We now continue our message series, “Kingdom Come” where we learn what God’s Kingdom is like and how we bring it here on the earth.
Once, on being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, “The coming of the kingdom of God is not something that can be observed, nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is:
in your midst – NIV
within you – KJV
within you and among you and surrounding you – AMP
The intersection of where the Kingdom of Heaven meets earth is right here at the tip of our toes.
Last week, we learned about how God’s Kingdom is a great treasure worth giving up everything to seek after. Wednesday evening, we learned about the treasures that we store up for ourselves in Heaven by our works. This morning, we’re going to learn about the treasures from Heaven that we get to seek after and receive here on the earth.
In contrast to the treasure that we revealed on Wednesday that are rewards for work that we do, many of the treasures that God gives us here on the earth from Heaven are free gifts as a result of God’s abundant grace. They cannot be earned nor bought in any way, they are freely given by Him as He wills and we seek after them. Although this is far, far from an all-inclusive guide, it gives us a taste for the treasures given by God.
We’ll begin with the earthly treasure that comes from Heaven as a three-fold gift that proves itself priceless in value through it’s actions. this three-fold gift is knowledge, wisdom, and understanding. This treasure is lifted up many times all throughout the scriptures. Knowledge to know things, wisdom to know how to practically apply that knowledge, and understanding to be able to relate well with others and communicate knowledge and wisdom; these are incredibly valuable treasures!
We mentioned last week of this encounter between God and Solomon and the end result of this treasure:
2 Chronicles 1:7-12
7 That night God appeared to Solomon and said to him, “Ask for whatever you want me to give you.”
8 Solomon answered God, “You have shown great kindness to David my father and have made me king in his place. 9 Now, Lord God, let your promise to my father David be confirmed, for you have made me king over a people who are as numerous as the dust of the earth. 10 Give me wisdom and knowledge, that I may lead this people, for who is able to govern this great people of yours?”
11 God said to Solomon, “Since this is your heart’s desire and you have not asked for wealth, possessions or honor, nor for the death of your enemies, and since you have not asked for a long life but for wisdom and knowledge to govern my people over whom I have made you king, 12 therefore wisdom and knowledge will be given you. And I will also give you wealth, possessions and honor, such as no king who was before you ever had and none after you will have.”
The books of Proverbs and Ecclesiastes written by Solomon reiterate over and over again how priceless this trio of treasure is. Solomon taught about them saying this:
4 “Take hold of my words with all your heart;
keep my commands, and you will live.
5 Get wisdom, get understanding;
do not forget my words or turn away from them.
6 Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you;
love her, and she will watch over you.
7 The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom.
Though it cost all you have, get understanding.
These earthly treasures from Heaven enable us to live our lives to their full and to be the best stewards that we can be with anything else that the Lord entrusts to us.
These treasures are reiterated in the New Testament as well as being critically necessary for all to receive. Paul wrote to the Colossian church:
9 For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives 10 so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, 11 being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, 12 and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified youto share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light.
1 I want you to know how hard I am contending for you and for those at Laodicea, and for all who have not met me personally. 2 My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, 3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. 4 I tell you this so that no one may deceive you by fine-sounding arguments.
and the doxology written by Paul in the book of Romans:
33 Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God!
How unsearchable his judgments,
and his paths beyond tracing out!
34 “Who has known the mind of the Lord?
Or who has been his counselor?”
35 “Who has ever given to God,
that God should repay them?”
36 For from him and through him and for him are all things.
To him be the glory forever! Amen.
The way to gain these gifts are through our fear of the Lord. This seems so simple, and it is. Though simple, it is something that is greatly lacking in our world today, and unfortunately, within the church as well.
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge,
but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
5 The Lord is exalted, for he dwells on high;
he will fill Zion with his justice and righteousness.
6 He will be the sure foundation for your times,
a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge;
the fear of the Lord is the key to this treasure.
If we do not fear God, if we have to reverence for Him, if we do not acknowledge the fact that we will be held accountable to Him for the choices that we make, then we can never receive wisdom, knowledge, or understanding. We will live the days of our lives here on the earth as fools and our folly will be our downfall both here on the earth as well as on the day of judgment. We will live more afraid to let down or offend others than afraid to let down or offend God, who is the only Judge. There will be no rewards awaiting us except the fool’s reward, an eternity of torment in Hell cast out of the presence of God. The days of our lives will be filled with struggle, anguish, and grief. Although we may lay blame to everyone else and find excuses left and right, it is our foolishness alone that is at fault.
If we do not fear the Lord and gain wisdom, knowledge, and understanding, then we should seek after no other treasure from Him. For if we receive them, they will only multiply our folly and give us further reason not to fall on our faces before God, seek His forgiveness, and change our ways. They will become snares to us instead of the blessings that they are intended to be! If we fear the Lord, however, there is still treasure galore to be sought after!
One of these treasures is that of revelation. There is no denying that there are secrets and mysteries in God’s Kingdom hidden for us. After all, it was for this very reason that Jesus spoke in parables. It wasn’t so that common folk could easier understand what Jesus was teaching, it was so that the secrets of God’s Kingdom could be simultaneously revealed to those seeking after it and yet hidden from those not.
10 The disciples came to him and asked, “Why do you speak to the people in parables?”
11 He replied, “Because the knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them. 12 Whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them.
These secrets and mysteries of God’s Kingdom aren’t intended to be leveraged by mysticism and secret societies, however. They will also never contradict God’s written word nor His character. The hidden things and mysteries of God’s Kingdom which are revealed to us are to be shouted from the rooftops and make known to all people. God’s revelation is not intended for a select few to cause division and favoritism, they are for everyone! In fact, Jesus said:
What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs.
The revelation of God is an incredible treasure! Knowing God’s will in a situation or receiving just a single word of knowledge, word of wisdom, or prophetic word can radically transform the course of our lives. God’s revelation is an earthly treasure because once we receive our resurrected, glorified bodies in Heaven, there will no longer be a need for revelation as all things will be made known to us. Just as Paul wrote:
1 Corinthians 13:12b
Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
Another earthly treasure chest from Heaven is that of the gifts of the Spirit. These are earthly gifts because once we’ve entered into the new order of things, none of these gifts will be necessary. After all, there is no lack of knowledge in Heaven for anything to be revealed, preached, or taught that is not known, there is no sickness that needs healed, there is no death to be raised back from, there is no need to be served or generously given to, God administers and oversees everything, there is no need for tongues nor interpretation, no error that would need exhorted.
Here on the earth, however, there is still a great need for all the gifts of the Spirit to be received and put in use! For time’s sake, I won’t focus on these today. However, you can check out our sermon series, “The Gifted” to learn more about these gifts, as well as how to practically receive and use them all.
Another chest of treasures are the fruits of the Spirit:
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.
These treasures are highly sought after and we try to gain them with so many shortcuts. However, the truth is, for us to receive genuine and not counterfeit fruits of the Spirit, we must walk in the Spirit and not in our flesh. These fruits are grown over time and through opposition, but are valuable enough to make the end worth the means.
Children are a treasure from Heaven:
3 Children are a heritage from the Lord,
offspring a reward from him.
4 Like arrows in the hands of a warrior
are children born in one’s youth.
5 Blessed is the man
whose quiver is full of them.
They will not be put to shame
when they contend with their opponents in court.
In fact, this leads to the treasure that we’ll end with today. There are treasures hidden all around us just waiting to be unearthed. These treasures are buried within the people around us. As members of God’s Kingdom, we need to think as King Jesus thinks and see as He sees. God loves the underdog, the overlooked, the lowly. He crowns them with glory and exalts them before everyone. He takes the diamonds in the rough, polishes them up, and lets them shine His glory for all to see. Take just these few examples to heart.
First of all, the prophet Samuel going out to anoint the second king of Israel:
1 Samuel 16:6-7
6 When they arrived, Samuel saw Eliab and thought, “Surely the Lord’s anointed stands here before the Lord.”
7 But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
Then, later in David’s life when he was forced to be on the run from the first king of Israel, Saul. He had nothing with him but the sword used to kill Goliath and needed a few good men at his side for protection. Who became his mighty men listed in 2 Samuel 23? A group of thirty men from here:
1 Samuel 22:1-2
1 David left Gath and escaped to the cave of Adullam. When his brothers and his father’s household heard about it, they went down to him there. 2 All those who were in distress or in debt or discontented gathered around him, and he became their commander. About four hundred men were with him.
David’s mighty men were tremendous warriors who broke through Philistine walls in the heat of battle just to bring back David a drink of water from Bethlehem. Another killed 800 men single handedly in one encounter. Another who fought all day against the Philistines while the rest of the warriors retreated so hard that his hand was froze to his sword. They did incredible feats for the Lord and they were troubled young, discontent men who were in debt. They were the hillbilly trash of David’s day, but David brought something out of them that no one else saw. When David became king of Israel and could have anyone by his side in battle, he chose these men who the Israelites despised.
Think of the birth of Jesus. God chose a young virgin and her boyfriend to impregnate with the greatest treasure ever given to this earth, Jesus. God knew that this would cause her great shame and that she, by God’s own law, should have been stoned to death for being pregnant.
Think of Jesus, Himself. Who did He choose to be by His side in ministry and to entrust His ministry to when He resurrected from the grave? Fishermen, a tax collector, a political zealot, and a few that came from obscure backgrounds. Jesus chose a thief as the treasurer for His ministry who He knew would betray Him to death. None of this mattered, however. Jesus saw something in these twelve men that no one else saw. Jesus didn’t select men that we would have expected Him to, He broke the mold.
Following His resurrection, when Jesus wanted to reach the gentiles with the gospel, who did He choose? He chose a man set out and authorized to destroy the church and silence the name of Jesus. He chose a Jew of all Jews disgusted and repulsed by gentiles who we know as the apostle Paul.
There is a trend all throughout the pages of scriptures where God calls the unlikely, the unqualified, and the despised and does the extraordinary and miraculous through them. We are then commissioned on the greatest treasure hunt of all time. We are commissioned to go into all of the world and to make disciples of all people. We are called to reach out to the “least of these” with the good news of the gospel message. We are sent out to heal the sick, raise the dead, drive out demons, and preach the gospel to all creation. We are sent out to find the treasure within each person and then to polish away all of the dirt and grime until that God-created treasure of a person is who remains. That’s what our King does and it is what we’ve been sent out into the world to do as well.
The adventure begins today. Today, if we are willing, God will begin to prophetically show us the potential that each person possesses. Then, the hunt begins to find that treasure within that person and begin, through relationship, to lovingly peal back the hurt, pain, and past until only that treasure remains. We were created in the image of God, what special part of God’s image does that person possess? Let the treasure hunt begin!