Costly Joy: A Devotional

When a man found it, he . . . went and sold all he had and bought that field.

Matthew 13:44

At the sound of the digital melody, all six of us sprang into action. Some slipped shoes on, others simply bolted for the door barefoot. Within seconds we were all sprinting down the driveway chasing the ice cream truck. It was the first warm day of summer, and there was no better way to celebrate than with a cold, sweet treat! There are things we do simply because of the joy it brings us, not out of discipline or obligation.

In the pair of parables found in Matthew 13:44–46, the emphasis is selling everything to gain something else. We might think the stories are about sacrifice. But that’s not the point. In fact, the first story declares it was “joy” that led the man to sell everything and buy the field. Joy drives change—not guilt or duty.

Jesus isn’t one segment of our lives; His claims on us are total. Both men in the stories “sold all” (v. 44). But here’s the best part: the result of this selling of everything is actually gain. We may not have guessed that. Isn’t life in Christ about taking up your cross? Yes. It is. But when we die, we live; when we lose our life, we find it. When we “sell all,” we gain the greatest treasure: Jesus! Joy is the reason; surrender is the response. The treasure of knowing Jesus is the reward.

By: Glenn Packiam

Reflect & Pray

How have you experienced joy in your relationship with Jesus? What is He inviting you to surrender to Him?

Dear Jesus, open my eyes to see the treasure that You are! Direct my heart to You as the source of true and unfailing joy, and let me ever be fixed on You. Grant me the grace to surrender all to You.

We must all remind ourselves from time to time about the commitment we made to God when we choose to become a Christian. Sometimes it is easy for us to take the love of God for granted and become lazy in our service to God, but we should always strive to find the passion and the zeal we had for serving Christ when we became a Christian because we are taught to remain faithful to God until death (Rev. 2:10). The Bible teaches us to persevere, press on to the goal, and to run the race to win, but we have to have a willing spirit to do this. So, let us never forget that finding joy in serving God is an essential part of our Christianity because it serves as an antidote to all the despair that surrounds us on a daily basis. Let the joy of serving the Lord be your strength this day and everyday.

Life with Jesus is totally different from just existing without Him in the picture. The pain in life is bearable with Him. I cannot imagine where I would be if I hadn’t met Him. In Jesus, there is unexplainable joy in spite of the trials and suffering we stumbled upon. Knowing Him is truly a gift that we will treasure for eternity.