In Matthew 13:45, Jesus teaches that the Kingdom of God is like a merchant looking for fine pearls.  When he found one of great value, he sold everything he had and bought it.  Everything this merchant owned was worth that one pearl—so he gave it all up so he might have it.

I’ve been thinking a lot about that parable lately.  Am I willing to pay the price—everything—to acquire that priceless pearl—eternal life with God?  Now we know that our salvation cannot be earned—that only our faith in Jesus allows us to receive it.  But even though it is a free gift, there is a price we pay to have it.  We must be willing to forsake all we have—our wealth, our desires and even sometimes our friends.  But too often we live straddling this fine line—one foot in the Kingdom of God and one foot in the world.

Now pardon the football analogy, but hey I’m a guy.  In college football if a receiver keeps only one foot inbounds when he catches a pass, it is a completion.  But once he graduates to the NFL, the rules change.  He must maintain possession of the football with both feet inbounds for a legal catch.

So, are you playing by college or NFL rules?  Are you trying to live a worldly life and add in a little of God’s teachings?  Or have you chosen to walk away from everything this world stands for and live completely in God’s Kingdom and by His rules?

Solomon, the wisest of all men, wrote at the end of Ecclesiastes:  “Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter:  Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.”

Father God, that your Word would become that great, priceless pearl of our lives.  Lord give us the wisdom to turn our backs on everything this world offers to obtain that great pearl and treasure it.  Give us a desire to know and love you and hide your Word in our hearts.  Lead us in the way of the everlasting, no matter what it costs us in this lifetime.