HE IS PRECIOUS – Mr. Flannigan

(converted to typed format from audio recording)

1Pe 2:6 Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.
1Pe 2:7 Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner,
1Pe 2:8 And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, [even to them] which stumble at the word, being disobedient: where unto also they were appointed.

Years ago lived a lady a midwife by profession named Nurse Mac Neel. She was also a missionary. She was known as a ‘missionary on a bicycle’. She delivered many babies and then went on to deliver many of these children’s’ babies!
Many of these had heard the gospel message through her and were brought to Christ.

When finally at age 92 Nurse Mac Neel fell ill and was hospitalized Mr. Flannigan heard of it and went to visit her in hospital. She was in ICU when he came to visit her and he was denied permission to see her as she had been unconscious for the past 3 days and he was in no way related to her. However he persisted and he persisted and he persisted, until the nurse had no choice but to call the head nurse to tell him that permission to see her would STILL be denied. Not giving up, Mr. Flannigan now continued to persist – this time with the head nurse till she finally and very reluctantly granted permission for him to see her… but only for a little while.

And so quietly walking to the bedside of unconscious nurse Mac Neel, he saw her tiny frame … wasted, pathetic and jaundiced. And then to the amazement of all, nurse Mac Neel opened her eyes and spoke softly to Mr. Flannigan! “How I longed to see you … how nice of you to come!”
“Do you know me?” asked the surprised Mr Flannigan
“Of course I know you” she replied
“You must be suffering a great deal” Mr Flannigan enquired kindly
“Yes” replied nurse Mac Neel “But He is so PRECIOUS”
Mr Flanigan remained silent not knowing how to respond to her.
Then she continued “Is He not very kind?”
“Then you must have something special that you are thinking about?” enquired Mr. Flannigan
“Yes” she said, “He is kind because He hides the future from us, and when the future becomes the present, He becomes so very PRECIOUS in it – So Very PRECIOUS”
“You must know Him for a long time then?” Mr. Flannigan questioned her.
“70 years” she replied “but never as PRECIOUS as He is now”
He remained silent for awhile then asked her his final question “I am going to see some of your friends later, do you have a message for them?”
“Yes” she replied “Yes, Tell them He is very PRECIOUS, never MORE PRECIOUS than He is now.”
With that Mr Flanigan prayed for her commending her to the Lord and His care.
As he took her leave she once again repeated “He is PRECIOUS … VERY PRECIOUS.” Then she closed her eyes and never opened them again. Three days later they buried her.

Mr Flanigan felt very privileged as he left the hospital that day, to have travelled to the ‘Gates of the City’ for a while with one who would be remembered as ‘A Missionary on a Bicycle’. Her constant reminder to him that ‘He was very PRECIOUS, so Very PRECIOUS’ got him to wonder that there MUST be many things in Scripture about Him being PRECIOUS, that needed to be searched for, discovered, found, listed and then believed in … and so he searched the Scriptures.

In 1 Peter chapter 2 he discovers three occasions to ponder on the Preciousness of the Lord Jesus.

1. That Christ is PRECIOUS to God … and he wondered how had that become possible?
How did that happen? There must have been some kind of order as HE who has always been PRECIOUS to God, had now become PRECIOUS to him too.
And so Mr Flanigan puts in order as it was revealed to Him of just how PRECIOUS is Christ to the Father.
HE pondered …
If he were to ask of the Father how PRECIOUS He is, he wonder what the Father’s answer would be?
Of course it would be – He is My SON!
Then in the language of Zachariah it might be – He is my fellow.
In the language of Isaiah it might be – He is My Servant.
In the language of Psalms it might be He is my King.

As he dwelt on these thoughts, he was led to the 4 gospels … and in the gospels he found all the above in greater detail … ALL the loveliness of Christ as Son, as Servant, as King!

And then again … if someone were to ask him:
How PRECIOUS is He to you?
He wondered what he would say.
He thought he would borrow from the language of Thomas or Elizabeth or Mary Magdalene and he would reply – He is my Lord!
Or he could even borrow from David and Job and he could say He was my Redeemer, my Beloved, My Savior, my Rock …
It dawned on him that it would take a long, long time to exhaust even if you could exhaust the Preciousness of the ONE who is my LORD, My Redeemer, my Beloved, my Friend, my Savior, my Rock …

HE has indeed become very PRECIOUS to both you and to me – Him, Who was always PRECIOUS to God.

But then he thinks … it was not always so, so when did it all start?
David wrote:
Psa 139:17 How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them!
Psa 139:18 If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee.

David here is NOT writing of the preciousness of his thoughts about God, but rather the PRECIOUSNESS of God’s thoughts about him!
Can we look into the mind of God to comprehend His thoughts concerning His Son … you … and me?
How PRECIOUS are His thoughts?
Just how do we get to know God’s PRECIOUS thoughts about us?
Answer: By Wondrous Grace!
In other verses they come to us in the language of Psalms
Psa 126:6 He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.

The PRECIOUS seed is the Word of God and the PRECIOUS thoughts of God are all that have been made intelligible to you and me.

What are some of these thoughts?
Mar 11:28 And say unto him, By what authority doest thou these things? and who gave thee this authority to do these things?

Joh 1:29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.

Joh 5:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.

Joh 10:9 I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.

Rom 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

Isa 53:4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.

Isa 53:5 But he [was] wounded for our transgressions, [he was] bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace [was] upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

On and on we can dig deeper and deeper into Scripture to discover more … and more and more …
And then remember Sunday school?
Remember the teacher who put PRECIOUS seed into your heart?
And then watered that PRECIOUS seed with her prayer for you to bring forth fruit?
The thoughts of God come as PRECIOUS seed … the Seed of His Word.

As we study the Word of God we discover the Redemption of our soul. It is so PRECIOUS that only the blood of Christ can make that good for us.
Yes Christ died … redemption price has been paid so ask – Are all are saved?
No. There are many among us who are not in the enjoyment of these things and are not saved.
So how does one get to be saved?
Peter writes of a special prayer that appropriates these things.
It is in the first chapter, he speaks of PREIOUS faith.

1Pe 1:7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:
1Pe 1:8 Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see [him] not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:
1Pe 1:9 Receiving the end of your faith, [even] the salvation of [your] souls.

How PRECIOUS is this faith the links us to these things.
Here we learn that by the PRECIOUS Seed of the Word of God, and the PRECIOUS thoughts of God together with the PRECIOUS blood of the Lord Jesus shed for us … how PRECIOUS is the faith that appropriates and grasps the completeness of what Chris has done.

And now is yet another discovery.
We are not only saved but we are also SECURE.
We are both saved and secure because we are built on the PRECIOUS Stone.
Both Isaiah and Peter make mention of this PRECIOUS stone.

Isa 28:16 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.

1Pe 2:6 Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.

This is all that we need now, to be built on this PRECIOUS STONE.
It is in the goodness of God we make progress and get into ministry …

And now we come to Genesis 24, here we find another servant who comes looking for a bride for his master’s son. And when she comes by he brings out PRECIOUS things that displayed the evidence of the goodness of his master’s son. And this is how it was with us when we first came to know Christ – in the ministry that exalted Him … the ministry that told us of His goodness and we thirsted and hungered for more.
More of Jesus would I know!

As we grew a little more we learnt we were not only privileged to be saved and secure but we also learnt to bring back to God in appreciation all of what we have learnt of Him. It reminds us of the woman with the alabaster box.
John says it was very costly, another says it was very PRECIOUS.

What is this Preciousness?
This Preciousness is the FRAGRANCE of Worship – the exercise of those who know God and His thoughts – the thoughts that He has given to us and we bring them back to Him in Worship.
The Lord Jesus is PRECIOUS to God.

It may take us a while to discover this – the Fragrance of Worship but eventually we will find a local company of saints who are likeminded in worship. We will discover this assembly and become part of it.

Psa 133:1 Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!
Psa 133:2 [It is] like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, [even] Aaron’s beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments;
Psa 133:3 As the dew of Hermon, [and as the dew] that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the LORD commanded the blessing, [even] life for evermore.

This is the unity of the saints.
How heavy a responsibility is borne by the man who would disturb the unity of this assembly as this unity is PRECIOUS to God!
Now being part of this Assembly what joy it is to be involved in ministry, to work for the Assembly and to build something into the Assembly.
Paul says make sure that what you build into the Assembly is of gold and silver and PRECIOUS stone!
A lasting work! … An abiding work … for it is the Assembly Testimony!

1Co 3:12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;
1Co 3:13 Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.
1Co 3:14 If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.

Then one day you will realize that the years have run out.
Fellow workers and worshippers are going home. It is sad.
Probably the older we get the sadder it becomes?
But then not all of it is sad, for Ps 116 says:

Psa 116:15 Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.

So then, what saddens our hearts is PRECIOUS to God!
It is after all the going home of those He has loved.
And so we must learn as we ourselves make our way there – during our time here to get WISDOM.
It is more PRECIOUS than rubies
For in doing so after getting wisdom when we finally arrive at City Four Square, we discover here that all the stones here are PRECIOUS STONES!
THIS is a PRECIOUS Place.
It has no night. Its gates do not shut and all the PRECIOUS STONES there reflect the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ!

To encourage us now in our journey toward Four Square City we have PRECIOUS PROMISES that Peter spoke of for us to hold on to:
2Pe 1:4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

And then we have the PRECIOUS “I Wills” of God in His letters given to John in Revelation 2 and 3.
Here are two examples of the 14 reference of God’s “I Wills”

Rev 2:7 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.

Rev 2:10 Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast [some] of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.

To us then who believe in Him – He is PRECIOUS.
Very PRECIOUS indeed!

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