Treasure (Part 2)

Treasure (Part 2)

This morning, we’re continuing where we left off last week.  Jesus shared in Matthew 13 that He spoke to people in parables to essentially hide the secrets about the Kingdom of Heaven in plain sight.  Those who were seeking the kingdom found it through His parables.  Those who weren’t really seeking, or even seeking to oppose Jesus, wouldn’t understand them at all.

Jesus also shared in Matthew 13 the reality that the Kingdom of Heaven is like a house containing storerooms of hidden treasures for us.  It is God’s great joy to reveal these hidden things to us as we eagerly seek after them.  When we receive that revelation, He’ll give us even more in an even greater measure!  We learned about Daniel who received such lofty revelation that it caused him to pass out and be ill for days.

God is always working, but do we see it or perceive what He is up to?

God is always speaking, but are we hearing Him and understanding what He is saying?

If we’re to be honest this morning, we all speak plenty of idle words every day.  Some are meaningless chit-chat.  Some are encouraging and serve to build up.  Some are hurtful and tear down and injure.  There is tremendous power in speaking just the right word at just the right time.  It can transform lives and release Kingdom treasures so that it is here on earth even as it is in Heaven.

We’re currently training up our second teen driver and we’ve seen first-hand times that our lives, and the lives of others, have been saved by a simple word spoken at just the right time.  Words like, “Stop!” or “Car!”  or “Person!” or “Red!” at a stoplight.

These are what we refer to in Kingdom culture as “now” words.  They are intended for right here and right now.  They are for what is called in the Greek language kairos times.  They are specific moments in time that will never happen again.  There is only one defining moment in time and only one chance to get it right.

If that word is spoken too early, it will make no sense.  If that word is shared too late, well, it will be too late.  However, when spoken at just the right time, it is powerful and effective!  God is aware of divine moments and appointments in our lives and we don’t want to miss them!  Remaining sensitive to the lead of the Holy Spirit can help ensure that we don’t miss them.

Jesus mentioned in Matthew 13 that we can also bring out of the storerooms old treasures.  There can be a tremendous amount of wisdom gained from words of the past.  They can serve as a guide to our futures or even become kairos words when brought out at just the right time.  This is why it is important for us to know, study, and memorize God’s word.  It’s a rich treasure that is powerful when hidden in our hearts.

There are also other words that we refer to in the Kingdom culture as “prophetic” words.  They are intended for a future time that has yet to come.  They can be specific insight into God’s plans and purposes for our lives or even warnings about future events and wisdom for how to navigate through them.

The Apostle Paul encouraged us in 1 Corinthians 14 to eagerly desire the gifts of the Spirit and especially the gift of prophecy.  Although we can all move in the prophetic, God has also given us individuals who fill the role or office of prophet according to Ephesians 4 to build us all up in Christ.

Some prophetic words can seem a bit confusing or even like nonsense at the time.  However, it’s wise to record them and refer back to them because at the right time, they become now words where we then understand what God was speaking about at the time.

Much of God’s word is prophetic in nature.  As we learned last week, it’s alive and active; unlike any other book that we could read.  Even historical accounts found in God’s word can read prophetically to us here and now as we see aspects of history repeating itself and can clearly see what God was up to before through them.

Jesus often quoted Old Testament scriptures that pertained to Himself or to those around Him.  The apostles and other writers of the New Testament continued to do the same.  They quoted words written hundreds or even thousands of years ago and said that what they were experiencing right then and there is exactly what Isaiah or Jeremiah or David or others were writing about.  How awesome is that?!?

In the King James Version translation of the Bible, we often find the phrase “These are they”.  It’s so awesome to read the ancient words of people that we haven’t yet met and to realize that they were writing about us.  These are they.  We are them.  I am they. 

It’s not human, worldly wisdom or new discovery that we truly need in our lives.  Rather, the knowledge and wisdom discovered in God’s living word still transforms lives and cities and nations today!  We need the secret things revealed that release God’s Kingdom treasures and resources here on the earth.

The apostle Paul wrote:

1 Corinthians 2

1 And so it was with me, brothers and sisters. When I came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. 2 For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. 3 I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling. 4 My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, 5 so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power.

6 We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. 7 No, we declare God’s wisdom, a mystery that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. 8 None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. 9 However, as it is written:

“What no eye has seen,

    what no ear has heard,

and what no human mind has conceived”—

    the things God has prepared for those who love him—

10 these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit.

The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. 11 For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 12 What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us. 13 This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words. 14 The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit. 15 The person with the Spirit makes judgments about all things, but such a person is not subject to merely human judgments, 16 for,

“Who has known the mind of the Lord

    so as to instruct him?”

But we have the mind of Christ.

It’s fourth down in the red zone and they’re only two yards away from the end zone; no need for a hail Mary!  There’s two seconds left on the clock with no timeouts left and the quarterback calls an audible with only three seconds left on the play clock.  The offensive line was configured for a last-second running drive into the end zone, but as the ball is snapped, it is quickly passed instead and received for a touchdown!  No flags on the play.  They are now four and oh leading the AFC North. Will this be the year that they finally put that seventh ring on their finger?

Most of us here this morning fully understand a conversation like that and have probably even spoke it plenty of times.  However, to someone who doesn’t know American football, it’s just a bunch of confusing nonsense.  It’s not just about the words and phrases that are used to describe the game, either!

Picture it.  Some little guy wearing black pants, black shoes, and a black-and white striped shirt blows a whistle tied around his neck and then runs out onto the field in the middle of two groups of giant guys who keep running into each other and throws a tiny, little yellow flag.  Everybody stops!  Then, he makes a bunch of hand and arm motions.  A whole bunch of people in the crowd boo and complain while another group stand up shouting and cheering and waving around their own flags.  They all immediately know exactly what happened, who did it, and what is going to happen next.

American football has its own culture, its own resources, its own rules and regulations, its own language, its own territories and regions, its own authority, its own banners, and so on.  Everyone just accepts it.

However, when someone lifts their hands in church or jumps and shouts or dances with a banner, they are looked at weird.  When they use words or phrases in church that we don’t understand, we consider them odd.  When we talk about heavenly realms and principalities, we consider it nonsense.  But, why?

It’s not that we are trying to speak nonsense or act crazy.  It’s just the best way to describe or respond to what is happening.  Those who know just know.  God’s kingdom has its own culture and language and rules and authority just like American football does.  It’s a reality.

It’s the same if you hang out around experts in just about any trade.  Auto mechanics speak words that they know and understand, but seem like nonsense to others.  So do carpenters and plumbers and software developers and so on…  They just know what a flange nut or aerator or camber or differential or harmonic compensator or stack trace or object of invocation are and what to do with them.  It’s a bunch of nonsense to anyone else, though.

Paul said, “This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words. The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.”

What do you call it when you ask someone what their name is and they say, “My name is legion for we are many?”  I mean, there aren’t many non-spiritual words that I can think of to describe it.  It’s demon possession.

We use words like manifestation and impartation and discernment and sanctification and baptism and regeneration and anointing and tongues and so on.  Why?  Well, because those are the terms that the Bible, itself, uses which means that it is what God chose to call them.  They are spiritual realities that can really only be described using spiritual words. 

If you hang out at an auto repair shop for a while, you’ll begin to pick up on some new terms, too.  You’ll know how to use a ball-joint splitter and how to press in new ones.  The longer that you hang out there, the better that you will get at discerning what’s happening when a car isn’t working right and how to best fix it.  When the mechanic asks for a tool, you know exactly what he needs and why.

This is why discipleship is so important.  There’s only one way to understand these spiritual realities and spiritual words and it is by learning from someone who knows and understands them.  The Holy Spirit is the chief instructor, but He chose to context of church to teach these things and to experience them within.

That’s why Jesus created the church.  Together, we learn together and grow and mature in our faith together.  The longer that we hang out together with God, the better that we get at discerning and understanding His Kingdom and what He is up to here on the earth.

Jesus said that there are secrets hidden within storehouses of His kingdom that He wants to reveal to us.  He likened them to treasures hidden in a field, like a pearl of great price worth giving up everything to gain.  We pay a whole lot of money for worldly knowledge and wisdom and then we expect to get paid a whole lot of money for using them to serve others.

In the Kingdom, we receive everything for free through simple faith and we are to freely give it away and use it to freely serve the needs of those around us.  Jesus paid it all on our behalf!  Just check out Simon from Samaria in Acts 8 to learn about how God feels about paying for the gifts of the Spirit.

The question this morning for you and I is this.  Will we choose to intentionally seek after the treasures of God’s Kingdom?  Priceless treasures await us; rich rewards for us to share with those around us!