Devotion for September 12-14, 2017

What’s It Worth?

Matthew 13:31-34, 44-52 focuses on the theme of response- specifically, how you respond to a crisis. In biblical times the word “crisis” didn’t always mean a bad thing. “Crisis” meant a time when a decision had to be made. It was a time when something had to be done. It was a time when circumstances dictated that a choice must be made regarding the future.

What joy comes to the man who accidentally stumbles upon a treasure buried in a field! To be sure this is not an everyday occurrence, but with no trustworthy banks or FDIC in Jesus’ day, I am sure it happened once in a while. How did he stumble upon this treasure? Were there rumors of its existence? Was he prospecting? How would you find such a treasure hidden in a field? God only knows! But he was so overcome with excitement that he sold everything he owned to legally obtain this field and rightly possess all of its contents. The situation demanded a response and his response paid off handsomely.

The same is true for the lucky merchant, busy buying and selling, who stumbles upon a magnificent pearl with a huge price tag. It was a pearl of such value, as he had never seen in all of his years of merchandising. He, too, sells the ranch and the dog to become the proud owner of this great treasure. Nothing he owned could compare in value with that great pearl. There was no question in his mind; the pearl was worth every penny.

The next parable has a similar theme. Somewhere hidden within that huge catch of fish was a treasure. There was sorting to do- clean or unclean, edible or not, food or fertilizer. The dragnets were full as they were pulled ashore. The baskets were waiting to be filled. The harvest was plentiful. What joy there would be at the fish fry that evening! Was it worth the effort? You bet!

Yet how do we followers of Jesus respond to such a treasure? Are we too busy seeking on our own that which is right beneath our feet? Are we so busy trying to do it for ourselves that we cannot see the solution that will bring us the true joy and excitement missing from our lives?

How much would you pay for a gift that brings such peace and confidence? What is it worth to you? Would you give up everything you own to obtain such a treasure? – Crisis time has arrived!

In spite of the victory in Christ that we profess, we live in fear. We are paralyzed by our fear, not rejoicing in the promise of victory. Fear is an important part of our lives. Fear prevents us from doing some very foolish things. But fear can also paralyze us. Have no fear! Trust in God’s victory! Jesus says to us, “Do not let your heart be troubled. Trust in God, trust also in Me” (John 14:1). Repeatedly King David says in the Psalms, “When I am afraid, I will trust in You – In God I trust, I will not be afraid” (Psalm 56: 3, 4).

Our Weekly Prayer: Lord of the Church, we look to You for our salvation. Move us to daily put our trust in You. Empower us by Your Spirit to take all of our fears to You and lay them before You. Take away our fears. Deepen our commitment to You. Draw us nearer to You through our listening to Your Word, reading, studying, and meditating upon it daily. Guide us to call upon You in prayer throughout our day. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.