All His Promises Are Ours
The knowledge of God in Christ comes by spending time with Him and in his Word. Prayer involves my commitment to living out what God tells me. God's promises are mine to apply in my circumstances.
Alright. Thank you very much and hello again, radio friends. How in the world are you? Yes, this is your good friend, Bob Cook, and yes, I do wait for you to answer because I know many of you do. We don’t have two-way radio nor indeed two-way television which is probably a good thing sometimes, but we do have a communication that is far deeper and more effective. John, the beloved apostle, said, “Our fellowship is with the Father and with His son, Jesus Christ.” So it’s you and I and God, and as we get together like this around the Word of God, the miles drop away and we are indeed sharing together the things of eternity, and I like that, don’t you?
You and I have been walking around in the opening versus of II Peter, and Peter says that God’s divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness through the knowledge of Him that has called us to glory and virtue. Everything is yours and you’d get it by getting to know Him. It’s that simple and yet that profound. Everything that you need to live a successful life is already given to you because Jesus died for you on Calvary and rose again to be your living Savior. But you possess it. You begin to possess it through the knowledge of Him who hath called you to glory and virtue. So you spend time with your Lord, and as you do, you begin to realize the riches of what He’s done for you. The reason many people are spiritually poverty-stricken is that they spend so little time with their Lord.
Now, when it comes to getting answers to prayer, I believe in what I read many years ago in a book by a brother named Coon. I’ve never met him and probably won’t till I get to glory. I have that little book in my bookcase and its pages are now yellowed and worn. It was written a good long time ago, but he said, “Don’t focus on the problem. Focus on the solution.” He said, “You can tell God in 17 words or less what the problem is, and then as you pray, focus on God’s solution to the problem and pray on the basis of the promises of God.” He actually said that like George Muller and others, he would open the Word of God and find a promise that the Spirit of God led him to and then he would put his finger on that promise and pray based on the Word of God.
So you get answers to your prayers by praying on the basis of the promises. We’ll talk about that a little later as we go on to it. But the knowledge of Him, the realization of what you have in Christ takes time spent in the presence of your Lord. “Take time to be holy. Speak oft to thy Lord. Abide in Him only and trust in His word. By looking to Jesus, like Him thou shalt be; Thy friends in thy conduct, His likeness shall see”. All things that pertain to life and godliness through the knowledge of Him.
Now, you don’t have knowledge of God to show it off. You get to know your Lord in order to obey His calling. Every one of God’s blessings is wrapped up in responsibility, and if I’m not willing to face the responsibility I shall not have the joy of sharing in His blessings. The knowledge of Him, oh, you think that’s wonderful, wonderful to know God, wonderful to have my soul simply suffused with the presence of God, wonderful to have my tears fall on the Word of God as I worship in abject humility, and yet in that exultation of spirit that is like the vestibule of heaven, wonderful to know God. Amen I say. But at the same time, that knowledge is wrapped up in His call to glory and virtue. Glory has to do with the shining of His life through you. Virtue has to do with the result of your commitment to the Holy Spirit of God who creates through you the life and character of Christ.
So when I pray, yes, I need to wait in God’s presence. Yes, I need to learn to worship and wait on Him until the shining light of heaven fills the sanctuary of my soul. Yes, I need to verbalize my prayers based on the promises of God. But yes, when I pray, I better be aware of the fact that God has called me to something that involves my commitment in the hours and days that follow my praying. The promises and blessings of God are wrapped up in responsibility to Him, Him who hath called us to glory and virtue. Do you follow that logic?
It’s a very important concept in praying. Many of us pray as a kind of therapy because we feel better after we’ve prayed, and that’s all right. The Bible is full of instances where people prayed and then were able to trust God and rejoice. But that isn’t the whole scene. That isn’t the whole story, is it? No. When I pray, I need to be aware of the fact that God waits for my commitment to Him. “Thou shall love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy soul, with all thy strength, and with all thy mind.” God waits for my commitment to Him because His blessings are wrapped up in responsibility to Him. Well, I thought we just pause on that for a moment because it does me good to review it and I’m sure it may have been of help to someone else.
Now in verse 4 of II Peter 1, we’ve come now to verse 4. “Whereby are given unto us” — see, you’ve got given in verse 3. “His divine power hath given unto us all things.” Now, because of that, because it involves knowing God and responsibility to God, because of all of that in verse 3, now he says, “Whereby are given unto us,” same verb again, “given,” “exceeding great and precious promises, that by these, that is these promises, you might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.”
We want to talk about that for a little while. First of all, the promises in the Word of God are yours. I know that God spoke different words to different people at different times. And if you study your bible, it is certain that you’re not going to take something that was spoken. Let us say for example specifically to Israel and bring it over and say, “That’s for me.” All scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable unto doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness. We know that so. But you always have reference to the setting of the promise, to whom was it was spoken, for why was it spoken, and for what purpose and so on.
At the same time, and you may disagree with me and if you do, well, like my father used to say, “We’ll be heaven some day and you’ll know I was right.” That’s the way he settled every argument. He was never wrong in his life. I tell you. Even when he made a mistake, he’d say, “That was providential, boy.” Well, all joking aside, there is a blessed spiritual chemistry that is performed as you linger over the Word of God so that you can take a promise that was given let us say historically to someone else and suddenly the Holy Spirit of God applies it to your own heart.
Take for example the story of the centurion who came and asked our Lord Jesus Christ to heal a servant who was ill in his house. Do you recall reading that? And he said furthermore to the master, he said, “I’m not worthy that you should even come under my roof.” But he said, “I’m accustomed to obeying orders and I know when I’m in the presence of the master.” So he said, “You just say the word and my servant will be healed.” And the Lord Jesus said, “Go your way. Your faith has saved you.”
All right. That is something that happened to a person in history, a real person who had a real need and the need was met by the Lord Jesus Christ. But as I read it, the Lord speaks to my own heart through the indwelling Holy Spirit, and he says, “You too can believe that God can say the word to make a change in your situation.” And so that promise becomes mine. That whole area becomes mine as the Spirit of God applies it to my personal situation. Do you follow me? So that things in the Bible that may have been said to others historically, as the indwelling Holy Spirit begins to apply them, you find that all scripture is profitable to you, and these promises then become yours. And so it’s not quite so far off the mark as we sing, “Every promise in the book is mine. Every chapter, every verse, every line, all are tokens of His love divine. Every promise in the book is mine”. No, you don’t go out in left field as we say. You don’t become the victim of some kind of spiritual fantasizing or hysteria. You simply read the Word of God, and as the indwelling Holy Spirit of God speaks to you, you accept what God is saying to your heart.
Jim Mallis, now with the Lord a good many years, was reared by a godly father who was a tea planter in some place in India I guess, and at the same time was pastor of a little chapel which had been built upon his property and he preached every Sunday there. So Jim Mallis was brought up with that kind of a background. He later went to London and studied medicine. And then as God spoke to his heart, he turned into missionary work and for many years was active as a missionary in that part of the world.
Well, he came to my little church one day. I was pastor of a church and this would be back in the 1930s I guess or ‘40s, and we had some wonderful times together. And I noticed that the way he got at the Word of God was different in many ways from the way I presented it, and I spoke to him about it. I said, “Jim,” I said, “You’re different. You have a different view of the scriptures; and yet, the truth comes out so beautifully. Tell me what is it about you?” He smiled. He said, “Well Bob,” he said, “Oftentimes you Americans take the Bible as though it were a textbook line upon line, and you line it out and you analyze it and you dissect it and you outline it.” He said, “Oftentimes I like to read the Bible just to let the Lord speak to me just the way it is.”
Well obviously, it’s a good thing to outline the scriptures. It’s a good thing to analyze them. It’s a good thing to memorize them and have then down pat. I believe in that, but it’s also a good thing just to read the Word of God and let the indwelling Holy Spirit of God apply His promises to you. Because beloved, every promise in the book is yours.
Dear Father, today, apply Thy promises to our hearts. I ask you in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Until I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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