All Things In Christ
Routine things can be touched with God’s glory if you do them for Jesus.
Alright, thank you very much. And hello again, radio friends. How in the world are you? Thank God we can be in the world but not of it, and that’s the basis of that little greeting that I give you day by day. This is your friend, Bob Cook, and I’m glad to be back with you. Indeed I am. What an unspeakably precious privilege it is to be able to share the Word of God day by day with you, dear ones.
I’m glad if the Lord blesses anybody. I… every time I go before these microphones, I pray that God might speak through my throat and, and, and, somehow extend His love and power through the message, and if He does that, then I’m glad.
You and I have been looking at 1 Timothy, we’re in chapter 3, and we were looking at verse 4, “One that ruleth well his own house, having his own children in subjection with all gravity.” That, that word “to rule;” you remember I talked to you about that? It means to be placed over someone, to superintend, to preside over, to be a protector or guardian, to give aid and to give attention. All of those meanings are wrapped up in that little Greek verb “proistemi”. To give aid, to give attention, to be a protector or a guardian, to preside over, to superintend, to be responsible for.
Then he says, “having his children in subjection with all gravity.” Now, that’s an interesting word as well. Do you like when these words open up like this? I do! It’s fascinating and also it helps me.
What does that word “gravity” mean? Does that mean you’re gonna go around with a sourpuss look on your face? Nobody dares to laugh or, or tell a joke in your presence? Oh boy, I’d be out of luck if that were so. I see so many humorous things in the world. Somebody said, “God must have a sense of humor; He made middle-aged men!”
What does this “gravity” mean? Well, it means “dignity,” for one thing. And it means our word “gravity,” and it means “majesty,” and it means “sanctity.” Four meanings.
You wanna think about that in your relationship with your family? Fathers, grandfathers, all of us can take a lesson from this, I’m sure. “Dignity.” Never lower yourself, as a parent, to the level of seeming inconsistent and, and something that can be, can be mocked.
I remember reading a book back in the 1950’s, I guess, or 60’s. This author had, had evidently divorced one husband and married another, but she had children by the first husband, and she was writing about what happened, routinely, after that second marriage and, she said that someone coming into the, into the house happened to be that second husband. The children were sitting about in the front room playing with one of the neighbor children and the neighbor youngster said, “Who’s that?” and the other child said, “Oh, that’s only the old man.”
Now, I understand that, that you can say “my old man;” you can say that quite affectionately, I suppose, but I wrote an article years ago, entitled “We Never Called Him Dad.” My father refused to let anybody call him “Dad.” He said, “That doesn’t sound dignified.” Well, that was how he felt about it and I’m sure others might disagree.
I’m not holding out for any particular use of words, you understand me, but there is a sense in which you hold father and grandfather in a kind of, of special position. You don’t mock at them. You don’t lower their, their position of, of dignity, a special position in the family order. You understand me?
The reason for that is that they stand between you and God. The father, in a family, is responsible to God for the family! And there’s a certain dignity about that, that you must never forget, boys and girls, young people. That’s the reason that, that you shouldn’t talk back and, and be sassy to your parents. Not because they don’t like it, but because you’re, you’re robbing them, at that moment, of the dignity God has given them. You find the Bible saying, “Honor thy father and thy mother, that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.” “The first commandment with promise,” the Bible says.
Give a certain position of dignity to your parents, young people. You may not agree with them, but you’ll find out that God is on the side of parents. God is on the side of mother and father, and there’s a certain God-given dignity that needs to be associated with that relationship. Honor them.
Then, there’s that word “gravity,” and that means that you’re dealing with matters that are not trivial. I want to stop here just for a moment and talk about this with you. Have you realized that the ordinary process of living in a family is made of things which we consider very small matters, but which are, in effect, part of a larger plan that extends into eternity?
The things that you do habitually, Dad – there – I called you “Dad,” didn’t I? The things that you do habitually in the, in the so-called trivial, routine business of living are important in the eternal scheme of things. That’s hard to realize, isn’t it? How can it be eternally important whether or not you lose your temper momentarily because somebody stayed too long in the bathroom in the morning and made you miss your train? How can that matter eternally?
Well, it matters in the lives of the people who are involved. It matters in the atmosphere of your home, not only for that moment, but because a certain amount of scar tissue is produced every time we blow our top. There is a, there is a lingering effect as well, so that the simple process of getting angry because somebody overstayed his leave in the bathroom in the morning and made you miss your train can, indeed, have an effect that goes far beyond the moment. You follow me there? And so, you and I need to remember that what we say and what we do in routine situations has eternal, eternal, that is, significance.
I have been startled many times – you know, these things happen to you after you live awhile – I’ve been startled many times, having somebody come up to me and say, “I remember something you said back in Kansas City, in 1949!” And I would think, “Oh my Lord, what did I say? I hope it wasn’t something wrong.” And there it would be, something that was picked up, even a chance remark. On one occasion a man remembered a chance remark over 25 years and reminded me of it.
Well, you are always “on.” You’re always responsible. What you say and do, even in the trifling, trivial things of life, has eternal significance. “Whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God,” said Paul. “Whatsoever ye do in word or deed,” this is Colossians 3:23, “in word or deed,” he says, “do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by Him.”
Can you wash dishes to the glory of God? Yes, you can! Can you carry out the garbage to the glory of God? Yes, you can! Routine things can be touched with God’s glory if you do them for Jesus.
Go back to my story of Mary La Battaglia. I’ve told you about her. I said, “Mary, you work all day long in the factory at an automatic machine, and all you do is watch that machine.” That was her job, to sit there and watch the machine to make sure it functioned properly. A roll of wire going in one end and millions of tiny little cap screws coming out the other end. An automatic machine. I said, “Don’t you get bored?” She said, “Well, sometimes I might, but when I do,” she said, “I look up and say, ‘Dear Jesus, I’m doing this for You.’” And her face lit up with a beautiful smile. ”Dear Jesus,” she said, “I’m doing this for You.” Ohhh, there you have it. There you have it. This word “gravity” means realizing that the routine things of life are hooked to eternity.
Then, there’s another meaning to that, that word that’s translated “gravity” in 1 Timothy 3, verse four: “semnotetos.” That’s the Greek word, and there’s another meaning, and believe it or not, it’s the word “majesty.”
Now, I tell you, that is a big order. You take a middle-aged man who is now growing a little extra expanse in his middle, and he’s balding, and he’s having to wear bifocals or trifocals, and he’s a little out of shape, so that he puffs and huffs and puffs when he has to push the lawn mower, and you apply the term “majesty” to him and you’ll burst out laughing.
What in the world are we gonna do with that word? Well, I’ll tell you the next time we get together. Come back and we’ll talk together on our next broadcast.
Heavenly Father today, may we live in the routine things of life with the eternal overview that glorifies God. I ask 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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