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The Price Is Right

Leading the Way / Michael Youssef
The Truth Network Radio
July 25, 2019 1:00 am

The Price Is Right

Leading the Way / Michael Youssef

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Of the 20,000 inhabitants of Pompeii there are some 2000 people lost their lives at this famous volcano among the 2000 people who died there was a woman who obviously loved her jewelry more than anything else in the world, the material better as the deadly rain of fire came down. She decided that she is going to escape by going into the sea escape the city by boat, which is very wise plan for this rich and beautiful woman stayed behind just a little too long, long enough to collect her much loved collection of jewelry and she wanted to take as much as she could carry snatching her rings and in the high strike to thrust them in her fingers and there was not time to hunt for a box or for a bag in which she could cram as many of these precious stones as possible. So finally she picked up as many as she could in her own hands and clasped on them and and she rushed into the streets, clutching the pearls and the diamonds and in the rubies and sapphires in the Golden in the ear rings that value of the jury, but in today's dollars be worth hundreds and hundreds of thousands of dollars, but she delayed too long in the poisonous fumes overcame her as she ran out with all the trinkets in her hands. She stumbled and fell and died, clutching the things that you prided so much under the ashes of Pompeii. I don't know that recently there has been an archaeological excavation and they found her. She still lovely in her hands was still were laden by her jewelry in Mark chapter 8, the Lord Jesus Christ asks a question and only give you only one who could ask such a question is it what you will profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his own soul.

Only Jesus could ask such a question.

Why because he alone knows the value of the whole earth. He alone knows what every dime in mind is located. He alone knows where is the last nugget of gold is to be found. He alone knows where all the parties of silver that were created back in Genesis.

He alone knows the value of all the Ruby under some fire in the whole world. He alone knows where the last drop of oil is to be found.

He alone knows where the lives lost treasure is to be found and that is why he alone could stack up all the earth's treasures. All of the earth's precious stones on one side of the scale and then he places the soul of man on one end of the scale and then he says the person who trades his soul and the salvation of his soul for all the wealth of the world is a prince of fools. What you will profit a man asked the Lord Jesus because he alone could ask such a question. Preachers and prophets and evangelists can only repeat the question, they cannot them and not qualify to ask the question because Christ alone knows the value of the soul. He alone knows that it is the value of your soul that drove him to weep in Gethsemane. He knows that there's the value of your soul that made the Prince of glory leave heaven and be beaten, and spat upon, and slapped on his face. He alone knows that the value of your soul. Allow them to be crucified on accrued Roman cross spikes in the hands and feet.

The value of your soul compelled God the son to go to Calvary and die in your place in mind. That is why the two parables of today in Matthew 1344 and 45 have to do with that all most important question in life. It has to do with choosing to be the very center of the will of God turn with me please in your Bibles to Matthew 1344 and 45, 46, here's what Jesus said the kingdom of heaven is like a hidden treasure in the field, which a man found and that he had an out of joy he goes out and sells all that he has and comes back and buys the field again. He said the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking fine pearls and upon finding the one pearl of great value, he went and sold all he had and purchase this one and only pearl look at the first parable Jesus what he was telling his disciples.

It was a very common occurrence. There were understanding exactly what is talking about today we might have difficulty understanding this under comprehending somebody hiding a box in the treasure somewhere in the ground back then they didn't have banks back then didn't have bank vaults wouldn't have a box in the bank safety deposit box.

So what did they do, they had the treasures they had their valuables in a box somewhere in the backyard. As a matter fact in the Middle East. They still do that. There's a character in the Middle East was akin to Charlie Brown and the cartoon here is equivalent to Charlie Brown and the Middle Eastern story goes on some Eastern experts tell the story of how this man was named winter one day and he hid his treasure box in the middle of the field and then he left it and come back a few days later and start the search for the confined and he looked for the new look for the new report we can find finally notified the authorities, the authorities came helping to find the treasure box of tea buried in the Looking upon those that serve have you made a mark of any kind is it yes there was a cloud right above when I had my box. Well today still in some parts of the Middle East. They practice hiding the treasure boxes in the ground and when they need money from food or for necessities of life. They wait until it's nighttime when nobody is watching. And they go out there quietly without drawing any attention and they did for the box to get it out. Take a piece of jewelry and then they go.

Back in the next day to the marketplace. Silver piece of jewelry get some money by the food.

Everything is done quietly, but what often happens in the East.

Also, is that so many people have buried their boxes and then they failed to tell the next of kin in the boxes just stayed there in the fields.

Don't try looking for. The Turks got them all. Consequently, the ancient Palestine was really littered with boxes of treasures and as many of you know, Palestine had been a battleground for hundreds of years of invading armies coming from all over the place and because people afraid that the enemies come in looking for the treasures so they bring with them. They buried them in the ground. What Jesus was talking about is something they understood they comprehended immediately. What is talking about.

It is a common occurrence. Many people, of course, you hit those things in got away and then died. Those things are forgotten and the rabbis had a very simple approach to this that a very simple rule and ethical rule about about buying a land finding a box and it full of treasures. Very simple to words. Finders keepers. So what is the point of this parable. It's very clear and it is this that there are some people who stumble over the grace of God and they take hold of it with all of the Mike and all their power.

They take this priceless treasure and make it to be there all, there are some people who might not be searching and looking like the second parable.

The man was looking for the truth but they people going about their business and then they come there confronted with the love of God are confronted with the forgiveness of God on the cross of Jesus Christ and then they came in, take hold of it with all my ready to give up everything in order to keep their priorities straight there. Some people like the apostle Paul going about doing what they're paid to do the apostle Paul was paid to go to Damascus and find the Christians and destroy them right there. As he was going about his business. He confronts the Lord Jesus Christ and then all of a sudden he sees the truth and this was read from the Philippians, everything becomes nothing in the light of finding that great treasure these people commit the life and consecrate their possessions in order that they may be at the very center of the will of God. What about you as this speak for you. This is describe you in the second parable very similar to the first one but there's one difference. The merchant is not like the farmer was not going about his business as usual he was searching he was looking he was looking for the kingdom. He was searching for the truth. He was not contented with second right answers. He was not satisfied with second best in life.

He was not fulfilled with humanistic and partial truth. He was diligently seeking he was looking for the truth when he comes upon the one and only most valuable pearls of all he embraces it with all his heart. Everything else doesn't mean anything and everything else can go but this one thing he will not let go when he or she discover the truth. They give up all of their search they give up all of the Eastern mysticism they give up all the good works they give up all of the partial truth. They give up worshiping material possessions they give up seeking out the pleasures. Why because they found the one and only worthwhile thing in life to have name of Jesus Christ. He is the pearl of great price. You know, pearls most highly prized bags and far more than than it is now today, diving for pearl bugs and was hesitant as many people lost their lives of many people ruling their health, trying to dive for the oyster to bring out that one poster that contains the true rare and beautiful pearls. It was a risky business in both the beauty and the scarcity made the pearl to be very valuable indeed. In fact, the Jewish Telemundo talks and speaks about this pearl that is beyond price. The ancient Egyptians and the Romans worshiped pearls.

It was reported that the wife of Roman Emperor Caligula often wore her vast fortune of pearls in her head and ears in her neck and in her wrists and her fingers Cleopatra. Some of you have started school had two very very precious pearls, each of them would be equivalent to millions of dollars today when she was trying to impress Mark Anthony with her wealth. She took one of those pearls and drop it in vinegar and drank it right in front of them didn't do a bit of good. He was impressed and the pearl was the only Jim listen carefully please. This is very important. The pearl is the only Jim Dennis reviews from a living organism. It's only one not diamond nothing else, it is only Jim and the pearl becomes so precious because of the suffering an injury that has occurred inside the oyster a grain of sand advocates within that shell of oyster and through the grinding and through the payments through the agony, it becomes preciously beautiful and it was on Calvary's criminal cross, that the only perfect man that have ever lived bled and died so that he and he alone become the most precious pearl of all. So what is the point of these two stories. The point is this, that the salvation of your soul is the most important and precious thing in life that the salvation of souls in the gospel of Jesus Christ is the only way for salvation is the most important issue in life. Nothing else come anywhere near it for importance.

All the important things in which you bury your life and work hard for sweat blood not have is important is the salvation of your soul. Second Corinthians 47 tells us that we have this treasure in earthenware. The apostle Paul said in Ephesians 38 that it is an unsearchable riches of Jesus Christ is not for me treasure. The Bible tells us that he is the precious stone that he is the stone that is cut out of the mountain that he is the stone that is Not without plan that he is the stone of Israel. But here's the stone of stumbling that he is the stone that the builders have rejected that he is the cornerstone.

Jesus Christ is no ordinary pearl, and other so many people in so many Christian organization that going around promoting the gospel just take Jesus along please just add him to a list of priority, just make yourself to be a Christian you listen you listen you. The other thing just being a Christian. On top of that, just add him. That is not what the Bible said that as the Scripture said that Jesus is it you don't add him to anything if you have to lose everything whose for his sake. He said if you have to be maimed and enter into the kingdom of God be maimed, for he is the one. This is the most important issue in life you don't just add Jesus to a list of social engagement. You don't just add Jesus to the list of who you are know he is the pearl of great price, because in him and him alone. You're able to find rest from guilt of sin, which you could never find the material possession, because in him and him alone.

You are able to have the peace of mind and the inner contentment which you can never find things in him and in him alone. You can find security not financial security of the people talk about, but he is eternal security that really count and it comes with eternal life guaranteed without him. A person may have had all the precious stones in the world. The spiritually eating husk enclosed in rantings, and until they find the real treasure. The pearl of great price.

There are the poorest of the poor.

I thank God for the men and women I know in this place who have placed Jesus above everything else and when I think of them. I think of a man of yesteryear by the name of John Wanamaker. He was a very successful businessman at the end of the 19th century in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He had many department stores and on top of this, the president asked him to serve as a postmaster general, and yet he often said he should my number one priority in life is being the Sunday school superintendent of what was then the largest on the school in the world Bethany Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia and people often asked to people often puzzled and this is Mr. Wanamaker how you spend so much time in ministry. How can you do that with all the department stores that you oversee all the responsibility that is added to you.

How can you.

Here's his response and ability to to you. He said early in my life. I read the words of the precious Lord when he said, seek you first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things shall be added to you. He said Sunday school is my business and all the rest is just things. Things things is this your attitude is this what you're one of microphone. The real treasure he found the pearl of great price. He made it to be his overall construing purpose of life. He made the kingdom to become his passion committed the kingdom to become his occupation, the kingdom was of great value than anything else in the world that he may have had the kingdom was his highest priority and higher than all that is going on in his life.

Does this describe you as I was reflecting upon this parable and I thought you know earthly wealth and precious stones and jewelry needed to be protected and guarded because it could be stolen money could be lost. But you know this is the one treasure you could never lose. This is the one great pearl of great price that you could never lose because it is guaranteed by the blood of Jesus Christ himself, those who have discovered the treasure in the great pearl of great price. They dwell high above the enemies reach.

They eat the hidden manna and they feed upon the bread of life. There are closed with the rich role of Christ's righteousness. They live in the promises of God, and they walk in the richness of faith a minimum. You know, today the so much talk about self-esteem and self-worth is so much talk about values in the finger driving out of my mind more than anything else. Is this the power of the human spirit leases and even know what that is out of the human spirit. And yet this is so much hunger. All it means to me saying I not tell you I don't I'm not doing this, and Margaret, I'm doing good with heartbroken because all it's doing is telling the people are hungry and thirsty for significant in all of these things that they were doing. After they could never achieve. They can never obtain their mirages because only when you find the treasure. Only when you find the pearl of great price. Only then will you able to walk and give you all in the world because your daddy does know that talk about self-esteem and self-worth and all of the rest of it than finding significance and the just like an inflated balloon looks all right from the outside until it's brushed is nothing but air please him the right in my own heart of heart. I know this is what we endeavor to teach our children that my self-esteem does not come from my achievements. It comes from the treasure in the pearl of great price myself every does not come from, who my father was, but who my heavenly daddy's my assurance of heaven does not come from my efforts in my meager heartbroken and good work know, but the come from the treasure himself.

The pearl of great price. Do you know him. Have you discovered the treasure from the pearl of great price, you might be a churchman you be a person who is searching and seeking and today the spirit of God speaking to you and saying I am the one that can satisfy your deepest hunger. In fact, that is why you see the apostle Paul, a man who achieved humanly speaking as much as anybody in his day, and he could say that all of my achievements. All of Mark worldly accomplishment. I consider them to be rubbish in comparison to the great treasure in the pearl of great price when you have the pearl of great price. The world is going to see the difference in your life and again ask while you different. Only when you get tempted to live the same way everybody else lives you value things the way they do you think the way they do and that's a temptation from the enemy for the people of God in these last days to just look like everybody else live like everybody else do what everybody else does. Many years ago I stories told about a group of men who were panning for gold in Montana. One of them found an unusual stone so he broke written as it opened up to.

He was ecstatic when he found gold right inside that stone told the Reston and the men working diligently.

They soon discovered lots of that precious metal. Happily, they began shouting with delight, we found that we found that we found gold. Now we rich but then they had to interrupt their celebration and going to a nearby town to stock up on supplies before they left the camp.

They made a pact not to tell a soul about the funding. Sometimes I feel that many Christians are doing that they have found the great treasure of the pearl of great price somehow just one list keep it a secret escaped ourselves and these men vowed to each other they will never breathe a word to anybody in the town so they went to the nearby town bought the supplies and to their amazement as they were leaving to go back to the mines. Hundreds of men were following.

So they stopped and asked her who squealed and came the reply.

No one had to your faces showed your faces showed what is your facial the joy of the Lord Saddam's our as if you been baptized in lemon juice and washed in vinegar. The exhibit the marks of the Lord Jesus Christ. Are you constantly complaining about this and that and the other thing because when you have discovered that hidden treasure.

When you find the pearl of great price. No one will be able to get you to hide your joy. No one will be able to take it away from you, no one can take away from you your new found identity in Christ, simply because the hidden treasure enriches your soul because that spiritual treasure is incorruptible because the pearl of great price comes with a terminal guarantee. In all candor, my precious friends I want to tell you that you and I get into trouble when we forget about the treasure and then begin to live our lives like spiritual poppers want to make a comment here about the interpretation of this parable. I think it's appropriate and proper. There are some commentators who interpret this parable to mean that the believer is a treasure in the pearl of great price and upon the Lord Jesus Christ left the glories of heaven he came to seek that precious treasure that seek the lost Jesus as the one they say who gave up all the glories of heaven in order that he might find the precious jewels his body. The believers make no mistake about it, we are precious in God's sight that is biblical and that the scriptural you can take it either way it doesn't make any difference to me because in the Christian faith.

You win either way heads you win tails you with his precious you are precious.

But I'll tell you my personal preference, and I believe it's consistent with all the passages of Matthew is that I would rather focus in his preciousness as I was putting these words together. I thought of something I've heard years ago about Francis having Gail, who wrote the famous hymn take my life and let it be consecrated, Lord, for the cheer up at him. In 1874, but the second stanza was not written until four years later in 1878 the second stanza goes like this take my silver and my gold, not a mind when I withhold that is a story behind this second stanza. After Francis wrote that him she had a magnificent collection of exquisite jewelry. Most of it was inherited in one day as she's been praying every time she prayed after she wrote that him, the Lord brought under conviction with her own words that you wrote is a conviction that the Lord has brought to her heart. He said you know that box of exquisite collection of jewelry that can be translated into saving of lost souls throughout the world. It took a four years but finally when she came into the point of obedience in her life.

She took hold of the box. She kept two or three pieces of sentimental values value to her and wrote a check for the amount of these two, three pieces that she Represented in digital took the check in the box to CMS or transmission of a society Anglican Mission that is single-handedly responsible for taking the gospel to Africa.

Many other parts of the world and she handed them the box, and then truly she could come home and see. Take my silver and my goal, not a marked what I withhold. She told her friends.

Later she said I don't need to tell you that I have never packed a box with such pleasure. She could truly right and see the words of God inspired her to write his surprise, the Lord Jesus Christ himself where your treasure is, as we can find your heart. Is it really a surprise. What earthly value you place upon the precious treasure, the pearl of great price Jesus.

Jesus said that when you find the pearl of great price. Men gave up everything. Nothing become important anymore. Nothing become significant anymore.

What does the treasure mean to you what is the pearl of great price mean to you. Thanks for listening to this message from Dr. Michael. You sat recently featured on leading the way.

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