My family and I have experienced many changes over the past year. As we are now feeling more settled in our new community, I've had an opportunity to reassess my priorities. What's really important to me? Why is it important? Should it be important? I'm sure many of you ask yourself the same kinds of questions.
As I pondered my priorities, my mind was moved to the words of Jesus in Matthew 13:44-46. In these three short verses, Jesus points us to what should be a priority in our lives. He says, "The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it."
The men in these illustrations valued their treasure above everything else they had. The men sold all that they had to gain their treasure. Jesus says that we should value the kingdom in a like manner. We should desire it more than all that we have. It should be our priority.
I must admit that I don't always passionately pursue the kingdom. I don't always seek it as the treasure that it is. I'm sure I'm not alone in that. Other very important priorities are always competing for our time and attention. So how do we foster the kind of excitement for the kingdom that puts us in a place where we gladly give up all things in order to gain it?
I'd suggest beginning with prayer. Pray that God would stoke your passion for the kingdom. I'm sure God will hear your plea and will light the fire within you.
Second, read the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John). Get to know King Jesus. He's the most amazing person to have ever walked the earth. Be prepared to be blown away.
Third and finally, imagine what Heaven is like as routinely and as often as possible. No more tears; no more sadness; no more sickness; no more disease. Only pure joy - beyond what we've ever experienced before. Imagine standing with Jesus; imagine standing as a co-heir with Christ, adopted into the family of God as a son or daughter. It's simply breath-taking.
I'm wanting to stoke my passion for the kingdom. Feel free to share your ideas on how to do that.