What is precious to you?

Something is precious to us because of its high intrinsic value or because it means much to us personally. These two are not the same, since we often cherish something that has no intrinsic value. It might have extrinsic value to us, or it might be much less valuable than we think it is.

A disaster can reveal what is precious to us. I know a man who fell down a flight of sharp stone stairs. He lay sprawled at the bottom, groaning and moaning: “Oh no! Oh no! It’s broken! It’s broken! I broke my smartphone!”

Noticing what the Scriptures label as precious can help us cherish things that are truly precious, and recognize things that are not.

We may not cherish material things.

Remember Solomon’s evaluation of the material realm: “Vanity of vanities, all is vanity” (Ecclesiastes 1:2).

On judgment day, precious stones will be worthless.

Many try to prop up their self-esteem by adorning themselves with expensive possessions, gems and jewelry.

The spiritual harlot, portrayed in Revelation as Babylon the Great, deals in “merchandise of gold and silver, precious stones and pearls, fine linen and purple, silk and scarlet, every kind of citron wood, every kind of object of ivory, every kind of object of most precious wood, bronze, iron, and marble” (Revelation 18:12).

There is an outward appearance of great wealth, but the harlot’s chalice is filled with filth, fornication and blood; and when she faces God in judgment, her wealth is gone: “The fruit that your soul longed for has gone from you, and all the things which are rich and splendid have gone from you, and you shall find them no more” ... “For in one hour such great riches came to nothing” (Revelation 18:14, 17).

Love of money leads to perdition.

“And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows” (1 Timothy 6:8-10).

We should cherish spiritual things.

Spiritual values are eternal.

Wisdom is more precious than gold.

Of wisdom we read in Proverbs 3:15, “She is more precious than rubies, and all the things you may desire cannot compare with her.”

Job declared:
“But where can wisdom be found?
And where is the place of understanding?
Man does not know its value,
Nor is it found in the land of the living.
The deep says, ‘It is not in me’;
And the sea says, ‘It is not with me.’
It cannot be purchased for gold,
Nor can silver be weighed for its price.
It cannot be valued in the gold of Ophir,
In precious onyx or sapphire.
Neither gold nor crystal can equal it,
Nor can it be exchanged for jewelry of fine gold.
No mention shall be made of coral or quartz,
For the price of wisdom is above rubies.
The topaz of Ethiopia cannot equal it,
Nor can it be valued in pure gold.
From where then does wisdom come?
And where is the place of understanding?”
“Behold, the fear of the LORD, that is wisdom,
And to depart from evil is understanding”
(Job 28:12-20, 28).

Our faith is more precious than gold.

Peter addresses his second letter “To those who have obtained like precious faith with us by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 1:1).

In his first letter, referring to our living hope and incorruptible inheritance, Peter says: “In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:6, 7).

Most precious are the gracious gifts of God.

God’s gifts in nature are precious.

“See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain” (James 5:7).

When Moses blessed Israel, he said of the tribe of Joseph:
“Blessed of the LORD is his land,
With the precious things of heaven, with the dew,
And the deep lying beneath,
With the precious fruits of the sun,
With the precious produce of the months,
With the best things of the ancient mountains,
With the precious things of the everlasting hills,
With the precious things of the earth and its fullness”
(Deuteronomy 33:13-16).

Let us value the precious blessings of the earth, and thank God for them.

God’s mercy is precious.

“How precious is Your lovingkindness, O God! Therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of Your wings” (Psalm 36:7).

God’s thoughts are precious.

“How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!” (Psalm 139:17). The word of God, which reveals His thoughts, is a matchless treasure.

In 1988 when I visited Dan McVey in Ghana, I was surprised that his bookshop contained many expensive leather-bound Bibles and only a few inexpensive Bibles. I asked why he had so many expensive Bibles for a country with much poverty. He explained that most people wanted a durable Bible because it was their most prized possession. They had to save up for it, so they wanted it to last a lifetime. They might not be able to afford glasses, so they wanted a Bible with large print.

How much are God’s thoughts worth to us? Is God’s word our most prized possession? Can we say with David: “How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!”

God has given us precious promises.

“Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust” (2 Peter 1:2-4).

We have been redeemed by the precious blood of Christ.

“And if you call on the Father, who without partiality judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves throughout the time of your stay here in fear; knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot” (1 Peter 1:17-19).

To redeem someone is to purchase his liberation. We sold ourselves into the slavery of sin but we were redeemed with the precious blood of Christ. We stand in awe of God who loved us so much. How precious we must be to Him that He was willing to pay such a price for our liberation. In gratitude we bow to His will and serve Him with joy.

“You are not your own. For you were bought at a price” (1 Corinthians 6:19, 20).

Christ is the precious cornerstone in God’s spiritual house.

“Therefore thus says the Lord God: ‘Behold, I lay in Zion a stone for a foundation, a tried stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation’” (Isaiah 28:16).

We need a solid foundation. Christ is the precious cornerstone of God’s temple. Only by aligning ourselves with Him can we be a living stone in God’s spiritual house.

“Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious, you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. Therefore it is also contained in the Scripture, ‘Behold, I lay in Zion a chief cornerstone, elect, precious, and he who believes on Him will by no means be put to shame.’ Therefore, to you who believe, He is precious” (1 Peter 2:4-7).

God’s kingdom is worth more than any earthly interest.

“The kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it” (Matthew 13:45, 46).

Serving God is worth more than physical life itself. Paul declared: “But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God” (Acts 20:24).

What is precious to the Lord?

A gentle spirit is precious to God.

“Do not let your adornment be outward - arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel - rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God” (1 Peter 3:3, 4).

Although this passage is directed to women, the principle applies to all: “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth” (Matthew 5:5). Jesus was “gentle and lowly in heart” (Matthew 11:29). The fruit of the Spirit includes “gentleness” (Galatians 5:23). Let us cultivate “a gentle and quite spirit,” which is precious to God.

Precious to the Lord is the death of His saints.

“He will spare the poor and needy, and will save the souls of the needy. He will redeem their life from oppression and violence; and precious shall be their blood in His sight” (Psalm 72:13, 14).

Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of His saints” (Psalm 116:15).

The day of death is victory day for the faithful Christian who can say with Paul: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing” (2 Timothy 4:7, 8).

What is precious according to God’s word?

We may not cherish material things. On judgment day, precious stones will be worthless. Love of money leads to perdition. We ought to cherish spiritual things. Wisdom and faith are more precious than gold. Most precious are the gracious gifts of God. His gifts in nature, His mercy and His thoughts are precious. He has given us exceedingly precious promises. We have been redeemed by the precious blood of Christ. He is the precious cornerstone in God’s spiritual house. God’s kingdom is worth more than any earthly interest. Precious to the Lord are a gentle spirit, and the final victory of His saints.

As Christians, let us cherish these precious things. If you have not yet become a Christian, you are depriving yourself of life’s most precious treasure. Amen.

Roy Davison

The Scripture quotations in this article are from
The New King James Version. ©1979,1980,1982,
Thomas Nelson Inc., Publishers unless indicated otherwise.
Permission for reference use has been granted.

Published in The Old Paths Archive