A Greater Purpose

There has to come that point where all that you are is turned over to the control of the Blessed Spirit of God for the purpose of bringing people to Jesus Christ.

Scripture: Colossians 4:14, Acts 16:10, 2 Timothy 4:11


Alright, thank you very much, and hello again dear radio friends. How in the world are you? Are doing Alright today? Oh, I’ve just been praying that God might put His truth and blessing and power and His love in my voice and in my heart for you. That something special might be there for you today. God grant it for His name’s sake.

We’re looking at Colossians Chapter 4. We talked about Epaphras and his burden of prayer. I trust that you and I learned something about praying with a burden for people.

Now we come to 4:14 where two other people are mentioned. Luke, the beloved physician, and Demas, greet you. You know of course that Doctor Luke wrote the book that bears his name as well as the Book of Acts. So that he is well informed as to what happened all through the years of our Lord’s earthly ministry as well as those wonderful days after Pentecost where God, the Holy Spirit, was moving in such power in the young church that began at Jerusalem on Pentecost Day. Luke evidently joined Paul’s party at Troas.

The pronoun they is used in the account up to that time. They did this. They went together into the synagogue and so on. But now after Paul has tried to go into Asia and Bithynia and passing by Mysia, they came down to Troas. And it says, “A vision appeared to Paul in the night; There stood a man of Macedonia, and prayed him, saying, “Come over into Macedonia, and help us.” This is Acts 16:10. “And after he had seen the vision, immediately we endeavored to go into Macedonia, assuredly gathering that the Lord had called us for to preach the gospel unto them.”

So somewhere along the line there, Doctor Luke had joined the group. You see, because Paul had finished his second missionary journey. He went through Syria and Cilicia confirming the churches. Came to Derbe and Lystra and there he took Timothy and prepared him for a special ministry with him. They went through the cities. They delivered the decrees to keep the ordained of the apostles and elders at Jerusalem. They went through Galatia and Phrygia and so on. But then in that 10th verse I guess it is of Acts 16, we endeavored to go into Macedonia.

So I take it that somewhere along the line there, Doctor Luke had joined Paul’s party and was with him pretty steadily right straight through until the end of his life in Rome as a prisoner. Doctor Luke. He speaks of Luke here. He speaks of Luke in his last words written from prison. You find them in Timothy 2:4 we’ll have reference to that passage both for Luke and for Demas later on. But he says, “Only Luke is with me. Take Mark and bring him with thee. Demas has forsaken me. Only Luke is with me.”

So there you have a professional man who decided that he would cast his lot with the apostle Paul in a ministry. It reminds you very much of Dr. M. R. Dehaan and Dr. Walter L. Wilson. Some of these other great physician people who have had a far more effective than their medical practice have had a blessed spiritual ministry. I had a letter not long ago from a doctor friend of mine down in the Washington, D.C. area, who made a decision for Christ a good many years ago in a meeting that I was in and we’ve been in touch now and then through the years. He went on to tell me that the great joy of his life is winning souls to Christ. Well, hallelujah, I’m glad for that.

Which leads me to say this, I’m speaking I know, to professional people and executives and educators. I know this because you write to me and tell me so. And I’m grateful that you find now and then something that is of value, something worth listening to even from the level of your eruditon and expertise. It’s a wonderful thing about the Word of God. You don’t have to know everything about everything to proclaim God’s Word. Isn’t that great?

See, because the Word of God itself is alive and powerful. “Sharper than any two-edged sword piercing even to the dividing ascender of the joints and marrow and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart,” says the writer to the Hebrews. So, I don’t have to be skilled in everything in order to say something that is of interest to a skilled or highly educated person because it’s the Word of God. That’s a great comfort to me. What I don’t know would fill a big book. I assure you.

So let me say this word to you folk who are professionals. You’re a doctor. You’re a nurse. You’re a therapist. You’re a lawyer. You’re a dentist. You’re an orthodontist. You’re an orthopedic surgeon. You’re a college president or professor or an administrator or sales manager or a vice president or whatever. Let me talk with you for a moment. What is the essence of your life? What gives you the greatest satisfaction?

Now, I know that there are some things for which different ones of us are uniquely fitted. There are some people who just enjoy selling. They can’t wait to get on the job just to sell the product that they have. That’s part of the way they’re built. They love to sell. And there are other people who are more of contemplative nature who enjoy research, let us say. And you think like our dear Dr. Frair who is an expert on turtles. He knows everything there is to know about turtles. And you talk to him about – well, I think he also likes motorcycles as I recall, although, he hasn’t ridden one for some years. He used to have a Harley-Davidson believe it or not, and I used to borrow it and ride it. But you talk to him about ordinary things and he’s polite and gracious. My, what a gracious person he is. But talk to him about turtles and his eyes light up. You see?

So humanly speaking, you see it’s no sin to be interested in life. You don’t have to go around looking slightly ill in order to be spiritual. It’s no sin to be interested in life and to be interested in the things that give you as young people say a large charge. That’s not sinful. God built you to response to certain stimuli. And so, go ahead and enjoy living. That’s Alright.

But the question is what gives you the greatest, greatest satisfaction? We need to come back to the fact that like Doctor Luke there are hundreds and thousands of people listening to my voice this moment who could benefit immeasurably by rearranging their, the priorities of your life. To where service for the Lord Jesus and the winning of souls and the spreading of the gospel is priority number one. Ford Motor turned around or hope, I guess, at least to turn around their public image by a series of advertisement that proclaim quality is job number one. Quality is job one. Do you remember seeing that? Well, now, they’re saying they’re giving you the best built car. Of course, Chrysler I suppose and General Motors would dispute that but then that’s the nature of advertising.

But they changed the emphasis, didn’t they? I wonder whether it might benefit some lawyer, some physicians, some executives, some educator, if it might not benefit you beloved, to rearrange the priorities of your life? You may like Doctor Luke be treating many patients each day. The life of an ordinary doctor is indescribably hectic. And today, of course, you find yourself complicated by the fact that when a patient walks into your office you think not only how may I help this patient but you also think to yourself I wonder if he’ll sue me. Then that complicates it, doesn’t it? Yes, it does.

But you know under the guidance of the blessed Holy Spirit of God, you might well rearrange your thinking so that when you see a patient, doctor, you would first of all be asking not how may I help him or is he going to sue me, but you are going to be asking first of all, I wonder whether he knows my Lord. Do you see the difference? Doctor Luke somewhere along the line shifted gears and decided that he was going to throw in his lot full time with the apostle Paul.

This is not to say that he wasn’t serving the Lord before, because he was one of our Lord’s disciples. And he wrote this glorious gospel of Luke which has some insights it, not shared by the other three gospel writers as you know. And he chronicled the entire Book of Acts with professional thoroughness. All of this is great. I’m simply saying there came a time when he said I’m going with Paul. And that made a change then in his professional life as well.

Would you think about that doctor? Would you think about that my legal eagle, my attorney friend? Would you think about that professor, college president, vice-president, dean? Would you think about that corporate executive, manager, nurse, teacher in the classroom? Think about the priorities. What gives you the real satisfaction in life?

No. It’s no sin to enjoy the way you are. God built you to be the way you are. Enjoy it and make the most of it. But, oh, there has to come that point where all that you are is turned over to the control of blessed Spirit of God for the purpose of bringing people to Jesus Christ.

I remember meeting an attorney friend of mine years ago shortly after I came to the college.
I said, “Jim, what do you do?” He said, “Well, do you mean what do I do to put bread on the table or what do I really do.” Well, I said, “Tell me both.” Well, he said, “To put bread on the table I’m an attorney. I have such and such a practice.” He specialized in certain kinds of law. He said, “I do that work in the law.” But he said, “My real job is bringing people to Jesus.” And his face just lit up, just a glow with the joy of winning other people to Christ.

That’s what we’re talking about when we mentioned Doctor Luke, faithful, wonderful brother that he was, there came that point at which he said, medicine is great but I’m going to practice it within the parameters of my Christian service. Something to think about, isn’t it?

Dear Father, today, we just commend ourselves to Thee. Oh, may whatever we do in our work a day world honor Thee and bring souls to Jesus. In his name I pray, Amen.

Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!

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