Baseball is a big deal for many in Grand Junction. Each year the Junior College World Series is held here. And of course MLB is in full swing. Many here are Rockies fans although my music director is a die hard Cardinal.
There are a lot of baseball stories out there. Many of you have probably not heard this one:
Back in 1905, there was baseball game at Salt Lake City, Utah. The Rhyolites were playing the Beattys and the Beattys were up to bat. The pitcher threw the ball, the batter swung - and the ball rocketed toward 1st base.
The 1st baseman was a man named William Giffiths, and as he saw the ball coming his way, he was amazed to see it ricochet off a small stone and land right in his glove. He beat the runner to first easily.
The little stone had given Griffiths a lucky break, but he decided it had no business on the playing field, so he walked over and picked it up. He started to raise his hand to throw it off the field when something caught his eye. He took a careful look at the stone and recognized free gold in it. Then he quietly slipped it into his pocket and went on with the game.
That evening, he returned to the ball park with a lantern and spent an hour scratching around in the soil until he had accumulated a bucketful of rocks. By morning he knew that those rocks assayed at more than $900 a ton.
He called in two friends and with them quietly bought the ball park.
The mine was called the First Base Mine, and the first shaft entered paying ore at a depth of 33 feet. And Infielder Griffiths soon found himself a very wealthy man. (The Saturday Evening Post July/Aug 2000 H. Allen Smith and Ira L. Smith)
Imagine how you would feel if you found a treasure like that. What would you do? Jesus told a treasure story about the kingdom of heaven. He said, "The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field” (Matt. 13:44).
A man found something so valuable that he sold everything he had to possess it. He was so excited about finding the treasure that he was willing to do whatever he had to do in order to have it. The treasure that he found was worth more than everything else that he owned. He was willing to give up all his worldly possessions for this special "treasure."
What’s the point of the story?
The kingdom of heaven is worth infinitely more than anything else in this world.
In Matthew 16:26, Jesus used the image of a pair of scales when he asked the question, "For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?" Pile up everything in this world on one side and put the kingdom of God on the other side and it still comes out lopsided. The salvation of our souls is worth so much more.
Of course I cannot buy the Kingdom of Heaven, and neither can you or anyone else. The Kingdom of Heaven is far more valuable than anything in this world. Nothing we have could purchase it. I can’t earn it with my good works. I can’t buy it with my tithes and offerings. I can’t even give my own life to purchase it. Jesus Christ purchased it for me with His blood on the cross. And He gives it to me by His grace. Ephesians 2:8 says, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God.”
So although I cannot buy salvation, once I have received the gift, I find that it is worth so much that everything else in this world pales in comparison. Jim Elliot, a Christian missionary who was killed in South America in the 1950’s said: “He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep, to gain what he cannot lose”
Want to learn more about being saved? Check out Become a Jesus Follower. Or read Kevin's explaination at Shootin’ Straight Part 1-The Sortin’ Gate
How much do you value the kingdom of heaven?