September 7, 2010
The Pearl's Price
"When he discovered a pearl of great value, he sold everything he owned and bought it!" Matthew 13:46 (NLT)
Famous jeweler Pierre Cartier purchased the Fifth Avenue mansion that is now his New York jewelry store for $100 cash. Plus a double strand of matched natural pearls.
Natural pearls, as opposed to cultivated ones, are rare and valuable. That double strand Mr. Cartier paid with in 1917 was valued at $1 million!
A few years ago I decided I wanted a strand of pearls - they're just so classy, and a staple of southern accessorizing. I quickly discovered the retail mark-up at brick-and-mortar jewelry stores can be three times as high as an online retailer. That's money I could save to spend on other things. But then again, I'd have to buy the strand sight-unseen when buying online. Could be risky.
What's a gal to do? Pay full retail with the assurance of getting something of quality, or save some money to spend on another desire and risk receiving something of little worth in return? Maybe even risk getting something counterfeit.
This is really the question of our lives.
What is worth "paying retail" for? Jesus tells us the Kingdom of God is—see what I mean in Matthew chapter 13. Here Jesus compares the Kingdom of God to a pearl of superb quality: "Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a pearl merchant on the lookout for choice pearls. When he discovered a pearl of great value, he sold everything he owned and bought it! (vs. 45-46)." Jesus compared His kingdom to jewelry—this is a God after my own heart.
The pearl merchant that Jesus spoke of searched single-mindedly for quality treasure. He wasn't swayed by just any pretty round gem; he was looking to invest in the best. It was his quest. And when he found it, he didn't hesitate to pay full retail price—to go after it with sacrificing gusto.
I admire him—ready to invest all he had once he found a treasure worthy of such sacrifice. He knew what was most valuable, and he stayed after it. He boldly invested all he had, and was happy with that decision. I want to be a woman like that—a woman decisively investing my life in the Kingdom of God without waver and without regret.
Yet there are so many distractions. Shiny things in the marketplace catch my attention. Esteemed things in our culture tempt me to seek glory. Fun things in my life make me feel good and forget my former focus.
Bible commentator Matthew Henry writes, "All the children of men are busy … one would be rich, another would be honourable, another would be learned; but the most are imposed upon, and take up with counterfeits for pearls.… Jesus Christ is a Pearl of great price … in having him, we have enough to make us happy here and for ever."
Do we truly believe that Jesus is enough to make us happy—not just in eternity but here as well? Are you willing to bank everything on the notion that Jesus Christ is the supreme pearl? That's the underlying question of the parable of the pearl buyer, and the underlying question of our lives.
I never did buy that strand of pearls; instead I'm seeking to live as if Jesus is the choicest pearl anyone could find. I want to settle it in my heart that any sacrifice I make for Him or His Kingdom is worth more than the time, money, or effort it may require of me.
I'm choosing to put on Christ as my million-dollar, double strand pearl necklace, day after day. Yes, friends, I'm sporting some biblical bling.
What about you—are you willing today to sell out to the one true thing worth selling out to?
Dear Lord, You are superb, supreme and of surpassing value! Help me remember that today and act accordingly. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Click here to claim the Already Paid-for Peal of Great Price for yourself.
Want to win a custom Lisa Leonard Designs necklace with your name and a pearl charm? Come to Rachel's blog for a chance to win this fabulous necklace and a copy of her new book It's No Secret: Revealing Divine Truths Every Woman Should Know.
It's No Secret: Revealing Divine Truths Every Woman Should Know by Rachel Olsen
When you purchase resources through Proverbs 31 Ministries, you touch eternity because your purchase supports the many areas of hope-giving ministry we provide at no cost. We wish we could, but we simply can't compete with prices offered by huge online warehouses. Therefore, we are extremely grateful for each and every purchase you make with us. Thank you!
What do you know Jesus has been asking you to do that you haven't done? Make the effort and do it. Pay the Pearl's price.
What are you tempted to sell your life out to more than Christ? And what is it's real worth?
Mark 8:35, "For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it." (NIV)
© 2010 by Rachel Olsen. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road
Matthews, NC 28105
Originally published Tuesday, 07 September 2010.