What Is Most Precious?
view-points of worldly people and Christians on what is most precious differ
greatly. This is because the people in
the world generally direct their attention to claims and counterclaims of the
world. Their emphasis is on physical
dimensions. Perceptive Christians would,
however, take God as their central point and place much importance in the
everlasting spiritual glory to come.
Concept of People in General
money is the most precious thing. With
money, many problems can be solved and many advantages can be gained. Money can
buy the heart's desires. Because of
this, people toil, in search of greater prosperity. A wealthy man has much money, acquires and
possesses many things. When asked what he has acquired, he produces an unending
list. His heart has become occupied by his wealth and he loses his true self
and the true meaning to life. When asked
what himself is, he is left speeches. Money can buy:
not appetite; a bed but not sleep;
but not beauty;
enjoyment but not peace;
but not happiness;
but not health;
house but not a good family;
but not respect;
status (degree) but not education;
to tour the world but not the ticket into heaven;
the world but not spiritual life.
To others, the most precious thing
is knowledge. With knowledge, under-water
tunnels can be designed, men can be sent to other planets, computers
to solve complex problems can be invented.
To pursue further knowledge and to satisfy the desire for knowledge,
sleep and meals are neglected. But the
wise Israelite King Solomon said 3,000 years ago: "I said to myself, 'I
have acquired great wisdom, surpassing all who were over Jerusalem before; and
my mind has had great experience of wisdom and knowledge.' And I applied my
mind to know wisdom and to know madness and folly. I perceived that this also is but a striving
after wind." (Eccl 1:16,17).
may be able to solve many problems but it can never solve all human problems.
silently to this earth bringing nothing and leaves silently taking nothing
(Eccl 5:I5), in his vain life (Eccl 1:2) full of continuous toil and worries
(Ps 90:10). He can hardly penetrate into
the riddles of life: origin of his birth where death leads to, or the true
meaning of life. There are infinitely many questions in life that knowledge
alone cannot answer.
power is the most precious thing. A
person in authority can command others what to do, is respected and advances
his reputation. Their aim of existence
is to satisfy the desire to hold power, devising many ways to obtain even
speaking, the higher one's status, the greater his power is. The higher one's status and the greater one's
power, the more responsibility and mental burden he must bear. Likewise, power brings fame. The greater one's power, the greater his
reputation. But fame and authority can
cause jealousy among colleagues. Enmity
can arise from jealousy and bring forth disaster.
says, "He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules
his spirit than he who takes a city" (Prov 16:32). A highly cultivated person who is able to
control himself is better than an invincible fighter, because one's greatest
enemy is in the heart and not the enemy in battle. Even one with great authority may rule over
many but not be able to control his own heart.
Concept of Christians
conscientious Christian, the most precious thing is the Truth.
Jesus said, "Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food
which endures to eternal life which the son of man will give you. I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me shall not hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never
thirst" (Jn 6:27, 35). Food which
will spoil cannot keep one satisfied.
One eats and is satisfied for a while, but grows hungry before the next
meal. Likewise, fulfilled desires bring
temporary satisfaction and happiness, but will be replaced with more desires.
With limited ability, time and strength, satisfaction for unlimited desires
cannot be attained. Only the Lord Jesus
can grant us eternal satisfaction and true happiness through His spiritual
food, the true Gospel which can bring eternal life far exceeding worldly
treasure in value (Mt 16:26). Therefore,
Moses, in order to obtain the blessings of eternal life, was willing to leave
the treasures and enjoyment of the palace (Heb 11:24-26). King David did not admire life in the palace
and was satisfied with the future resurrection and life with the Lord together
forever (Ps 17:15).
God-fearing family, each individual, because of the existence of the Truth
within, is able to love one another even while leading a simple life. On the contrary, hatred exists in individuals
in a family which does not know God, because they do not have the Truth within
Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than
a fatten ox and hatred with it. (Prov 15:17)
Jesus said, "Come to Me, all who labor and are
heavy laden and I will give you rest" (Mt 11:28). 'Heavy laden' with the burdens of one's heart
are worries, sorrow, pains and troubles.
If we believe in the Lord Jesus as our Savior and accept His Truth, our
burdens will be released. The apostles
Paul and Silas were, for example, persecuted and severely beaten up by the
people for the Lord, but their hearts were filled with joy (Acts
16:16-26). The reason: they believed in
the Lord Jesus and had the Truth within them.
pondered upon the afflictions of mankind that he had experienced and perceived
and concluded that all was vanity (Eccl 1:2).
On this theme he wrote twelve chapters showing that the pursuit of
wealth, material enjoyment, knowledge and power could not solve the vanity of
human problems. He also pointed out the
right way of life, saying, only by fearing God and accepting His Truth and
performing it, could it really abolish the feeling of vanity and render meaning
conversion, Paul had tried his best to control himself with a determination to
forsake evil and turn to good, but because he was bound by the law of sin, he
was unable to do the good that he wanted.
He said, "I can will what is right, but I cannot do it. For I do
not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I do… so I find it
to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. For I
delight in the law of God in my inmost self, but I see in my members another
law at war with the law of my mind" (Rom 7:14-23). After he was chosen by the Lord Jesus and
accepted His salvation, all was changed. Through Jesus Christ, he was delivered
Truth can bring release from the bondage of sin, enabling us to conform to our
desires to desert evil, do good, be holy and enjoy freedom in Christ (Jn 8:32;
time of Lord Jesus' birth, the Holy Spirit led Simeon, a pious man in Jerusalem
to meet Jesus. This old man praised God
saying, "Lord, now You are letting Your servant
depart in peace, according to Your word; for my eyes have seen Your
salvation" (Lk 2:29-30). Any devout
person in receiving the gospel of peace (Eph 6:15), which is also the gospel of
salvation (Eph 1:13), can enjoy peace and happiness like Simeon.
The law of
Your mouth is better to me than thousands of gold and
silver pieces. How sweet are Your words to my taste,
sweeter than honey to my mouth. (Ps 119:72, 103)