After a month long hiatus due to the June school holidays, our Moms Bible Study Fellowship (MBSF) finally resumes today! During the break, Hazel and her family went to Australia, Cheryl and her family went to Hong Kong, Aunty Judy was in Australia with her children as well. We were definitely very thankful to be reunited once again, to read and study His Word, enjoy the fellowship, and to develop a greater unity among the mothers and our children.
Lunch started at 12:30 pm as usual. Every first Thursday of the month, we will have lunch together with the Senior Adults Fellowship group, and lunch is also catered along with theirs. Hence, the dining area in the fellowship hall is usually crowded on this day.
Today we met Tess and her daughter, Mayette. We usually see them in the church crèche on Sunday mornings, so it was really good to see them in MBSF today! Tess was so kind to offer taking care of Baby E for me so that I could finish my lunch in peace, while sweet Mayette was also entertaining Isaac as well as Baby E.
During lunch, Cheryl asked me if it was possible for me to let Baby E be in the kids room today, to be with her two children taken care by her helper as well as Mayette. Initially, I wasn’t sure if it was possible, since MBSF generally takes more than an hour. That means Baby E and I will be separated for that long! Hah! My worries were uncalled for, after an hour, I went to check on the kids room, peeping through the door window, I saw that Baby E was comfortable and contented in the room, and she had this bunny ears hair band on her – cute to the max!! A bunny baby!!
Thus, I went back to Judah Room to continue our discussion. While the session is drawing to a close (about 10 min later) with the sharing of prayer requests, we heard baby cries… This time, I saw puppy Baby Asher crying along with bunny Baby E, and Cheryl’s helper was trying to calm them down…
The minute these two cuties saw us when Cheryl and I opened the door, the crying became louder as they desperately wanted us to carry them… or perhaps feed them…!?! 🙂
We relieved Cheryl’s helper and Mayette from babysitting for us, and brought the puppy and bunny to our study room, so that we can finish off our sharing. We both fed our babies and calmed them down, as the session came to a close. After the session, the babies were as happy as they can be, and started playing again!
Love this photo of bunny Baby E! She looked so innocent, joyful and oh-so-lovely!
The Parables of the Hidden Treasure and Pearl of Great Price
Both parables dictate the inestimable value of the kingdom of Heaven. While it is not possible for anyone to buy the kingdom or barter for the kingdom or negotiate for the kingdom, be assured that the kingdom of God is received without having to pay, like a poor child, and not a rich business man. “Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:3). “Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it” (Mark 10:15). “You received without paying; give without pay” (Matthew 10:8). The people who receive the kingdom treasure it more than everything else. It is one that cannot be bought. It is yours for free if you want it more than you want anything else! “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33) The man in the parable understood that the kingdom of God is far more valuable and worthy than worldly possessions and attributes. Wealth, power, intelligence and/or eminence shall be yours if you prize the kingdom more than you prize anything else. The point of selling everything in this parable simply shows where your heart is. “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:21). And if your heart is to have the kingdom above all things, then Luke 12:32 comes true for you: “It is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” To give you the kingdom!
The treasure and the pearl represent Jesus Christ and the salvation He offers. While we cannot pay for salvation by selling all our worldly goods, once we have found the prize, we ought to be willing to give up everything to possess it! Having the omnipotent, saving reign of Christ in our lives is so valuable that, if we lose everything, in order to have it, it is a joyful sacrifice. The worth of having God ruling over you and, for you, over everything else is so valuable. If the omnipotent, all-wise God is ruling over all things for your joy, everything must be working for your good, no matter how painful. And in the end God will triumph over all evil and all pain. So His kingdom is a treasure!
The Parable of the Hidden Treasure
In this parable, note that the treasure was hidden. This indicates that spiritual truth is missed by many and cannot be found by intelligence or power or worldly wisdom. Matthew 13:11-17 and 1 Corinthians 2:7-8, 14 make it clear that the mysteries of the kingdom are hidden from some who are unable to hear, see, and comprehend these truths. The disobedient reap the natural consequences of their unbelief – spiritual blindness. Those whose eyes are opened by the Spirit do discern spiritual truth, and they, like the man in the parable, understand its great value, such that he went to sell everything he had so that he could have the kingdom. The apostle Paul expresses this very thing in Philippians 3:7-8, “Whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ.” Paul suffers the loss of all things that he may gain Christ. These are virtually identical realities.
In the parable, note that the man – “In his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.” This tells us we can lose everything with joy if we gain Christ. Or in other words, the loss of all things is not sad if we gain Christ.
The Parable of the Pearl of Great Value
This parable speaks of a merchant who invested his money just to obtain the pearl of great value. A true Christian must be a spiritual merchant. The great treasure is our Lord Jesus Christ. We must be willing to depart with anything to follow Him. Note that the merchant stopped seeking pearls when he found the pearl of great price. Eternal life, the incorruptible inheritance, and the love of God through Christ constitute the pearl which, once found, makes further searching unnecessary. Christ fulfills our greatest needs, satisfies our longings, makes us whole and clean before God, calms and quiets our hearts, and gives us hope for the future. The “great price,” of course, is that which was paid by Christ for our redemption. He emptied Himself of His glory, came to earth in the form of a lowly man and shed His precious blood on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins.
Some of us only follow Jesus Christ half-heartedly, not willing to give up our possessions. No doubt God’s Kingdom belongs to us by grace through faith, we ought to be ready to die to ourselves and our desires, and fix our eyes on Jesus, be willing to obey and follow Him all the way. We shouldn’t be saying we are following Jesus, yet on the other hand do things that displeases Him.
We ought to know in our hearts that Jesus Christ is our only true treasure. He is the treasure, hidden in the Word of the gospel. People see the surface of the field only, so they perceive there is no difference between Christianity and other religions. They do not have eyes to see the Hidden Treasure i.e. Jesus Christ yet. E.g. mining industries survey the land, which always looks barren on the surface. They will only find what is valuable when they dig deep and hard.
This whole world is likened unto the big ocean. The children of men are likened to the fishes in the ocean, with no king ruling over them, and scattered everywhere. Christians are the fishers of men, while the preaching of the gospel is like casting a net and drawing in a net that is indiscriminate in catching all sorts of people that are attracted to it. On the day of judgment, the angels will harvest, and Jesus Christ, the Judge will separate the good and the bad. This does not just apply to the final days, it can also refer to the church itself. There are people who claim and appear to be Christians, but be aware that some of us will not pass the judgment and be cast into the furnace of fire together with the bad fishes. Hence, let us all be mindful of that, by asking ourselves the questions: are we true followers of Jesus Christ? Is there anything in my life that I ought to sacrifice so that nothing is in my way of following Jesus wholeheartedly? and submitting my life to Him and allow Him to reign in me? and acknowledge Jesus as Lord of all?
Will end this post with a precious photo of our Bunny E and Puppy A! Today was the first time I was able to attend MBSF with a fully-focused mind. Thanks and praises be to God!