This week we have seen from the Bible that God wants us to love Him more than we love money, riches, or material things. But how can we love God – the One whom we don’t see or touch physically – and not love money – which can be touched, are so important, and “make the world go around”?
As believers in Christ, we have a different set of values, a different system of valuing things than the people in the world today. We need to have a divine sense of value in order to appreciate the supreme preciousness of Christ and the exceeding worth of the church.
We need the Lord to unveil us that we may see Christ’s supreme preciousness and the church’s exceeding worth. Words cannot do much – we need a revelation, a vision of Christ. In the Bible there’s much speaking concerning this change in our concept of value, in our valuation system.
Before we believe into the Lord, we had a perverted and crooked system of values, but once we received the Lord Jesus as our Savior and life, our system of values has changed. Now we treasure the Lord and we love the church much more than we love and treasure anything outward or physical!
Lord Jesus, unveil us to see Your supreme preciousness. May we really see who You are, what You have done, and what You are to us. Change our valuation system, Lord, that we may no longer treasure outward things but love You and consider You more worthy and valuable than anything else.
A Change in our Concept of Value
What do we value as being precious and worthy of our time and energy? What is meaningful and valuable to us? Before we believed into the Lord, we may have treasured many outward things like football, movies, sports, cars, fashion, music, etc. Looking back at those days, we realize that we had a perverted concept of values, being influenced by many outward things which are not real.
But after we received the Lord Jesus as our life, our concept of values changed. We no longer regarded outward things or achievements as being precious, but the Lord Jesus became the Most Precious One to us!
We no longer cherish what we used to cherish, and we no longer treasure what we used to treasure – not we treasure the spiritual things, the deeper things of God, which we once used to despise. There has been a change in our concept of value.
To repent is to have a turn to God from anything else – now we love God, treasure God, and consider God as more valuable than anything else.
Seeing the Divine Sense of Value in the Bible
We need to daily get into the Word of God in a prayerful and inwardly-open way so that we may receive the divine sense of value and be aligned, balanced, and set straight in our value system.
Being in the world and among people many times affects us unconsciously, so our value system can be corrupted, degraded, perverted, warped, and damaged – without us noticing this. If we really have a divine sense of value, we will take the right decisions.
Let us come back to God’s word and see what the Bible says concerning the divine sense of value, which is our sense of value as believers.
# Christ is Preciousness Itself – Psa. 118:22 says, The stone which the builders rejected Has become the head of the corner. We see this also in 1 Pet. 2:4, 7. To man, Christ was a stone which was rejected, and He was put aside, despised. But to God, Christ is the precious Stone, a living stone, even preciousness itself. Don’t be surprised that Christ is rejected and opposed and despised by unbelievers – they don’t see Christ’s preciousness! To us, Christ is preciousness itself, and He occupies a honorable position. We love and treasure Christ as the precious stone, the head of the corner!
# The Cross – 1 Cor. 1:18 says, For the word of the cross is to those who are perishing foolishness, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. When man can accomplish so much and he can achieve so many things, why would one choose the cross? To unbelievers the cross is foolishness – it is the end of life as they know it. But to us as the saved ones, taking up our own cross and following the Lord is the power of God. Being dealt with, keeping our flesh on the cross, applying the cross by the Spirit, and remaining in Christ’s crucifixion is something we treasure!
# Seeking God First – Matt. 6:32-33 says, For all these things the Gentiles are anxiously seeking. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. People today seek the material things, riches, and money; but we as Christians have a Father who cares for us, and He knows what we need. We don’t anxiously seek these things – we rather seek FIRST God’s kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to us. We seek God’s interest, and He takes care of our needs. That’s a change in concept from seeking outward things to seeking the things of God!
# Loving God Supremely – Matt. 10:37-38 says, He who loves father or mother above Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter above Me is not worthy of Me; And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. The most moral and noble among unbelievers today love and respect their parents, and we as believers also love and respect them – BUT we first love God, we love God more and respect Him more than even our physical parents. What a change in the sense of value! Now we treasure God more, we honor Him, and we prefer to take up our cross and follow Him.
# Saving Our Soul – Matt. 16:26 says, For what shall a man be profited if he gains the whole world, but forfeits his soul-life? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul-life? People today want to gain as much as they can in this world, and even gain the whole world – but they are losing themselves, their soul life, especially in the next age. We on the other hand choose to save our soul in the next age and in this age we would rather lose our soul life in this age to gain it in the next. We value the next age, the age of the kingdom, much more than what this world has to offer!
# Dealing with Sin – Matt. 18:8-9 (and 5:29) speaks of cutting off the members of our body that stumble us and cause us to sin, because it is better to enter into life maimed than be cast whole into the eternal fire. We deal severely with our flesh and with our members today so that we may be counted worthy to enter into God’s kingdom, the full enjoyment of the eternal life, in the next age. We hate sin, and we do what is needed to put away the motive of sin at any cost. Of course, we don’t do by physically cutting something but we apply this spiritually, inwardly.
# Serving Others – Matt. 20:25-27 speaks of the rulers of this world exercising authority over people, lording it over them; but we as believers should not be like this – rather, whoever wants to be great needs to be the others’ servant. The system of value is changed – we are not ambitious for power and for being great, but we rather serve others as slaves. This is absolutely contrary to the natural and self-seeking mind. We prefer to serve others, ministering Christ to them and shepherding them in love, rather than trying to “lord it over them”, as people in the world do.
# God is Our Delight – Job 22:23-28 speaks of returning to God and being built up, putting our gold nuggets in the dust and God will be our gold nuggets, delighting in God and He will lift up our countenance, praying to God and He will hear us. The things that unbelievers consider precious we lay down, and we treasure God – He is our gold nuggets! We delight in God and not in anything else outwardly. Our prayer and our yearnings are before God, and we believe He hears us and repays us. What a change in the concept of value!
# Bearing His Reproach – Heb. 11:24-26 speaks of Moses, who was qualified to have the enjoyment of sin in Egypt (because he was the son of the Pharaoh’s daughter), but he considered the reproach of the Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt. He refused something which everyone envied and desired to have – being called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter – and he was willing to suffer all reproaches and hardships because he saw the significance of that unseen and great reward! We today choose Christ and would rather be associated with God’s people, because we treasure the reward which will be given us at the end!
# Christ is More Excellent – Phil. 3:7-8 shows us that Paul counted the things who were gains to him as LOSS on account of Christ and on account of the excellency of the knowledge of Christ. He had many good things to boast about, but he counted all things as loss, even as dung and refuse, so that he may gain Christ. Paul considered Christ as the most Excellent One, and for His sake he suffered the loss of all things, counting them as refuse. We as Christians have this kind of change in valuation – we value Christ and count Him more excellent than any good, moral, ethical, religious, or spiritual achievements.
# Choosing the Precious Things – Jeremiah 15:19 tells us that if we bring out the precious from the worthless, we will be as God’s mouth. Today many people value different things as being “precious”, but these are worthless in God’s sight. If we cannot tell the proper value of things, God will reject us and cast us aside. But if we bring out the precious from the worthless, we will be His mouth – we will speak for Him, speak Him, and minister Him into people. May we be those who choose the most excellent portion, the precious things, Christ Himself!
Seeing the Preciousness of Christ
As believers living in the world and being in the church life today, what do we treasure most? What is most valuable to us? What is our concept of value? We need to come to Christ as the living stone, the precious One, so that we may see His preciousness (1 Pet. 2:4, 7).
We need to come to His word daily that we may see Christ, appreciate Christ, treasure Christ, and have our concept of value set in line with God’s concept of value. The divine value system needs to become our value system, and all the crooked and perverted valuations need to be removed and set straight.
We need to have a vision of the preciousness of Christ! We will see this more in the coming articles – but we need to ask the Lord,
Lord, cause me to see Your preciousness. I come to You as the precious stone, so that to me there would be preciousness. May I see the precious things from the worthless, and may I choose You as the precious One. Lord, keep me in Your Word that I may be washed and cleansed from the worldly system of value, and that I may receive and have the same value system as You do. Oh, Lord, may there be a thorough change in my concept of value that I may choose the most excellent portion!
References and Further Reading
- This sharing is inspired from brother Ron Kangas’ sharing in this message and portions in, The Collected Works of Watchman Nee (vol. 60, ch. 45), as quoted in the Holy Word for Morning Revival on Crystallization-Study of Daniel and Zechariah, week 11 (entitled, The Evil and Wickedness of Commerce versus a Divine Sense of Value concerning Christ and the Church).
- Buy this morning revival book online via Living Stream Ministry.
- Further reading:
# Messages Given to the Working Saints (by Witness Lee, ch. 7).
# Life-study of 1 Peter, p. 144.
# See the footnotes in the Recovery Version on all the above verses.
- Hymns on this topic:
# Lord, You are more precious than silver; / Lord, You are more costly than gold; / Lord, You are more beautiful than diamonds; / And nothing I desire compares with You.
# Dear Beloved, we admire Thee, / Who can tell Thy preciousness; / All Thy love we deeply treasure / And Thine untold loveliness.
# Dear Lord Jesus, precious Jesus, / Thou hast won each love from me; / Who like Thee—so fair and comely? / Who like Thee—so sweet and lovely? / Matchless One, unrivaled beauty, / None can e’er compete with Thee!
- Pictures credit: created with my iPhone 🙂 and in my twitter feed here.