Bring Every Thought
The job of the Holy Spirit, so far as you on Earth is concerned, is to represent and to reveal the Lord Jesus in your life and through your life.
Alright, thank you very much, and hello again dear radio friends. How in the world are you? Are you doing alright? Oh, I’m fine, thank God. I woke this morning, with these words on my lips, I said them out loud just as I was waking up, “Jesus is Lord of all”, Hallelujah. Oh, I’m so glad that’s true. Wherefore God hath also highly exalted Him, and given Him a name that is above every name, that every knee should bow, and every tongue should confess, that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the father. When He’s Lord, you make Him Lord of your mind, so you think the right things, and Lord of your interpersonal relationships, so that your relation with other human beings is sanctified, and Lord of your methods, so that you do things on the right motives, and Lord of your lifestyle, and Lord of your testimony, and Lord of all. Oh, what of blessed, Christian life you and I have. Don’t you agree? People comment sometimes, on the fact that I include a chuckle now and again, and the things I say, that’s just the way I’m built, I guess, but I was greatly encouraged to read that laughter is part of the therapy in a clinic located somewhere in the Southland, St. Joseph’s Hospital in Houston it is, laughter is part of the therapy, and the person who was in charge is quoted as saying, “The patients love it and we find they get well faster, when humor is included in their overall therapy approach. Isn’t that interesting? Well, don’t lose your sense of humor. A person who can’t laugh at himself is indeed, in need, and probably, you might say just a bit sick if you can’t laugh at yourself. Well, thank God for a smile, thank God for the ability to chuckle and to laugh, and as well to cry when it’s time. Paul said, “Rejoice with those that do rejoice and weep with them that weep”, and it’s a wise person who knows which is which.
Well, you and I are looking at Psalm 116 and we come now to the question, what shall I render unto the Lord for all his benefits toward me? We had the reasons for loving God. I love the Lord because, the reasons for loving God is answered prayer, God’s personal attention, the deliverance that God gives you when you cry out to Him, delivered from death by my soul from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from falling, and all of the precious presence of God, step-by-step the Lord preserveth of the simple, “I was brought low and you helped me”, and then the constant awareness of being at rest in your soul, “Return unto thy rest, oh my soul for the Lord have built bountifully with thee”. These are some of the reasons for which we love God.
Now, we turn and say, what shall I render unto the Lord? You would think, wouldn’t you, that some great work, would be mentioned, you’re supposed to do this or do that, instead he says in verse 13 of the 116th Psalm, “I will take the cup of salvation and call upon the name of the Lord, I will pay my vows unto the Lord” then he qualifies that now that’s the time frame, “in the presence of all His people”, that’s the relationship that is sustained, “then I’ll get ready to die, precious in the sight of the Lord, is the death of His saints, and then I’ll commit myself to the Lord. Oh, Lord truly I am Thy servant, I am Thy servant in the son of thine handmaid those loosed my bonds and then I’ll praise Him. I’ll offer me to Thee, thy sacrifice of thanksgiving”. Isn’t that something? This is how you react to, and how you prove that you appreciate the love of God. Do you want to think about that now for a while? We may not get through with it in this broadcast but, then if the Lord tarries there’ll be another one, and we can finish it up.
Okay, what shall I render unto the Lord for all His benefits toward me? Now, the keyword, there are two keywords. One is “render” the other is “benefit”. That is to say, you’re not buying God’s favor. “He gave it freely, for by grace are ye saved, through faith, and that not of yourselves it is the gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast”. After the kindness and love of God, our Savior appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy, He saved us, by the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost, Paul says there in Titus 3:5. It’s pretty plain, isn’t it? And yet you’d be surprised how many people think that there must be some quid pro quo here, in the relationship you sustain with Almighty God, “I’ll do this so He’ll do that”, and as a pastor for 18 years, I’ve made thousands of calls. I made 1,000 calls a year during those years, three times a day, go tell somebody about Jesus, and during those years I had so many people say, “Well, I guess I must not have been doing the right thing, because God certainly isn’t treating me right, now”, or, “I’m having all these troubles now, so I guess I must not have done the right thing”. Nonsense. There is no causal relationship between you and the mercy of God. He is there already. He loves you already. “Herein is love, not that we loved God but that He loved us and gave His son to be the propitiation for our sins”, says John. Do you follow that? Don’t make the mistake of thinking that you can do something, whatever it may be, and that that will then produce a response from God. So, what shall I render unto the Lord for all His benefits? I simply want to say thank you, and prove that I’m grateful.
I learned from Dr. Clyde Naramore, many years ago as I heard him lecturing, something that I’ve that retained in my own memory, and tried now and then, to practice. He says, “It is the second question that proves whether or not you really care”. You meet a person in the hallway at school and you say hello Suzy, how are you? And she says not so good, and you say, oh I’m sorry and go on, does that prove you care? No, not at all, but if you stop, turn on your heel, turn around and say, “I’m sorry what seems to be the trouble”, then she can tell you that her mother fell down the cellar stairs and broke her hip and she’s in the hospital, and they think she’s getting pneumonia, and she’s worried sick about her mom, and so on. “You can listen and you can care, and you can empathize, if you ask the second question”, said Dr. Naramore. Similarly, said he, “It’s a second thank you, that proves that you’re thankful”, said somebody gives you a Waring blender for Christmas, and you write the usual thank you note, you know, dear Jim, thank you for your kind Christmas gift it certainly was thoughtful of you, etc. Happy New Year, Bob. Alright, you wrote the thank you note, you did your duty, but come July, a hot July night, the air is still and the atmosphere is muggy, and it’s just the right time for an ice cold lemonade, you think to yourself, well mamma’s out to this meeting’ and I’m by myself’ and I’m just going to make myself a lemonade. Then you think, hey I if old Jim, who gave me that Waring blender, might be interested in a glass of lemonade too. So you call him, “Hey, Jim. What you doing? He says, “I’m home by myself and mad as a wet hen, it’s so hot, that I can’t do anything”, and he grumbles a bit. You say, “Listen, you know we certainly appreciate that Waring blender you gave us at Christmas, and I’m going to make some ice cold lemonade with it, and wondered if you’d enjoy a glass”. “Oh, man would I”, he says, “Yeah, I’ll be right over”. He’s there before you could plug in the blender, knocking on the door, and so you put in the ice, and the sugar, and lemon juice, and add some water, stir it all up, then comes out that frosty, delightful, sparkling drink of ice cold lemonade, made in that blender that he gave you for Christmas, and you sit across the table from him and smile at each other and you say, “Oh Jim”, said, “I certainly appreciate this blender, it’s been such a joy to use it now and again, just like we did tonight”, and he smiled and he says, “Well, I’m glad you like it, Bob”. It’s the second thank you that proves that you care. It is that spontaneous expression of your heart that says I really am thankful.
Now, that’s what the psalmist is getting at here. How do you start that? You start at first, verse 13, “I will take the cup of salvation”. Now, the Lord Jesus spoke of the cup which He was to drink, that was the cup of suffering. I’m not sure that this refers to that concept. I think rather, it has to do with the concept of taking all that God is offering you. When you were a guest in a home in Bible times, one of the things that they did to show you that you are really welcome, was to offer you, first of all, a drink from the from the cup of whatever liquid they were serving, the cup of salvation. You were the honored guest and they were offering it to you, and God in His infinite mercy holds out what the psalmist circles the cup of salvation. He’s saying to you and to me, I do love you and you are welcome in my heart and in my Heavenly home here, and as many as received Him, Christ to them gave He, the power to become the sons of God even to them that believe on His name. God offers His salvation freely in a person, the Lord Jesus Christ, He is our cup of salvation, so to speak. Well then, suppose you’re already a Christian, does it not apply to you? Oh, yes, because every day, you and I need to come to the cause of the cross and reaffirm our faith in that wonderful Savior, who lived in His perfect life and died that perfect atoning death, for you and for me, and who rose again to be our living Savior, interceding for us. The cup of salvation, every day becomes a precious imbibing, so to speak, of all that God has for you, through His blessed indwelling Holy Spirit and through the inspired, inerrant word of God the Bible. Take the cup of salvation, means drink deeply of God’s goodness, receive freely of God’s mercy, open your heart wide to God’s presence, and yield your will to God’s concerns. The cup of salvation is the first step in showing God that you really are thankful. Do you understand that? This is not getting saved all over again, that’s not necessary. When you’ve given your heart and life to the Lord Jesus Christ, you are God’s child, but there is a sense in which every day, you open your heart wide to the blessed indwelling spirit of God, who can fill your life with all of the reality of Jesus Christ. The job of the Holy Spirit, so far as you on Earth is concerned, is to represent and to reveal the Lord Jesus in your life and through your life, and every day you can open your heart and mind to God. “Bring every thought”, as Paul says in 2 Corinthians 10:5, “every thought bring it into captivity, to the obedience of Christ”. I will take the cup. Today beloved, drink deep of God’s cup of salvation, enjoy all over again the thrill of being a child of God, born from above, and inheritor of all of the greatness and goodness and riches of God, joint heirs with the Lord Jesus Christ. Everything He is and has, is yours by faith, enjoy it, open up, let Him fill your life if you want to prove that to really love God. Well, we’ll go on with this the next time we get together.
Dear Father today, I pray that we may show our love to Thee, by opening our lives wide to Thy mercy and Thy love, 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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