The Madonna lovingly holds her son and you can only imagine the thoughts she pondered and treasured in her heart. What do you hold most precious in your life, truly? Those who know you best will probably have a good idea from seeing how you spend your time and money. Sometimes, you appreciate the value of something fully only when it is taken away from you – freedom would be a good example of this. Mary was holding far more than her son – she was cradling the very Gospel of your future hope and it is this that is precious beyond words. Not everyone sees it this way for other things are more precious to them:
- ‘My private life is the most precious thing to me’ – Leona Lewis
- ‘My weekends are extremely precious’ - Mariska Hargitay
- ‘My daughters are very precious to me’ – Shahid Afridi
Family, privacy and time are indeed precious but the gift of life itself is a treasure not to squander. Are the last 300 seconds of life any more important that the next 300? Neither of these time slots can be repeated; both carry opportunities and responsibilities.
- ‘Life is precious, and when someone dies it's an opportunity to realise how precious it is. My brother drowned when I was 17. He was 15. I think I grew from that. My father didn't. It really crushed him’ – Val Kilmer
Assuming we rightly value the gift of physical life how about the value we place on our spiritual life? Whilst the former will end one day, the latter through faith in Christ will never end. Without full comprehension, Mary was ‘looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith’, the great Messiah who was to be the precious cornerstone prophesied by Isaiah that the Apostle Peter would write about.
- ‘So this is what the Sovereign Lord says: ‘See, I lay a stone in Zion, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation; the one who relies on it will never be stricken with panic’ – Isaiah 28:16
- ‘Now to you who believe, this stone is precious. But to those who do not believe, the stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone’- 1 Peter 2:7
- ‘Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who through the righteousness of our God and Saviour Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as ours: Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord’ – 2 Peter 1:1-2
For the Christian, there can be nothing more precious than the Gospel, the Good News of God’s grace. We are made alive as we are born again by the Spirit of God through faith in Jesus Christ. This Gospel is a precious eternal work to which nothing can be added or taken away. Jesus himself declared this on the cross: ‘It is finished!’ For us, God continues to work divinely in us through his precious and eternal word.
- ‘His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge’ – 2 Peter 1:3-5
Many treasures in the Old Testament contain wisdom and knowledge that point forwards to this coming Gospel-Bringer of your salvation:
- ‘...wisdom is more precious than rubies, and nothing you desire can compare with her’ – Proverbs 8:11
- ‘The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring for ever. The decrees of the Lord are firm, and all of them are righteous. They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the honeycomb. By them your servant is warned; in keeping them there is great reward’ – Psalm 19:9-11
- ‘The law from your mouth is more precious to me than thousands of pieces of silver and gold’ – Psalm 119:72
- ‘How precious to me are your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them’ – Psalm 139:17
When you feel poverty of spirit or that faith is at low ebb, remind yourself of the riches we have in Christ Jesus and that he provides us with every spiritual blessing we need. You are precious to him which is why he died for you and will be with you in last moments before you meet him in glory.
- ‘Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his faithful servants’ – Psalm 116:15
TAGS – treasure, hope, eternal life, ponder, heart