Brothers And Sisters
The secret of victory on any job is a shining heart and a life full of God.
Alright thank you very much, and hello again radio friends. How in the world are you? Doing Alright? Yes, that little greeting establishes the fact that this is your good friend Dr. Cook and we’re together, you and I, for some precious moments of sharing from the Word of God.
We were talking the last time we got together about faithfulness, “Faithful brethren in Christ”, Paul’s phrase is, there in Colossians chapter 1 verse two. Faithfulness means know to whom you belong, know for whom you’re working, loyalty, know the job, know what it is you’re supposed to do and then get at it, do it.
Have you noticed that for every committee that is ever appointed, most of the people would rather talk about things than do it? I was a member years ago, of a committee that had been appointed to help a certain Christian organization get out of the red. Who it was and where it was is beside the point, but this was a committee now of people of some significance, not say that I was, but there were some very big, as the Hispanics say, palo gruesos, you know, tombores mejores. Their word for big shot is either big stick or big drum. Well, there were a few big sticks on the committee.
Alright, we met for two or three days in a hotel suite in a suburb of Chicago, and we did some good work. I sat there with the rest of them, and we analyzed the situation and we found out where the weak spots were, and we found out where the excess expenses were and all of that, and we had that thing well analyzed by the second day. Then a question came up: “We can streamline this thing and eliminate a lot of the extra expense that’s been going on, but there still is this big deficit of umpteen thousand dollars. How are we going to get rid of that”?
Well, someone said, “Well, of course we can borrow it, but then we’d all have to put our names on the note because the organization hasn’t any more credit”. To do something now was the order of the day. If it hadn’t been so sad, it would been laughable. There was a dead silence in the room for some time. Nobody said a word because nobody wanted to take the extra step of becoming personally involved in helping to lift that particular load. No, I didn’t say anything either, you’re asking me. No, I didn’t.
Finally, we got around to doing it, but do what you’re talking about is sometimes quite difficult, isn’t it? Faithfulness involves taking the step of obedience. What Paul the apostle, his name then was Saul, his first great prayer was, “Lord what will Thou have me to do”? First, he said, “Lord who art Thou?”, and when our Lord Jesus identified Himself, he said, “Lord what will Thou have me to do”?
Ask God what He wants you to do and then get at it. The Macedonian vision recorded in Acts chapter 16 came to Paul in the night hours. Saw a man of Macedonia saying, “Come over into Macedonia and help us”. It said, “Immediately when he had seen the vision he endeavored to go into Macedonia assuredly gathering that the Lord called us for to preach the Gospel unto thee”.
I can just see the scene there. It’s the middle of the night. Paul bangs on the wall says, hey Dr. Luke, hey doc, wake up. Well, Luke had just take a No-doz pill or whatever they had in those days. He was sound asleep, he woke up drowsy, what day is and where am I, all of this, he couldn’t quite come to. Finally, he’s awake, he said, what is it brother Paul, and Paul says, I just heard from Heaven, just got a vision we’re supposed to go to Macedonia, we’ll leave first thing in the morning.
With all this racket, landlady has been awakened. She comes patting, up the stairs, you can see her, her hair’s up in curlers, she’s got cold cream under her eyes, she’s got on an old house robe and she’s patting up there in her slippers, and she knocks timidly on the door and says, Brother Paul, are you Alright? Oh yes, he said, praise God. I just heard from Heaven, we’re going to leave for Macedonia first thing in the morning. Said, I’ll have my eggs sunny side up and thank you very much.
She goes on downstairs, shakes her head and says ‘I’ll never understand preachers’. I guess she wasn’t the last one that said that, and so it said, “They immediately endeavored to go into Macedonia”. Right away, take the next step. Could you begin that procedure as a rule of your life beloved? Faithfulness involves doing what God has told you to do. Don’t just talk about it, do it. Alright?
Then of course, it involves staying at the job until it’s finished. Finish the job, finish the job. Everywhere you run into people who don’t quite finish the job. In the beautiful old house in which Coreen and I lived for 23 years, there on the campus of the college, there is a porch that runs all the way around the front and the side of that great, old mansion, and of course, is it has to be painted every now and again because of the weather gets at the surface and so it needs to be painted.
Well, so it is that if you look closely, you’ll find that there is a line on one portion of the porch where a different, a different kind of a of paint seems to begin. The story behind that line is of course is that one day the student painters were painting, and they decided that they weren’t going to do that anymore, for some reason or other took them away, and so they finished, they stopped the job before it was finished, and some days or weeks later, somebody else came back with a different kind of paint and finished it up. Finish the job. Why should there be a line, so to speak, on the job you are doing that says, John or Mary didn’t finish it, somebody else had to finish it up. Why should that happen? It doesn’t have to happen. Stay on the job till it’s done.
I often time tell people, “It’s always too soon to quit”. I’m talking to a pastor today somewhere, who’s so discouraged. You’ve had a rough time of it. The deacons don’t deacon, the trustees can’t be trusted, the ushers don’t “ush”, the choir sings flat, and nobody understands the vision that you got for the work. You try your best and it doesn’t seem to go well and you say to yourself or to your wife, “Oh, there must be a better way to die. I’m going to find it.” You’re just so discouraged.
Brother, listen to me. Get alone with God and stay with God until He lights a fire in your heart and then get at the job once again. I’ve lived long enough to know that the point at which I was ready to quit, was precisely the point where God wanted to meet me and make the job successful. Get on your face before God and stay before Him until He lights a fire in your heart and your eyes are wet and your heart is burning with love for God and for people, and then go on out and get at the job once again. The very warmth of God’s blessing in your life will help other people to draw close to God as well. It’s always too soon to quit. Finish the job. Amen?
Oh, somebody needs that. Somebody’s about to quit your job been in business because the circumstances have been so rough, and you’re harassed on the job by your coworkers because you’re a Christian, and the boss has passed you over for a promotion once or twice, probably for the same reason, and you think yourself, “I got to get out of here”. Well, maybe you should. I don’t know, I’m not telling you shouldn’t look for another job. I’m simply saying the secret of victory on any job is a shining heart and a life full of God, linked that is, with faithful work. Good work performed by a worker full of the Holy Spirit is the winning combination. “Faithful brethren”. Now it’s, “Brethren in Christ, faithful brethren in Christ”. Some people are just difficult, isn’t that true? And other people it seems, put thought into being impossible, but you have to work with them.
What’s the secret to working with difficult people? Well, to argue with them or holler at them or to get angry with them or get impatient with them only complicates the situation. You don’t really help any problem situation by being irritated. Every therapist and physician and psychiatrist and so on, and psychological counselor, everybody in that type of work knows that the minute you get irritated with your client, you’ve lost the possibility of helping, and so it is on the job. If you’re angry with somebody else with whom you’re working, you’re not going to get very far, are you?
So, what do you do about the people with their shortcomings and their faults and their foibles and all the rest? You’re linked with them. What do you have to do? Number one, remember that you have a few faults as well. Yes, Paul said in Titus, do remember that passage? We talked about it a few days or weeks ago. He said, “We ourselves also were foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving different desires and pleasures, showing all meekness unto all men”. Meekness is tact with its work clothes on. Meekness is tactfulness with its work clothes on. Meekness means, I know that I’ve got some faults as well. Let’s work together for the glory of God, for we ourselves also were once foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved. So, remember the key to working with people who have their shortcomings, is to remember that you have a few as well.
Second, you work better with people you love, even though their conduct doesn’t always agree with what you think they should be. You take a family situation, mother and child, father and child. Now, you have to correct the children, you have to discipline them sometimes, but overall there is that tenderness of parental love that says, Johnny has his impossible days, but I love him. Isn’t that true?
Now, the same thing is true in working with other people because you are part of God’s family. They are indeed your brothers and sisters and God is their Father, just as He is yours. So then what? Let the love of God fill your heart. Jesus said, A new commandment give I unto you, that you love one another, as I have loved you, that ye also love one another”. You work better with impossible people if you love them.
Get alone with your Lord. The secret, the secret of blessing on the job is having met the Lord so your heart is full of His love. Get alone with your Lord until your heart is warmed and tender with the love of God. I can promise you that your relationships on the job are going to be far better. They are going to be vastly improved. “Brethren in Christ”, and then do remember that you’re working for the same objective. You’re not on different jobs going different ways. You’re not even on the same job going different ways. You are together for the same objective. Keep that in mind.
It’s not what you’re doing, it’s what you’re getting done that counts. Not the activity, but the result that counts, and so while it may be unpleasant to work with some people beloved, remember that you and they belong to God, remember that you and they are responsible to God, and remember that both of you are working toward an objective that has been set by God. That takes a lot of the burdensomeness out of other people’s faults. Isn’t that true? You try it on for size.
Father today, make us faithful brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus, in His 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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