Remember the parables of the hidden treasure and the priceless pearl.  From The Message  –  “God’s kingdom is like a treasure hidden in a field for years and then accidentally found by a trespasser.  The finder is ecstatic – what a find! – and proceeds to sell everything he owns to raise money and buy that field.  Or, God’s kingdom is like a jewel merchant on the hunt for excellent pearls.  Finding one that is flawless, he immediately sells everything and buys it” (Matt 13:44-46).  In the first instance the treasure is found accidentally, the second after an intense search.  The result for both is great joy.

Men, do you at times struggle wondering about the presence of God in your life?  In the gospels the kingdom is the manifest presence of God in the earth and in our lives.  The message of the two parables is that either by accident or after a serious search is the kingdom is found.  The response was is to sell everything to gain the treasure.  The kingdom is here in the presence of Jesus.  We don’t have to stumble into kingdom reality or search frantically for the presence of  Jesus.  Jesus tells us in Luke 17:20-21 that the kingdom is within us.  “The coming of the kingdom of God is not something that can be observed, nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is within you.”  In other words, you have it all in Jesus”.

One of our default modes in our spiritual journey as men is the manner in which we feel we must work to attain God’s presence  In the presence of a loving, caring, and generous God, we feel we must perform to measure up. It will never be enough.  Well, this is not a kingdom principle. No, when you open your mind and heart to the Lord Jesus, he comes in and fills you with His presence.  You have fullness.  There is no more to get. The kingdom presence is the presence of eternal life  now.  Jesus told the woman at the well, “but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst.  Indeed, the water I give them will become in the a spring of water welling up to eternal life” (John 7:13).  The well is found within.

As men it is so easy to be involved in our “salvation improvement projects.”  But remember it will never be enough to attain what you search for.  It is all found through the mercy and grace of our Lord, making the riches of the kingdom available without string attached.  Paul worked as hard as anyone to get it all.  But in the end he had to say, “Compared to the high privilege of knowing Christ Jesus as my Master, firsthand, everything I once thought I had going for me is insignificant – dog dung” (Phil 3:8).  Yes, all your efforts to attain end up being “dog dung.”  You receive it all through grace.  You have it all.  It is a matter of becoming aware of what you have in Jesus.  So relax and learn to receive what is already in you.