The Lord Jesus allows (and maybe) plans things to come into your life just to get your attention.
Alright, thank you very much. And hello again, radio friends. How in the world are you? You doing alright today? Well, of course, I wait for you to answer. [chuckle] My father used to say to me, “Boy, when you ask a question, give people a chance to answer.” The obverse of that was an advice that he would often give me. He said, “Boy, before you answer a question, think about it.” [chuckle] He wasn’t highly educated, but he was a pretty good practicing psychologist. He knew when to encourage and he also believed in the scriptural laying on of hands, that is the application of the board of education to the seat of knowledge. So I was loved, and I was spanked, and I was encouraged, and I’m grateful for a good Christian upbringing. [chuckle] Well, my friend, I’m glad to be back with you and we’re looking at John’s Gospel, Chapter One. These are precious, profound verses. I don’t begin to plumb the depths of them, as you Bible scholars understand. My purpose in these broadcasts is not to impress people, but to provide something that will give a handle that people can get hold of, and that will help them in their own personal lives. That’s what I pray everyday before I approach these microphones.
Well, we’re talking about the Lord Jesus, who was in the world, and the world was made by Him, and the world knew Him not. He came to His own creation and His own people received Him not. Verse 11, “But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name, which were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace, and truth.” Oh, that is a precious passage.
Well, now, we talked about Verse 10 and Verse 11. And Verse 12, of course, follows right on, “His own people received Him not, but as many as received Him, to them, gave He power to become the sons of God.” The great longing in the human heart, is to have a vital relationship with the living God. You find that heart hunger every place in all the world. Someone has said that, “The human being is incurably religious.” Well, say it how you will. Someone else said, “There’s a God shaped vacuum in the human soul, that only can be filled with, by an intimate relationship with God.” Say it how you will. There is that heart hunger in every one of us, longing for something more than the routines of human existence. If all that I am supposed to be worth, is to be born, and to grow up, and to be married, and to have children, and to die, is that all there is to life? There’s gotta be more than that. The human heart says, the cry of the human heart says, “I have to have more than that.” And so people mistakingly go into drugs, and they go into cults, and into the occult, talking with the demons. And they have all sorts of strange ways, strange to us, perhaps, but not to them, strange ways of seeking after a reality of spiritual experience, all of which turn out to be a dead end street.
You and I know that. We know there’s only one way to satisfy the hunger of our hearts and that is through the Lord Jesus Christ. “There is none other name.” Simon Peter said, “None other name under heaven, given among men, whereby we must be saved. So as many as received Him, to them, gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name.” Now, the key word there, as you start in this verse is ‘receive,’ isn’t it? If you wanna get anywhere with God, it says, “You have to receive.” Verb there in the Greek New Testament is ‘elabom,’ from the verb ‘lambano,’ which means reach out and take hold of, receive. How do you do this? Well, a pretty good way to start thinking about it might well be Revelation 3:20, where the Lord Jesus Himself says, “Behold, I stand at the door.” That’s the door of your life. “I stand at the door of your life and knock. If any man hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to him and sup with him,” that means, “I’ll be his guest.” “And he with me,” that means He’ll be my guest eventually. Beautiful verse. Now, there are three things that Jesus is said to be doing there. He’s standing, He’s knocking, and then He’s calling, “If any man hear my voice,” He’s calling.
God is eager for you to be in touch with Him, have you realized that? I’m talking to somebody now, that may have been far from God, and you are listening, and you’re a little bit bitter about religion in general, “Yeah, these preachers.” And the things that have happened recently, where folk who were highly visible have stumbled, have caused you to say, “Oh, well, who can you trust and what is this all about anyway?” Now, out of the depths of your own human woe, and maybe bitterness, and disillusionment, I’m talking to somebody like that, I know, let me tell you something. Jesus wants to get in touch with you. We’re not talking preachers now, leave Bob Cook out of the picture or any other preacher that you may have in mind. Let’s just talk about you and Jesus. He says, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If any man hear my voice and open the door, I will come in and sup with him,” that means, “I’ll be his guest.” “And he with me,” that means He’ll turn out to be my guest after all. Now, do you realize that Jesus is standing, waiting for some attention from you? How long has it been since you talked to God, aside, that is, from using the name of God in profanity, or else praying briefly when you’re in a jam?
How long has it been, since you turned in prayer to the one who died for you, and who rose again, and who lives today to be your living Savior? He’s standing there waiting. And then it says, “He’s knocking.” He’s knocking. What does that mean? Well, that means He’s trying to get your attention. He’s trying to get your attention. I used to be in the garage business when I was in college, and before that, I was really working on cars and fixing them, when I was a junior and senior in high school. And then on through Moody Bible Institute, I would buy old jalopies, [chuckle] and fix them up, and sell them, and then on into Wheaton College days. And so I was familiar with cars, and loved to work on them. I still enjoy machinery of any kind, that’s part of the way the Lord built me. But anyhow, one can recall saying to someone, “You better pay some attention to that engine of yours. It needs some work.” And the reply would come back, “Oh, yeah, I will.” [chuckle] And you knew that the individual didn’t mean to do anything about it at all. So another time, “You better pay some attention to that now. It’s gonna need some work. You better bring it in the shop.” “Yes, alright, Cook. Yeah, I will.” But, no. And then, one day, you hear outside of the garage a dreadful clatter and clanking, and here comes that same individual, and he’s driving a car with a burned out rod bearing.
And he comes in, he says, “Well, Cook, I guess I better pay some attention to what you’ve been telling me.” [chuckle] It finally got his attention. I called on a man some years ago. Being a pastor, you never get over being a pastor, and through the years, although my active days of being a full-time pastor ceased in 1948, I went on into Youth for Christ, and from there to Scripture Press, and from there to the college, all of them ministries, obviously, and affording me opportunities to preach the Gospel, and deal with people, but you never get over caring about folk who need some help, and so from time to time, I make a hospital call. And on one of those occasions, this man had fractured, had a bad fracture of his leg, and he was there in bed with that leg under traction, and propped up. He looked at me with a wry smile and he says, “Well,” he said, “Bob, I guess God had to do this to get my attention, didn’t He?”
I knew what he meant, because I had watched him through the months and the years, and I had seen him being successful on his own, and running along at high speed in life, busy, busy, prosperous, happy, not caring much about anything. Oh, he was a Christian, and he would show up at church, nothing wrong with his theology, and his life was really above reproach, as he wasn’t engaged in any gross sin. But I knew him to be neglecting his Lord. It showed up in the shallowness of his attitudes, I knew that. And now, there he is in the hospital with that broken limb tied up with some weights, to pull it out to keep it straight, so that the bone could heal. And he says to me, “I guess God had to do this to get my attention, didn’t He?” And the answer probably is, “Yes.”
The Lord Jesus allows, and maybe, plans some things to come into your life, so as to get your attention, and you look up, and say, “Why does this happen to me?” And the answer is, “Hey, I’m trying to get your attention.” And then, it says, “If any man hear my voice,” He’s calling you. You hear His voice in the realm of your conscience and you hear His voice calling you in the longings of your heart. You hear His voice calling you, when, now and then, you think seriously about eternal matters. You know that the Savior is calling you. “Jesus is tenderly calling you home, calling today, calling today. Why from the shelter of love do you roam, farther and farther away?” That’s the old song. Oh, pay some attention to the Savior, will you? Get on your knees and ask Him to come into your life. And if you’re a believer, make room for Jesus in your daily life, so that He can lead you. We’ll get at some more of this the next time we get together.
Father God, today, give us the grace and good sense to receive the Lord Jesus into our lives. Amen. ‘Til I meet you once again, by way of radio, Walk With the King today and be a blessing.
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