Sunday, June 19, 2011

I Found a Pearl!

This morning while I listened to the sermon in our church by the guest speaker and missionary, David Barcelo, I couldn't help but ask myself one thing, "Am I giving up all for the sake of the Gospel?"

The sermon reminded me of one of my favorite book characters, Reepicheep. Those of you who have read the Chronicles of Narnia know him and probably love him as much as I do. He is a talking and fighting rat. He bravely serves Aslan and will do anything his King tells him to do. He considers it an honor to die for Aslan and looks forward to journeying to Aslan's country.

The writer, C.S Lewis, very obviously intended for Aslan to be a picture of Christ, His country to be a picture of heaven and Reepicheep to represent a faithful servant.

Reep shows his passion for Aslan's Country when he says, "My own plans are made. While I may, I sail East in Dawn Treader. When she fails me, I row East in my coracle. When that sinks, shall I paddle East with my four paws. Then, when I can swim no longer, if I have not yet reached Aslan's Country, there shall I sink with my nose to the sunrise..."

This morning David Barcelo preached on Matthew 13 and the infinite worth of the Gospel. In the parable (verses 44-45) there was a man who found a pearl of great value and sold everything he had to buy it. Everything! He knew the price and the value of that one pearl so he gave up all to possess it.

His friends probably didn't understand why he did it. They probably made fun and teased him. There is no way they could understand, though. Unless they knew the value of the pearl, they would never understand.

God knew that the one thing Abraham loved was Isaac. So God said, "Abraham, give me Isaac." Abraham did.

My question for myself: "What do I love that I'm not giving up for His sake?" What do I have that I won't let go? Anything that I can't give up for Christ is an idol. Whoo. Scary word. God doesn't take idols lightly. Uh, if you don't believe me, read the old testament.

Salvation is the pearl. Jesus is my pearl. Jesus is my treasure above treasures. Can I say that with conviction? Can you? My life will be prioritized by, run in accordance to, and follow the path of my treasures. What am I treasuring the most? What means the most to me? If you don't know, examine your life! You'll find out what it is quick.

Think about what you love the most. If God were to say, "My Child, give me ______." Could you do it?  Are you seeking the Gospel and the Kingdom of God with fervency? Or is your journey to heaven and your Christian life, more like a time-to-laze-around-waiting-for-heaven time?

NO! That is why Reepicheep is so inspiring! I want to go to heaven and finish my journey exhausted. I want to be sold out for Christ. If He takes away my ship, then my boat and even my own strength, I still want to cross the finish line sinking! I want to be the type of Christian that says, "TAKE EVERYTHING LORD!" I want to live like I believe that giving everything up for Christ is a joy. I want to always be willing to lay aside my true-loves, my addictions, my habits, my comforts, and my ease for His name.

If I do that, people are going to think I'm crazy, they will think I've gone off my rocker, but how could they think anything else unless they have seen the treasure of Jesus Christ and Heaven? Jesus has given me that gift. He has allowed me into His family. I see the joy. I see the beauty. I've felt the love. Now, I have to fight for it. The gift is mine, and better yet, the Giver is mine. I want to give Him my all, because He gave me His all.

Paul said with conviction in Philippians 3:7-8, "But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things."

Jim Elliot said, "He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose." 

Are you and am I giving up the things that we cannot take out of this world so we can gain the eternal rewards in heaven and ultimately Christ? The treasure of all treasures Himself?


Meggie said...

Wow, thanks for that Ashley.... it makes me want to give up everything for him. I never thought of Reepicheep in that way before.


Anonymous said...

I miss reading your blog, i haven’t been on in forever, and this is a great post, very inspiring. And Reep is awesome, i love how he's sold out for Aslan, Lucy is the closest human to his dedication, but she even fails, and doesn’t do what he wants sometimes. Great post. If you aren’t busy Friday & Saturday there’s a youth revival if you would like to come, give me a text if you’re interested
~Daniel Gregory~