How do we find Jesus precious? Watch this powerful message, the third part of the series Is Jesus precious to you or simply useful?
In the first article /video, we saw that Jesus must be precious to us, not just useful, His Person, His presence, His words, and His works must be precious to us. Furthermore, in the second article/video, we dwelt on the fact that He must be more precious to us than our possessions, our relationships, our social standing, and our very lives.
Paul the apostle was one such for whom the preciousness of Jesus led to the forsaking of all. We have received the same Lord and the same Spirit. The question then is, how do we get to the point where Jesus becomes this precious to us? Some may think it will take a special vision in a deep place of prayer where He will display His glory and splendour. Not so.
There is one sure way that the Lord has given to us whereby we can know Him in a way that He becomes totally precious to us. And that way is His Word. Anyone who will find the Lord precious must find His Word precious. Then he must find His preciousness in the revelation of Him that comes out of His precious Word. And it is not a matter of choice, rather it is absolutely compulsory in the life of the believer.
And unless we find Him absolutely precious, we will take wrong decisions in life because we will not do the things that please Him, as diverse things will have more value to us than He does. So how do we really get to this point?
We get to this point through the Word of God, and it’s important for the reason given above, it is also important because, in the economy of God, there is no provision made for lukewarmness. There are certain things we must see in the Word, such as the very content and substance of salvation.
Understand the content of salvation – the reconciliation / love dimension
The concept of reconciliation is at the heart of God’s plan of salvation. As are sonship and love.
In salvation, God is not merely removing that which was wrongfully acquired, sin and its attendant consequences; He is also restoring what was lost, relationship. We are being reconciled with the Father.
Enters the idea of sonship. We are empowered because of Christ to call God our Father, as we have been adopted into His family. What a wonder that God will call us His children. It is a call to intimacy, trust, dependence, and perfect love.
(Rom 8:15 [HCSB]) For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father! ”
It’s not just the relationship of the judge to the criminal, which we are, which we were. Nor is it just the relationship of a master to a subordinate. We were brought into sonship. I wrote a book Reborn, a new identity, in which I discuss the new identity of the believer.
And in this book, I talk about the Roman concept of adoption, where a person is brought into a family and becomes a full-fledged member of that family as if they were born in that family. They died to their old life. That old person ceased to exist, and this is very interesting because very often the adoptions were of people who were already adults for inheritance reasons.
Caesar Augustus, before his death, adopted Tiberius, his wife’s son, as all the male heirs in his family had died. This entitled Tiberius to become Caesar after the death of Augustus. Augustus himself had been adopted by Julius Caesar.
And we have been adopted into God’s family. Because of Jesus, we are full heirs, our old wayward lives are forgotten. When we understand what it means to have been adopted into God’s family, we realise how much love has really been poured out on us.
God has poured out love of incomparable proportions on us in Jesus Christ. And as recipients and beneficiaries of so much love, so much attention, so much affection, our hearts are naturally stirred to love Him in return and to find the one who is the architect of our salvation infinitely valuable.
As you think on these things, as revealed in the Word Jesus becomes delightful to you, He becomes infinitely precious to you. That’s why the Word is the agency of the preciousness of Christ.
The invitation of God to mankind has always been to ‘love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul’, and in Christ, that love is made fully accessible and realisable.
And the second point in growing to find Jesus precious is to respond to His invitation.
2. Respond to the invitation
Every time the word of God is bridged, an invitation is being issued to contemplate the loveliness of Christ. Every time you pick up your Bible, it’s an invitation to sit at the feet of the Master so that the Spirit of Christ will lead you into the revelation of this glorious Being who came to give His all for us. Our response to that invitation determines how precious Jesus will be to us.
The Holy Spirit is constantly wooing us to revelation and intimacy through the preaching of the Word, in times of prayer. He calls us to a life of contemplation of God. It’s that contemplation, that contemplation that really establishes in us the preciousness of Christ, contemplation based on what the word reveals about him.
I taught a series in our television programme on psalm 111. it was a powerful adventure in the contemplation of God, the discovery of His works, His Person, His Word, and His presence. Every single sentence that we studied was an invitation to find God delightful and to find Jesus magnificent. And so when you want to find him precious and grow in the consciousness of his value, you take your time to meditate on these dimensions of salvation, to meditate on scriptures like this that reveal his glory and his greatness.
We must thus respond to the invitation to know Him in His Word.
Invitation to know Him in His Word
Colossians 3:16 Let the message about the Messiah dwell richly among you, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, and singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, with gratitude in your hearts to God.
As earlier stated, no special vision of Jesus is required. No need for a vision or special revelation outside of God’s Word. No need to run around listening to visions of Jesus or visions of heaven. His Word produces in us the understanding by which Jesus becomes precious. It gives a clear picture of Jesus.
It produces light and imparts wisdom when it ‘dwells richly’ in the believer. It is not to be taken in microscopic doses, to make it more convenient for people. There must be a decision to devote our lives to growing closer to the Lord and to contemplate Him. Decide as follows.
- I will devote my life to growing in the knowledge of God.
- I will devote my life to contemplating Jesus, to getting closer to Him.
- I will respond to every deposit of His Word inside me.
- Every time the Word is preached to me, I will respond.
- Every time I’m meditating on Scripture, I will let it enter me.
- I will take it seriously.
And so the preciousness of Him comes through His word. And what do we see in his Word? Along with the reconciliation, love, sonship dimensions of salvation, we see three vital things.
1. The greatness of His salvation
Jesus will become precious to us if the greatness of salvation is real to us; if the salvation He died to obtain for us is precious to us; if we truly see the totality of the plan – the fall, redemption, justification, elevation, forgiveness, etc He became sin, and made provision that we be saved and free of condemnation.
In the video, I describe the question of God’s right to call us sinners and punish us for sin. Yet He chose to not have to do so. It leaves you struck with awe at the depth of care displayed towards the undeserving, and you find Him indescribable. That he who knew no sin was made to be sin for us, that we may be made the righteousness of God in Christ. And now there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ. Jesus.
I also describe the reaction to forgiveness, reconciliation, adoption, justification when they cease to be mere words and become truth to us. It is amazement, but beyond amazement. And by the very nature of the greatness of His salvation, we are bound to be from time to time lost for words.
1 Peter 2:10 Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
We were not a people, but now we are God’s people. We had not received mercy, but now, thanks to Him, we have received mercy. It is these ‘but nows’ that make us find Him infinitely precious. In the next article/video, we examine the two other points, what we see in His word that make us find Him precious.