In Luke 9, Jesus was making a call for people to follow Him. Luke 9:24 reads, “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.” It reminds me of a story that I read several years ago, and it goes like this:
A five-year-old girl bought her very own (imitation) pearl necklace with her very own money. She wanted those pearls so badly that she used some of her birthday money, and she earned the rest by doing chores for her mother and a neighbor.
The little girl loved her pearls. They made her feel dressed up and grown up. She wore them everywhere–Sunday school, kindergarten, even to bed. The only time she took them off was when she went swimming or had a bubble bath. Her mother said if they got wet, they might turn her neck green. The pearls weren’t real but it didn’t matter to the little girl. She had bought them herself!
The little girl had a very loving father. One day he said, “Sweetheart, do you love me?”
“Oh yes, Daddy. You know that I love you.”
“Then give me your pearls.”
“Oh, Daddy, not my pearls. But you can have my toy horse.”
“That’s okay, Honey. Daddy loves you.” And he brushed her cheek with a kiss.
About a week later, the little girl’s father asked again, “Do you love me?”
“Daddy, you know I love you.”
“Then give me your pearls.”
“Oh Daddy, not my pearls. But you can have my baby doll.”
“That’s okay. God bless you, little one. Daddy loves you.” And as always, he brushed her cheek with a gentle kiss.
A few days later the little girl nervously walked up to her father and held out her fake pearl necklace. “Here, Daddy. This is for you.”
The father reached out with one hand to take the imitation pearl necklace, and with the other hand he reached into his pocket and pulled out a blue velvet case with a strand of genuine pearls and gave them to his daughter. He had them all the time, but was waiting for her to give up the inexpensive fake so he could give her genuine treasure. He was unwilling to give the real thing to her until she was willing to give up the fake beads.
In a way, this is like our heavenly Father. The most important strand of ‘pearls’ is the gift of eternal life. When we are born, we are given life. But that life is nothing short of an imitation unless we give it to Christ so that He can give us real life in return.
Maybe you are a Child of God and you are holding onto something else: a dream, a goal, a possession, a feeling…think of what it could be if you would place it in the Lord’s hands? In our own strength, we hold nothing more than a cheap imitation. Just for today, give God your ‘fake pearls’ and He will give you a genuine treasure in return.
HARPETH BAPTIST CHURCH
1011 Butterworth Road
Kingston Springs, TN 37082