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44 “The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in the field, which a man found and hid again; and from joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.

45 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking fine pearls, 46 and upon finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it. - Matthew 13:44-46


Question: How can a person be motivated to the extent that they fully surrender to God? In verse 44 what causes that man to sell all he has? In verse 46 what caused that man to sell all he had?


Answer: If you tell people they should surrender to God, they usually won't. It's not in their nature nor are they convinced as to the benefit in doing so. If however by God's blessing you can show them the inestimable value of the kingdom of heaven, as the parables above illustrate, you will not need to motivate them, it will be an automatic occurrence resulting from the "joy" and "great value" derived from knowing Jesus Christ. Thus resulting in them joyfully, not out of obligation nor compulsion, surrendering all things to God.


But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, - Philippians 3:7-9


If we tell people (or ourselves) to act as one who knows the value of the kingdom of heaven without actually knowing it or articulating it to others, how are they (or we) going to have the joy (Matt. 13:44) that causes such person to sell all they have?


Let's then no longer waste our efforts on focusing on surrendering but rather let's draw our attention (and others) to Jesus Christ and the truly Good News of what He's done for us! The rest will work itself out.


15 “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments. - John 14:15


When we read this verse we shouldn't see it as a command to show Jesus we love Him by obeying His commandments but rather we should seek to love Him which automatically results in us keeping His commandments out of that love. That's what this verse is saying!


40 And Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.” And he replied, “Say it, Teacher.” 41 “A moneylender had two debtors: one owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. 42 When they were unable to repay, he graciously forgave them both. So which of them will love him more?” 43 Simon answered and said, “I suppose the one whom he forgave more.” And He said to him, “You have judged correctly.” 44 Turning toward the woman, He said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave Me no water for My feet, but she has wet My feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45 You gave Me no kiss; but she, since the time I came in, has not ceased to kiss My feet. 46 You did not anoint My head with oil, but she anointed My feet with perfume. 47 For this reason I say to you, her sins, which are many, have been forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little.” - Luke 7:40-47


Question: Which of us have been forgiven little? Let me rephrase that, which of us have sins that only equal 50 denarii?


Answer: None of us. According to Romans 3:10-18 we have much to be forgiven for; it's not an understatement to say we are wretched. Some of us don't feel this way however. Those of us who don't love much have either deceived themselves that they only owe 50 denarii or they aren't fully convinced that God forgave them their debt of 5 billion denarii. If you feel a lacking of love for God, I would encourage you to pray for God to show you both the full debt you owed and the forgiveness and grace He lavished on you in full. He did, but if you found that you no longer appreciate it nor your fruit resembles that in the above parables, then it's time to return to your first love (Rev. 2:4).


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