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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...

The Pearl

By David Evans
July 21, 2013

Is there not still a “pearl of great price” for which we should give our all?

The year was 1732. Two young men, Moravians, had heard of an English atheist who owned a sugar cane plantation in the West Indies and “employed” 3,000 slaves to produce his fortunes. He had bragged: “There will be no Christianity on my island.”

The only available entry into that mission field was to go as a slave. These two young men sold themselves to the slave traders! As they waved farewell to their relatives from the ship, one of their kinsmen called to them asking, “Why, why are you doing this?” The response was, “That the Lamb would receive the reward of His suffering.”

Consider the example of those missionary-slaves compared to our present generation. Is not Christ’s cause just as great? Is there not still a “pearl of great price” for which we should give our all (even our lives) to obtain?

Jesus spoke of the kingdom of heaven as such a pearl in Matthew 13:45,46. He drove home the point that nothing in this world can match the value of gaining eternity. And yet I wonder if commitment, loyalty, sacrifice, sleeplessness, spiritual wrestling in prayer and intercession, and giving up the world’s culture (as Paul states in 2 Corinthians 6:14-16) are foreign and obsolete to us.

Throughout sacred history we read of people who sacrificed all to find the Pearl.

In Scripture, we read of Simeon who faithfully prayed, was filled with the Holy Spirit, and was “waiting for the consolation of Israel” (Luke 2:25-35, KJV). Anna “served God with fastings and prayers night and day” (Luke 2:37) for 84 years because of the Pearl (Luke 2:36-38). Peter, Andrew, James, John, Matthew — all walked away from prosperous businesses to follow the Pearl.

Examples surround us today. My friend in Kansas walked away from a successful trucking business to say yes to the Pearl. I know of so many others who have paid a great price, in earthly terms, to be true to the gospel and to share that truth. They did so because they recognized the immeasurable worth of what they received from God.

Someone has said: “The measure of success is not the kind of car you drive, not the clothes you wear, not the professional title you carry nor the house you live in. Rather, it’s how well you serve.”

In reality, the choice those young men made to become slaves is not unlike the choice Jesus asks each of us to make. Jesus has called us to serve. Not part-time, compartmentalized, weekend, Sunday service. No, His calling is an invitation to a lifestyle; we are to live as bond-slaves to Christ, with His greatest commandment to be always before us: To love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength (see Mark 12:30).

Jesus is, even now, the ultimate Servant. He served throughout His life, His atoning death, and His victorious resurrection. He continues to serve mankind through physical healings, miracles, deliverances, compassion outreaches — creating new lives and new beginnings.

Jesus isn’t interested in hierarchy or leadership flow charts. He doesn’t grade people as important or unimportant. His kingdom does not function like worldly kingdoms. Jesus’ kingdom is upside down: He lifts up the powerless, the helpless, the widow and the child. The outcasts are His heroes (1 Corinthians 1:27,28). Instead of prioritizing anything in this world, we must remember Jesus is our Pearl of great price!

The story is told of an old missionary who felt he had given up all this world has to offer in terms of success to obey the call to carry the gospel to the lost. He followed after the Pearl in service to the people of a foreign land. After many years, he returned home with little recognition and no “homecoming” reception. He was burdened with self-pity when the Holy Spirit spoke to his heart. You’re not home yet! he sensed the Spirit saying.

May each of us allow the world’s ways to grow dim in the light of our lifelong pursuit of the Pearl. May we follow His call to the treasures of eternity. May we accept today’s hardships in anticipation of a life forever in His kingdom!

DAVID EVANS, an ordained Assemblies of God minister, served as director of transportation/fleet manager at Convoy of Hope for 14 years. He is now retired and attends James River Assembly of God in Ozark, Mo.


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