The other half of gospel repentance involves treasuring Christ above all.
Why do I use the word “treasure”? It means that you value Him as supreme. You can use other words as well. You find your ultimate satisfaction in Him alone. You desire Him as your all in all. He is your magnificent obsession.
Where do we see this in Scripture?
Matthew 6:9–109 Pray then like this “Our Father in heaven,hallowed be your name, Your kingdom come, your will be done,on earth as it is in heaven.
Why do I start here with the Lord’s prayer?
It’s for a number of reasons. First of all, this is where we get from the very mouth of Jesus how we are to pray. Secondly, this is the first and most important petition in the entire prayer. Thirdly, this shows us what it truly means to treasure the living God.
We are commanded to hallow or to treasure or to glorify or to magnify or to find great joy and pleasure in the name of God.
God who is in heaven as our wonderful Father who has given us His Son Christ and the gift of the Holy Spirit desires to be hallowed. He is worthy to be praised above all. Before we ask Him for anything or try to get anything from Him. The first and most important response we have to God is to enjoy Him as God. To find our greatest satisfaction in hallowing or glorifying or magnifying His holy name as our all in all.
Psalm 16:11 – 11You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
In God’s presence there is fullness of joy. Not just a little bit of joy. But fullness of joy. In Hebrew poetry like the Psalms often the hymn writer will give two statements that are parallel and that’s what we find here. The fullness of joy is said in a different way with pleasures evermore. In God’s presence or from His right hand there is fullness of joy and pleasures forevermore.
The word “pleasure” is a very interesting word. It really means “spiritual delicacies”. Blessings that are so exquisite and wonderful that Christ gives to us in His grace. And they last forever.
So if you want to experience true lasting joy and unending pleasure—where do you find it? In the presence of Christ. By seeking and treasuring and desiring Him above all. Not in the things of this world or by the fleeting pleasures of sin, but in true lasting pleasure. We find our ultimate satisfaction in Christ alone.
Don’t be scared off as Christians by the word “pleasure”—God has created us for pleasure IN HIM!
Is this true for you? Do you find unending pleasure and joy in the presence of Christ and nowhere else?
Hebrews 12:2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
This is one of my life verses and you all know that by now. But we must continually be looking to and fixing our eyes and keeping our gaze on Jesus. He is the Finish Line. He is the prize? He is our Treasure and our eyes must be on Him!
Psalm 27:4 4 One thing have I asked of the LORD, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to inquire in his temple.
What is this one thing that David so longs for? What is his ultimate desire? It’s expressed in three ways. He seeks, he dwells, and he gazes.
The word for seek here is very strong in the Hebrew. He desperately desires something. He is seeking diligently after something. What is David so hungry for?
He also wants to dwell. To stay. To linger. To not rush. To be in God’s presence.
But then we get the clincher. He wants to gaze upon something. He wants to keep his eyes fixed on something. He wants his focus to be laser sharp on one single thing.
What is it? The beauty of the LORD.
He wants to see the glory and beauty and majesty of the Lord. It’s David’s way of saying what the writer of Hebrews was saying about fixing our eyes on Jesus.
Treasuring Christ means gazing upon Him. Looking to Him. Finding in Him our ultimate pleasure and satisfaction.
Paul says it another way.
2 Corinthians 3:18 18 And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.
What Paul is saying here is that the more we look at Jesus, the more we look like Jesus. When we behold or look at or take in and are mesmerized by the glory of Christ, the more we are transformed into looking like Him.
The Holy Spirit grants us this wonderful gift in the Christian life—the ability to see Jesus and to marvel at Him and to fix our gaze upon Him and to treasure Him and the more we do that, the more the Holy Spirit does this amazing work of grace in our lives to make us look more like Jesus.
John Owen said this, “One of the greatest privileges and advancements of believers, both in this world and to eternity, consists in their beholding the glory of Christ.”
Sam Storms, “It grieves me to say this but the primary reason people are in bondage to sin is because people are bored with God…That sinful habit you struggle with daily, that low-grade addiction that keeps you in the throes of guilt and shame, that inability to walk with consistency in the things you know please God, ultimately will be overcome when your heart, soul, mind, spirit, and will are captivated by the majesty, mercy, splendor, beauty, and magnificence of who God is and what He has and will do for you in Jesus.”
Listen to the compelling words of Jonathan Edwards from one of his sermons:
“Have your eyes ever been opened to see the glorious excellency of Jesus Christ? Has the light of the Word of God ever shined into your hearts so that to see the excellency of that Word that teaches Christ and the way of salvation by him? Has the Word of Christ been sweeter to you than the honey on the honeycomb?
Is the Word of Christ sweet food to your soul that puts new life into you and is better than silver or gold? Do you see your need you have of Christ? The Blessing of God: Unpublished Sermons from Jonathan Edwards
That’s our desire in gospel-repentance. To see the excellencies of Christ. To behold Him in all of His beauty. To be captivated by Christ alone as our ultimate treasure.
In our next post we will continue to see what it means to desire or treasure Jesus…