Carrying Each Other
Inspiration comes because you know that God keeps His promises and you can step out into life confidently knowing that God is in control.
Alright, thank you very much and hello again, dear radio friend. How in the world are you? Are you doing all right? Well, I trust everything’s okay at your house. I was thinking before I began this broadcast of the fact that you and I are part of what really is a modern miracle. That I can be seated at this desk with the tape recorders running and the big timer in front of me so that I’ll be exactly on time in my broadcast and commentaries and Bibles and Greek New Testament and a big dictionary and all sorts of comfortable junk around me here and there.
And I sit down and turn on the tape recorder and I talk into these microphones and people half a world away can listen and, in many cases, can receive something that just suits their need. Hallelujah for such a wonderful opportunity to minster, I say. It is a remarkable age. Do you know they’re developing now computers that can think and computers that can operate robots so that many industrial operations including the inspection of parts of a car or other machine can be done by the robot and without nearly the percentage of mistake that is involved in human errors?
They have a new system that’s called Dendro which is a chain reaction reasoning system. If something is true, then something else is also true. If you ache all over and if you have a fever then you probably have the flu and you should go back to bed. Then there’s another process which is just the opposite. It relies mostly on backward reasoning. It’s called Mycin and it takes a conclusion and then works it back to see if that conclusion is correct. And computers do this, can you believe that?
Well, we’re living in a great age and the fact is that all of the machinery that man can device only points up the fact that that marvelous computer that God has placed between your two ears can never be quite duplicated because it has the ability not only to reason extensively but also to decide. And the commitment of faith is there for every person who trusts in the Lord Jesus Christ. Then we can take the scientific advantages of our age and use them to proclaim the gospel. I’m grateful. I’m grateful for the privilege of using the modern miracle of radio to speak with you, my dear friend, as the days go by.
We’ve been talking about “We that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves,” and we found out that the real source of strength is the grace of God at the point of your weakness and then you apply that grace and that strength in helping to bear the burdens of someone else. Now Paul begins to talk about the value of the Scriptures and we come now to Romans 15:4 where he said, “For whatsoever things were written before time were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope. Now,” he says, “may the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus: That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Wherefore receive ye one another, as Christ also received us to the glory of God.” Now, you see this is the full-rounded conclusion of what he began in Romans 14:1 “He that is weak in the faith receive ye.”
Now, he’s come all the way around the circle and he says in verse 7 “Wherefore receive ye one another.” Now, on the way to that conclusion, he said, “We that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak. We ought to please our neighbor for his good so as to build him up rather than pleasing ourselves. We ought to follow the example of the Lord Jesus who came not be ministered unto but to minister and to give his life for ransom for many.”
Now, what else? We ought to follow the teachings of the Scripture so as to make us the right kind of people. Verse 4, “Whatsoever things were written before time were written for our learning.” Now, the first thing that happens when you read your Bible is that you learn something. Strange that people think of the Bible as something that should be kept around or should be read once in a while but not, in many cases I’m afraid, not a book from which I would learn new knowledge and gather new data and as a result, be able to exercise a new level of wisdom in my decisions.
But he said that’s what it was written for; that I might learn something- “whatsoever things were written before time were written for our learning.” Let me ask you something. If I were to come to you and say, “Put down on a paper what you have learned from the Bible in the last week,” what would you say? I think in my case I must admit that oftentimes I read the Bible for comfort and that word is in here, “that we through patience and comfort of the Scriptures.” And I read the Bible for inspiration. And that’s in this verse, too, “that we through patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope- inspiration.”
And so it’s not at all wrong to read the Bible to get some comfort nor is it a mistake to read the Bible to get inspiration. The beginning, however, of the process needs to start with learning. Long ago back in the 1940s, I spoke with Stephen Olford, dear man of God who many of you know for many years the distinguished pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in New York City, now in Bible Conference and Bible teaching work across the world. Our brother, Olford came from Great Britain to fulfill a schedule of meetings that we had set up for him in Youth for Christ.
I was then, I guess, Vice President and in charge of the Great Lakes Region or something like that and helping to run the Chicago Saturday night rallies and serving as Associate Pastor of Midwest Bible Church. Busy schedule but enjoying it. I couldn’t wait to get to work in the morning. So along came Stephen Olford. I recognized in him immediately a person of some spiritual substance. And so one day I asked him. I said, “Stephen how is it that you maintain your spiritual life?” “Oh,” he said, “I’ll tell you.” And what his answer I put into my little book “Now That I Believe,” and you’ll find it there in the chapter having to do with Bible Study.
Here was his answer, “Stay with any given portion of Scripture whether it’d be a verse or a chapter. The length of it is not really all that important but stay with any given portion of Scripture and read it and re-read it and pray over it until God says something to you from that passage. Stay with it until God says something to you from that passage. Second, write down what God said because if you can’t write it, you haven’t got it as every school teacher knows. Write down what God said to you. Third, pray it back to God. Pray back to God until your heart is warm and tender with the truth, what God has said to you on that occasion. And fourth,” said he, “share it with someone that very day as soon as you can.”
A good idea. I adopted that practice myself and I followed it through the years. Stay with the passage, read it, pray over it, read it again, think about it, pray over it until God the Holy Spirit says something to your own heart from that passage.
Second, write it down. Third, pray it back to God until your heart is warm and tender with the truth. And then finally, share it with someone else as soon as you can. Learning something from the Word of God means let Him say something to you. It’s not enough to read the Bible in a rote procedure where you say, “Well, I read 13 chapters this morning.” That doesn’t really do it, does it?
It’s only when you absorb in your own mind what God has said and you make it part of your thinking and part of your basis for decision, then the Word of God becomes of value to you. So these things, he said, were written for our learning. Insist on learning something from God.
And then now and again, I’ll come across someone who has actually gotten something new for himself from the Word of God and his eyes will light up and he’ll say, “Oh, Bob! Oh! I’m glad you asked. I want to share this with you.” And he’ll open his Bible and show me what God had said to him. “Learning” is the word. Learning. He said they were written for our learning. Now, what else? “That we through patience”, strange isn’t it that reading the Bible should lead to patience. Why doesn’t it lead to victory right away? Why doesn’t it lead to overflowing joy right away? Why doesn’t it lead to the ecstasy of a believer who has at long last walked into the very throne room of heaven, huh? Why not?
Patience? Who wants to be patient? Greek word for patience is “upomonês,” stay down. Who wants to stay down? I want to pop up or sometimes I want to give up or blow up as the case may be. Who wants to be patient? Read the Bible to be patient? Yes. Yes. Because, you see, when you read God’s Word, you begin to understand that He doesn’t pay all His bills on every Tuesday. You understand that His ways are not always your ways and His timing is greater and far above your timing and His plans are far more reaching than yours.
“As the heaven is high above the earth,” says He through Isaiah, “so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” When you read the Bible, you begin to realize that God does things a little differently than you and I might do them and that it is worthwhile to wait for Him. “Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him. Fret not thyself in any wise,” says the Psalmist in the 37th Psalm. “Wait on the Lord, be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart.”
It is good to both patiently wait for the Lord another place we see. Our Lord Jesus waited before he went to Bethany when he heard that Lazarus was ill. Why? Because He was interested not in a healing but in a resurrection. God’s timing is perfect and when you read the Word, you begin to know something about that. Patience and comfort. Certainly you sense something of the big heart of God when you read His Word and then you have hope, inspiration comes. Inspiration comes because you know that God keeps His promises and you can step out into life confidently knowing that God is in control. Hallelujah, all of this through reading the Word of God. And that makes you then strong enough to help somebody else who is weak. Good truth, isn’t it?
Dear heavenly Father, we trust Thee and we thank Thee for Thy Word, and we ask that Thou wilt make us strong enough to bear others’ burdens, 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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