Beseeching, Worshiping, Trusting
Have you ever made a list of the things you really want God to do in your life and in the lives of others around you?
Alright, thank you very much. And hello again dear radio friends. How in the world are you? Doing Alright? Oh, I can’t help thinking of so many of you, whom I know either personally or through correspondence, know a little something about your life and what you’re going through and all that. And my heart goes out to you. And I just long for God’s blessing and touch upon you. And when I begin these broadcasts, I always pray that God may give me something just especially for you. May that be so, today.
You and I’ve been looking at the gospel of Mark. What we do on these broadcasts is to go through a book of the Bible, verse by verse, and compare the Truth there with other passages in God’s inerrant, Holy Word, the Bible. And then we try to put a handle on it, so that you can get hold of it for yourself.
So, we’ve come now to Mark 1:40. Says, “There came of a leper to Him. Beseeching Him and kneeling down to Him and saying onto Him. ‘If Thou wilt, Thou canst make me clean’”. And Jesus moved with compassion, put forth His hand and touched him and said unto him, “I will be thou clean”. And as soon as He had spoken, immediately the leprosy departed from him and he was cleansed. Jesus straightly charged him and forthwith sent him away and said, “See thou say nothing to any man, but go thy way, show thyself to the priest, and offer for thy cleansing those things which Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them”. But he went out and began to publish it much and to blaze abroad the matter, insomuch that Jesus could no more openly enter into the city, was without in desert places, and they came to Him from every quarter. That’s interesting, let’s look at it, shall we? See what it says to us.
A leprosy person in those days was one the most hopeless of all human beings in that when it developed that someone had leprosy, he or she was immediately excluded from the community of people, and had to live apart. And the whenever anyone approached him or her, have tor cry out, “Unclean, unclean”, so they wouldn’t even touch them. A lonely, isolated living on the garbage heap of life, so to speak, kind of an existence. Oh, what the misery, because there wasn’t any known cure for it, at that time. Today there have been discovered, medicines that can arrest the spread of the disease. It can’t get back lost fingers and toes, but it can arrest the spread of the disease and give the sufferer a normal life. But there he was. Hopeless, living on the scrap heap, quite literally. Existing on scraps and begging for a livelihood. People would toss a coin, now and again, in his direction. Pitiful.
Leprosy in the Bible is always a word picture of sin and what it does. Leprosy and sin are combined in the imagery of the Word of God because it is a disease that is inexorable in its progress. It’s hopeless. It isolates you. It gives you a completely constricted view of existence. It puts you on the ash heap of life. It separates you from those whom you love. It ruins your life, in other words. That’s what sin does and that’s what leprosy did in those days.
Small thought here. Have you given any thought, beloved, to what sin, those things that you and I allow because we like them because they’re like old friends — not maybe gross sins, like murder or whatever — but respectable sins like envy and jealousy and unforgiveness and pride and selfishness, you know. Have you given any thought to what sin does to you? Someone says, “My marriage is breaking up and I can’t understand why”. But you look into the picture and you’ll find that that husband or wife, whoever is speaking, has been isolated from the rest of the family by what sin has been doing. No, there hasn’t been a third-party, there hasn’t been a story of unfaithfulness — it’s simply the fact that selfishness has crept in and instead of loving and giving. It’s been me first — and what could — what do I get out of it. And so the individual has been isolated — grown apart from those whom he or she love — and the relationship has deteriorated and finally breaks up.
Leprosy does that and sin does it, beloved. Give some thought, would you? I know it isn’t easy –it’s not easy for me either — to face my faults. But let’s give some thought to what these respectable sins are doing in our lives. Are they causing us to grow away from those with whom we have had the closest of relationships? Are they wasting our capabilities and making us unproductive spiritually? Are the putting us on the ash heap of life where there isn’t much possibility after all? Oh, you say now, “that’s carrying it too far Brother Cook.” No, not really. That’s what even respectable sins do when you allow them to have their course in your life. Thirty years of holding a grudge can make you a very lonely, bitter person. Did you know that? Thirty years of following your own pride and selfish course while you may seem to succeed at times, will result in cutting you off from the community of people with whom otherwise you would have loving relationships.
A man said to me many years ago, “I’ve made my millions, but in the process I’ve lost my wife and my children hate me. And I’ve lost my health and I don’t have anything left”. Sad, really, but that’s the way it works. Sin and leprosy in the Bible are tied together in the imagery of the word. You think about that, will you? And lets you and I bring our pet faults. Let’s bring our pet faults to Calvary and ask that the Lord Jesus Christ will cleanse us of that and then send us on our way cleanse and rejoicing. Shall we do that?
Evelyn Christianson said she began on one occasion to pray, “Lord, change me”. And instead of instead of lecturing members of her family whom she wished would be different, she asked God the change her and the change in her produced a change in them. That’s what she says in one of her books. How true all of that is. Let’s follow that good, good advice, shall we?
Well, the leprosy person — he came to the Lord Jesus and Mark is a master at short, telegraphic but highly descriptive phrases. Here’s one of them: “Beseeching Him and kneeling down to Him, and saying, ‘If Thou wilt Thou canst’”. Now, this is the approach of a heart that is ready for God to work. Beseeching, now that’s a very strong word. You follow that out in your concordance or your Greek lexicon, and you’ll find it’s a very strong and an emotion filled word. “I beseech you therefore brethren, by the mercies of God that ye present your bodies, a living sacrifice”, Paul said. Beseech — it has to do with desire and longing, deeply charged emotional content, and something that you just must have. “Beseeching Him and then kneeling down to Him”, there was worship. Desire, deep desire, and then worship, “kneeling down to Him”, and then worship, and then faith, “If Thou wilt Thou canst”.
This, my dear friend, is the formula for prayers that get answered. Many a person prays but doesn’t get much results because he really hasn’t had all that intense a desire for God to work. The Bible says, “Ye shall seek Me and find Me when ye shall search for Me with all your heart. Draw nigh to God and He will draw nigh to you. Humble yourselves, therefore under the mighty hand of God and He shall exalt you in due time”. It’s that desire that brings me to my knees before God and the faith to believe Him. Let’s talk about that in the last couple minutes we have today, shall we?
Have you ever made a list of the things you really want God to do in your life and in the lives of others around you? I mean to say, that which you feel you must see, that which you must have as an answer. Not just the casual, “Lord, bless me today and keep me out of trouble, Amen’ — but the great deep longing. I was entertained more than 40 years ago in a home where the noon meal was provided. And I was a visiting minister. And the head of the house abound and prayed a very acceptable, but quite short and quite routine grace. I presume he was hungry. The hungrier a man is, the shorter his prayers before meals, right? So, it was it was a good prayer, but very short and routine and then we had a good meal. The years passed and that same man came to my house one day, knocked at the door and I let him in. He was in tears. He said, “Things are breaking up for me”. And he told me his troubles, and he was indeed in deep, deep trouble. Well, I said we better pray about it. So, we get down on our knees and I prayed for him and then he prayed, and oh, the intensity and the emotion and the tears and the heart cry that came from that broken man as he prayed to his God.
See, it’s one thing to have a routine prayer, it’s another thing to desire. And I think you and I have got to be honest about this. Sometimes we have prayed without really meaning very much by it — isn’t it true? Would you make a list of the things you really have to have from God, and then start praying about them? Then there’s this matter of worship, kneeling down to Him. Jesus is God — just as much God as God the Father, and God the Holy Spirit. And you worship as you come into the presence of your Savior. Worship, not just ask, but to worship, “Thou God seest me be still and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the heathen”. God wants worship, “The Father seeketh such to worship Him”, Jesus said. Learn to worship — that means be quiet before God and bow your heart and your will and become submissive toward you know He wants for you and then faith, “If Thou wilt Thou canst”.
Next time we get together, we’ll talk a little more about what it means to have faith through the Lord Jesus Christ. Would you identify the pet faults and failings and sins and bring them to Calvary — and would you make a list of the things you really want God to do — and will you worship in God’s presence? If you will, you’ll know the joy of miracle in your life.
Dear Father today, I pray that we may adopt that same blessed approach as did the leprosy person so long ago — beseeching, worshiping, trusting. Thank you Jesus, Amen.
Til I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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