Wealth and fame are not the key to happiness. God holds the key to happiness and offers it to you freely. A close relationship to Him brings love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
The kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it. Matthew 13:45,46
The American Declaration of Independence declares a right to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” America has prospered tremendously recognizing God given rights, but a guarantee of the right to pursue happiness is not an assurance of happiness. It’s more like God’s gift of free will.
What Pastor Greg has pointed out in the True Riches series is that if you choose to pursue understanding, wisdom and knowledge you will receive greater happiness than if you pursue happiness through the acquisition of wealth, fame and pleasure.
The man or woman who thinks, “If I can become a millionaire I’ll be happy,” misunderstands what happiness is. By seeking understanding they can be happy long before they acquires considerable wealth and they can remain happy with wealth. Think of all the wealthy people who discover money is not the secret to happiness.
The graphic used as a slide backdrop for the True Riches series is of a pearl of great price. Jesus said, “The kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it.” Matthew 13:45,46
The kingdom of heaven is not a location on earth. It’s a location in the spiritual world we also live in. It’s a location where there’s an abundance of the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control. It’s the true place of happiness.
The man who found the pearl of great price found Jesus. He found the saving grace that invited him to come live in the kingdom of heaven. Everything he owned on earth was worthless compared to the kingdom of heaven. He was ready to give it all up to be given a place in the kingdom of heaven.
Don’t confuse the kingdom of heaven with the place you hope to live for eternity. Jesus told his disciples, “The kingdom of heaven is within you.” Luke 17:20-21 They were right here on earth.
Consider the spiritual world. It is very real, even if unseen. It’s in this spirit world that some people are enslaved behind “the gates of hell.” The church is called to storm the gates and set captives free. The goal is to move people from darkness and despair to the kingdom of heaven by sharing the gospel – The Good News.
True riches come when, in the spirit world, you live from the kingdom of heaven. When you see your life as God reveals all he has for you, it changes the way you see life on earth.
You see that security is not based on how big your bank account is. It’s based on who your Father in heaven is. Happiness is not based on the car you drive but on the spirit driving you. Peace is not derived from your home’s security systems, but from your trust in God. You can even have peace, joy and happiness sharing the gospel in some horrible place in the world.
What the man who bought the pearl of great price really found was understanding, wisdom and knowledge. As believers we’ve bought the pearl of great price, but sometimes we live as if we hadn’t. We don’t behave as if we live in the kingdom of heaven. We settle for less.
The pursuit of true riches is the quest to live in what Jesus paid the price for us to live in. Don’t spend your time longing for peace and joy in eternity. Spend your time pursuing the riches of the kingdom of heaven in this life.
Here Pastor Greg explains the True Riches of Wisdom and Knowledge: http://northlandschurch.com/watch/true-riches/true-riches-treasures-of-wisdom-and-knowledge
Here Pastor Greg explains the True Riches of Jesus Christ: http://northlandschurch.com/watch/true-riches/true-riches-treasure-of-jesus-christ
Father God, help us to see what true riches are and to pursue them by pursuing You. Money cannot buy the love, joy and peace You give generously to those who search for their riches in You.