I don’t want to brag, but I received a really big inheritance from my mom and dad. I mean, really big. So big, in fact, that it will take me my entire life to spend.

The best thing about this inheritance is that, even though my mom and dad have already passed it on, they themselves have not passed on. That’s because this is not the kind of inheritance you get after someone dies — it’s an inheritance you receive while they’re still living.

Pretty cool, huh?

The truth is, my mom and dad do just fine financially, but the richness of their life goes way beyond their bottom line. They have taught me through their actions that, while scarcity may apply to economics, it doesn’t apply to generosity. They have shown me over and over again that you can spend yourself freely, giving yourself for others, and still have generosity left over. In short, while they don’t live rich, they do live richly.

When Jesus came on the scene that first Christmas, the Jews were feeling anything but rich. Their glory days under kings David and Solomon were long gone. Struggling under the sharp edge of a Roman boot, they longed desperately for a Savior who would liberate them and restore the prominence of their kingdom. But Jesus had a different kingdom in mind.

From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
— Matthew 4:17

While the kingdom of heaven may not be at the top of our Christmas wish lists, we shouldn’t be too disappointed by what he’s offering.

“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.”
— Matthew 13:44

“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it.”
— Matthew 13:45

In both parables, the kingdom of heaven is depicted as incredibly valuable. And in each case, it appears that the treasure came at the end of a search. It’s possible that the treasure never would have been found if they had not been looking for it.

Are we searching for it?

Most of us, by nature, are not treasure seekers. We are scavengers. Rather than deliberately searching for something of great value, we live off of the scraps that we find around us. We figure that, as long as we can make it through today, we’re okay. But God’s vision for us is so much greater.

I am grateful that my parents are not scavengers, but seekers. In seeking, they found something so valuable that they have more than enough of it to give away to others. I have been the glad recipient of this for much of my life, and it has whet my appetite for doing the same. I’m still a novice at it, but I’m learning my way around a shovel and how to dig deep into what the kingdom of heaven is all about.

So this Christmas, don’t just long for bigger or better scraps. Seek after that which is truly valuable. Jesus promises that when you seek, you will find (Matthew 7:1), so you’re guaranteed a return on your investment. Plus, you’ll have an inheritance that you can pass along to others. And that will make you truly rich indeed.

Just ask my parents.