Discover how a believer matures to the place where Jesus becomes precious to them and not just useful. Watch the video below.
In the first article/video, we examined, based on 1 Peter 2:4–6, the immense value the Father desires we recognise in Christ. He is the Cornerstone, precious to God and who must be precious to us. He must be of immense value, unquantifiable and unqualified value to us. His preciousness means that we see His greatness, we see His awesomeness, we see His worth, and we value Him. We put no price on Him. We find Him beyond any kind of description. Furthermore, we are amazed at His Person, and He means everything to us.
We looked, in the second article/video at the fact that His Person, His presence, His words, and His works must be precious to us than what we possess, our status, the people we love and our own lives. And Jesus made it very clear that if we are not willing to give up our lives, we cannot be His disciples. And so many of us today who call ourselves Christians are really not disciples, based on how precious Jesus is to us or not.
So how does Jesus become precious to us? In the third article/video, we found that Jesus becomes precious to us as we, first, receive understanding of the content of salvation and secondly, secondly, respond to the invitation to contemplate Him. In the previous article/video, we looked at the content of salvation and the first part of responding to the invitation.
How do we respond to the invitation? By contemplating Him in His Word and by being filled with the Spirit, drawing near in worship and prayer.
By contemplating Him in His Word
We wrote earlier that we respond to the invitation by contemplating Him in His Word. The Holy Spirit is continually inviting us to contemplate Jesus in His Word. And when we do, what do we see? We see three things. First, the greatness of His salvation. Second, the greatness of the Saviour Himself and third, the extent of His abnegation. We looked in the previous article at the greatness of His salvation.
The greatness of the Saviour himself.
Many believers today will gladly sit through diverse types of messages, but when the sole topic is Jesus, they are distinctly less excited. And that’s because we have not trained our senses to delight in the Master. He is the Lord who is convenient for His usefulness, but is not a continual Object of our contemplation. But to truly find Him precious, we must see His greatness.
The apostle John was one who never tired of contemplating Him, and the first chapter of John is a magnificent exposition of the greatness of Christ. He was the Word, in the beginning, He was God, He was Creator, and only later did He become a human being. When you take the time to ponder the greatness of our Saviour, you cannot but find Him precious. You cannot but be astounded at His Person. You cannot but marvel at Him.
But it takes deciding, as we saw the last time, to devote your life not only to the reception of the goods of Christ but to the contemplation of the Person of Christ; to gazing upon His face and marvelling at His beauty.
The extent of His abnegation
In contemplating Him in His Word, finally we see the extent of His abnegation. We saw His greatness as described by John. And in Philippians, Paul describes how He went from divinity to assuming a form akin to that of the lowest in society;
Philippians 2:7-11 Instead He emptied Himself by assuming the form of a slave, taking on the likeness of men. And when He had come as a man in His external form, 8He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death — even to death on a cross. 9For this reason God highly exalted Him and gave Him the name that is above every name, 10so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow — of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth — 11and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
It means pondering what the Word reveals about Him, His character, His kindness, His love, His compassion, His mercy and the extent of Hs abnegation as testified in Him accepting the utmost humiliation, just for us.
When you understand the fall, when you have seen the marks of the fall in the lives of people and in your own life and when you understand the incarnation and the greatness of the One who did this for us, you cannot but find Him precious. He became less than a slave for the sole purpose of redeeming humanity.
The Saviour could have done without all this aggravation, but He became a human being so that we could be redeemed. When you ponder it, you’re bound to be saturated with a consciousness of His greatness and consequently find Him infinitely precious.
Be filled with the Spirit; Drawing near in worship and prayer
Alongside contemplating His greatness, the greatness of His salvation in the Word, we tap into the work of the Holy Spirit. The place of worship and prayer is the place of encounter with His presence. A life of continual adoration is one of increasing revelation of His brightness.
Ephesians 5:18-21 And don’t get drunk with wine, which leads to reckless actions, but be filled by the Spirit: 19speaking to one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing and making music from your heart to the Lord, 20giving thanks always for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 21submitting to one another in the fear of Christ.
It behoves us to cultivate the relationship. As we do, we gain a new appetite for the things of God. We are delivered of old, unseemly appetites.
There is a spiritual world in which Jesus is the Prince of light, the cherished and adored One; as we apprehend that reality, we see how infinitely precious He is.