Dan McLeod - Walla Walla, Washington Convention - 2018

Matthew 13:44, “Again, 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.”

So, a man is walking along and passed through a field and finds a treasure hidden. He was very happy about it and went and sold all he had so he could buy that field. It was so valuable! So, why is it, that we don’t always treat it like it’s a treasure? Why is it that we don’t always value God, His Son, and His Word as a treasure? I do know it happens! Once I knew there was a gospel meeting one night and yet I went to a baseball game. Even since being in the Work, I’d rather read other books than the Bible, or think other thoughts instead of reading the Bible. Why?

There are life jackets hidden under benches on ferries. They have life boats , too. It’s strange how you don’t really pay attention to them, just expecting to arrive on the other side! It’s like we’re all on a sinking ferry and we’re all going in! People aren’t really looking for the life jackets and life boat! We don’t really see our true condition – how we stand with God and how our soul is with God!

Revelations 3:17, “Because thou sayest, 'I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing;' and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.”

They didn’t realize that they were in serious trouble! They were naked and blind! They weren’t looking for the life jackets!

One thing about this treasure – it’s about a relationship with God, where He is our Father, and we are His child. There is something in us that wants a close connection with our natural father. Maybe we haven’t all had good fathers but even then, I think there’s a desire to have a relationship with a father that cares and protects us. My dad wasn’t one to share feelings, and I wanted that. When people haven’t had a dad who will really share things with them, it can leave a deficit. They don’t think clearly. There are things that affect us a lot in how we’re raised – things that happen as we grow up.

But God wants to be a Father to us, and knows how to share about Himself.
He puts Himself out there even when people rejected Him! He is saying, “I am committed to you! I am devoted to you. Here is something that will take care of all the important things in your life!”

He made Himself vulnerable. He doesn’t have anything to apologize for. His motives have always been out of love. His treatment of people has always been just. Jesus isn’t the Father. He spoke about the Almighty being His Father, and He spoke to His Father. He treated His disciples in a fatherly way. He was open with these disciples. He said, “I haven’t called you servants – I have called you friends!” Friends share things. He was open about His desires and hopes for them, when they needed correction, and the values there are in heaven. He just shared all those things with them in a very open-hearted, free way. Yet, He still arranged things so we have to live by faith. We talk to Him as an imaginary friend. It’s like God wants us to take the risk and reach out to this imaginary person we know is true.

We all could be reassuring each other about God’s forgiveness when it really hasn’t happened. We could make these formulas and rules – “I’ll just come up with this little statement and then believe God has forgiven me.” What God wants is a relationship with us, and that we’d talk to Him like He’s real! When someone comes to you and reads off a script, it’s kind of off-putting! There are some of these scripted prayers people come up with.

When I’m genuine about my embarrassment and weaknesses and failures, and just talk to God as a Father – I’ve felt something, and this message comes! I realize, “He spoke to me and has forgiven me!” He wants us to be real and honest to Him. He’s still going to treat us so we’ll have to treat Him with faith – but He does reassure us from time to time.

Tonight we are inviting people to that kind of a life. Most of us here have entered into that. We’ve found He is kind and real! It works. We’d like to invite you to start that journey.