Relish ‘Perks of Faith’

Relish ‘Perks Of Faith’

Chapter Four

Relish 'Perks Of Faith'
Precious Faith And Its "Perks" – (Part 1) 59 Precious Faith And Its "Perks" – (Part 5) 65
Precious Faith And Its "Perks" – (Part 2) 60 Precious Faith And Its "Perks" – (Part 6) 66
Precious Faith And Its "Perks" – (Part 3) 62 Precious Faith And Its "Perks" – (Part 7) 67
Precious Faith And Its "Perks" – (Part 4) 64 Discussion Questions 69

Romans 10:17; Hebrews 11:1 & 6

Precious Faith And Its "Perks" – (Part 1)

We often hear the word 'perks'. The word means "benefits above what is normally expected". 'Precious' means 'of great price or value'. The Apostle Peter writes "To them that have obtained precious faith". 2 Peter 1:1.

In perusing God's Word, I have discovered many perks God gives to those whose faith is in Him. One needs to know that the Greek word for faith and believe are the same. Let us prayerfully observe a few heavenly perks. I encourage you to take time to read each scripture as we look into faith's extra benefits.

In Hebrews 4:3, the word for REST means 'cessation from labor' or 'relaxing'. There is coming a time when we will rest from our labors here on earth. Precious faith enables us to rest or relax here on earth. It amazes me when I read about heroes of faith who relaxed in the face of danger and death. Stephen is a prime example. He relaxed in his faith in God even as he faced death. No doubt he had the assurance of the truth in Revelations 14:13, and the words of Jesus found in Matthew 11:28-30.

"Resting on the faithfulness of Christ our Lord! Resting on the fullness of His own sure Word! Resting on His wisdom, on His love and power! Resting on His covenant, from hour to hour resting and believing, let us onward press; Resting on Himself, the Lord of Righteousness! Resting and rejoicing, let the saved one sing: Glory, glory, glory unto Christ our King." (Anonymous)

"Come here to me, all who are growing weary to the point of exhaustion, and who have been loaded with burdens and are bending beneath their weight, and I alone will cause you to cease from your labor and take away burdens and thus refresh you with rest." (Matthew 11:28. Greek Expanded Translation)

"Heavenly Father, I want the kind of Faith that causes me to rest in Your Word. I may not understand it all, but by Faith I will trust You."

AFFIRMATION FOR THE DAY: Realizing that faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God, I determine to read and study that I may achieve precious faith.

– Lowell Weller –

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1 Peter 1:8; John 15:9-11; Romans 10:17

Precious Faith And Its "Perks" – (Part 2)

The second 'perk' is JOY! Jesus said "…that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full" (John 15:11) One way to assure us of His joy, is having faith in God. Believing and faith come from the same Greek word. Some translations use the word believing, while others use faith; they mean the same. Searching the scriptures, I discovered that joy means more than being happy or glad. It appears to be an emotion that brings a far greater satisfaction. Perhaps this is the reason Jesus desires "our joy to be full" or complete.

As a Christian, I have long known it was important to have faith. However, since studying the Perks of Faith, I am more aware that Faith in God and His word is an absolute necessity. Faith is the springboard to other aspects of the believer's life. A chorus says it this way: ''If you want joy, real joy, wonderful you, Let Jesus come into your heart, Your sins He'll wash away, your night He'll turn to day, Your life He'll make it over anew". This affirms the words written by the Apostle Paul: "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith and this not by works, so that no one can boast" (Ephesians 2:5, NIV)

Real joy is not contingent upon materialistic things. There are those who have great wealth, yet are void of real joy. On the mission fields, I have seen many poverty-stricken Christians full of real joy, wonderful joy. True joy is not dependent upon our conditions. Jesus is the only One who can truly give us joy.

I appreciate the following quotes:

"Joy is the echo of God's life within us". Joseph Marmion

"Joy is distinctly a Christian word and a Christian thing, only Jesus gives that joy." S.D. Gordon

The Bible gives us the formula for real joy. I have listed two. You may wish to search your Bible for others.

Joy comes from Christian Fellowship with unity. Philippians 2:2 & Philippians 4:1

Joy comes from Soul Winning. 1 Thessalonians 2:19 & 20

"Lord Jesus, grant my faith to increase, that I may have Your fullness of joy."

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AFFIRMATION FOR THE DAY: As I walk with you, Lord, I will not seek fame or fortune. I seek your "joy, real joy, wonderful joy".

– Lowell Weller –

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2 Peter 1:1; Romans 10:17; Hebrews 11:1 & 6

Precious Faith And Its "Perks" – (Part 3)

Our third perk is Hope. Hebrews 11:1 says it this way, "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." It takes no stretch of the imagination to see that hope is a perk, or extra benefit of Faith. The word Hope, has a much greater meaning in the Greek language than in the English language. Our English word means a wish that mayor may not come true. The New Testament Greek word, elpis, means a firm, well-grounded expectation. When Christians speak of the Hope of Eternity, it is based on truth from a truthful God. (John 14:1-3 and Titus 1:2)

I have heard people wishfully say, "I hope my sins are forgiven", or "I hope I will go to heaven when I die." According to John 1:12, we have assurance of salvation through Jesus Christ our Lord. We are children of God. "Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ". (Galatians 4:7) Therefore, a weak, but growing hope becomes a firm expectation.

I want to challenge you to prayerfully read the following scriptures: Romans 15:4; Romans 15:13; Colossians 1:27; and Hebrews 6:19.

"Life with Christ is an endless hope, without Him a hopeless end." Anonymous

"When you say a situation or a person is hopeless, you are slamming the door in the face of God." C.K. Allen

"Hope maketh not ashamed. Christ in you, the hope of glory." Apostle Paul.

A psychologist asked several persons this question: "What do you have to hope for"? Over ninety percent said "they were simply enduring the present while they waited for the future." Some were waiting for something to happen… Some waited for "next year". Others were waiting for better times while some waited for someone to die. Some were waiting for "tomorrow." Apparently they did not realize that today is all we have and we are not even sure of the whole day. Yesterday is gone, and tomorrow may never come. The hope God gives is not wishful hoping. It is a firm expectation, promised by a Faithful God.

"Dear Heavenly Father, when doubts come, help me to remember that I have a Firm, Solid Expectation."

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AFFIRMATION FOR THE DAY: I put my hope in you and your word. Your word is truth.

– Lowell Weller –

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Romans 10:17; 2 Timothy 3:10; Hebrews 6:12

Precious Faith And Its "Perks" – (Part 4)

We now come to the fourth perk of faith, which is patience. Most of us can use more patience. The scriptures in 2 Timothy and Hebrews connect faith and patience. The importance of faith is evident as we read God's Holy Word. "Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God." (Romans 10:17) The Greek word for patience and longsuffering is the same. It literally means to "abide under". This suggests the need of endurance, fortitude, steadfastness or perseverance.

Which of the above virtues would you consider less important? Are they not all necessary in our Christian life? If this is true, then we must be in God's Word in order to increase our faith. As I studied, I was elated to discover so many wonderful perks that accompany our faith in God.

The Greek word for patience is hupomone. Chrysostom calls hupomone "A root of all goods, mother of piety, a fruit that never withers, a harbor that knows no storms, and a fortress that is never taken." Others suggest that God-given patience can transmute the hardest trial into glory; and it is a quality that keeps us on our feet, and our face to the adverse winds of life. May God increase my faith so that I can enjoy the perk of patience.

I do not know who wrote the following, but I know it is true and reminds me that I need patience.

"Not so in haste, my heart; have faith in God and wait; although He linger long, He never comes too late."

I am confident that the Bible has the solution to our lack of longsuffering. If we have great faith in God, and His Word, patience will increase. It is a perk, and it comes by faith. James 1:5 reminds me that God gives wisdom liberally to those who ask. He also gives other blessings and perks if we ask in faith.

"Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief. Give me the desire to study Your Word, 'for faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.'"

AFFIRMATION FOR THE DAY: I purpose to read God's Word daily that my faith may increase.

– Lowell Weller –

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1 John 5:1-5

Precious Faith And Its "Perks" – (Part 5)

We came now to consider the 5th perk through faith: the perk of Victory. In every kind of contest, the combatants have entered TO WIN, not just to have fun. Since I was a little boy, I have loved competition. I always wanted to win. My intention was more than overcoming my opponent. I entered with the intention of being the winner. I relate to the above text, because it deals with each of us, being overcomers. The word faith, or believeth, appears three times in these five verses. To me, victorious living is one of the "perks" of faith.

We have all faced temptations. As a result to yielding to temptation, I knew I had failed, and I was the loser. "It was my fault and I had no one else to blame." Conquering faith is a strong belief in Jesus Christ, and I had not possessed it. I felt worse than when I lost a ball game. But I remember when I refused to yield to Satan. I felt as if I had just pitched a "no-hitter."

When our faith is in Christ, and we aren't doubting God or His Word, it is easier to resist Satan's attacks and lures to worldliness. When I yielded, I was disappointed in myself, not God. As a soldier, I turned my back on the Lord. I deeply regret the way I lived while overseas. I did not lose my faith in God. I knew if He would have mercy on me, when I returned, I would ask His forgiveness. For that reason, I resisted the temptations to fall into deep sin. That was more than forty years ago. I am so thankful that my faith in God enables me now to be the Christian I am today. Although I didn't deserve a second chance, God in His mercy, gave it to me. Each day takes me closer to the end of my physical life, but brings me closer to my eternal life with God, the Father.

More than ever, I am convinced that there is a faith in God which enables us to be a Victor! We can be overcomers of all that the world has to offer. I truly believe what I have written. If I didn't, I, of all people, would be the most miserable!

"Again, my prayer is: 'Lord, I believe, please help my unbelief.'"

AFFIRMATION FOR THE DAY: I know that faith is the victory that overcomes the world, therefore I walk by faith today.

– Lowell Weller –

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Hebrews 11:1-8

Precious Faith And Its "Perks" – (Part 6)

The more I study God's Word, and realize the many perks that are ours through Faith, the more excited I become. The scripture for today reveals Abraham's great faith, due to his obedience. This is our sixth perk. The Bible gives approximately 125 references to words relating to obedience. According to Deuteronomy 11:27, God promises "A Blessing" if we obey Him. It will be very beneficial to read the following scriptures: Exodus 20:6; Deuteronomy 5:29; John 14:23-24 and John 15:10.

1 Samuel 15: 22 enlightens a great truth. "Behold to obey is better than sacrifice." I witnessed this as a chaplain for the Police Dept. When motorists were in a hurry, there was a penalty to pay. I remember one fine issued. It amounted to several hundred dollars. My translation of the above scripture is, "to obey is better than to pay."

I am amazed when I hear Christian and non-Christian people say that God's ways and laws are hard to obey. I read in 1 John 5:3, NIV "This is love for God: to obey His commands. And His commands are not burdensome." The Amplified Bible adds these words, irksome, oppressive or grievous.

Aristotle said, "Wicked men obey out of fear, good men from love." N. Emmons said, "Obedience to God is the most infallible evidence of sincere and supreme love to Him."

As we read the book of Hebrews, it is evident that those who enjoyed the perk of obedience, were men and women of faith. Their faith enabled them to obey the voice of God usually without a question or doubt. That's real faith! In Genesis 26:1-5, God blessed Abraham and his descendants "because Abraham obeyed me and kept my requirements." Obedience is a necessary response to faith. Since the wind and waves obey Christ, shouldn't we who love Him, also obey Him?

"Dear God, I have asked before, but ask again. 'Please increase my faith'. So that without hesitation, I will obey you!"

AFFIRMATION FOR THE DAY: I know faith comes from reading God's Word. I am determined to read it more often, seeking to obey whatever it commands.

– Lowell Weller –

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Galatians 5:6; Ephesians 6:23; 1 Thessalonians 3:6

Precious Faith And Its "Perks" – (Part 7)

The seventh perk of faith is Love. God's Word reveals that LOVE is vital to our relationship with Him and His children. The Apostle Paul wrote about faith in Christ Jesus, love of the saints, and the hope which is laid up for us in heaven. (Colossians 1:4&5) In Henry Drummond's book, "The Greatest Thing In The Word," he wrote about the power and greatness of Love: "Instead of allowing yourself to be unhappy, just let your love grow as God wants it to grow, seek goodness in others, love more persons more." Anonymous writers wrote, "Love is the fire of life; it either consumes or purifies." "Love is more than a characteristic of God; it is His character." "Love is the only service that power cannot command and money cannot buy." "Love seeks not limits, but outlets." "Love rules without a sword. Love binds without a cord." In Romans 13:10, Paul wrote, "Love is the fulfilling of the law".

Galatians 5:6 "…but Faith which worketh by Love."

Ephesians 6:23 "…and Love with Faith."

I have known many Christians who had great faith. They were people who genuinely loved others. The following story serves as a reminder to me, that love is a wonderful perk of faith.

As a young pastor, I was eager to see people won to Christ, and yes, get them into my church. My associate, who had lived a very sinful life prior to coming to the Lord, enjoyed witnessing to people. We spent hours together, calling on the sick, needy and unsaved. One day while visiting, the associate, a friend, and I visited the home of an alcoholic. The house was in shambles. Tobacco juice was down his shirt and on the floor, rather than the intended can. He smelled of alcohol. It was a repulsive sight and I wanted to leave. The other men, fun of love and faith, reached out and put their, arms around him. They shared their love for Christ and assured him that Christ loved and died for him also. As we left, I asked how they could touch a man like that. Their answer was, "We've been there! We know what it's like." They both had been delivered by the love and grace of God, and knew only love and grace could deliver him. The faith they showed that day was through love. I had learned a lesson.

"Dear God, how thankful I am that true faith has tremendous perks. I desire more unconditional love."

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AFFIRMATION FOR THE DAY: I know that faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God, therefore, I intend to read and study Your Word more.

– Lowell Weller –

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Discussion Questions

  1. According to Matthew 11:28-30, what does Jesus promise to those persons who place their trust in Him and who willingly accept Jesus' 'Yoke'?

  2. How do you distinguish between 'pleasure' and 'joy'? Is it possible for a believer to experience 'joy' amidst sorrow, loss, disappointment, illness? Why or why not? (Note Galatians 5:22)

  3. According to Philippians 2:2; Philippians 4:1 and 1 Thessalonians 2:19-20, from whence does joy come?

  4. Who (or what) Is the Christian's 'object of hope', and why does such 'hope' give a believer a 'firm and well-grounded expectation'? (Note Hebrews 6:19; John 14:1-3; Titus 1:2; Galatians 4:7; Romans 15:4; Romans 15:13; Colossians 1:27)

  5. Share your response (or reaction) to the following statement: "Life with Christ is an endless hope, without Him a hopeless end."

  6. Do you believe that these are no hopeless situations in life, only people who have grown hopeless about those situations? When you face a difficult situation and, as a result, your faith wavers and your hope diminishes, what can you do to stimulate your faith and to enliven your hope?

  7. From a Biblical point of view, how would you describe the virtue of 'Patience'? (Note Romans 5:1-5; Hebrews 6:12; Hebrews 10:35-36)

  8. According to 1 John 5:4-5, what is the 'Key' to experiencing a victorious Christian life?

  9. According to 1 John 5:3, what is the best way to demonstrate ('prove') that one truly loves God?

  10. List some of the benefits which persons receive when they obey God's commandments? (Read Exodus 20:6; Deuteronomy 5:29; John 14:23-24; John 15:10)

  11. Choose one of the following statements which describes 'Christian Love', and share your insight and interpretation and applications of the statement which you choose:

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    1. "Love is the fire; it either consumes or purifies."

    2. "Love is more than a characteristic of God; it is His character."

    3. "Love is the only service that power cannot command and money cannot buy."

    4. "Love seeks not limits, but outlets."

    5. "Love rules without a sword. Love binds without a cord."

    6. "Love is the fulfilling of the law."

    7. "You may give without loving, but you cannot love without giving."

    8. "Love is able to go down, down, down, where human beings are hurting, to lift them up to God."

    9. "Love sees beyond the obvious marrings of sin in peoples' lives, and is able to 'see' the potential for greatness in degenerate people because of the transforming power of God."

  12. From your own personal experience, and from Scriptural teachings, demonstrate that the following statement concisely describes the 'secret' to successful living: "Instead of allowing yourself to be unhappy, just let your love grow as God wants it to grow, seek goodness in others, love more persons more."

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