In 20 years of pastoral ministry, I’ve noticed a regularly overlooked emphasis for many Christians. And this emphasis is so important, so valuable, that if adopted, I think it could drastically affect your life. I know this firsthand. I’ve seen it happen and watched it in many others walking that narrow path toward Immanuel’s land.
Okay, here it is: Besides considering Christ’s work, reflect on his worth.
I’m grateful that many Christians return to the story of the gospel. There’s an unfathomable benefit to our souls when we consider all that Jesus did for us in his life, death, resurrection, and ascension. When we walk down those familiar roads in our minds and dwell upon these truths in our hearts, we’re reminded that our sins are gone and that there is a basis for our adoption into God’s family. Because of the doing and dying of Christ, we have his everlasting righteousness. God is pleased to pardon our sins–all our sins!-–forever! They are gone, and we are his! Praise the Lord.
As good as this is for our souls, there’s another step.
Answer these questions: In light of who Jesus is and what he’s done, how does he stack up against anything and anyone else? Where does he fit? How valuable is he? Is there anyone or anything that can rival him?
Most Christians can answer this question quickly and confidently. “No!”
But isn’t it true that we forget this? Believers don’t walk around thinking, “This sin is more valuable than Christ.” This would be insanity. But isn’t temporary insanity what sin is? It’s ridiculous to think that anything or anyone is better than Christ. But when we become futile in our thinking, and our foolish hearts are darkened, we thoughtlessly and absurdly exchange the glory of the Creator for the creation (Romans 1:21–25). Living in periods–however short–where we forget the surpassing excellence of Christ is spiritually dangerous. Therefore, we must fight to revisit and remember the infinite worth of Jesus.
The ungodly are blind to the glory of Christ. But it’s the practice of the godly, the holy angels of heaven, and even God himself to regularly reflect upon and rejoice in the infinite worth of Christ!
Along these lines, it’s helpful to remember some of the testimonies of Scripture.
When the Apostle Paul considered his pedigree and performance as a religious man, he counted it all as rubbish in comparison to the surpassing value of knowing Christ:
“But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ” (Philippians 3:7–8)
When asked if he wanted to walk away, following the others who appraised Jesus and found him lacking the Apostle Peter was adamant. Showing his work from his assessment of the worth of Christ, he says,
“Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.” (John 6:68–69)
When the Apostle Paul makes the case for the supremacy and sufficiency of Jesus, he puts his arms around everything in existence and says that Jesus is better. His supremacy is supported by showing that everything exists because Christ wills it to. So, he is better than creation because he made it, owns it, and keeps it going. How could we turn to anything in creation without turning to something less than Jesus? Put it (whatever it is) on the scale and see that it weighs less than a feather compared to the infinite weight of Christ!
“For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” (Colossians 1:16–17)
Little doubt, then why the holy angels in heaven delight to worship Jesus:
“Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!” (Revelation 5:11–12)
Consider also the significance of John’s connection to Isaiah’s vision. Remember that mountain peak of a passage in Isaiah? The prophet sees a vision of the glory of God with the holy angels proclaiming God’s infinite holiness and worth (Isaiah 6:1–7). The Apostle John tells us that Isaiah beheld the glory (think weightiness, value, worth, significance, supremacy) of Jesus! How about that? Speaking of Isaiah 6, John writes,
“Isaiah said these things because he saw his glory and spoke of him.” (John 12:41)
And finally, consider the testimony of God the Father. When his divine voice roars into the account of the life of Jesus, what does he say? He makes it clear that he, the Father, delights in Jesus his Son.
“And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” (Matthew 3:16–17)
(then at the transfiguration)
“He was still speaking when, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.” When the disciples heard this, they fell on their faces and were terrified.” (Matthew 17:5–6)
It is the practice of the ungodly to forget or ignore the glory of Christ. But it’s the practice of the godly, the holy angels of heaven, and even God himself to regularly reflect upon and rejoice in the infinite worth of Christ!
Dear friend, make it your priority today and every day to consider the worth of Christ.