Pearl of Great Price

Feb 26th is an important anniversary in my life — it is the last day I worked as a professional musician in clubs and restaurants, and is also the day I composed "Pearl of Great Price" - a song that is very dear to my heart, for it is the song of my own personal testimony of when I gave my life to the Lord in full-time ministry. 

The year was 1983. I was 22 years old, working as a professional musician in the prestigious Edmonton Center Club, in the 8th month of a very wonderful music gig. God had spoken to me: "Steve, I'm calling you into full-time ministry." My job would soon conclude as the in-house pianist at the Center Club, and I knew it was God's time for me to take the next big step in His plan for my life. I said "Yes" to the Lord, and prepared myself for a major life transition. 

Over the next two months I spent time studying how Jesus called His disciples, and how He calls each one of us. One passage that touched me very deeply was where Yeshua taught His disciples concerning the Kingdom of God and the Pearl of Great Price: 

“Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like treasure hidden in the field, which a man found and hid. In his joy, he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a man who is a merchant seeking fine pearls, who having found one pearl of great price, he went and sold all that he had and bought it." (Matt. 13:44-45 WMB) 

I realized that Jesus Christ is everything. He's worth more than all the silver and gold in the entire world. He IS the Pearl of Great Price, and He is worth giving my all for! 

The day finally came, eight weeks after the Lord had spoken to me, that I would play my last gig as a secular professional musician. I left my house early in the morning, and went to Central Pentecostal Tabernacle in Edmonton, the church that had become my literal second home (for I had been entrusted with master keys to all the rooms as part of my service in God's house). I went into a little back room where Pastor James MacKnight prepared himself to preach every Sunday (before he was elected General Superintendent of the Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada). There was always such an anointing in that room! On this significant day, I spent many hours in prayer and worship before the Lord, knowing this date would be a very major turning point in my life. 

There on my knees, crying many tears, I consecrated my life afresh to the Master, knowing that He truly is my "Pearl of Great Price." I fell in love with Him afresh, and my heart overflowed with a gratitude that manifested through my pen the words to this wonderful song of consecration. 

"Pearl of Great Price" is my own personal testimony of how the Lord spoke to me, while studying at Berklee College of Music in Boston. I was an atheist pursuing my own dreams of bright lights, musical fame and fortune. But the Lord had spoken my name, wooed me with His love and truth, and captured my heart with His amazing beauty and unselfish sacrifice! And in that moment, "I found the choices Pearl of all my dreams" -- Jesus! 

Now four years later, 1983, it was time for a new level of consecration. There was a lost and dying world who needed to hear of our Lord's death on the cross. He came from heaven to this earth, and did everything He could. He gave everything He could give, so that the world could be saved. But the world needed to hear of His love! So it was encumbent upon me to give my all, that they might know! I knew in my heart that THIS is what full-time ministry is all about: reaching lives for Christ. 

The climax of the song comes at the end of verse three, for it is a special prayer for every Christian to give himself fully for the Lord’s purpose, to reach a lost and dying world while there is still time: 

"You gave everything. How can I give any less for You?" 

I finished writing the song at church, and then got up, washed my face, drove to the Club, and played my final gig as a professional secular musician. I said goodbye to my bandmates Grave Hansen from Sweden, and Wes Caswell from Edmonton, who had been dear friends and jazz comrades (see photo below), and left the Club for the last time. That chapter of my life was now over. 

A few days later I sang the song at church and on television. Seven months later I sang it at Northwest Bible College (now Vanguard College) as I embarked on a five-year course of studies in theology and sacred music. During this time I became a Bible College professor, then a pastor in Toronto for six years, then Music Dean of Canada Christian College, then a musical evangelist travelling to 30 countries "taking worship to the nations." God gave me an opportunity to sing this song once again in many countries, and even international tv broadcasts seen around the world!  

Truly the seed that I planted 36 years ago, has born abundant fruit for the glory of our Lord! 

Today this Spring 2019, I am celebrating 40 years knowing Christ as my Lord and Saviour, and 36 years working in full-time ministry. I want to shout it from the roof-top: God has been faithful! He is faithful! and He will always be faithful! For He is the Pearl of Great Price! 

Pearl of Great Price ©1983 by Steve Kuban (7min 02sec recorded) 

1. Jesus told us of a man who'd spent his whole life, he was searching  
All his time and strength were spent in seeking precious pearls of which he'd dreamed  
One day he found one!  
It shone with purity and beauty he had never seen  
And in a moment he knew  
He'd found the pearl worth everything!  

2. I remember days that sometimes seem as though they never were  
I see a young man who spent his life and strength to reach for shining dreams  
Then Jesus called him!  
He spoke his name with love and truth that he had never seen  
And in that moment, Lord  
I found the choicest Pearl of all my dreams!  

(Chorus)  
Jesus, You're the Pearl of great price  
You're the treasure in the field  
And I give my all for You  
Jesus, all I am and all I do  
All my hopes and dreams  
I give them all for You  
It's worth everything, Lord Jesus  
Just for You.  

3. Lord Jesus, the time is running out  
With so much left to do  
You did all You could!  
Yet there's so many left, dear Lord who need to know  
Lord, they've got to hear!  
I give the selfish things that I've been holding back from You  
You gave everything  
How can I give any less for You?  
(repeat chorus)  

JESUS YOU MEAN EVERYTHING TO ME  
©2000 by Steve Kuban  

Jesus You mean everything to me  
I gladly give my all, Lord willingly  
I lay down my life as a living sacrifice  
For the sake of the call  
I will gladly give it all.  
(saxophone solo)  

(Chorus)   
Jesus, You're the Pearl of great price   
You're the treasure in the field   
And I give my all for You   
Jesus, all I am and all I do   
All my hopes and dreams   
I give them all for You   
It's worth everything, Lord Jesus   
Just for You 

It's worth everything, Lord Jesus   
Just for You.  


Where this song is featured: 

In the year 2000 I recorded and released a two-album set called "The Pearl of Great Price -- Two Decades of Christian Music" containing 43 of my best songs from 12 of my first Christian albums.  

Today these albums are popularly known as The Best of Steve Kuban Volume I and II (or simply Pearl 1 and Pearl 2) .

It is my pleasure to share this precious song with you, and these albums. Click on either one, to hear samples of all 43 songs.

Thank You Jesus, thank you Yeshua! You are truly my Pearl of Great Price! Thank you for these 36 years years of joyous and fruitful service!


Pearl of Great Price ©1983 by Steve Kuban (7:02 recorded length)

1. Jesus told us of a man who'd spent his whole life, he was searching 
All his time and strength were spent in seeking Precious pearls of which he'd dreamed 
One day he found one! 
It shone with purity and beauty he had never seen 
And in a moment he knew 
He'd found the pearl worth everything! 

2. I remember days that sometimes seem 
As though they never were 
I see a young man who spent his life and Strength to reach for shining dreams 
Then Jesus called him! 
He spoke his name with love and truth 
That he had never seen 
And in that moment, Lord 
I found the choicest pearl of all my dreams! 

(Chorus) 
*Jesus, You're the Pearl of great price 
You're the treasure in the field 
And I give my all for You 
Jesus, all I am and all I do 
All my hopes and dreams 
I give them all for You 
It's worth everything, Lord Jesus 
Just for You. 

3. Lord Jesus, the time is running out 
With so much left to do 
You did all You could! 
Yet there's so many left, dear Lord 
Who need to know 
Lord, they've got to hear! 
I give the selfish things 
That I've been holding back from You 
You gave everything 
How can I give any less for You? 
(repeat chorus) 

JESUS YOU MEAN EVERYTHING TO ME 
©2000 by Steve Kuban 

Jesus You mean everything to me 
I gladly give my all, Lord willingly 
I lay down my life as a living sacrifice 
For the sake of the call 
I will gladly give it all. 
(saxophone solo) 
(repeat chorus of “Pearl”) 
It's worth everything, Lord Jesus 
Just for You.

(Chorus)  
*Jesus, You're the Pearl of great price  
You're the treasure in the field  
And I give my all for You  
Jesus, all I am and all I do  
All my hopes and dreams  
I give them all for You  
It's worth everything, Lord Jesus  
Just for You. 


Where this song is featured: 

In the year 2000 I recorded and released a two-album set called "The Pearl of Great Price -- Two Decades of Christian Music" containing 43 of my best songs from 12 of my first Christian albums.  

Today these albums are popularly known as "The Best of Steve Kuban Volume I and II" (or simply Pearl 1 and Pearl 2.)  

It is my pleasure to share this precious song with you, and these albums. Click on either album cover to hear samples of each song.

On the official Steve Kuban store
 
Volume 2 Pearl of Great Price track 23 

23 of Steve's Best songs from five award-winning albums, including: 
• For the Lord is My Tower 
• Hallowed Be Thy Name 
• Jump For Jesus 
• I Will Fight For You 
• Come Holy Spirit 
• More of the River 
• Seven Ways to Praise the Lord 
• My All in All (with Bob Fitts) 
... and 14 other songs 

Volume 1 Pearl of Great Price 

20 favorite hymns and songs from Steve's first eight albums including: 
• How Great Thou Art 
• I am the God that Healeth Thee 
• Be Bold, Be Strong 
• I Will Celebrate Sing Unto the Lord 
• Holy Holy Holy Lord God of Power and Might 
• Leave it There (hymn) 
... and 14 other songs

Volume 2 is also available on i-Tunes and Apple Music, Amazon, Spotify, and dozens of digital stores worldwide. 

Physical CD's of both volumes are available at stevekuban.com/cd-s.

(If you add a note with your name when you order, Dr. Kuban will sign your CD(s) for you (or to a friend if you are giving it as a gift). Shipping costs are determined at check-out, based on the country where the CD is to be sent.)

On our official store website www.stevekuban.com/store you can download over 350 songs at SteveKuban.com/digital-downloads

Please consider downloading both of these albums (and others) from our official website — for in doing so, you will be blessed, and you are also helping us  "Take Worship to the Nations." 

If you would like to join our email list please sign up at www.stevekuban.com/home. You will get a free song for signing up. 

Shalom my friends!  

Dr. Steve Kuban 
March 4th, 2019.


Pearl of Great Price – Story Behind the Song

Additional information about the song, Pearl of Great Price 

36 years ago (on Saturday, Feb 26th, 1983) I performed for the last time as a professional secular musician. For two months earlier, while kneeling at my bedside at Christmas, God had called me to leave my job as in-house pianist and music director at the Edmonton Center Club, and to leave the secular music industry altogether, and follow Him in full-time ministry. 

I obeyed and said, "Yes Lord, I will follow you completely, for You are the Pearl of Great Price, and it's worth everything just to have You!" 

Hours before my final gig, I went into prayer and fasting, seeking the Lord, and studying His Word. The Lord reminded me of the merchant man in Matthew 13 who had found the one pearl that was more beautiful and valuable than any other he'd ever before seen. I knew this was Jesus Christ, Whom I had met as an atheist three years earlier at Berklee College of Music in Boston, Who had changed my life completely when I said "Yes" to Him and invited Him into my life.  

Three months after becoming a Christian, Jesus asked me to give my music and everything over to Him. It was a difficult request, one which I did not take lightly. But I knew He was more valuable than anything else in life. So I gave Him my entire life, including my music, my past, my present, and my future in music. I then left Music College, went back to Canada, and studied the Bible for 4 months. 

Then just before 1980 the Lord called me to Edmonton, where I played music professionally in the secular music industry (as a Christian) and did very well. I advanced through the ranks, played good gigs, and was now the in-house pianist and band-leader at one of the most prestigious private clubs in Edmonton, the Center Club, with patrons the likes of Wayne Gretzky and other well-known sports figures and many rich and famous folk in the Edmonton business and political scene. 

My band had been playing in this Club for about 8 months, when on Dec. 22, 1982 Jesus spoke to my spirit and asked me to take the next step: leave secular music, and go into full-time Christian ministry. I said "Yes", and began to prepare my exit from that wonderful job, and from  playing music as a secular profession. 

Now, two months later, this was "the night." The final night! It was an intense evening for me. After playing my heart out for the last time to all the patrons at the Center Club, I bid "Adieu" to my beloved friends and band members: upright bassist Wes Caswell, and Swedish drummer and orchestra leader Grave Hansen, with whom I'd had the pleasure of playing professionally with for almost three years.  

This song "Pearl of Great Price" is truly my heart's cry to the Lord! I want to give all that I have, to win the world for Christ! 

This year marks my 40th anniversary knowing the Lord. There will be many more emails and social media posts marking various key moments throughout this year. There are plans being made for  a major tour to many countries featuring the 25th anniversary of "The Lord Is My Tower" live worship recording.  

Please pray about investing finances into our undertakings this year. You will be helping us carry the Gospel into many places and many lives. You can see a list of our expenses and needs under stevekuban.com/donate and stevekuban.com/newsletter. Thank you so much for helping us "Take Worship to the Nations."

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