Thursday, June 19, 2014

How Precious!

That’s a picture of the Hope Diamond. It is 112 3/16 carat whose color has been described as “violet.” When it ended up in the French royal jewels, it was described as “blue.” I saw it at the Smithsonian and you can read it’s history on their website. It is surrounded by other diamonds, not as large obviously, but still precious jewels.

What is most precious to you?  I doubt that it is jewelry, royal or not. You might agree with John Newton:
How precious did that Grace appear
The hour I first believed.

Robert Lloyd Russell, a blogger I read often, posted about “precious” verses, “5 Valuable Items.” He begins with Peter’s description of something most precious!!

Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: (1 Peter 1:18-19 KJV)

I agree with him – the blood of Christ is a good beginning of such a precious list. John describes why:

And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, (Revelation 1:5 KJV)

That ties right back into God’s grace:

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:8-10 KJV)

Jesus spoke of His Father’s gifts:

Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him? (Matthew 7:9-11 KJV)

Are we asking for precious gifts? Or settling for polished rocks that just weigh us down? Or, even lesser material.  It will make a difference to us, Paul writes:

According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.

As every builder knows, the foundation must be firm.

For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

Once we have that firm foundation, we must determine how precious is our building:

Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it,

We will be tested:

because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is.

And, there are consequences:

If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire. (1 Corinthians 3:10-15 KJV)

I titled this with an exclamation – but it’s really a question. What is precious, and how precious is it?

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