Through Jeremiah’s letter to the people of Judah now exiled in Babylon, God spoke to let them know how much He still loved and cared for them.
11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13 And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:11-13 NKJV
The reason the people were in Babylon instead of Israel was because for years they had been chasing after everything but the Lord. They had totally ignored Him as they set their hearts on so many other false gods and idols. Exile was God’s last remaining way to get their attention and get them refocused on the truth that brings life, rather than on false promises and lies that only lead to death.
Our hearts are always searching and yearning for something. God wants to be a significant part of that yearning, and to be recognized for what He is, a treasure of infinite value. If we neglect or ignore His arms that are outstretched for us, we are missing the greatest prize of this life.
If we truly seek after God, Jesus promises that we will indeed find Him
7 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. Matthew 7:7 NIV
In Matthew 13, Jesus told His disciples two short parables about the kingdom of heaven. Using the illustration of two people who had each found something of great value, both instantly made the acquisition of their discoveries central to all their other ambitions.
The first was a person who had found a valuable treasure in a field and hid it until they had the money buy the property. The second person was a pearl merchant who had found and recognized a pearl of great price, and instantly yearned to buy it. Both people ended up selling all that they had to be able to purchase and possess these treasures of a lifetime.
I have seen these parables interpreted two different ways, one with the treasures being you and I, purchased by Christ who gave up everything on the cross for our redemption and salvation, even His own life. The other application holds Christ as the great treasures, worthy of us giving up all our other less-worthy ambitions to place Him first in our hearts. Both of these interpretations have merit, and either or both could be Jesus’ intended meaning for the parables.
At the very beginning of Jesus’ ministry, John the Baptist presented Him to his own followers as the true Lamb of God. With this in mind as they listened to Jesus speak, two of John’s disciples then began to follow after Him.
37 The two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus. 38 Then Jesus turned, and seeing them following, said to them, “What do you seek?” John 1:35-38 NKJV
That is a good question for each of us to consider as we pause to review our plans and strategies for the day ahead – what or whom am I seeking after today? God deeply desires to play a central role in our hearts as we pursue our dreams and continue to walk our life’s journey. Jesus is a treasure, a pearl of great price, worthy of our deepest yearnings and attentions. And that is exactly the same way that He regards both you and me. May you search for and find Him today.
What is my true ambition for the rest of my life? What or whom am I currently seeking with all of my heart?
We may all have a different answer to the question, and perhaps we have held different viewpoints at different stages of our life’s journey, but what am I seeking today?
Lord, show me the true intentions of my heart and help me to place You at the center of them. All good blessings that have come my way have been from Your hand. Thank you for the generous grace and unending mercy that You have shed on me. May You be the prize, the treasure, and the pearl that I seek each day. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.