“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. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.” –Jesus, via Matthew 13:44-46
Have you ever made a bad investment?
Yesterday at Hope, David Dwight made us all answer that question: and most everyone raised their hand YES in agreement. We’ve all made bad investments: of money, of effort, of time, or of commitment. When we make bad investments, we feel deflated and ashamed.We have all been foolish at one time or another with how and what we invest. But what about how the investment that truly matters: the investment of our entire life?
What’s an investment worth making?
Most investments we make have clear outcomes because we focus our lives on the physical realm. Yet the things around us that are physical are locked in by time. Our bodies are defined by time, but our souls are eternal. Here’s an example: picture a memory in your soul that feels like it was yesterday. In these memories, it’s as if no time has passed. Those memories live in your soul, where time is not a limitation.
David than gave a great analogy. Suppose you were going to a hotel for two nights. You called ahead to ask about the decorations in your room. You decided you didn’t like the decorations in the room, and told the hotel you’d be sending a decorating team ahead of time, spending $10,000 to decorate the room for your visit and then tearing it down when you left.
Well, that’s a ridiculous investment!
But why is it ridiculous? Because of time. Because you will only be spending two days in the hotel. But even if you spent $10,000 redecorating your house, the investment would only seem like a better choice because more time is involved. But it’s still an investment that is in the physical. In other words, you can’t take your nice investment to heaven.
Our bodies decay and are subject to time.
Our souls are wired for eternity and last forever.
Which one is worth investing in?
People can wonder their whole lives about what they should be investing in. The answer is found in Jesus’ example from Matthew 13. The kingdom of heaven is like a pearl of such great price, that those who find it are willing to reorder every single priority in their life, to turn their lives upside down, because the joy of the kingdom is worth it.
In this parable, Jesus makes it clear: finding the kingdom is the most valuable investment you’ll ever make. And when you find it, you will be filled with joy.
Os Guiness says the pleasure is about our senses and happiness is about our circumstances. Joy transcends them both, because joy takes place in our eternal souls. The kingdom of heaven is here, hidden in the surprising form of a servant king who defeated the grave to offer us the best investment we will ever know–a life filled with joy because of his love, his forgiveness, and knowing Him–on earth and in heaven.
And that’s worth staking our entire lives on.