Friday, 27 August 2010

The Pearl of Great Price

Pearls - now I read in the Wilkipedia encyclopedia that the difference between wild and cultured pearls focuses on whether the pearl was created spontaneously by nature – without human intervention – or with human aid: and that the finest quality natural pearls have been highly valued as gemstones and objects of beauty for many centuries, and because of this, the word pearl has become a metaphor for something very rare, fine, admirable, and valuable.
Well praise God for those that were created without human intervention; and for those very rare and valuable ones too.

You see I think I have 3 of them. These 3 pearls were given to me by my son and daughter-in-law and I didn't receive them all at once; I got the first one 6 years ago, the second 3 years ago and the third just over 1 year ago and even though they came at different times and from different shells they are no less valuable, and are all very rare. I think over the years they will become fine and admirable too. These pearls really are precious to me.

When I look at each of these pearls they are so very different. The 6 year old pearl, despite the young age, looks harder than the other two but in actual fact is far softer. The 3 year old pearl has a fragile look to it but has depth and character and the 1 year old looks very fresh, new and vibrant and I am so blessed to have them all and I would never give them up. Have you guessed yet, that these 3 beautiful pearls are my grandchildren.

I thank God every day that he has given me 3 beautiful pearls and as I thank him I am reminded of the parable of the pearl of Great Price and I ask myself just how much am I willing to give up for the kingdom of God.

I didn't know anything about pearls when I became a Christian 26 years ago but over the years the value of the Pearl of Great price has been something that in my own life has needed looking at from time to time.

Matthew 13:45-46 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.

The merchantman is seeking goodly pearls or beautiful pearls. He finds this one pearl of great price and doesn't even think about the cost, it is so valuable to him he sells all he has to buy it.

You know I read a Sunday School lesson that said the most valuable thing in this life is our relationship to God and how right it is. We may have many things in this life that we want to hang on to. Some things may be material possessions that have a special meaning to us, some things may be habits we have, or it may be activities we do but if any of these things come before our relationship with God then they need to be looked at to see just how valuable they are to us.

There are many things in my life that I must continually seek God about and ask what they mean to me. I remember when I was going through the breakup of my marriage there came a time when I had to sell the house we were living in and it had been on the market for so long I was beginning to wonder if it would sell at all but do you know at that point I realised that it didn't matter where I slept, it mattered most that I had what Christ had offered me and that if I lived in a tent He would still be with me and would never leave me nor forsake me.

Sometimes the Lord brings us to hard places, brings us to those times when we need to make certain decisions that show just how much we are willing to give up for the sake of the kingdom. What Christ has offered us is so great, so valuable, that there is nothing we have that is worth keeping if it means we can't be in the kingdom.

This merchantman valued the treasure of that pearl so much that he sold all to buy it. How many of us value the treasure of the kingdom of heaven so much that we are willing to give up everything to have it.

Now I know this may be difficult for some to understand but as hard as it is I do know that my 3 beautiful pearls mean so much to me that I would not give them up for anything this world has to offer but if for some reason I had to give them up for the sake of the kingdom then I pray I would be strong enough to do so because I know the Lord wants all of me and I should give up all to have that Pearl of Great Price.