A Willing Helper
Go cheerfully out of your way to help others (without being asked.)
Alright, thank you very much. And hello again radio friends, how in the world are you? You doing alright today? Well I trust so, bless your heart. Yes, this is your friend Doctor Cook and I’m glad to come back once again to share from God’s Word. We’re finishing up the book of 1 Timothy. We’re in chapter 6, verse 17. And Paul says, “Now tell rich people, those that are rich in this world,” and that phrase, “Rich in this world” is in contrast to what you find in verse 18, “Rich in good works”, there’s the difference. Rich in this world means money and the things it can buy, rich in good works is the richness that comes from living for God and for others.
Well anyhow, not high minded, don’t look down on other people because you have a few more shekels than they because all the ground is level at the Cross. “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God, thou art inexcusable. Therefore, Oh man, whosoever thou art the judges for thou that judges thyself doeth the same things,” Paul said in Romans 2. Now he says, “Don’t trust in uncertain riches.” You trust in money, it’ll walk away from you, it disappears. You can’t trust in it really. But he said, “Your trust, what you really depend on is in the living God, in the living God.” See? Who gives us richly all things to enjoy? Not high minded, nor trust in uncertain riches but in the living God. What do you trust? What do you really trust? That’s a probing question that you’ll have to answer, beloved, for yourself. I have to answer it for myself and you have to answer it for yourself. What do you really trust? That is to say what would you be willing to die for? I used to say to the students at the college, “Make a list of the things for which you would be willing to be shot dead at 5 o’clock tomorrow morning.”
Now that’s a short list and it gets shorter probably the more you think about it. But that’s the force of this verb trust. What is really important to you? Well he said, “You better trust in the living God. Trust in the living God. He giveth us richly all things to enjoy.”
Small thought here. The only thing you really enjoy is what you get from God, you know that? Everything else fades and palls and ultimately bores you. The only thing you really enjoy is that which comes from your relationship with God. And that doesn’t mean that it’s all spiritual. You can enjoy just being alive, you can enjoy a sunrise or a sunset or a spring shower or the affection of a member of your family. You can enjoy driving your car along the road, I do. I know I love to drive. Whether it be a four-wheeled vehicle or my two-wheeled BMW, I enjoy it.
But what the satisfaction that comes from living in any of these settings really is based upon whether or not you are in touch with God. What a luxury it is driving along from one place to another on your way to a meeting maybe or whatever, just to roll down the window and say, “Jesus, I love you. Thank you for life. Thank you for eyes to see. Thank you for a brain that still works and clicks along.” [chuckle] Just to express love to your Lord while you’re in the business of living.
When we retired from the college as president, we came out here to the Pocono Mountains just west of Stroudsburg, in a little town called Tannersville. And it’s a gorgeous spot really. We can look out our windows and see the ski mountain called Camelback. And we can see the skiers coming down there to break their ankles. [chuckle] The ambulance goes everyday to pick somebody up. Sometimes the helicopter comes on over and drops in to bring somebody over to Allentown. And I’m not against skiing, it’s just that those things do happen, don’t they? But anyhow we look out, see the mountain and tool around the mountain roads now and again, see the occasional black bear or the deer cutting across the road or grazing in the meadows- beautiful setting. And I have to tell you, one of the things that contents my heart, that just gives me a feeling of vast, ineffable satisfaction is on a given day when I’m either driving or walking or riding along, just to look out and say, “God thank you for all of this. Thank you for the air, and the sky, and the trees, and the mountains, and the critters. And thank you for eyes to see, and a mind to think, and a heart to love God. Thank you for saving me, and thank you for putting me in your work, and thank you for keeping me all these years. Hallelujah, oh God I love you.”
I wanna tell you something: you never are more content than when you learn the meaning of that phrase, “Giveth us richly all things to enjoy.” Real enjoyment, real enjoyment comes when you share your life with God. You wanna try that today? Make a difference, I promise you. Yes, it will. Trust in the living God that giveth us richly all things to enjoy.
Money isn’t wrong, cars aren’t wrong, houses aren’t wrong, cameras aren’t wrong, sports equipment isn’t wrong, there’s no sin involved in any of these things unless you use them wrongly. On the other hand if you share them with your Heavenly Father, through the ministry of the indwelling Holy Spirit, if you have some fellowship with your Blessed Savior while living in a world of things, you know the taste of real enjoyment. Well I got to preaching there a little, didn’t I? [chuckle] He said, “Now tell them to do good.” Now that’s a strange thing. You’d think everybody would know that, wouldn’t you? But that’s how it is. “Tell them that they do good and that they be rich in good works, not rich in this world, rich in good works.” What is the real riches? He said, “Do something good.”
There used to be a song that is now gone out of vogue. Last time I heard it sung was by an undertaker as I rode in the front seat of the hearse with him on the way to the cemetery.
Someone who didn’t have a minister had asked… the family had asked if I would perform the services at the funeral and the burial, so there I was riding along in the front seat of the hearse with the undertaker. And we got to talking about things and harking back to things I remembered from my own boyhood. He had a few grey hairs on him and we were about the same age, I guess. And I said, “You know, one of the things I remember was going to Sunday school in Old Fort, Ohio and the Sunday school superintendent always announced certain hymns. One of which was, Help Somebody Today, Somebody Along Life’s Way.” I said, “You know, I haven’t heard that for a long time.” Why he said, “I know that whole song.” And as we drove out to the cemetery, he sang the entire hymn for me. “Help somebody today, somebody along life’s way. Let sorrow be ended, the friendless be friended. Oh help somebody today.”
That’s sorta gone out of vogue, hasn’t it? Now we call the social worker, or the police, or the Red Cross, or somebody else, somebody other than ourselves. He said, “If you got anything to do with, do good with it.” Had you given any thought, beloved, to using your potential- money I’m talking about now- your substance, using your potential to do something good for other people?
I must admit that most of us, myself included, think in terms of our own survival. I think occasionally about, “Well what would I do if all my income stopped? I haven’t got that much savings. What would I do?” We stop to think about that every now and again and worry about it momentarily, I suppose. The real concern it seems to me ought to be concern about using what we have to do something good, be rich in good works. He said, “Tell them to do good. Be rich in good works.”
You wanna give some thought today, not some other day but right today, you wanna give some thought, to what you can do for other people that’s under the heading of good works? Don’t make a federal case of it. Nobody more odious than someone who is officially helpful. “I’m going to be a blessing to you my brother!” Oh no, come on, don’t do it.
Don’t make a federal case of your helpfulness. Just do something helpful without being asked. My old boss, Vick Corey, sent me to a 10-week course in what was called Human Engineering. Shortly after I began working at Scripture Press back in 1957. And it was a good course. I remember a number of things I learned out of it. One of which was, and this was repeated each time the class met, one of these things I learned and which I remember was this, “Go cheerfully out of your way to help others without being asked. Go cheerfully out of your way to help others without being asked.” The secret of good management is cheerful helpfulness. Something to remember, isn’t it, if you’re a manager?
One of the other things incidentally, I’ll throw this in free, one of the other things I remember was that the man said, “Look at every person with whom you deal as though he or she had a sign hanging around their neck saying, ‘Make me feel important.'” Treat everybody you meet as though they had a sign around their neck saying, “Make me feel important.” They say that was the secret of President Kennedy’s charm. When he talked with you, even if it was only for a moment, you felt as though you were the only person in the world for him. Well, rich in good works. Do you want to give some thought and prayer and planning to doing some good things along the way?
Use what substance you have. We’re talking now about possessions, aren’t we? Car, home, money, whatever. Use what substance you have to do something good for other people for Jesus’ sake. That’s part of God’s plan. “We are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus unto good works which God hath before ordained that we should live every day in them,” Ephesians 2:10. God’s plan is that you and I do good things for people. Let’s work at it, shall we? You and I. God bless you as you do.
Dear Father today, oh, make us people who do good things for Thy glory in Jesus’ name, amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the king today and be a blessing!
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