A Faith That Is Precious
Peter describes a faith that is precious. Your faith should be cherished and something of value that you don't want dulled or lost.
Well, bless your heart. I’m glad to be back with you. How in the world are you? You’re doing all right? Oh, I trust so. Happy in the Lord am I and grateful for the privilege of being with you once again. There’s a very personal quality about our relationship, yours and mine. Some of you I have never ever seen and yet I feel as though we belong to each other because day after day, we share from God’s infallible eternal Word, the Bible. And as I sometimes say, the miles drop away and it is as though I were sitting at your kitchen table or sitting beside you as you drive to work or whatever. That’s great, isn’t it? I do thank God for the privilege of giving out His Word this way.
Well, we’ve started in II Peter and we stopped the last time we got together on this matter of what Peter calls himself. He describes himself as a slave and an apostle. A slave is someone who belongs to another and apostle is one who has been sent by another to do a work. And although you and I will never take the place of the historic apostleship of Simon Peter and the others; yet in a very real sense, you and I also belong to the Lord Jesus, and we also have been sent by Him into the world to introduce people to the Lord Jesus Christ.
Now, Peter says he is writing to a certain kind of people. Who are they? Writing to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God in our Savior Jesus Christ. Precious of course is a concept that you find all through the scripture. “The redemption of their soul is precious,” the psalmist says in Psalms 49:8. The death of the believer is precious. Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints.
The message that we have is precious. He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, Psalms 126:6. The thoughts that God has toward us are precious. How precious also are thy thoughts toward me, oh God, Psalms 139 verse 17. God says of those whom He has chosen, because Thou was precious in my sight. It’s not because you and I were lovable but because God chose to love us that we belong to Him. And our faith is said to be much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire. We’re redeemed with the precious blood of Christ and He Himself is a living stone, chosen of God and precious; and therefore, to those who believe, I Peter 2:7, he is precious.
And then as we go on through life, Peter says, “Whereby are given unto us exceeding precious promises, that great and precious promises, that by these, you might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is the world through lust.” We get into that very verse as we come down into the first chapter of II Peter. So it’s precious faith, something that you cherish, something that has infinite value, something that you must not lose, something that is precious.
Do you have a conception of the preciousness of your relationship with Jesus Christ, or is it simply a point of view? Oh, that’s kind of a nasty question and I’m not asking it in what the psychologist calls a pejorative sense. If you ask a question in a pejorative manner, that means you’re already judging them. No, no, no. I’m simply asking, where on the scale of preciousness does your relationship with Jesus Christ stand? I’ll look at a member of my family. I’ll look at a little grandchild for example, and I pick the child and I would say, “Oh, you’re real precious to Pappy.” And we can understand that, can’t we?
And there are certain possessions which through the years have acquired a certain value quite apart from their dollar value. We’ve been married, Coreen and I, 54 years. It would be 55 in September of this year. That’s a long time, I know. I sometimes joke and say I feel like I was born married. But when I was courting this little Norwegian, I put down a very small amount of money toward an engagement ring at a jeweler that I don’t think is even in business anymore now in Chicago. It was a store named Olsen & Ebann and they were on the second floor of the Republic Building at Staten, Monroe. And I would go up there — every time I’d get a wedding or a funeral, I’d go up and put the fee down to add to the amount that was necessary to pay for that ring, and of course, I would bring my girl with me and we’d say, “Could we see the ring?” And he’d bring it out from the vault and open up the box, and we’d look at it and then I’d give the man my extra $10 or whatever it was and he’d give me a receipt for it. So finally, the ring was paid for and I slipped it on her finger.
And so that was a good many years ago and the ring finally wore out. Well, I said, “Let’s get you another ring.” It was so worn that it cut her finger because the metal underneath had worn away and there was just a sharp edge, and I said, “Let’s get you another ring.” I said, “I’ll get you a nice gold engagement ring and a wedding band to match because our wedding band had worn thin as well and was just about to give up. And so we saved up and saved up and finally, we were able to get that ring, two rings really.
Well, what are we going to do with the other one? She said, “I’ll make it into a stick pin for you.” And so it was that we went to a local jeweler and asked him to take the diamond, diamonds really, there was a center of stone and then four little ones. Take those and put them into a tie tack for yours truly. And so there it was, and when I wear that, I’m actually wearing the stone that was in the diamond engagement ring nearly 60 years ago. It’s a long time. Oh, boy. I’m wearing that same stone and it’s precious. And sometimes when I put it in my tie, Coreen will say, “Now, make sure it’s in there. Make sure it’s fastened.” Why? Well, far beyond the dollar value. You understand me, don’t you? Far beyond the dollar value, that tie tack has got something in it that represents a lifetime of living together in love — precious, precious, precious, precious grandchild, precious possession of some sort, precious relationship.
Now, I said like precious faith. Your relationship with the Lord Jesus is something that goes deep, deep, deep into your soul, and you cherish it and you hold it very sacred and you make sure that nothing mars the relationship. Peter talks about fleshly lust which war against the soul. There are some things that you can say and do and think that cut the cutting edge of your relationship with your Lord and dull your appreciation of Him. Precious faith is something that you need to hold very close and deep and consistent in your soul, your relationship with your Lord.
Does that make any sense to you? I’ve told you a little story that is really nobody’s business, but I shared it with you to illustrate the idea of preciousness. Like precious faith, something that you hang on to, something that you don’t let anybody change, something that you have to have because it’s important. “Jesus is all and in all,” said Paul. “Christ is all and in all.” You follow that?
Now, if what I’m saying falls a little short of reality in your own experience, you spend some time with your Lord. Let Him whisper to your heart some of the things He wants to say. Just be quiet before Him and listen to what He wants to say to you, and then start obeying Him. Jesus said, “You are my friends if you do whatsoever I command you.” Start obeying what God whispers to your heart to do and cherish a new but precious relationship.
Now, a way to nail this down in your experience obviously is by faith. It’s precious faith. Faith is the appropriation of what God said whether or not I can figure it or feel it. You don’t have to understand what God has promised. In other words, you don’t have to have a rationale and figure it all out. Nor indeed do you have to work at it. This matter of faith is accepting what God says because He said it and thanking Him for it. Faith is receiving what God has promised because He said He would do it. Without faith it is impossible to please God for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him. Faith is the substance of things hoped for the evidence of things not seen. Paul says in Romans, “For what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?” See, faith reaches out and says, “God, you promised it and I’ll receive it by faith. Thank you.” Preciousness of your relationship with depends upon your willingness to reach out by faith and take all that He is for all that you need.
The last time we got together I quoted I Corinthians 1:30. Christ has made unto us wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption. All that He is can be given to all that you need by faith. You reach out and you take it. Now, there are people who put it differently. Some ministers talk about positive thinking and all of that. I prefer to talk about faith which means risking the situation on God. Reach out by faith and say, “God, you promised it and I’ll receive it. Thank you.” Now, I got scripture for that because Jesus said what things sort of you desire when you pray, believe that you receive them and you shall have them. Faith reaches out. It takes hold of the promise of God and says, “Lord, You said it. I believe it.” And that settles it. If you want Jesus to be precious to you, start appropriating by faith what He offers. Start obeying by faith what He commands. Pretty good idea, wouldn’t you say?
Now, all of this is not through your righteousness but through His. With us, through the righteousness of God and our Savior Jesus Christ, God’s righteousness given to you because Jesus paid it all on Calvary. You can have all of this that we’ve been talking about because God has provided His righteousness for poor guilty sinners who trust the Savior. Hallelujah for that.
Dear Father, today, oh, may the preciousness of Christ be undergirded by our faith to appropriate and our obedience to do His will. Amen.
Until I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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