My approach has to be: "Lord, I’ve given myself to You and I’m not going to take back what I’ve given. I’m going to be true to You, no matter what it costs."
Alright thank you very much, and hello again dear radio friends. How in the world are you? Yes, this is your friend Dr. Cook and I’m so glad to be back with you once again to share from God’s word you. You and I are looking it Mark chapter 3, and we just paused for a moment on 3:27, where our Lord Jesus said, “No man can enter into a strong man’s house unless he first binds the strong man”. We’ve been talking about binding the strongman, Satan. Know you’re in a battle; that was the first point. Recognize you’re in a battle but that Jesus is victor, and you can be victor as well. Having done all; that means when the dust is all settled and the battle’s over, you’ll still be on your feet, having done all to stand. And then, learn how Satan has been defeated, “They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they loved not their lives unto the death”. The last time we got together we just were in the middle of talking about the word of their testimony. What is, really, the secret of overcoming Satan in the give-and-take of everyday conversations and circumstances? Simply this: have enough of the word of God in your mind and memory that the Holy Spirit can crank it out when it’s needed. Your mind is a great computer as you know, and if you put junk into it, it follows the computer person’s acronym G.I.G.O. Garbage in, garbage out, you know, but if you put the word of God in it, in that computer and if you memorize and then meditate on God’s word, so that the Holy Spirit has a chance to apply it to your own life, then what?
Well, in the give-and-take of everyday living, the conversations that occur where you can’t plan what the other person is going to say because you don’t know, only God knows and He can get you ready for it. In these give-and-take situations, when you’re speaking with people and they are speaking with you, and things are happening and you have to respond to them, in that kind of an everyday life that we all have to live, the word of God in your heart and mind is going to make a big difference, especially as you are combating the power of Satan, the Prince of the power of the air. The word of your testimony, two things. Number one; you are sharing something with people all the time, that’s your testimony, you’re sharing something. Whether it’s a recipe for apple pie or the news about a bargain sale at Gimbels, or whether it is conversation about some political matter, who won the election and why, or whether as a teenager, you’re talking about who’s going with who and what can he see in her, you know, all the different things people talk about. In daily life you are sharing something, beloved, with people all the time. You realize that, and because that is so, it is very important that you and I, because we’re sharing anyway, whether or not we want it, it is very important because you and I are sharing something anyway with people, whether not we intend to, it’s important that we have the Word of God in our hearts so that we’re sharing God’s blessed Word as the Holy Spirit brings it to our remembrance. That doesn’t mean obviously, that you’re going to be going around spouting Christian Scripture verses at people, you’re not supposed to be an automaton that just spouts Scripture verses at people. That isn’t what I believe what God has in mind, but the authority of the ancient prophets was found in the phrase they used again and again, “Thus saith the Lord”. Your authority is the word of God and if you can base your action and base your motivation and base your interaction with people on the truth that you already know in the word of God, you’re going to come out of a victor, you understand? It’s the word of your testimony, you’re sharing something all the time. It may well be that you’ve been just sharing of yourself in the old fleshly, carnal nature, and the old concepts and the old vocabulary, now let’s start sharing Jesus, let’s start sharing the word of God with people, not just to quote Scriptures, but to share with them what God has said to us, and what it has done in our lives as a result. The word of their testimony.
Now, it also says in Revelation 12:11, “They overcame them by the blood of the Lamb”, that’s complete trust in the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ on Calvary for you. The price is paid, the debt is forever paid, God’s holiness is forever satisfied, the law is forever vindicated, your record is forever expunged and made clean, your conscience has been cleansed, and Jesus is Lord. That’s all wrapped up in the blood of the Lamb. “The word of their testimony”, is the second factor there, and that has to do with God’s word hidden in your heart and mind, in the computer of your mind, thus and affecting all your motives, and all your decisions, and that is your testimony, that is to say the part of you that you share with other people, every moment of every waking day. Let God be what you share, let His spirit be what people feel as they interact with you. Then it says, the third thing, “They loved not their lives unto the death”, and this is absolute commitment. “They loved not their lives unto the death”, that means, I am going to obey God no matter what. It is passing that, what we call, point of no return, where you’re not going to turn back because you’ve already made the decision and that is that. “They loved not their lives unto the death”. If it costs me my life, I am going to be true to the Lord Jesus Christ.
Bob Pierce, who is now with the Lord several years, leukemia finally took him, a great heart for God as you know, he told the story of what happened to the young man who had been the head counselor in the evangelistic crusade that Bob Pierce and others held, just before the war broke out in Korea years ago. And this young man, after the Communists took control of that area, was taken as a prisoner and was subjected to what we call, trial by loudspeaker. He was handcuffed and then placed upon a raised platform, with the loudspeaker turned up to a screaming high decibel level and his interrogators and tormentors screaming at him, confess, confess that you are a capitalist spy, and so on and so. He looked down, witnesses who were there that day said that he looked down in the crowd and saw in that crowd, people with whom he had prayed for salvation, and people who are wondering now, whether he was going to be true to the faith that he had helped them to espouse. Standing behind him all this while, there was a North Korean soldier with a .45 cocked and placed with its cold muzzle squarely at the base of his skull. See, the communist way of executing people is always a classic way of executing, is a bullet through the base of the skull and very frequently it’s a .45 handgun that they’ll use, and so there was this soldier standing behind him, the cold muzzle of that .45 automatic pressing against the base of his skull, and the microphone screaming, confess, confess, confess, and they quieted the crowd, and he said, “You ask me to confess, then I will confess. I confess that Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior and that He’s the only way for salvation, He’s the way, the truth, and the life. No man cometh unto the Father but by Him”. He went on when giving his testimony of faith in Christ, and then seconds later, the officer gave the signal to the soldier standing behind him, he pulled the trigger and that bullet crashed through the brain of this dear believer. Bits of blood and bone spattered upon the bystanders nearby beneath the platform, and his lifeless body slumped to the floor of the platform, and he was with his Lord. “They loved not their lives unto the death”, he could’ve gotten by with something other than that, you know that, but he chose to be true to Jesus Christ, even though it cost him his life.
Now, dear friend, nobody’s shooting you or me at sunrise, today and I’m glad for that, I’d like a little longer, wouldn’t you? And so in this culture we are not taken captives and handcuffed for a faith, but the fact is that there are certain sacrifices that you and I face in this culture, if we’re going to be out and out Christians, we’re going to live for Jesus Christ. Loving your life, not loving your life, not loving your life, involves certain sacrifices in this culture. It might mean being passed up for promotion because the boss thinks you’re too religious. It might mean being snubbed in the community because people think that, well these people go to church all of the time, there most something funny about them. See, nobody’s going to shoot you today probably, but you’re going to find that there is a cost associated with being true to the Lord Jesus. The question then comes up, if indeed I am up against the opposition of Satan, and if he is constantly suggesting that there is an easier way than obeying God, if Satan’s ploy from the very beginning has been and still is to say that you can do better for yourself by disobeying God and going your own way, if all that be true, then what is my approach to be? Well, my approach has to be, Lord I’ve given myself to You and I’m not going to take back what I’ve given, and I’m going to be true to you, no matter what it costs me. It may cost me a promotion, it may cost me the acceptance of friends and neighbors, it may cost me a date with this handsome ham, that I’ve been wishing would pay some attention to me, you may say is a young lady, it may cost me success temporarily, at least, cost me success in pursuing my doctorate, because people say I’m too religious. I have to be willing to say, no matter what it costs me, I’m going to be true to the Lord Jesus Christ.
A friend of mine told a story, good many years ago, he was called in by his boss and asked to do something which was patently dishonest, and he said to his boss, “Sir, I respect you as my boss and all that, but this is dishonest and I refuse to do it”, and his boss blew up and threw him out of the house and get out of here. And he thought, “Well now that’s it. I’ll be fired”. He went on to tell however, in my hearing, had to tell the story he said, “Within an hour or so there was another call”, said, “Boss wants to see in his office”. He thought to himself, “Well, this is it. He’ll give me the pink slip and tell me I’m done”, when he went in the boss said, sit down, and so he seated himself and his boss said, “I don’t agree with what you said”, but he said, “I have to tell you I respect you highly for your convictions and I also want to ask you that if I die before you do, I want you to conduct my funeral service”. Well, the fact is, the man died a few years later and my friend did conduct the funeral service, and far from being fired, he was promoted in that particular business. Listen, you can defeat Satan by paying the price and saying, I don’t care what it costs, I’m going to be true the Lord Jesus Christ.
Dear Father today, make us victorious over Satan and sin and all of the hosts of Hell, as we live for Jesus, our blessed Lord, I pray in His 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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