Think about the number one.

The number one seems small and insignificant. We all know that one dollar doesn’t purchase very much. Who can stop with just one potato chip or cookie? If one scoop of ice cream is good, two is much better. Who wants to go ride out on an evening cruise on a pontoon alone? Do you see why I say that one seems like such a small and insignificant amount? Yet the Bible emphasizes the significance of just one.

In Matthew 13:45-46, Jesus said: “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, 46 who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it.” When we recognize that pearls were the most precious possession in the first century, we understand why someone would sell all that they have to own just one pearl.

The “one pearl of great price” in Jesus’ illustration represents the Kingdom of God. When a person realizes that they are separated from God by their sin, but that they can be reconciled to God through Jesus and receive citizenship into the Kingdom of Heaven, that is worth laying everything else aside to receive. My “one pearl of great price” is my relationship with God that is made possible through Jesus’ death on the cross. I am so thankful for my relationship with God that our relationship has first priority in my life. I can only imagine that when someone in the First Century found and purchased “one pearl of great price” that they showed it to family, friends and whoever would stop long enough to see their pearl and hear their story.

For those of us who have obtained our “one pearl of great price,” which is a relationship with God and citizenship in heaven, we need to ask who are we showing our great possession to? Who have I told about Jesus lately? Who have I shared my salvation story with? Who have I asked if they would like to be reconciled to God through Jesus? Who is one person that I am praying for concerning their relationship with God? Who is one person that I am building a relationship with so that I can have the opportunity to tell them about my “one pearl of great price?”

I read some statistics a few weeks ago that stated that only 20% of Christians are willing to invite a person who has already found their “one pearl of great price” to attend church with them. That same article stated that only 2% of Christians are willing to invite someone who has not found their “one pearl of great price” to attend church with them. When we truly understand how great a treasure that our relationship with God is, we should be willing to share our story with family, friends and whoever will listen. Not only should we be willing to invite those we know to attend church, we should also be willing and prepared to tell them how they can obtain a relationship with God and citizenship in heaven as their “one pearl of great price.” Are you prepared to share with another person how that they can move from death to life by being reconciled to God through Jesus? Are you prepared to teach that there is only one way that a person can receive eternal life (John 14:4; Acts 4:12)? Take time to read, memorize and prepare to discuss with others the following Scriptures from the book of Romans: 3:23; 6:23; 5:8; 10:9-13; 12:1-2. Through these Scriptures, often called the Roman Road to salvation, you can help others obtain their “one pearl of great price.”

Chuck Sprouse, a lifelong resident of Greenwood, is the Senior Pastor of the Ninety Six First Baptist Church. You can reach Chuck at csprouse@fbc96.org or 864-543-2333.