Bible Studies & Devotionals
From Olive Branch Ministries
By Mark and Tinsley Baker
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What Is Precious To God
We often look at things a certain way, or we may form opinions based on our own experiences. But we must know and realize God knows all things and looks at things differently than we do. He has all knowledge and the wisdom to properly use that knowledge. The things He considers important we may not, so we have to take His word for it, when He says something is a certain way, then it is. What He calls precious, is precious. The Word tells us that the blood of Jesus is precious.
Peter said in;
1 Peter 1:7. 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.
Thatís pretty exclusive company isnít it? The Blood of Jesus and our faith both being called precious. We need to take notice and see that when God calls something precious, it is! We need to start considering those things precious as well. God highly esteems our faith, it is precious and valuable to Him, so if it is precious and valuable to Him we should consider it precious and valuable as well. Jesus tells us in; Luke.
Lk:6:45: "A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.
It says that there can be a good treasure in your heart or an evil treasure in your heart.
God is giving us direction in this area. What we put into our heart is what will come out of it.
If we put the Word of God in our heart, it is called a good treasure.
Proverbs 4:23. Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.
Then after we put the Word in our heart, we are expected to guard it, as we just quoted Proverbs, the issues of life spring forth out of our heart. Thatís pretty important isnít it. Life comes out of your heart,
then how does it get there?
Romans 10:17. So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
Every time we hear the Word of God, faith is created in our heart. We have a responsibility do something with that faith after it is born into our spirit, we have to guard it. It is precious to God and it should be very precious to us, we need to guard it. Guarding is another way of saying we are putting up a wall of protection against something. You might say well, if faith is produced when I hear the Word of God, why do I need to guard it, it is automatically there? Because if we are not guarding it, we will loose it. If we are not guarding our faith, cultivating our faith, protecting our faith, and developing our faith, so that it can grow, then we are not guarding, cultivating, protecting, and developing, the most important thing that any of us can have, Life, life is the most important thing. Without faith we will not receive that life, and without faith we will not guard and keep that life. The life of God imparted to us is the most important gift we can get. It is precious to God for us to maintain our faith, for without it, we wonít receive or keep any of it. God went to great lengths to redeem mankind from eternal destruction, so He thinks itís important for us to receive His gift, and it is precious to God when we stand fast in our faith. Life is Godís gift to us, and we have to stand in it.
Galatians 5:1. Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.
1 Corinthians 16:13. Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong.
God would not tell us to guard our heart and stand fast in the faith if there wasnít a trial coming to steal our faith, would He? Jesus said in,
John 10:10. "The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.
One of the most important things he has come to steal is the Word from our heart, it doesnít have to be that way if we choose to put the Word first. Stealing is taking something that doesnít belong to you, it is an illegal act. Then how can he steal the Word from our heart illegally? The answer is he does it by putting pressure on you to back down from the truth of Godís Word. You're the one who gives it to him, he canít take it if you wonít let him. Satan has devices that he uses to try and get us to step down off of our stance on the Word. Satan is cunning and crafty in a deceiving kind of way, but he is not all powerful, only God is. His only real tool is deception, whether by bringing fear against you or doubt, he will attempt to get you to back off, and if he can do that, he wins, you loose; but that doesnít have to happen. Paul said we are not ignorant of his devices. So to be forewarned is to be forearmed so to speak, if we know he is coming and we know what His devices are, we can be prepared to meet him head on and not wait for him to sneak up behind us. Satan will try to rob us of the life that God has freely given to us. It is ours, it is a precious gift from God, and we must hold on to it with our most holy faith. Donít give up in the day of adversity, thatís his plan, to get you so discouraged that you will just quit, donít do it, life is too valuable. It is so valuable that God counts the trial of your faith as more precious than gold.
James 4:7. Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.
James said to resist the devil and he will flee, but first he said to submit yourself to God,
we can say submit yourselves to his Word, submit yourself to his will. His Word is His will.
When you are submitted to His will, then he gives you grace to stand against the wiles of the devil.
1 Peter 5:8. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.
9. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.
When you are submitting to his will you are making the decision to stand fast on His Word.
God calls this precious, this is precious in His sight. The Word tells us He has given us exceedingly great and precious promises. But these promises wonít bring us the blessing of God to us, if we wonít use the faith that he has given us through His Word.
Jesus talked about that very thing in the parable of the sower.
Luke 8:11. "Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.
12. "Those by the wayside are the ones who hear; then the devil comes and takes away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved.
13. "But the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, who believe for a while and in time of temptation fall away.
14. "And the ones that fell among thorns are those who, when they have heard, go out and are choked with cares, riches, and pleasures of life, and bring no fruit to maturity.
15. "But the ones that fell on the good ground are those who, having heard the word with a noble and good heart, keep it and bear fruit with patience.
In every case the seed is the Word of God and it is sown into hearts, and in every case Satan comes to steal the Word of God, and not just occasionally. Jesus said, Satan comes to take away the Word from their heart, 100% of the people heard the Word and had the right to receive the Word of God, but only ľ of the people having heard the Word with a noble and good heart, keep it and bear fruit with patience. The other 75% failed the test, they let Satan take away the Word of God from their heart in one fashion or another, yet it didnít have to happen like that. These other 75% had the same opportunity to bear fruit as the 25% did. God is no respecter of persons. We can all bear fruit, nobody said it would always be easy, but the rewards are great. Remember Satan is a liar, the promises of God are true, stand fast in the liberty wherein Christ has made you free.
Ephesians 6:13. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
The first step is coming to a saving knowledge of Him, if you donít know Him and would like to know that you have eternal redemption then I would like to invite you to pray this prayer.
Dear Heavenly Father,
I come to you in the name of Jesus.
Your word says, "Öand the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out." (Jn.6:37),
So I know You wonít cast me out, but You take me in,
And I thank you for it.
You said in your Word, "whoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.'' (Ro. 10:13).
I am calling on Your name, So I know You have saved me now,
You also said, "Öthat if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes to righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made to salvation. " (Ro.10:9,10).
I believe in my heart that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
I believe He was raised from the dead for my justification.
And I confess Him now as my Lord,
Because Your Word says, "Ö with the heart one believes to righteousnessÖ" and I do believe with my heart,
I have now become the righteousness of God in Christ. (2 Cor. 5:21),
And I am saved! Thank You, Lord!
I can now truthfully say, I see myself as a born again child of God!
Glory to God!!!! Amen.