“To you who believe, He is precious”
1 Peter 2:7
Earlier in the week I discussed our worth in Jesus Christ that is guaranteed by His heavenly Father. If you have not read it, I encourage you to do so. Today, I want to focus, not on our worth in Him, but His worth in us, and ask the question, “Just how valuable is Christ to you?”
As I prepared for this blog, I was suddenly burdened with the ugly reality that many of us Believers still don’t value Jesus Christ or what He did on the cross. If we do, we aren’t consistently living a life that exemplifies it. Ouch! Are you judging me? I hope not. I only mean to challenge you to examine your commitment to Him, and urge you to allow the Holy Spirit to reveal any areas of your life where you may be resistant to His changes or may have grown complacent. Is there something you are too afraid to let go (because it’s been so good to you)? I confess, before I could share with you today, I had to do some self-examining myself, which was not an easy task.
This is what I feel is hindering us from seeing the real value of Jesus Christ: While we have been freed from the penalty of sin, too many of us still choose a lifestyle of sin. True, we will never fully overcome sin while here on earth. But committing a sin and living a lifestyle of sin are totally different. The former recognizes sin as a byproduct of the flesh, because we were shaped in iniquity (Psalms 51:5) and struggle to resist. The latter is not struggling at all. It has resolved itself to the desires of the flesh and ingrained it as a part of life. This could be in one area of our lives or multiple. The Bible calls it being carnal. Choosing sin diminishes Christ’s presence in our lives. A lack of Godly presence renders us powerless to control our tendencies. A lack of Godly power means we remain enslaved to sin(s), which means what Jesus did on the cross didn’t work for us so it has no value in our life (sarcasm intended).
But, being carnal is nothing new and we are not the only ones guilty of it. Along with Ecclesiastes 1:9 reminding us there is nothing new under the sun, the Bible is filled with warnings against carnality: “As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, be holy yourself in all your conduct” (1 Peter 1:14).
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind” (Romans 12:2).
“What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound: By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?” (Romans 6:1-2).
“So put away all malice and all guile and insincerity and envy and all slander. Like newborn babes, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up to salvation” (1 Peter 2: 1-2).
In order to recognize the value of this Jewel we possess, we have to heighten our spiritual senses. Jesus’ worth is determined by how much of Him we allow in our hearts and minds. If He is allowed only a little influence, then His value to us is small and insignificant. Conversely, if He is granted greater influence, then He is quite valuable to us, because our lives are built around those things which are important to Him.
One way to measure this is to ask yourself, “Would my life drastically change if Jesus were not there? (And the changes need to be more than routinely going to church. It involves how you process your thoughts and deeds.) If the answer is “No!” you may want to check your faith. If the answer is “Yes!” it’s a good indicator that He is valuable to you. It is not enough, my friend, to just believe in Jesus Christ and hand Him over a few items of our lives to control.
In order to increase His worth in our lives it starts with desiring more and more of Him. We have to “Press toward the mark of the high calling” (Philippians 3:14) by giving Him free reign of our hearts, minds, and actions; that was the deal. That means He gets to choose which parts of our lives must change. He decides which relationships are good for us and which ones we need to walk away from. As Lord, Jesus Christ dictates which hurts and habits have become hang-ups. We confess. We believe. He leads. We follow.
As we prepare to enter into Holy week, let us concentrate on the value of where our faith has led us and recognize how priceless Jesus Christ is. Let’s realize that the same God who orchestrated the creation of heaven and earth; populated its domains to operate in perfect form; created human beings (not as robots to obey, but empowered with free-will); watched as His creation rebelled against Him; responded by wrapping himself in flesh and blood to be crucified as payment for that rebellion so that you and I could have a relationship with Him; now abides, lives, and has taken up residence in us and has humbled Himself a self-appointed Servant to clean up our mess. Wow! Wow! Wow! He is precious!
His blood is precious for it covers us. It is the precious blood of the Lamb of God that was offered as an atonement for all of our sins-past, present and future. It is because of His blood that we are fit to be in the presence of such a Holy God. And it is His blood that saves us from a meaningless life of uselessness and ushers us into everlasting with Him.
What He did on the cross for us is precious for it saves us. When Jesus Christ died on the cross, He took on the weight of all sin. He was the last and final atonement.
The transforming work of His holy spirit is precious because He loves us. He loves us enough not to let us die in sin or live with a sinful nature without any help to escape. His holy spirit will renew our minds and transform our hearts if we let it.
“Therefore, brothers and sisters, in view of the mercies of God, I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your true worship” (Romans 12:1).
How precious is the blood that gives me access to You. How gracious is Your love that You would consider a mess like me. I recognize that I am unfit to be in Your presence but for Jesus Christ. I confess there are areas in my life that I have not fully surrendered to Your will and have failed to let You reign. Lord, please bless my unbelief. Meet me in this place where sin is still ruling in my life and preventing me from seeing the true value of You. Change my heart and mind in those areas, and help me reach past the habits, fears and pride that entangles me so I may trust You. My desire is to see more of Your influence in my life. In Jesus’s name I pray.
I hope this encouraged you to live your best life for Jesus Christ. He has done so much for us, and He didn’t have to. Don’t do it just for you, but for those non-believers who are looking for answers and hope in this crazy world. Be a light. Do it as a testimony to a world which is still lost and still seeking. While they may not admit it, they are still looking for a Messiah. And He’s right here! But the only way they will ever know Him or see Him is through you and me. We have to show them that He is the Way, the Truth and the Light, and that He is valuable to enrich their lives. He is worth it, and He deserves our worship.
Meet us back here on Monday for the beginning of Holy week to continue the discussion of worth with Vanessa.