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The Pearl of Great Price

Marc Swearingen



  • February 18, 2009
    12:00 PM
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good morning Sally make that mistake good afternoon friends hope you're enjoying your lunch today and it's a beautiful day and I hope that this day finds the Lord 's blessing upon you and if not hopefully this new now devotion will get you back on the right track amen praise God each and every one of your here this morning and what I like to talk about in a brief devotion is a message that given the title the Pearl of great price the pearl of great price what I like to do just for a moment as I like about my head again just briefly in prayer just to invoke the Lord 's presence once again so but about discreetly again please father in heaven thank you so much for this beautiful day and we pray again as our dear sister just pray that you would bless us abundantly above all that we can ask a thing we pray for your spirit to be here in our midst we ask you to convict us and guide us through the thoughts that we share today in Jesus name amen as an introduction I like to say that I believe that Jesus Christ was the greatest teacher and evangelist that ever lived would you agree with that amen okay I know you're eating but you can send them with a mouthful but I really believe that Jesus was the greatest teacher I mean he could hold large crowds Captain and spellbound by the internal truth is that he fed the multitudes virtually and quite often we understand that Jesus taught through what we know to be parables and parables are obviously symbolic illustrations that were intended to convey profound spiritual truth to those he was preaching to Jesus preached you are an quite often touted eternal realities and symbolic language and those realities were meant to impact people for the gospel quite often you would cite details from familiar surroundings based on the daily occupations of those people so that when they were engaging in their daily routine their surroundings would remind them of Christ's teachings is a very calculated way of teaching that would rivet eternal truth in them law and in the truest friends Jesus would teach the mysteries of salvation and redemption because after all he did come to bring salvation and redemption to a lost world now there are many different parables that the Bible talks about but what I like to get to do this morning or this afternoon rather is to discuss one such parable called the Pearl of great price and I believe that this is one of the most profound parables that Jesus used now for those of you have a word with you let's turn to Matthew chapter thirteen just for a moment Matthew chapter thirteen Matthew chapter thirteen in him a look at versus forty five and forty six Matthew thirteen forty five and forty six Jesus says in Matthew thirteen verse forty five again the kingdom of heaven is likened unto a merchant man seeking goodly pearls who when he had found one pearl of great price went and sold all that he had and bought it to simple versus year bound to discuss with you today what I believe it Jesus was trying to convey through this simple parable to give you my rendition of what I believe this passage is saying here Jesus describes a merchant businessman who deals in the business of goodly pearls one day as he is transacting business he comes across a good bit.ly Pro unlike any Perl years ever seen as he considers this Perl conviction fastens upon his mind and he's moved to action new aspirations and hopes awaken within them to such a point when he is so taken by this parole that he is willing to go and sell everything he has just to secure ownership of this one goodly probity by now what was Jesus trying to illustrate in this parable now there are many parallels in many many applications that we could probably come up with one of which is marriage when we enter into a marriage covenant hopefully the man the woman sell all and devote themselves to each other the one program they found each other that's one possible application but did you know I believe friends as I was pondering this next one morning the Lord revealed to me that also through this parable Christ convey conveyed basically to underlying principles that form the basis for the plan of salvation I believe that when we do evangelism we need to convey the principles of salvation to those that we preach and teach to because salvation is the beginning of eternal life friends and in this parable Jesus outlines to foundational principles that make redemption a reality and what I like to do for the remainder of our time is developing principles and the Powerball you see two concepts you see the merchants right and you see the girl now in the first principle of redemption I believe that Jesus himself is the merchant and falling humanity is the Perl let me explain Jesus in essence as the merchant season awesome sinful humanity a goodly pearl and when he sees in us and in the Pearl obviously that moved him to be willing to sell everything he had said he would come down to this lost world and and give up everything to secure our salvation because an honest he sees a goodly pearl PCs what we can become through him I can imagine when Adam and Eve fell in the beginning and the board meeting when they are bidden fruit and they plunge the world into said Jesus was moved with incredible compassion he did not leave us the parish and our sins and at the right hand of God he was willing to relinquish his position in heaven he was willing to take a post fall nature of man to come down to this and he was willing to live a life of ultimate self-denial in order to purchase back this lost world that Satan had gained control of the new imagine the glories of heaven that Jesus was in before he became detained Mister I mean think about what Christ gave up to come down to this world he was willing to leave the bosom of his I love you was willing to leave the adoration of Angels of the Bible numbers as ten thousand times ten thousand and thousand thousand and he was willing to come down to this cesspool of Earth and sell all the bias back and when we meditate upon that theme has a subduing influence in the heart if we open our hearts and minds to and what's interesting about the whole thing is that Jesus gave Satan home-court advantage because Satan had control of this earth I can remember being in high school at this is my one claim to fame and basketball damage through the story in high school I was able to play basketball in my senior year our high school team was horrible we were born fourteen that year we only won four games out of eighteen but I can remember us going to a visiting seller to another team 's court we were visitors it was a team called Livermore Falls and there were ranks fourth in the state of Maine basketball that year and at the end of the game I found myself filed with nine seconds left in a tie game and I went to the foul line issue file shots to see if I can win against my team and an you can imagine the crowd the incredible pressure from the home crowd as I stuck to the file I took my practice dribbles and squared up to the basket that place you want to with distractions and it was incredible was deafening and as I sent the following and an easy back then file shots in that situation what they call one-on-one than what you had to make the first one to get the second you missed the first one so so here I am at this line and I managed to shoot the ball and make it and it was dead silent in there I just pointed at them try to distract me I will do the rest just as John and I managed to get that hot dog and then they came down to a last-second shot missed in the ice and beat Livermore Falls on them on or will I will I couldn't believe we won that game and you know what was interesting I know that you find it humorous with Julie's later they came down awkwardly bluest eye thirty five points on our home floor and the coach of that team told our codes we been waiting for two weeks for this game but the restoration hold true friends Jesus gave the devil home recording manage and he came down here and face every distraction that is sinful world and throw it and he blew the double opt Satan could not get him even and I want to transgress the law of God Jesus one total victory over the devil giving him home-court advantage what a wonderful Savior we had a crushed the head of the serpent as it were there is victory in this world Philippians two five two eight says that Jesus being in the form of God thought it not robbery to be with God but made himself of no reputation and took upon him the form of a servant and was made in the likeness of men and being found in fashion as a man he humbled himself and became obedient unto death even the death of the cross Jesus sold all for us friends you know why because the season also goodly pearl and he was willing to do everything within his power to bias back because he sees what we can become if we have him in our lives the views you as an individual as a goodly part and only one would ever be saved when this whole experiment was sin is wrapped up Jesus would've gone through the same exact thing just for one's soul is a powerful concept to consider in coming to a planet full of simple human human beings he is actually cried out you are valuable to me I am willing to sell all the perks you is a famous statement in a book that describes this concept at statement goes as follows Christ was treated as we deserve that we might be treated as he deserves he was condemned for our sins in which he had no share that we might be justified by his righteousness in which we have no share he suffered the death that was ours that we might receive the life that is here and in doing so friends he gave up everything as a merchant who sold all the buyback is Perl simple human is an interesting point this is an interesting healthy changing year I think through this sacrifice Jesus shows us how to win back our hearts that is they on rebellion against God you know we have three children of express this to you in our first couple of meetings my life and I was certain I have three children and we are doing everything we can by the grace of God to raise them in a godly Christian home but you know what when they turn eighteen I guess is the worldly standard but eventually one day building will become adults of Jesus Terry's and it have to choose for themselves and have often thought we know what Lord it shook my children she used to leave you how will I respond to them how would I treat them genome friends in selling all for us Jesus showed us how to win back the rebellious heart but about while we were yet sinners Christ died for the ungodly Jesus initiated salvation friends we weren't even looking at him and he was willing to go across and got the most horrific and the history of God 's universe and he did that so that when we conceptualize that our minds our hearts will be brought into submission only my love and love you wake a lot of it believes all things endures all things bears all things and hopes all things a love that never fails Jesus initiated this loan transaction to awaken love within us and that we would respond to him and by the way that whole process brings us to the next application of this parable you see when we understand what Jesus did in selling all now the roles reverse we become the merchants and Jesus becomes the Perl because remember salvation is a covenant relationship between two parts God 's love is unconditional he loves Saint and sinner alike as it were but you know what salvation is not unconditional there are conditions to salvation and that's why in this parable I believe that the roles reversed now and we become the merchant and Jesus becomes the Perl we float along the river of life living out our own agenda Inc. all our own lives and we try to find fulfillment in all these different worldly enterprises sometimes we think education can build a couple blocks sometimes we want reputation influence of power of monetary wealth with your material wealth and all these different worldly things that we try to find fulfillment in that we realized that those are vain enterprises because they can never fill the longing of a heart that desire something better only God can fill that void and we think the world smells good and it looks good it seems good but there is a way that seems right unto a man but the end thereof are the ways of death but you see one day by the grace of God our minds become enlightened in our hearts become convicted that there is this goodly pearl name Jesus right and we see what he went through on the cross of Calvary we seen the ultimate demonstration of an unconditional love that God could ever do Calvary is the greatest demonstration of God 's love interest universes ever seen and when we consider that by the grace of God if we don't resist that new aspirations awakened Madonna within us to a point where we are willing to sell everything to have that goodly pearl of Jesus Christ and there is where the condition to salvation comes into the picture because the member salvation is conditional both sides must sell all the other that's the condition if you want to be saved you must come to the point where you are willing to yield everything to Jesus you must be willing to submit and surrender your life in your heart and your mind and everything that you are to him because when you look at what he gave up he sold raping you you must reciprocate that wanted to be say that I believe is what this parable is trying to articulate to us was that how it resonated in my mind as I was pondering this text and when you look and consider how great a sacrifice it might be to give up off of Christ you go to the cross and you see if there's anything in this world is worth hanging onto that would prevent you from making a surrender is a very serious thing brothers and sisters because only Jesus Christ can fulfill the longing of the human heart and give true heavenly peace and that peace can only come through a total submission to the Lord Jesus Christ we have to be willing to sell all God has the agenda of enlightening us as to the self-sacrificing love of Christ and invites us to respond to that love when we see Jesus selling all for us we were invited to reciprocate by selling all for now this parable illustrates that salvation again is a covenant relationship based upon a condition to work both sides sell all for the other Jesus has initiated the transaction and now we must respond and so I appeal to you this morning are you responding to that initiative you know years ago they came out with Atari error at all videogame called Atari this is not mostly free all because not many of you saying yes but but but when I was growing up a half-dozen times back when at those old joysticks you know and and I was very close to my maternal grandfather that I affectionately call him gay and not grant but I left out the yarn for some reason he called again and I can remember one year my parents bought me this Atari game you can visit my grandfather a couple weekends a month because I was very close to him and I told him you know I got this awesome video game going to bring down and I want to play zombies and Mark do not bring that ridiculous game this house but you know what I was in shock to my program I dig the weekend I went down to my grandmother 's house I brought my videogame and my grandfather was bounced seller down the basement doing a few things and so he didn't see me walking with that game so I took advantage of that window of opportunity and I slid into the living room I looked at this game to the TV and I was well into a game of Pac-Man when Gant comes up into the living room and like liquor this is awesome and he looked at me and Mrs. know this is no exaggeration his eyes began to well up and he looked at me and he said you always have to have your own way and he walked out of anyhow I was shocked by that this is other like to get all bent out of shape about this one was ours water rushes to gain an even called my mother to gripe about it mustn't mockingly again get all worked up about this videogame you know I yet he asked me to bring it down but but what's the harm in it and you know my mother began to tell me that she said Martin became a story about your grandfather he was six months old in the month of December we were here in Maine one date it was a huge blizzard previews known any of you not some a your domain you knows no wimpy blizzards at them and they get serious now at times there were several theaters noticed in her data was coming down like crazy and we lived about three or four miles outside town my mom began to tell me you got really sick one day when this was happening in unionism as we could get the car out of the driveway there was no other option so you know your grandfather did he put his coat his boots on he walked all the way into town bought your medication and walked all the way back just so that you could get well I think you can leave a Pac-Man game if he asks for by the way I'm not endorsing videogames K but you see the illustration and you know when my mother told me that story I was blown away and you know the law but I had Artie had for my grandfather intensive intensifies thousandfold and I went to him and said and I'm sorry and did you know to my knowledge nobody may reveal something different to me but to my knowledge I never disobeyed my grandfather again and until his dying day so they and you know it's it's a crude illustration from a human perspective but what applied that to what were discussing right now as it relates to Jesus what did Jesus do for you and you want to continue in your rebellious course in your life you want to still be in charge of your agenda how can you walk on a cross of Calvary and look at what Jesus came out and not respond to it you know I'm amazed that even in evangelistic meetings when we preach the gospel and we praise Jesus and I met on a cloth selling everything to the point where he gave up all and that people can walk away in different I am amazed at how people at times don't respond that great expression and we want to talk about victory over us see all my and all start by understanding what seen into the heart of God when Jesus was uplifting how can we not be moved to relinquish control of our lives to heal to surrender to submit and relinquish control to God in him by nature we are sinful and we need to be in control by friends when we understand salvation we must submit to a power outside myself we must take the reins and give them over to a power that we can't see with the naked eye but that we must trust like they because our lives are being changed by that selfsame hour in a one morning I was in a ministry at the time one morning I got up around four a.m. and I didn't have kids at the time so I can have my daughter up the upcoming industry would I was doing it amazing that I try to outsmart my children because they get up so early and I think I have my devotions really early to get up before they get up but it seemed like the earlier I get up the earlier they do but but this is a transaction took place before we had children I was up around four or thirty in the morning I was studying some Bible passages and hours reading some mother associate 's books I was contemplating Jesus and his sacrifice and how right now in the heavenly sanctuary Jesus is interceding for us working for our salvation and my heart became incredibly convicted beauty of Jesus sacrifice and you know what was interesting is this this and this was a feeling cannot talk about emotion talking about a deep-seated conviction in the heart I became actually aware that I was a lost sinner in this moment of time I mean I got to the point where my sins of you are so heavy and so burdensome that my soul was being sloshed under the weight of all the sins of my life my whole life before my eyes all the mistakes I've made all decisions I made in all the people I heard including my parents and it is one of all meaning in the class it brings in this moment than in the ministry by the way I and my heart was so very down with my lost condition and I saw my need of Jesus so intensely that I was crying out the and I actually collapsed on the floor and begin to clutch the carpets Saint God I'm lost without you help me and I cried out to go with every ounce of my heart because I was so convicted that my cities had put the innocent victim to death and you know what was interesting about that is I forget how long the whole process took I don't know if it was five seconds or ten minutes what it was but did you know that after wrestling with Jesus in that moment in that quiet intimate moment 's peace came over myself and the thought came into my mind member I talked about how God speaks to our thoughts right I've never heard on on of late I know what I know that the Holy Spirit speaks to our minds to the thoughts and you might say God never speaks to me I never hear God speak to me but you know what you have a conscience that God speaking to you and God I believe puts heavenly thoughts into our minds and in that moment of time this document to my mind had been has heard your prayer you are forgiven and justified before the throne of God and you know what friends this burden lifted off me and I was free in Christ not free to live anywhere I want when I was freed from the burden of my past this and my past and I be willing to say that there are many in here in this room right now that are wrestling in the same situation and I would invite you to understand that Jesus has sold everything for you and if you will let your heart on the line and healed all to him and reciprocate that you will enter into a saving relationship with him your sins will be forgiven and you and Jesus will give you the Spirit of God to make you free from your past because you know what so many people live in the past and you know what I used to live in the past and then I realized that no one has invented time travel yet and we can't go back in time and change the mistakes we made but you know what we do have right now and we do have our choice and so it will exercise our choice by making a decision we can have that piece that her heart is longing for me might not even realize that we needed you know I talked about my testimony last night I wasn't even looking for God when God worked in my life I could care less but God did it anyway you might not even realize that God is working with you but Jesus invites you to surrender your heart because if you want to be sediment forever you can reciprocate that he's arty initiate only takes is a decision to surrender and yield to Christ you must relinquish control so the question this afternoon is this will you make that decision I hope and pray by the grace of God that through this message today that your heart has been moved to make that decision will you make a decision by not raising the hand how many want to send me this morning I want to make this decision even now by surrendering my life to Christ shall mean with your hands raise funds published today let's pray ask the Lord to bless as we close father in heaven this morning this afternoon we thank you for blessing us with your presence Lord help us to take an ingress the great sacrifice and self-denial that you exhibited in the things that you gave up just to give us a chance to be say Lord we pray today that you would bless our commitments that you would accept a reciprocation of surrendering all to you we see you a wonderful pearl of great price you see in us a pearl of great price thank you Lord help us to fulfill our commitment to you I prayed as we leave this place today Lord that you would bless us with your spirit so that we will walk in the light of your presence that will enjoy the blessing of salvation that we have received in this moment that angels of God would mock the commitments that we've made and work with our minds is the Holy Spirit works with us and keeping these commitments and being faithful to the decision that we made Lord bless us now as we believe in please by your grace keep us in your will and by your grace when you come again may we receive the crown of life is our prayer in Jesus name and


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