Thanksgiving for the Kingdom of God
The Value of the Kingdom – Part IV
Scripture Reading: Matthew 13:44-52
Key Verse: Matthew 13:44
“The Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure that a man discovered hidden in a field. In his excitement, he hid it again and sold everything he owned to get enough money to buy the field.”
Yesterday’s devotional was about the value of God’s Kingdom and why anyone would pay the price to be in it. We looked at what Jesus said about examining the cost before deciding to follow Him.
This is an important discussion because a true Christ-follower wants others, especially family members, to follow Jesus as well. It can be a real temptation to downplay the cost of following Jesus out of our deep desire for others to be saved. That approach would be a “bait and switch” scheme, selling them on how great it is to be a Christ-follower but leaving out the cost involved.
Most of us have heard these words of Jesus:
“Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.” (Luke 9:23)
But what does it mean to “take up your cross and follow Him”? This means getting rid of some behaviors and habits in our lives. Consider Colossians 3:5-9:
Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices.
Remember that getting rid of all these ways does not get you into Heaven. Our ticket into God’s Kingdom is our faith in Jesus and our trust in Him to forgive our sins.
God’s Holy Spirit slowly but surely challenges us to rid ourselves of the things listed in the scripture above. The good news is that the Holy Spirit not only points them out but gives us the strength to get rid of them.
God is patient with us and helps us grow into a Christ-follower who “picks up his cross and follows Him”.
Father, give me wisdom and strength to clean my life of the things that do not fit into the lifestyle of a true Christ-follower. In Jesus’s Name I pray, amen.