Going, Going, Gone
Growing up, my grandparents had a place in Phoenix and a place in Minnesota. When they traveled up north, they would bring a box or two of oranges. Those oranges were some of the best oranges I have ever had. They tasted like candy.
The other week I talked to someone from the Phoenix area who said the groves are gone. The farmers sold the fields to developers. People have been moving to the area, driving the property value beyond the price of orange groves.
Property prices are high where I live also. As a result, there are bidding wars, multiple offers coming in the day a place is listed, and cash offers to boot.
What if you had a family orange grove, and someone approached you and offered ten million dollars for it? Would you sell? Or would you wait to see if it continues to rise in value?
This hypothetical scenario reminds me of something Jesus said. "The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field" (Matthew 13:44).
What was Jesus getting at? He was talking about something of monetary value compared to heaven. He was saying heaven is like finding a pirate treasure or a gold mine on that orange grove. If a person knew something like that was buried there, he would do everything in his power to possess that field.
The difference between the story of the treasure and heaven is that heaven is real. It isn't fiction.
Heaven lasts forever. There, disease and evil cease. God is there, and His children are at peace with Him. In His presence is fullness of joy (Psalm 16:11). The Bible describes heaven with streets paved in gold. What we value on earth pales in comparison to the heavenly realities. Heaven will be an infinite exploration of conscious expanding joy in communion with God and His people (Revelation 21:1–4).
How much would you pay for that real estate? The reality is that the cost is beyond our means, but not God's. Jesus paid with His life to make heaven truly possible for those who confess their sins and trust in Him.
That being the case, what was Jesus getting at in His little story? He wanted people to pursue heaven. How? How does a person do that? I do that by taking time each day to read the Bible, pray, and try to adjust my life more and more to follow Jesus's teaching. Some days I take an hour; most days, I incorporate little moments here and there. I am so thankful for mercy, grace, and forgiveness. Jesus died to show us this treasure. In the end, He is our greatest treasure. The Giver is greater than the gift. Let's seek Him together.
This article was first published in my June 2021 Newsletter.