HYMN O for a thousand tongues to sing
1 O for a thousand tongues to sing
My great redeemer’s praise,
The glories of my God and king,
The triumphs of his grace!
2 Jesus – the name that charms our fears,
That bids our sorrows cease;
‘Tis music in the sinner’s ears,
‘Tis life, and health, and peace.
3 He speaks; and, listening to his voice,
New life the dead receive;
The mournful, broken hearts rejoice;
The humble poor believe.
4 My gracious Master and my God,
Assist me to proclaim
And spread through all the earth abroad
The honours of thy name.
READING Matthew 13:44-46
44 “The 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. 46 When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.
SERMON – Treasure & Pearl
Let’s look in the small adds in the Inverness Courier. We are not looking for bargains, but we come across an ad. SALVATION FOR SALE – now, let me ask you, if it were YOU who had sent in this advert, what kind of price would you place upon your salvation? How much is it worth to you to be one of God’s children and to be saved by Jesus? Jesus is inviting us to look afresh at our faith and see if we value it highly enough.
Last week we were looking at the remarkable growth of the Christian Church over the last 2000 years – and tonight we discover exactly WHY the Church has grown as it has. The answer is simple – the message which Christians have embraced and which we pass on to others is a veritable goldmine. It’s value in real terms cannot be measured – and when we come to fully embrace the Lord Jesus, then we can scarcely keep quiet about the wonderful priceless Saviour Who died for us.
The first story we read is of a man going about his daily routine – perhaps he has rented a plot of land and he is ploughing it – and all of a sudden – quite by chance, you might think, he comes across a treasure chest. In those far-off days, it was fairly common to store some of your wealth under the ground for fear of theft – so finding ancient buried treasure chests was not unheard of. The man goes off and sells everything he has in order to buy that field. Once the field was His, the treasure was also.
Some people meet Christ quite by chance. The Samaritan woman simply went to draw water – her daily routine – but she encountered Jesus and her life was changed utterly.
Saul of Tarsus was going to persecute the Christians in Damascus, and Jesus met him on the road. Some meet Christ in the most unusual places – without any planning or even desiring! But Jesus makes it plain, that although the meeting might seem to be chance, YET a life-changing event takes place in that moment. Would you give your all to a stranger? I imagine not. But Jesus expects all His children to part with everything to gain His immense heavenly wealth. Are you willing to part with all that is in your heart to make room for the treasures of Jesus ? Would you forfeit your very life if it meant you could gain your soul? Would you be willing to get rid of all that holds you back in THIS world to gain in the NEXT? A man in this world may have happiness and wealth, even position, contentment and health, BUT without Christ he is a penniless pauper. That man, Saul of Tarsus, when he looked back at his Oh-so-perfect life as a religious leader, said (Phil. 3:8,9) I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord for whose sake I have lost all thing I consider them rubbish (Dung) that I may gain Christ and be found in Him.
The Kingdom of God grows because it holds out immeasurable wealth – the very Riches of Christ – the Son the of the Living God.
Vv 45-46 THE PEARL
Unlike the first man. the pearl collector is a seeker. He spends his entire life seeking for the best pearl. In the Scriptures we have various examples of this. e.g. the Ethiopian Eunuch cf Acts 8 :26ff.
Travelling along in his chariot reading the Scriptures – looking for God to open his eyes – and Philip ran alongside his coach – and jumped up into the coach to speak with the man – and his eyes were opened – and his heart – and his life. He had been to Jerusalem searching – he searched the Scriptures – and finally he found Christ. Jesus said “I am the Truth”. The pearl seeker is looking for the most beautiful thing in the world. In the first century the most precious stone was the pearl. And this particular pearl collector sold EVERYTHING he possessed to gain that one pearl. The beauty of the pearl points us to the beauty of God. Christ is the most attractive man ever to have lived.
Jesus wants us to assess just what value we place upon HIM in our lives. IS Jesus the most treasured part of your life?WELL, do you thrill to hear Jesus name proclaimed ? Is your heart lifted high when you sing to your Saviour? Are you transported to His nearer presence when you partake of the Lord’s Supper? Is that time you spend speaking to Him a vital part of your daily life? Is His Word like sweet honey in your mouth, nourishing you for each day’s battles and joys? Is there anyone with whom you would rather share your eternity than Jesus? Is Jesus truly your treasure, your crown? Is He FOR YOU the most priceless pearl in the world – have you given up all for Him? All to Jesus I surrender, I surrender all to Him – well – have you? If you hesitate not knowing whether He is worth it – I can tell you He is – and eternity will prove it to you time after time without ceasing.
Hymn All to Jesus, I surrender
1 All to Jesus I surrender,
all to Him I freely give;
I will ever love and trust Him,
in His presence daily live.
I surrender all,
I surrender all,
all to Thee, my blessed Saviour,
I surrender all.
2 All to Jesus I surrender,
make me, Saviour, wholly Thine;
let me feel the Holy Spirit,
truly knowing Thou art mine.
3 All to Jesus I surrender,
Lord, I give myself to Thee;
fill me with Thy love and power,
let Thy blessing fall on me.