Be Yourself

You’ll be surprised what God will do with you within the parameters of your own unique personality.

Scripture: Romans 14:1-4, Deuteronomy 6


Hello, radio friend. How in the world are you? Are you doing all right? Well, I trust everything is okay at your house. Always remember, if you’ve struck a day that’s a bad one and some days are that way just look up and say “Lord Jesus, I’m yours. See me through.” And He will. The key word is “through.” “When thou passest through the waters, they shall not overflow thee.” God sometimes brings us into experiences where we cry out either for frustration or pain or anger or whatever and we want to get out of them, God’s plan is to bring us through them so we’ll know what a great God He is.

The children of Israel would never have known that God could provide water had they not gotten thirsty nor would they know that God could provide food had they not gotten hungry nor would they have known that God could win the battles had they not faced enemies. God allowed them to get into those situations so that He could bring them through. Deuteronomy 6 says “He brought them out that he might bring them in to the land that he promised unto their fathers.” So there’s a purpose. Yes, there is. There is a purpose in the experiences through which you and I are going and instead of fighting them let’s accept them and see what God has for us in the midst of them. Good idea?

Well, somebody needed that word of encouragement. I don’t know who it is but if you needed it, then there it is. God bless you. You and I have been talking about Romans 14 about the brother who is weak in the faith. What do you do about him? Criticize him? No, you receive him. You reach out and draw him to you with love and understanding not with the argument. Paul the apostle says, “Don’t argue with the brother because he is serving a heavenly master.” And Paul says rather bluntly, “Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant?” “To his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up for God is able to make him stand.”

God reserves the right to use people with whom you and I may disagree. You know, it’s a great relief to know that you don’t have to agree with everybody any more than you have to answer every letter. You get an abusive letter from someone. What are you going to do? Answer back? No, you don’t have to. Paul Maddux taught me that years ago. I got a red hot letter from some brother who considered that I wasn’t doing the right thing by him for some reason or other. I sat reading that letter with dismay.

Here was a great Christian leader who was telling me off in no uncertain terms and I didn’t really know how to handle it. Just at that moment Dr. Maddux who had resigned as Chief of Chaplains of the American Theatre in Europe and had now come to work in Youth for Christ as my Executive Director. And just at that moment, Dr. Maddux walked into the office. And I said, “Paul, what in the world am I going to say to a man like this? I just don’t know how to answer this letter.” He looked at it, read it, and then to my amazement, tore it into tiny bits and dropped it into the wastebasket. I said, “Paul, why did you do that?”

He laughed and he said, “Didn’t you know, Bob that you don’t have to answer every letter?” Well, that taught me a lesson I had never really thought in those terms before. You don’t have to answer every accusation.

You don’t have to make everybody agree with you. The fact is you just might be mistaken about something. It’s far better to keep your mouth shut and be thought wise than to open it and remove some of people’s feelings about that, you know. Well, Paul says, “Listen, you don’t have to accuse somebody else that disagrees with you about a matter. That person is serving God. God is his master so you leave him with the Lord.”

Now, I covered the truth that there are some things that you and I may not discuss in terms of changing them. The inerrancy and infallibility and inspiration of the Scriptures, the virgin birth of Christ and his deity and his substitutionary atonement on the cross, His bodily resurrection, and His coming again in power and glory, the need and reality of the new birth; the birth from above by the power of God; the need of repentance and salvation, all of these things that are basic to the Christian faith, classic Christian orthodoxy, may not be tinkered with. And there, I think, is the dividing line.

Paul said, “If somebody comes and preaches another gospel, don’t have anything to do with him.” So there is the dividing line. But on these other matters that Paul is talking about; one says “You can eat meat,” another say, “No, don’t eat meat; I’m a vegetarian,” or whatever, you know. Well, all right, let every man be fully persuaded, Paul says in verse 5, “Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.” If you’ve got some doubts about it, well, then don’t touch it. If it is doubtful, don’t fool with it. That’s the rule.

“What so ever is not of faith,” says James, “is sin.” So as long as you doubt about a thing, leave it alone. God will lead you. “To his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up.” He shall be “held up” in other words, he shall be supported and made to stand, you might say. “For God is able to make him stand.” God reserves the right to bless and to help people to succeed, people with whom you and I may, at times, disagree. Now, what of it? I think it’s awfully important for us to look at the points of difference that we have with people in that atmosphere of love and of respect.

To know that the person who may be differing with you about some point or other is a child of God, is responsible to God the Father, and is indwelt by the Holy Spirit of God, and as a result, is being moved divinely in the purpose of God for him or her. That is what you and I need to learn. Now, you see this on the mission field, for instance. I’ll give you an illustration. Here’s a person who is highly gifted and well-trained. I could give you his name and tell you all about him because I know who I’m talking about.

The owner of several, not one, but I think three-earned degrees, highly educated, highly gifted, wonderful brother, so dedicated that when he turned from his local ministry here in the States to go to the mission field, he said to the leaders of the mission under which he was going to work, “I don’t think it’s right for me to go to the mission field and have all of the investments that I have made during my student days and the days of my working here,” he said, “I think I ought to live by faith just like every other missionary and therefore I’m going to give you all that I have.”

He gave to his mission at that time, this would have been, I suppose, 30 years ago or more, he gave to his mission at that time all of the securities and other investments that he had made and he went to the mission field flat broke except for the support that was promised to him by God’s people here and there across the country. It’s tremendous, isn’t it?

Now, when he got to the mission field after he learned the language, he proceeded to astound and disturb the leaders of his mission on that particular mission field by doing things differently. They had a certain way of doing things and he would proceed to just jump over the barriers, so to speak, and plow right into a situation and do it his way. Well, you can imagine that before very long, ideas came into conflict and it was kind of a thorny situation for a while. As a result, he said, “Well, I won’t upset you. I’ll just go ahead and I’ll form my own little work and I’ll do what God enables me to do.” And so after a period of organizational jockeying there was formed his own modest base on which he is going to mount his work in that particular country. And he did.

Well, the Lord proceeded to bless him and bless his unorthodox methods and bless his procedural shortcuts, you may say, to the surprise of a lot of folk who said it will never work- “He’ll never succeed. You can’t do things that way in this country,” and so on. And yet God did it. Now, I look back at that as a living example of somebody who disagreed categorically with the way it ought to be done, as we say. He proceeded with all kinds of procedural shortcuts and outlandish ideas that had never been tried and all of that and God blessed him and blessed him and blessed him.

Now, what does that prove? Does that prove he was right and the others were wrong or that they were right and he was wrong? No. It proves that people do differ on methods and point of view and procedures and God lets us differ if we just keep sweet and trust Him and he blesses the individual within the limits of that individual’s capacity. God is in charge here. As my friend Harold Hill sometimes says, “God is in charge here.” And he takes the person with whom I disagree and concerning whom I feel like saying “Hey, you can’t do it that way.”

God takes that person and says, “Sure, I’ll let him do it that way because his heart is right toward me and I’m going to bless him anyway. “To his own master he standeth or falleth.” Be careful, beloved, about how you criticize somebody who is doing things differently from the way you do them. See, the relief factor is you don’t have to agree. You don’t have to do it the way somebody else does it. You don’t have to proceed and use methods that somebody else does. Just follow God. Just obey God, will you? Today, just look heavenward a dozen times or more and say, “Father, guide me now.”

You’ll be surprised what God will do with you within the parameters of your own unique personality. You are special. And you have special ways of doing things and God wants to use you, my dear friend, in a special way. Let Him, won’t you? He will if you let Him. “To his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand.” God takes us with all our failings and helps us through because we want to glorify Him and He has invested Himself and His son and His love in us. He’s going to see you through, beloved. You trust Him and obey Him today. Amen?

Dear Father today, help us to accept the differences while honoring the Lord, Amen.

Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!

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