdom of God, and he chooses to remain in bondage to his wealth.
Freedom and bondage, joy and sadness, eternal treasure and earthly wealth. Jesus reminds us that “where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” (Matthew 6:21)
Where is your treasure today? Is your heart free, joyful and focused on eternal treasures? Or are you in bondage, sad and anxious about your earthly goods? Jesus promises supreme refreshment for the spirit that has been set free from bondage to our earthly treasures. Do you know the personal refreshment that comes from release? Have you been set free?
Gracious Lord, I sit here reading this and in my heart I admit that I am still in bondage to the things of this world. There are things that I want that I do not need, and I have anxiety about losing the things I have. I can, in my most honesty moments, name the things around me that have a hold on me that bind me down and cause me stress. Merciful Father, I want this to be one of those honest moments. Search my heart and know my anxious thoughts. Help me name my chains, and then, beloved Savior, help me to break loose. I want to be free to serve you, to know your exceeding joy in my soul, to live an unburdened life that glorifies you. I want to be free, and only you can set me free. I pray for that work to begin in me today, right now. In the name of the Great Liberator and Overcomer, Jesus Christ my Lord, Amen.