In this series of articles and videos, the subject we are looking at is the preciousness of Christ. The question is, is Jesus precious to you or simply useful? Our text is 1 Peter 2.4-8. Watch the video below and be powerfully challenged to live this year with a fresh focus on the excellence of Christ.
1 Peter 2:4–6 — The New International Version (NIV)4 As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him—5 you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 6 For in Scripture it says: “See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to We shame.” 7 Now, to you who believe, this stone is precious. But to those who do not believe, “The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone,”
We’ve just seen from the Word of God that Jesus is to the Father, chosen and precious. He is the One called the cornerstone, chosen and precious. Not only that, we too must see this stone as precious, we who believe. So is Jesus precious to you or simply useful?
What God expects
As Christians, we have a choice as to how we will function. But God has shown us what He expects from us. The onus is on us to do what the Father expects. Jesus is precious to the Father, and He must be precious to us. We could have a purely utilitarian relationship with God, which is the case for many, many people. Jesus saved them from their sins, forgave, delivered, healed them, set them free, and got them out of their entrapped mental state. They know whatever good and much good Jesus has done for them. But they never go beyond that.
We tell Him ‘I give You my life’, but as a matter of fact, He simply rescues us. But after the rescue, now comes the relationship, and the relationship is the reason for which He rescues us. Jesus did not simply come to make us happy, feel better, heal us, or bring us out of a temporal calamity. He came to effect an eternal reconciliation and birth us into the family of God.
This is the foundation of the preciousness of Christ. We must make a decision to live differently as believers, not only as people who come to God with their begging bowl on a daily basis, but people who, because Christ has died for us, choose to live for Him. Jesus is precious to us.
We are precious to God, and we must become useful to Him. God is useful to us, and He must become precious to us, He is useful for our salvation. He is useful for our healing. He is useful for our deliverance. He is useful for the forgiveness of sins. But is He precious? The very things that He does should make Him precious to us. And that changes the substance or the atmosphere of our relationship with Him.
What does it mean?
To say ‘He is precious’ means that He deserves great honour, that I have wonderful affections towards Him. My sentiments concerning Him must be beautiful, lovely, pure. He must move and delight my heart. His awesomeness must be captivating to me. So we tremble at His glory. We delight continually in Him. This is what we mean by Jesus being precious to us, we consider Him, and this is the most important of infinite intrinsic value.
In fact, this passage can also be translated by saying that He is valuable. He is valuable to the Father, He is of infinite value. What does this mean for us? It means that in comparison to Him, everyone and everything else must be found wanting. If He is infinitely valuable, it means that He commands my attention. He commands my affection. He commands my devotion, and He commands every measure of time, capability and resource that I own. It is all at his disposal because he is infinitely valuable.
These are holy affections to be birthed within us. It is more than words or a song, it is about the heart that sings the song. It is the feeling behind the words that are spoken, that give life and meaning to the words.
Four dimensions in which Christ must be precious
There are four dimensions in which Christ must be precious to us. First,
He must be precious in His Person, who He is must be precious to us. The contemplation of God seems to have waned in popularity, and, yet, that is where the Christian truly encounters Him. In that place in prayer, where you contemplate Him, His person, His attributes, His loveliness are gradually unveiled before you. Veil after veil keeps coming off.
In the realm of the spirit, we enjoy different dimensions of the same God. We perceive him in varying degrees, not of accuracy, but of clarity, You’re not seeing Jupiter and Nancy Mars. No, we are seeing the Lord Jesus Christ. But some see him more clearly than others do.
For us, He is glorious, a Being of intrinsic worth, beauty, and greatness outside His creation. He is excellence, radiance, and perfection. Our hearts must be touched, made tender, and loving towards Him.
His presence is precious. To us it must be as it was for David. He declared in Psalm 27 as follows
Psaumes 27:4 Segond 21
Psalm 27:4Holman Christian Standard Bible
4 I have asked one thing from the Lord;
it is what I desire:
to dwell in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life,
gazing on the beauty of the Lord
and seeking Him in His temple.
Relationships are on different levels. Some are need-based, they seek you out for assistance and when the request list is presented and acceded to, nothing more needs to be said. They take their leave and go on their way. Others tarry for a meal, but afterward, the conversation peters out. Yet others visit and linger and linger, and you are loath to see them go because their presence is a delight.
The presence of the Lord must be a delight. We enter and tarry, even when the prayer list is exhausted because we are people of the presence. His delight is in those who delight in His presence, those who stay long with Him because they love being with Him. We must find His presence precious.
We must find His works precious.
We were made to worship and worship is a direct result of value, appreciation, seeing distinctly His marvelous works. The contemplation of His works cause us to break forth in praise. Hear the voice of the psalmist.
The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
God’s works must be precious to us, as we found in meditating on Psalm 111. The things that He does, and thinking about them reveal His character as His works are an expression of His character and the understanding of His word.
The things that He does and our meditation of them reveal His character because His works are an expression of His character. Psalm 111 reveals His works in providence, creation and redemption.
It must be our constant delight to meditate on His works.
Finally, we must find His words precious. In Mark 8:38, Jesus has very strong words for those who are ashamed of Him and His words. His words must be seen as infinitely valuable. And here we echo the psalmist.
The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple. 8 The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes. 9 The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever. The decrees of the Lord are firm, and all of them are righteous. 10 They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the honeycomb. 11 By them your servant is warned; in keeping them there is great reward.
May you find His Person, His presence, His works and His words precious.We are precious to God, we must become useful to Him. God is useful to us, He must become precious to us. Click To Tweet