Sunday, November 13, 2011

How Much Does It Cost?

“The kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls; on finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it.” (Matthew 13:45-46)

The story is told of a man (the merchant in the story above) asking Jesus (the seller implied in the story) how he could obtain the pearl of great value. "How much does it cost?" he asked. Jesus supposedly answered, "It's too dear, too costly." The conversation continued... "But how much?" "Well, it's very expensive." "Do you think I could buy it?" "Oh, of course. Anybody can." "How much is it?" "It costs everything you have no more, no less so anybody can buy it."

"I'll buy it." "Well, what do you have?" "I have $10,000 in the bank." "Good. What else?" "That's all I have." "Have you nothing more?" "Well, I have $15 here in my pocket." "That's fine. What else do you have?" "That's all." "Where do you live?" "In my house." "Then give the house too." "You mean I must live in the garage?" "You have a garage, as well? Give that too. What else?" "Do you mean that I must live in my two cars, then?" "Both become mine. What else?" "I have nothing else." "Are you alone in the world?" "No, I have a wife, two children, and.... " "Your wife and your children too. What else?" "Lord, I have nothing else, I am left alone now."

"Oh, you must give yourself, too. Everything. When you receive this pearl, everything becomes mine. You can use all these things here but don't forget they are mine, as you are. When I need any of the things you are using you must give them to me because now I am the owner."
[ From The Call To Discipleship, by Juan Carlos Ortiz, pp. 42 43]

The gift of salvation through Jesus Christ is a paradox: at one and the same time, it costs us nothing... and yet it costs us everything. As we share in our annual stewardship commitment, what are you prepared to sacrifice in order to receive God's kingdom? Will you be willing to grow to receive it? Remember, God love you and I do, too!

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