Pausing from our busy day and thinking about Christ can be difficult. It can seem like a chore to set aside the activities of the day for a moment to turn our thoughts to Him. The moment we try, all the stuff of life begins battling for our attention and unless Christ is seated firmly on the throne of our hearts they will succeed.
I realize there are urgent things requiring our full attention for a time. We cannot have a non-stop Bible study or devotional time, but we can control what takes precedence in our thought life
Therefore, to you who believe, He is precious… (1 Peter 2:7).
When something is precious to you, you treasure it and give it your undivided attention. ”Precious” is a serious word here. It is not the same as when a baby or a puppy is called “precious.” When something is precious to a person in this manner, it is cherished and handled with the greatest of care. As Peter states in the passage above, the believer holds Christ in the highest esteem. The Christian gives Christ the most preeminent position in his or her affections. The Christian’s walk with the Lord is close, intimate, and deeply personal because the Christian cherishes Christ. The more we, as believers, treasure Him above all things, the more His glory will be reflected in our lives. Let’s take a look at four reasons why Christ is precious to the believer.
Christ saved the believer. There was once a time when the relationship between Christ and the believer was not one of mutual love. The believer was dead in trespasses and sins (Ephesians 2:1). Sin was the atmosphere in which he lived, deceiving him and rendering him incapable of seeing the loving God that would save him from death. As an unrepentant sinner, the only thing he could expect from God was judgment and wrath. “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). After salvation, instead of the infinite gap and infinite enmity between the sinner and God, there is intimacy. Looking to Christ the believer sees a loving God, a Man who identifies with and can sympathize with the believer’s trials and temptations and a Brother who welcomes the believer into the family room. Christ is precious because He saves.
Christ sustains the believer. Outside of Christ, the believer owed God the greatest debt but only had a pile of filthy rags with which to pay it off (Isaiah 64:6). Now, a Redeemer has stepped forward. Christ has paid, once and for all, the debt of sin that was charged against us. The believer stumbles and falls into sin repeatedly, but Christ represents the believer before God’s judgment (1 John 2:1). Christ pays the debt, rendering it void. But He does not leave the Christian where he or she stumbled. The same Christ who died on the cross also carries His joint heir on the path of righteousness, leading the believer to repentance over and over (Jude 24). Christ is precious because He sustains.
Christ loves the believer. Before salvation, the believer was a slave to sin (Romans 6:17). Sin was the master and never did anything good for him or her, never loved, never satisfied, and never cared for the believer. It was like trying to slake a burning thirst with a glass of dry dust. But when Christ conquered the believer’s heart, he or she began serving a loving master. Now the believer looks around and finds, along with countless gifts of grace and mercy around every corner, he or she is loved. Whereas before, their old master used and abused the believer, the new master, Christ, takes on believers’ burdens and loves them with an everlasting, undying, and unmatched love. Christ is precious because He loves (1 John 4:19).
Christ prepares a place for the believer. As an unrepentant sinner, the believer had no expectation or hope of eternal happiness. There was only the dark uncertainty of death and the mystery that lay beyond, whether an eternal hell, total oblivion or an endless and empty cycle of reincarnation. But when Christ entered and cleared away the doubt and confusion, He promised a great inheritance after death and gives us great hope and confidence in His promise. Now, instead of fearing uncertainty and wrath, the believer looks forward to Christ’s return (Titus 2:11-14) and the promise of a dwelling place in the presence of God that will never pass away (John 14:1-4; Revelation 21:3).
These truths only apply to “those who believe.” Many times, people struggle with doubt as to whether they are saved. A good self-examination would be to go through these truths and see if they apply. Is Christ precious to us? Because of who He is and what He has done, are we stirred to love Him at all? Remember that Christ deserves the adoration of every human heart. He is worth more than all things, worth our love and praise and all we have.