What’s it Like?
What is the kingdom of Heaven like? Have you ever wondered this? Have you ever imagined what Heaven will be like? Or what’s happening there now? Or who you will get to see? Or maybe what it will smell like? Have you ever imagined Heaven?
As a dreamer, my imagination can run wild about what the kingdom of Heaven must be like! As I read the accounts of Heaven in Revelation 21:21, “And the twelve gates were twelve pearls, each made of a single pearl, and the street of the city was pure gold, transparent as glass.”
This imagery takes my breath away as I have only held a pearl smaller than a dime. Yet in Heaven pearls are the size of a city gate. Just imagine it! Doesn’t it put the things of this earth into perspective?
It’s hard to imagine all that we will see, hear, taste, feel and experience. But Jesus gives us a glimpse into the value of the kingdom of Heaven.
In Matthew 13:44-48, Jesus provides three images of what the kingdom of Heaven will be like and the value of Heaven.
Matthew 13:44 says, “The kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid again; and from joy over it he goes and sells everything he has, and buys that field.”
What’s it like? The kingdom of Heaven is like finding a treasure (Jesus Christ), that is worth giving up everything – selling everything – to have it. It’s worth everything. In fact, the kingdom of heaven is invaluable. We can’t give it enough value because of our human limitations.
Then in Matthew 13:45-46 Jesus goes on to tell us, “Again, the kingdom of Heaven is like a merchant seeking fine pearls, and upon finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold everything that he had and bought it.”
What lengths are you willing to go to to get to know Jesus? To experience heaven on earth by encountering Jesus? To receive the gift of heaven for all eternity?
For me, this is a true gut check.
This is a gut check to recognize the numerous things that I elevate in value above the kingdom and knowing Jesus. This is a gut check to recognize that I often place a higher value on things that are un-valuable, instead of placing the highest value on relationship with Christ, the treasure that is INVALUABLE.
What about you? What UN-VALUABLE (things that have no eternal benefits, implications or worth) are you elevating above building a relationship with Christ?
Do you view a relationship with Jesus, and the kingdom of Heaven as INVALUABLE?
What in your life needs to be devalued so that you can rightly value what is invaluable?
It seems that most believers miss out on the full experience of knowing Jesus because of the low value placed on reading the Bible and getting to know Jesus through His word.
Finally, Jesus paints a picture about the kingdom of Heaven that goes a slightly different direction.
Matthew 13:47-48 says, “Again, the kingdom of Heaven is like a dragnet that was cast into the sea and gathered fish of every kind; and when it was filled, they pulled it up on to the beach; and they sat down and gathered good fish into the containers, but the bad they threw away.”
This word picture helps us to understand there will be many kinds of “fish” or believers in the kingdom of Heaven. But there will first be a sorting out of the good and the bad, and only the good will be kept.
You may be wondering, “Ok, but who are the good fish?” And you may be asking, “am I a good fish?”
Jesus gave us a very clear instruction in Luke 10:25-27 when he was asked the question, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Or in other words, “How can I obtain the treasure of Heaven?”
Jesus says this in response, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, strength and mind, and love your neighbor as yourself.”
Loving the Lord with all our hearts, soul, strength and mind sounds a lot like “being all in” with our relationship with Jesus! And He also commands us to be all in on how we are demonstrating love to ourselves and others.
Though these commands seem simple enough, I believe we can spend the rest of our lives focusing on these two commands alone! The simplicity of them requires great intentionality.
As we seek to understand these three word pictures about the kingdom of Heaven they beg the question, do we as believers in Christ understand the treasure that we have been given with entry into the kingdom of Heaven?
Do we value Heaven with the understanding that it is worth selling everything, giving everything, being sold out and all in for the sake of the kingdom? Do we understand that there will be a sorting out of those who “loved the Lord their God, loved themselves as they loved their neighbors?
Or are we digging for treasures that have no heavenly benefit? Treasures that hold no eternal value? Are we expecting the treasure of Jesus and Heaven to fall into our laps so we don’t have to do the work of digging? Do we place no weight on the fact that there will be a sorting out – and how we love God, ourselves and others truly matters to our eternity.
Now, let’s get back to the original question, what’s the kingdom of Heaven like?
In short, it’s INVALUABLE.
It’s worth selling everything, giving everything in order to have it. It’s the greatest treasure one could ever imagine. YET it is God’s gift – freely given- to us, through a relationship with Jesus Christ.
Will you dig in today and uncover the treasure of Heaven, Jesus Christ.
Want to study the Kingdom of Heaven and these verses in greater depth? Join us this week on Cup of Hope, Monday, Wednesday & Friday @ 6:45am Central (streaming live on Facebook, YouTube or the R4LC app)