Monday, July 23, 2007

God's Presence 10 (The Full Treasure)

In his sixth letter (p. 40), Brother Lawrence talks about finding the full treasure that is described in the Gospel. Jesus told a wonderful parable about finding a great treasure in the gospel of Matthew 13:44-46, "44The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field. 45"Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. 46When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it."
The full treasure of the gospels is the kingdom of heaven. And this is not just something that exists in heaven, but something that we can have here on earth. Jesus taught that the kingdom was something that could be received here on earth. Matthew 5:3 says, "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." And in Matthew 5:10, Jesus said: "Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." Jesus taught that as we seek to know God, and follow God, and seek to live the "right way" that God instructs us, then we would be able to see and experience the kingdom of heaven here on earth. Jesus made it clear that it was not to be seen by everyone: "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only those who do the will of my Father who is in heaven." (Matthew 7:21)
What is so important about discovering the kingdom of heaven. Well, Jesus seemed to think that it was more valuable than pearls or treasure. Finding the kingdom of heaven will bring peace to your life, because you will be resting fully in God and God's will for you. As Brother Lawrence says: "I don't know what's become of me. It seems that a tranquil soul and a quiet spirit come to me even while I sleep. Because I am at rest, the trials of life bring me no suffering. I don't know what God has in store for me, but I feel so serene that it doesn't matter. What do I have to be afraid of when I'm with Him?"
Can you say that, that you don't fear anything and that your life is serene? Seek after God's kingdom by seeking God and God's ways, and you can.