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Seeds of the Kingdom

A Pearl of Great Price

by Christel Baxter

17 October 2014

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Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, who, when he found one pearl of great price, went and sold all he had and bought it.
Matthew 13:45-46, NIV

I love pearls! They are the most beautiful precious jewels, and whereas diamonds are said to be a girl’s best friend, in my case I would definitely choose pearls!

The way in which a natural pearl is formed is very intriguing. A pearl is formed by an oyster quite by accident. Oysters are simple creatures that live in water and feed on plankton. Occasionally, while feeding, a grain of sand or a parasite enters the oyster, getting lodged in the soft inner part of the oyster’s body. This causes the oyster great discomfort. In order to protect itself, the oyster secretes a smooth, substance called nacre around the intruder. As long as this intruder remains inside the oyster, it will continue to deposit nacre around it, layer by layer. After a number of years, the intruder will be totally encased in a smooth, lustrous shell of nacre, which has now become a pearl. What the oyster has regarded as an irritant has produced a very precious and rare jewel.

The true value of the pearl is not seen from the outside. To the world around it the pearl is just another barnacle covered, nasty looking shell. Its true value is hidden and only known to its Creator. We may be struggling against what we regard as irritants, or weaknesses, or character flaws in our own lives. Because of the things we have encountered on our journey through life, we may display our unattractive, hard shells to those around us to protect ourselves against hurt, or we may have gone to great lengths to keep them tightly covered and locked in so no one sees them. But God sees our true value. He sees ‘pearl-potential’ where we see flaws. He always looks at the heart! The imperfections and irritants we face and are attempting to cover over by our tough exterior, God wants to shape into something of value – an object of true beauty to bring glory to Him!

God loves us so much. To Him, we are like that pearl of great price we read about in Matthew 13, (And I know God loves pearls because Heaven’s gates are made of pearls!). God was willing to pay the ultimate price – the life of His beloved Son – in order to redeem us from a place of hopelessness and sin. The Bible teaches us that He was willing to die for us while we were still sinners – totally unable to give Him anything in return for this amazing gift of salvation (Romans 5:8). So why not yield to God all that you are? Allow Him to wrap your difficulties and weaknesses – the irritants within you - in His heavenly ‘nacre’ as He creates beauty and refines the `pearls` within.

Prayer: Lord, so many times I get discouraged when I see the weaknesses, difficulties and rough places in my life, but thank You that You see pearl-potential in each of these. I choose to yield to You and to allow You to refine me to bring glory to You. Thank You that You know my heart and love me. Amen.

Christel Baxter joined the Associate prayer ministry team at Shere House, S.Africa in 2008 after attending the 20 day school. Besides serving together on the associate team at Shere House, Christel & her husband, Gary, pastor New Life Ministries, a congregation in Boksburg, Gauteng. Their children, Liezl and Wesley, are both married, and they adore their son-in-law and daughter-in-law and their little granddaughter, Hannah! Christel is passionate about seeing broken lives restored and especially loves ministering God`s love and healing to women of all ages.


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