Look at your failures and then bring them to Jesus so that He can do something about them.
Alright, thank you very much and hello again radio friends, how in the world are you? Doing alright? Thank God we can be in the world but not of it, you don’t have to be tarred with the world’s brush just because you live in a dirty world. “You who are kept”, says Peter, “You who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation, ready to be revealed in the last day.” When the books are open, and the records are open and all that has been secret is revealed, you’re gonna shine because Jesus has kept you by His power. Trust Him today for that keeping power as you live in a world that is soiled by sin. You and I are looking at the seventh chapter of John, last time we got together I stopped momentarily on 7:18, “He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory, but he that seeketh the glory of Him that sent Him the same is true and no unrighteousness is in him. Did not Moses give you the law? And yet none of you keeps the law. Why go ye about to kill me?” People said, “You’re crazy, you’re full of the devil, who goes around to kill you?” Well, they knew that because it said later on verse 25, “Is not this He whom they seek to kill?” They knew that.
You don’t fool anybody really, ultimately, have you found that out? Lincoln’s saying about fooling all of the people all of the time is true, you just don’t fool anybody ultimately. And the truth was out, murder was afoot. The conspiracy to murder Jesus of Nazareth was afoot and people knew it, but for the sake of argument you find them answering back, “Why you’re crazy, who’s trying to kill you?” They knew it and He knew it, and yet with all of that He kept right on marching steadfastly toward the cross because that was the reason for His coming down the stairways of the stars to be born of the Virgin Mary there in Bethlehem. He went steadfastly on. Now, the ultimate indictment of all of us is we really don’t keep our own rules. “Moses gave you the law and you’re so proud of that but none of you keeps the law.” You remember Christ’s statement, we’ll come to it later on here in John, the story in chapter eight, he said, “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.” That is the woman who’d been taken in sin. The ultimate indictment is that we just don’t measure up to our own rules. I used to chuckle when someone would have been discovered in an infraction of our college rules, we have a few house rules; they don’t make you a Christian, but they certainly reveal what kind of a Christian you are.
It’s a Christian matrix of higher education learning, a framework you may say within which the young person can think his own thoughts and do his own thing but can grow up to be if he will, if he or she will, grow up to be a mature, functioning, efficient Christian. Anyhow, we would discover people who might have been found in some infraction of the rules, and frequently it turned out that they were the people who had been the most vociferous in condemning others. That gets to be an old story after a while, even the media and the press have had a field day recently with the failures of some people who very shortly before their failure was discovered had been inveighing against others and criticizing and laying down rules. It’s a human trait isn’t it? Paul says in the second chapter of Romans, he says, “You that condemn other people, you do the same things, thou art inexcusable, O man whosoever art thou that judgest.” I’m turning the pages of my big Bible here so I can quote Romans 2 accurately, “Thou art inexcusable, O man whosoever thou art that judgest for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnist thyself for thou that judgest doest the same things.”
That’s what our Lord Jesus was saying, “You’re so proud of the Mosaic Law.” And indeed they were and rightly so. We Christians have a great debt, you wanna always remember, always remember this; we Christians owe a great debt of gratitude to our Jewish friends because from their background of the Mosaic Law and the Old Testament scriptures, we have the foundation for that new revelation of God’s grace in the Lord Jesus Christ as found in the New Testament. We owe a great deal of gratitude, yes we do to the Mosaic Law and those faithful people who preserved it through the centuries. Having said that, you come back to this text here in John 7, and our Lord Jesus was pointing out, he said “You’re proud of the Mosaic Law.” And you could have added in, “rightly so”, “but you don’t keep it, you don’t keep it, you find ways around it.” “If there’s something that should be given to God”, he said in one passage, “Something that ought to be given to God” and you say “Well”… No I’ve got the thing wrong, “Something that you ought to do for your parents” that’s how he said it. Yeah, I remember now. He said, “There’s something you ought to do for your parents,” and you say, “Well, I intended to give that to the temple worship.” Then, you are relieved of your obligation to what you were supposed to do for your parents. Find a loophole somehow, to get around it.
Yeah. How is it with us? You and I? You see, we’re so human aren’t we? We tend very quickly to criticize others whom we see as being inconsistent or unfaithful or failures. Oh, how we land on them and criticize them. But let’s look at our own selves. What about the very act of criticizing? Paul says, “It’s inexcusable.” That’s pretty strong term, isn’t it? What about our thoughts? Are they lily white, Simon-pure? What about the matter of greed? Or pride? Or bitterness? Or jealousy? Or laziness? Or procrastination? Or chronic lateness, where you use another person’s time without permission? What about gossip? What about sexual impurity? What about financial irresponsibility? You could go on and on with the list, couldn’t you? Human nature flaws, there they are. The only answer is to bring it to Jesus and let the blood of Christ cover it and cleanse it. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” The Christian life is not easy believism. The Christian life is owning up, facing up to the facts with God and letting Him, Him that is, do something about it. He is faithful, and He is just to forgive and to cleanse. Forgiveness takes care of the relationship that has been impaired between you and God; cleansing takes care of the cause of that impairment.
Now, what do you do about this? So far, as I’ve been talking here and you say, “Yes brother, that’s all true. It’s all true. It’s all true.” But you still feel a little down. You feel as though, “Why does Cook have to pick on me? He knows and I know that we all have faults. And so, why bring it up?” I bring it up beloved, because God brings it up. “Let us lay aside every weight and the sin which doth so easily beset us, so that we can run with patience, the race that is set before us,” says the writer to the Hebrews. The most helpful thing you can do spiritually, number one, is to look at your failures straight on, just face to face. Look at your failures and then bring them to Jesus, so that He can do something about them. Can Jesus make a difference with the person who is chronically late? Or a person who tends always to stretch the truth? Or a person who is just built in greed and pride? Some of us were just born with the grasp, isn’t it true? Jacob was one such. You remember? Can Jesus do anything about that? The answer is a resounding, Yes, He can, and He will. “God is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or even think according to the power that worketh in us.”
Yes, there can be a difference. You’re never too old to change. This is a prevailing opinion among people over 50 that you can’t change; you can’t be any different. Yes, you can. Not in your own strength but in God’s enablement. Abraham had his name changed after he was a fairly old man. It was changed from Abram to Abraham, Prince with God. Hey, would you like a difference in your life at these points where chronically, things break down? Would you dare to list them and then pray about them each day? Anything you think about over a period of time happens. And anything you pray about over a period of time is going to make a difference in your life because God is going to work. Let me suggest something. Would you take some areas of your life that really need fixing? Really need changing? But you’ve not been able to do anything about it? And would you write on a small card, like a 3 x 5 card? Write those things down and then put that card somewhere, either in your wallet, or your hat, or over the sink, or wherever it may be, where you’ll see it from time to time. And then pray about those things as often as you can during the day whenever you see that card. So that you will be constantly keeping that before God. Anything I tell you, I’ve been there; I have done what I’ve told you, and I know that God does make a difference.
Would you write down some of those failure areas and then bring them before God in prayer, day after day, and see Him working in your life? I’d like to suggest that is something that really works. You can be different. You can be different. You don’t have to say, “Oh well, I know that’s what it says but… ” You can meet the standards of your blessed Lord as revealed in the Word through the enabling power of the Holy Spirit. How do I know? The Bible says, “I can do all things”, not some, “all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Somebody has paraphrased it, “I can do anything God asks me to do because Jesus helps me do it.” Would you trust Him with that today? So as to get out from under the condemnation of, “You know what’s right, but you don’t do it.” You don’t have to live like that. Jesus can make you a victor.
Dear Father, today, oh may we bring to Thee those areas where we’re weak and failing and wilt Thou in infinite grace give Thy strength and victory and cleansing. Through Jesus Christ, our Lord, I pray. Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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