As we look at this year’s Super Bowl matchup, it’s fun to marvel at each team’s journey to the big game. We think about their victories along the way, and also admire their wise decisions when constructing their rosters. From draft picks to free agents to trades, everything has to click to create the right combination of players.  Displaying

The Atlanta Falcons have made some impressive moves, but the most momentous (and pricey) was their trade for wide receiver, Julio Jones, in the 2011 NFL Draft. They knew they needed a big weapon at that position, and truly believed in his ability and potential coming out of Alabama.

The only way the Falcons were going to get Jones was to trade a significant amount of draft picks to move up and select him, but they felt he was worth it.

They ended up trading their 26th pick, a second, and two fourth-round picks in 2011…and then a first-round pick in 2012 to the Cleveland Browns in exchange for the sixth overall pick, which resulted in Jones.

We now know that Jones is one of the very best wide receivers in the NFL, and a key reason why the Falcons are playing in the Super Bowl. They trusted their decision to give up what they had to, so they could have this dominant player on their team. Although costly at the time, Jones has been everything they needed.

The story of how the Falcons acquired Julio Jones reminds me of the parable of the hidden treasure and the pearl in Matthew 13:44-46 (NLT) where Jesus says, “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure that a man discovered hidden in a field. In his excitement, he hid it again and sold everything he owned to get enough money to buy the field. 

“Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a merchant on the lookout for choice pearls. When he discovered a pearl of great value, he sold everything he owned and bought it!”

We all have the opportunity to know Jesus, follow Him, and spend eternity in Heaven with Him. The value and treasure of the Kingdom of Heaven far surpass anything we must give up or sacrifice.

There is a cost to surrendering our selfish desires and worldly pleasures, but those things pale in comparison to knowing God and being a part of His Kingdom. What an AMAZING trade for us when we consider what we receive! I’m Bryce Johnson and you can unpack that!

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, I surrender to You and thank you for allowing me to receive salvation and experience Your Kingdom now and forever because of Jesus. I pray that nothing would get it the way or be considered more valuable than knowing You. It’s worth trading everything else in order to be with You. I pray this in Jesus’ name, Amen.