A Bold Request
Oh God, draw me closer to your heart, reveal to me what Your Will is for me.
Alright thank you very much and hello again dear radio friends. How in the world are you? You doing alright? Aren’t you glad you can be in the world but not of it? That’s the background for that little greeting that’s become part of my trademark through the years. I’m so grateful for the privilege of sharing with you once again from God’s Word. I’ve just been praying that His love and His truth and His power and all of the blessed evidences of the Holy Spirit of God might be in my voice and in my words as I speak with you.
We are in Mark chapter 11. We come now to verse 27. Said, “They came again to Jerusalem and as he was walking in the temple, there came to him the chief priest and the scribes and the elders.” There’s a distinguished company now wasn’t it? “And they said by what authority doest thou these things and who gave thee this authority to do these things?”
Now what are the “these things” they are talking about? Well, verse 15, “He went into the temple and began to cast out them that sold and bought and overthrew the tables of the money changers and the seats of them that sold doves and would not suffer that any man that would carry a vessel through the temple. And he taught saying “Is it not written” see, he had reference to scripture, “Is it not written my house should be called a house of prayer? But ye have made it a den of thieves”.
The usual practice in all those carryings on was to hike up the price of everything because it was the feast time. The prices don’t fall, bargains don’t occur until after an event is over. You have sales that come after the Holidays but if you want to travel for example when its vacation season, the prices are higher. If you go to Florida in the summer when the temperature is up near 100 degrees, you’ll find that you might be able to rent a room rather reasonably. But you go down to Florida again in what they call “the season” is on and all of the snowbirds have come down from the North and it’s going to cost you more. Well, that’s how we accept it. But our Lord Jesus wasn’t going to stand for any of that kind of goings on in the temple.
He said, “you fellows, it’s a den of thieves, you’re robbing people”. It’s what you’re doing. You’ve hiked the prices because you know that you can get it and you have moved your merchandising right straight into the holy place of God which ought to be a house of prayer. So he threw them out. Now that’s what these people, this delegation mentioned in Mark 11:27. That’s what they had referenced to, these things, alright?
This I think is a normal human nature reaction. Any time you stand up for the truth of God, people are bound to say “who do you think you are anyway? The answer, of course, is the ancient word of the prophets. They said “thus sayeth the Lord”. Isaiah said “to the law and to the testimony for if they speak not according to this word it is because there is no light in them”.
You and I derive our authority from the Word of God. Now that doesn’t mean you’re going to go around spouting scripture verses to everyone. It does mean, number one that you’re going to hide the Word of God in your mind and memory so that the Spirit of God can apply it when you need it. You have a great computer there between your two ears and you put the Word of God into the computer, and you can then depend upon the blessed Spirit of God to crank that out when you need it. That’s the first thing.
Second thing is to order your lifestyle in line with what you know is taught in the written Word of God. It is impossible to be effective in terms of spiritual authority unless your lifestyle agrees with what is taught in the written Word of God. You don’t have any authority with people who know you are compromising. It is that simple. Now there is some who may love you dearly and who will know that you are wrong in certain areas of your life and who will keep on praying for you. I trust that might be so with every one of us. Thank God for loved ones that takes us as we are. You understand me. But at the same time, if you want authority, let us say with a group of people, and they know you are compromised in your testimony in some way, financially shady dealings, ethically faulty relationships, whatever it may be you’re not going to have any authority with them. They are going to discount you, aren’t they?
Well this is true in every walk of life. If a car dealer is known to be guilty of sharp practice, people don’t trust him. One of the funny things that happened when I first moved to this area was that I was looking about; you know I am a car nut anyway so I’m interested in cars and motorcycles, airplanes and guns and cameras and all the rest. Things always fascinated me. So I was looking around in the different used car lots and talking to people, idly really, I wasn’t about to buy something and so it happened that I talked to somebody one day and I said such and such a dealer seems to have a pretty good display, he must be doing a fine business. He looked me in the eye and he said “don’t go near his place, you can’t trust him”. Ha HaHaHa, bang, just like that! Well, alright. You see what I’m talking about?
Your authority, beloved, and mine with any given group of people depends on whether we are lining up our lifestyle with what we know to be the truth of the written Word of God. Thus sayeth the Lord. By what authority, when people ask you “who do you think you are anyways?” you have to have an answer for them. Peter said be ready to give an answer to everyone that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you and do it with meekness and respect.
So you need to be able to give an answer and the answer to those things is I’m just representing the Lord Jesus Christ, He’s my Savior and that’s what he is teaching me in His Word. Well, they said by what authority are you doing this and who gave you that authority? Two questions. What he said, I’ll ask you a question, He said the baptism of John was it from Heaven or from men?
See our Lord Jesus knew the hearts and minds of people and he knew how to hang them up on their own dilemma. They reasoned with themselves saying if we say the baptism of John was from Heaven, He’ll say, why didn’t you believe him? But if we say the baptism of John was just human reasoning, they feared the people. For all man counted John that he was a prophet indeed so they were hung up on the horns of their own dilemma.
Small thought here, whenever you begin to question why God does things, you end up on the horns of your own reasoning. Why did this happen to me? Job asked you know, he asked “why was I born? Why didn’t I die before I was born, why didn’t I die after I was born, why did God let me grow up and see all of this? Why, why did these things happen?” The early portions of the book of Job have his series of questions in them. Do you recall that? Well now Job never got an answer to those questions. Instead, God revealed himself to our friend Job and we find the man saying “I’ve heard of thee by the hearing of the ear but now mine eyes seeth thee and I repent and I’ve hid myself in dust and ashes”.
He said I am through questioning You. I want my heart to be right with you. Now I’m talking, I’m sure, to some who are going through the deep waters of sorrow, you’ve lost a loved one or someone who’s home was broken up, a wife or a husband has strayed away and a home is broken up or someone who is just heartbroken because a prodigal son or wayward daughter has just broken your heart, somebody who is going through it. And you are tempted to say “why?” why did this happen, why did he leave me, wasn’t I a good wife to him? Why did my boy do this to me? We tried to bring him up right. I’ve had people say that to me, Pastor, we have tried to bring him up in a Christian home, why did this happen? You have a traffic accident and someone is injured or worse and you say, why did that happen to me? I’ve asked that myself. Why? Well see, you don’t get answers to the why questions of life, beloved.
The answer is found in a closer relationship with your Lord. The answers to your questions concerning why God does things is only found in a closer, more loving, more trustful relationship with your blessed Lord. You follow me there? Now I know that’s strong medicine and somebody is saying, well Cook, it’s alright for him to talk, he doesn’t have my problems. No, that’s true but I may have some of my own, remember? Ha haha, we are all human beings and so don’t fight it today as I am talking with you, my beloved friend.
Don’t fight it. Instead of saying why did this happen, turn to your Father in Heaven and say Oh God, draw me closer to your heart, reveal to me what your will is for me, let the experience be one of purifying and sweetening my life. Let me get closer to thee Lord through this. Pray that prayer. I can guarantee you, dear one, I can guarantee you that God will answer and in the process, not only will you be comforted and reassured, but the shine of God will be on your life and people will realize that God has indeed brought you through the experience for His glory.
So these people were hung up on the horns of their own human reasoning and they said, well, we can’t say. Well He said, neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things. Only the believing heart has entry into the secrets of God. Only the believing heart has entry into the secrets of God. Let us come boldly to the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need, God reveals His secrets in His sanctuary. That’s found over there in Psalm 25, it’s a good verse isn’t it, you know that one? Let me turn to it. The sanctuary let me find it for you.
The secret of the Lord, 25:14 in the Psalms. “The secret of the Lord is with them that fear Him and He will show them His covenant”. The Psalmist said, I was so angry about the way things were going and he said “I was like a beast I was so angry” but he said until I went into the sanctuary and then I understood.
God’s secrets are reserved for the trusting heart. Would you open up your heart today to God, my dear friend?Maybe you have never asked the Lord Jesus to come in and be your Lord and Savior, ask Him today to forgive your sins and to make you God’s child to enter your life by His wondrous power and be your Savior. Open your heart and life to the Lord.
Dear Father today help us to yield to thee so that we will understand thy perfect will in Jesus name I pray this, Amen.
Until I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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