An Open Heart
Whatever God is whispering to your heart to do, obey Him and He will bless you.
Alright thank you very much and hello again radio friends, how in the world are you? Yes, it’s your friend, Dr. Cook, you knew it, didn’t you because that little corny greeting establishes the fact that I am who I am and I’m talking to you and my heart goes out to you in love and longing for God’s blessings upon your life this very minute. These broadcasts are bathed in prayer that God the Holy Spirit may speak specifically to your need through His inherent eternal and infallible Word the Bible.
We are in Mark chapter 12. The last time we got together we remarked that God has plans and that He expects results. The next thing that I see in that passage Mark 12:1-12, is that human nature invariably naturally rejects the plans of God. You go along with the crowd, you’ll be wrong. The crowd is always wrong. The tendency of fallen human nature is to resist the will of God. The Psalmist had to pray “unite my heart to fear thine name”. My heart is in pieces, I’m fractured with my various competing desires. Oh he said; unite my heart to fear thine name. Paul the Apostle said I find a law that when I would do good evil is present with me. The good I would I do not and the evil that I would not that I do oh wretched man that I am. Whosoever will deliver me from the body of this death? He said I am like a condemned person who in those Roman days was condemned to carry about the dead body of his victim. Oh my. Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
Oh yes, humanly we reject, we resist the will of God. What’s the answer to it? Well I don’t know who originated the phrase, I remember hearing Dr. Pettingill use it and I know that the founder of the college, Dr. Percy Crawford used the phrase but in any case whoever started it, it’s a good concept. If you’re troubled about not really wanting the will of God, pray “Lord, make me willing”. Make me willing. And sometimes you need to pray, Dr. Pettingill would add, “ Lord, make me willing to be willing”. Any kind of a prayer like that is going to get its answer. God can change the way you feel about His will, did you know that?
“It is God”, Philippian 2:13 says “it is God that worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure”. God takes care of the want to if you let Him. Oh, I take great comfort in that. I don’t know about you but I’m not a natural Saint, are you? Were you born with a halo? Well maybe you were but I wasn’t and I need God’s touch upon my life and often times day after day I’ll find myself praying oh God, win the battle in my soul, Make me want your will. Work to will of your good pleasure. And He answers, oh yes he does.
You can depend upon your blessed Lord. The secret of the Christian life Paul said in Colossians 1:27 is Christ in you. Not some place, in you the hope of glory. And you can trust your blessed Holy Spirit that dwells within the believer and manifests the life of Christ to you and through you. You can trust God to change the want to. He can change the want to in your life. The natural propensity of human nature is to resist the will of God but you can find a difference in answer to prayer.
Now what else does this passage say? We identified the fact that it was spoken against the Pharisees as they represented God’s chosen people in that day. Certain man, that’s the Lord. The vineyard, that’s Israel. A hedge, that’s the protection, divine protection that God gave them through the centuries. A place for the wine vat, built a tower, that’s productivity. Let it out to the husbandman, that’s responsibility. All of this, that’s the way it is.
Now then, what? It says “ Having one beloved son, well-beloved son.” “This is my beloved son” came the voice from the blue there on the Mount of transfiguration.
“Having yet therefore one son, his well beloved, he sent him”, and notice these last two words, “he sent him also last unto them saying They will reverence my son.” Last.
“God who at sundry times in divers manners spake in times past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by His son. By whom also He made the worlds, whom he has appointed heir of all things who being the brightness of His glory in the express image of His person of holding all things by the word of His power when he had”, this is Jesus, “when Jesus had by Himself, purged our sins. Then He sat down at the right hand of the majesty on high at last”.
God’s last word to this old world is a person, the Lord Jesus Christ. Here in is the essence, the genius you might say of the Christian message. God has spoken in many ways, He has spoken through His universe, the heavens declared the glory of God the firmament showeth His handiwork, He has spoken to people through circumstances. It said, “He allowed thee to hunger that He might feed thee with manna which though knewest not that He might make know that man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeded out of the mouth of God shall man live.” He speaks through circumstances.
He speaks through His prophets who at different times and in different manners spoken to the fathers in time past by the prophets. Now His last word, the last word that God has for you is found in the Lord Jesus Christ. It’s God’s last attempt to communicate with a sinful world.
That’s why the gospel message is so important. Jesus said, “Go ye unto all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.” What’s the gospel? I Corinthians 15 I declare unto you the gospel which you received, He said that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures He was buried that He rose again the third day according to the scriptures that He was seen by Peter and then the rest and then by five hundred brethren at once most of whom were still alive but some have passed away.
You remember that passage in I Corinthians? The gospel, Christ died for our sins, was buried rose again, and you can know Him.
Then Paul ends it up in the eighth verse, last of all, me too. You never really preach the gospel until you can say me too. I remember the young man in Brazil and he looked at me and said you say Christ can save from sin, has He saved you from any sin I want to know said he in his rapid fire Portuguese. Yes, you’ve never really preach the gospel unless you can say me too. That’s what Paul said in I Corinthians 15. The Lord Jesus Christ is God’s last word to a needy world.
Now I was speaking to someone today who is religious and all of the things I say find at least a mild form of assent in your mind but you have never really grappled with this question, do I really know the Lord Jesus Christ as my Savior? You’ve done good things, you’ve tried hard to be as good as you could be. We’ll give you A for effort on that but that isn’t going to save you, not by works of righteousness which we have done but according to His mercy He saved us. Who is a candidate for mercy? A person who has done wrong, a person who has been caught doing wrong, a person who has been condemned for being wrong. That kind of a person needs mercy. And all of the sin has come short of the glory of God so that’s established us as candidates for God’s mercy. According to His mercy He saved us. You my dear friend need this very moment the mercy of God through Christ, because without that you’re lost already. Not sometime but already. That being so, the answer to the question do I really know the Lord Jesus is so important, isn’t it? Yes it is. He’s God’s last word to you. You receive Him, you have eternal life. He that hath the Son has life. He that not hath the Son shall not see life but the wrath of God abidith on him. Here in is the condemnation men love darkness rather than light because their deeds are evil.
Many a person turns away from God for whatever specious reason he or she may present but down deep it’s an unwillingness to grapple with the fact that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners not in their sin but from their sin. And God wants to deal with those things in our lives that are wrong and purify them and make us clean and pure and fit for His sight. All of this adds up then to the realization that my relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ is crucial, all important now and in eternity. Having one son, His well-beloved. This is my beloved son, hear Him. God so loved the world that He sent His only begotten son. That whosoever believeth in Him, should not perish but have everlasting life.
Have you really opened your heart and your life to the Lord Jesus? And you, my dear believer friend, because thousands of you already know the Lord Jesus.You, to whom I speak day after day, my dear believer friend, have you recently rededicated your all to Christ? The tendency of the fire, my old boss Vic Cory used to say, the tendency of the fire is to go out. And the fires on the alters of your heart perhaps have grown dim and smokey and they’re not burning brightly and you need perhaps to come this very day to the Savior and say oh God, rekindle in me the fires of faith and consecration that I might be all you want me to be for your glory. God’s last word is in a person, the Lord Jesus Christ, make Him the Lord of your life today, beloved. Make Him Lord of your life.
Well judgment is certain. That’s the other thing that this parable says. What therefore will the Lord of the vineyard do? He will come and destroy the husbandman and give the vineyard unto others. God’s work will get done with you or without you. My old theology prof, Dr. Champion there at Eastern Baptist Seminary many years ago, used to say God will get His will done with you or without you young men, and so you better yield to His will. He’ll give the vineyard to others. This tells me His judgement is certain and God’s Will will be done either with me or without me and if I miss the opportunity, somebody else will get it.
There is something so sad about a missed opportunity, isn’t there? You meant to enroll in that contest but you put it off and finally the quota was filled and you couldn’t get in. You remember that, some of you? You meant to get into that class but you put off registering for it and finally the class was full and you didn’t get in. A missed opportunity. You meant to go out for that particular sport in college but you put off doing anything about it and finally there wasn’t any chance for you. Even if you got on the team you would have to sit out on the bench. Missed opportunity. And of course it’s ever so sad when you have opportunity to witness for the Lord Jesus Christ but you instead clam up and say nothing and you later on find out that the person either has moved or has died and your opportunity is gone. That’s so sad, isn’t it?
Nothing worse than a missed opportunity but let me tell you something, what makes it doubly regretful is that God says okay, if you don’t want it, I’m going to give it to someone else. If you don’t do it, I’m going to let somebody else do it. So I want to remind you today that if God is whispering to your heart, some of you, about things you should do. There are ever so many things involved in the will of God. Some of them involve your location, your job, your stewardship, your use of money and time and efforts, all of that, your relationship with people, either family, friends or co-workers, lot of different things that God may be whispering to your heart.
Will you please today obey Him promptly? Whatever God is whispering to your heart to do, obey Him and He will bless you. I saw the other day someone giving a witness as to how God had dealt with this man had some property that was producing very nicely but as he prayed about it, God told him to sell it. His whole family advised him against it, said look, this will put us all on easy street in a matter of years because property values are going up but he still felt that God was asking him to sell it and so he did! Two years later there was a disastrous flood that wiped out that entire complex of buildings. He would have been completely wiped out had he waited. He smiled and said it’s great to obey God. Yes it is indeed, my friend and I ask that you also might start obeying God and buying up the opportunity so God doesn’t give it to someone else.
Dear Father today, help us to obey thee and to buy up your opportunities for eternity. 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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