Audio from PLIR Prayerful Living Internet Radio. https://prayerfulliving.com/healingmusic/inspiration-weekly.html.
“KINGDOM OF HEAVEN. …the atmosphere of Spirit,”
There was a time in my life when I not only didn’t believe in God, but I couldn’t even say the word, God. My abuser was a church-going man; he even taught Sunday School. He was superintendent of the public schools, but he was living one of the biggest lies ever. I referred to him as Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. That story is a Gothic novella by Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson, Titled the Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. It describes my abuser.
I was being taught Love on Sundays and abused the other six days of the week. It created such a conflict in my thought that, at last, I decided, if this is religion, who needs it. I walked away from the church and never turned back for 25 years. Then one day, something led me to open the Science and Health that had sat on my bookshelf for years, gathering dust. That led me to another book, The Bible. As an adult with a lot of life under my belt, I saw these two books through different eyes. I found them to be a treasure, the pearl of great price.
I learned not to judge any religion on the people who attend the church, as I had judged the religion and the whole church on one man. Religion should be considered on the teachings of the founder, not the students.
I’m no authority. I’m only sharing my concept of what I understand at the present time. It changes as I learn and understand more. Any time a spiritual truth enlightens my path, I feel it and know I have glimpsed a truth of God. Everyone needs to find their own way, to experience and feel it for themselves. There is no greater joy. I do this in hopes that I can inspire someone to start seeking the Kingdom of Heaven. It doesn’t matter what you have experienced in life; you are never alone on your journey.
Psalms 139:7-10 is a very reassuring quote, “Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.” I love that quote. It describes the path of my life. It makes me realize that God was with me even when I wasn’t with Him. The first step I took blessed me, and the first step you take will bless you.
The Treasure Trove and the Pearl of Great Price are known as Jesus’ Twin parables on the joy of the Kingdom.
Jesus said, “… the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.” (Matthew 13:44–46 the)
Jesus’ parables were told in a way that the people of his time would understand. He was trying to make a point and you can’t take them literally. They need to be spiritualized. I think Mrs. Eddy was bringing Christ Jesus’ teachings to us in a way the modern world could understand.
I did some research into these two parables in Bible commentaries and found them quite interesting. It is assumed the treasure (the kingdom of heaven) was lost years before, and some fellow, not out looking for a treasure, ran across it: Gee, that kind of sounds like me.
When life seems drab and closes in on us, when past blunders seem to rob us of tomorrow’s promise, we find what God has set before us. In all his goodness, He gives us a new start by turning us to Christ. “I was found of them that sough me not.” Rom 10:20. I found Christ when I wasn’t looking and knew I needed to give up my past for the kingdom of heaven.
The following parable about the pearl of great price was the same story as the treasure, with a twist. It was assumed in the treasure parable that the finder was a poor man, but in the pearl parable, it appears the finder was rich and possibly a pearl merchant looking for pearls. The poor man did not expect to find treasure, but the merchant was looking for pearls but didn’t expect to find the perfect pearl. Neither expected to find what they saw, but both were willing to sell all they had for what they found, the Kingdom of Heaven.
These are two great parables, and when seen from God’s point of view, it tells us that He has given us all we need, it’s right in our path, and if we don’t watch, we’ll pass right by. He did not create us to flounder aimlessly without direction; he loves us and wants us all to find our way to the Kingdom of Heaven. In truth, we are already there, but we need to discover that truth to experience it.
I can relate to both of these parables. At first, I was not looking for God. I was looking for something, anything, to make my life better. It never occurred to me it would be God, as I had given up on him years ago. But that’s what I found, the treasure. I didn’t understand what it was, but I knew it was precious, and I wanted it. So, I hid it in the field to protect it until I could sell all I had and buy the field and make the treasure mine.
Then as my search continued, I was looking for the pearl. The treasure showed me what was possible, and I wanted more; I was looking for the pearl of great price. I had found the Kingdom of Heaven, but to embrace and enter the atmosphere of Spirit, I needed to understand God and His creation, man, and the universe, to feel the Harmony and Joy it promised.
Are you seeking? What are you willing to sell for the Kingdom of Heaven? What I gave up for Christ was not a sacrifice but a joy. When I found Him, I sold all that I believed, based on my past, and bought God’s word as taught by Christ Jesus. I was hungry for the Truth.
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” II Cor. 5:17. When I found the Kingdom, I did feel like a new person; everything in my life changed. I saw things differently; I reacted to things differently. I was a new person.
I’ve come a long way, but I still have much to learn. I haven’t been able to stay in the atmosphere of Spirit 100% of the time. Many distractions in this material world try to pull me off the path, but I keep climbing back on. I know the only way to live in God’s creation is to stay on the path. That is my goal every day.
The Kingdom of Heaven can be stumbled upon or sought out; either way, we need to be willing to give up our earthly treasures to enter the atmosphere of Spirit, God’s creation.
If you are reading my blogs or listening to my podcasts, you are seeking.
If you are looking, you will find the Kingdom of Heaven.