Centerpiece Of Life
The grace of God becomes real when Christ becomes the center of life and the details of life.
Alright, thank you very much. Always nice to be put on the air with a friendly voice, I appreciate it. And hello again, radio friends, how in the world are you? You doing alright today? Well, if you struck a rough day, look up and say, “Lord, see me through this.” You know. Some days are worse than others and some are better than others and once in a while, you’ll strike a day where everything goes wrong. Troubles seem to come in clusters, like a bunch of sour grapes, isn’t it true? Well, if you’ve struck such a day, just look up and say, “Lord Jesus, I’m yours, see me through this,” and he will, yes, he will, for he hath said, “I will never leave thee nor forsake thee”, and just when things are going wrong, you can know that your Savior is near and He is in control.
You and I have been looking at the first chapter of Ephesians. We were talking the last time we got together about Ephesians 1:7, “Whom we have redemption through his blood.” The scarlet line of redemption runs right straight through the Word of God. And as you read on through even to the Book of Revelation, you find them singing the song of the redeemed. Yonder in the glory, and they say unto him that loved us and loosed us from our sins, with his own blood, and hath made us unto our God kings and priests and we shall reign on the Earth. Oh, the precious message of the shed blood of Jesus Christ is a timeless message, and is still going to be useful and understandable yonder in the glory. Had you thought about that? “They sang a new song saying thou art worthy to take the book and open the seals thereof for thou wast slain and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred and tongue and people and nation, and hast made us unto our God kings and priests and we shall reign on the Earth.” That’s the new song of the redeemed that’s sung in heaven.
Oh just remember, dear friend, the message of forgiveness through the shed blood of Christ is a timeless message. It was planned before the foundation of the world, accordingly He has chosen us in him, it says, before the foundation of the world, before God ever threw the stars out into space, before He ever created mankind and all the rest of the creation, He had planned to save you. Chosen in Him before the foundation of the world. So, this scarlet thread of redemption through shed blood reaches back to the misty ages before creation, and it reaches on ahead into the ages beyond the cessation of what we now know as time.
The Bible said in that new heaven and new earth time shall be no more. They’re gonna stop the clocks and you’ll be living according to eternity, and yonder in eternity, the farthest reaches where your mind is simply boggled by the thought that it’ll go on forever and forever and forever and forever. Eternity. That my friend, when you get there, they’ll still be singing about the blood of Christ. Oh, the blood has never lost its power. We have, in a song that’s currently being sung, and I tell you, my dear friend, it never will. It will never, never lose its significance, because it represents the fact that God came down the stairways of the stars and became one of his own creation. God became man, took upon him, it says in Philippians 2, the form of a servant, and being made and fashioned as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross, wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, that at the name of Jesus, every knee should bow and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.
This, my friend, is the central fact of all of existence from before the creation of the universe as we know it until the end of this age and the re-creation where the book of the Revelation says a new heavens and a new Earth, where God has reconstructed the whole business and you and I are standing shining before the presence of a holy God, forever saved and redeemed and blessed by his mercy, the blood of Christ shed for poor, lost sinners will still be the central theme, because it is the key theme of all of existence.
Frankly speaking, the only message that really lasts is the message of salvation through faith in Christ. Preacher, don’t get off on any detours. For the time being, some special emphasis that you make may seem more interesting and may get you a temporary increase in your crowd, but never depart from the proclamation of the Gospel in the power of the Holy Spirit. Study your Bible until the message is clear, pray over the message until your heart is hot with it and then give it out with the love of God and the tears in your eyes and the strength of the Holy Spirit as your enablement. But always preach, always preach the message of shed blood, the message of salvation through the fact that Christ died for our sins, that is what stretches from before the dawn of creation until after the reconstruction of new heavens and new earth and the dawn of eternity future. We’ll still be singing about the shed blood of Christ when we get yonder in the glory, so let’s you and I make the most of it now. Amen?
“In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace wherein”, that means in his grace, “he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself.” Now, it says according to the riches of his grace, wherein he hath abounded toward us. The riches of his grace wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence. Wisdom is the Greek word “sophia,” and the word prudence is “phronesi,” which is a derivative of the word that we commonly translate “mind”. Now, here’s a wonderful thing. The grace of God, says Paul, is abounding to us, “He hath abounded toward us in his grace in wisdom and in mind, having made known the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he purposed in himself.” What is it? That in the fullness of times he might gather together in one, all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and on earth, even in Christ.
Well, let’s think about that for these next moments as time serves us. “Grace Abounding toward the Chief of Sinners”, that was the title of a sermon that John Bunyan preached and wrote a good many years ago. I have in my possession an ancient book which was printed actually in the days when John Bunyan was living, and it has in it that sermon, “Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners”, he hath abounded toward us. Now, how do you and I, how do you and I become aware of abounding grace? How do you and I become aware of abounding grace? Verse 9, “Having made known unto us, God reveals himself to us the mystery of his will.” God exposes us to his will. According to his good pleasure, God lets us into his own motives, which he hath purposed in himself, God makes us part of his own heart experience. And all of this then is wrapped up in verse 10 saying that he wants to bring everything together in Christ, things in heaven, things on earth, even in him.
Now, then, what is the heart of the grace of God? Work backward now through verse 10 and then 9 and back to 8. What is the heart of the grace of God? “He’s abounding in grace”, what is it? First, Christ as the center of everything in life, that he might gather together in one all things in Christ. Christ as the center of everything in life. The grace of God becomes real to you in exact proportion as the Lord Jesus Christ is Lord of the various details of life. I have a message on Philippians, the second chapter, which deals with the lordship of Christ and as I look at that second chapter, I see that Christ is to be Lord of my feelings, Lord of my relationships with others, Lord of my mind, Lord of my lifestyle, Lord of my motives, Lord of my testimony. These are just a few things that you find in the first 16 verses of Philippians 2. He says, “gather together in one, all things in Christ.”
The tasting point of the grace of God is the lordship of Christ in the details of daily living. Make Him Lord of the dishes and they’ll go better. Make Him Lord of the washing and it’ll go better. Make him Lord of your homework, buddy, high school and grade school and college student, make God Lord of your homework and your research and it will work better, your mind will be oiled up, so to speak, and the machinery will run better if you’ll let the Lord Jesus be Lord of your studies. Let the Lord Jesus be Lord of your dating and your marriage will be happier. Let the Lord Jesus be Lord of your business and your decisions will be clearer. Bringing together all things in Christ, that means all things in my life as well as the things of creation, alright?
The grace of God, then, becomes real when Christ becomes the center of life and the details of life. Let that be so today. Somebody is saying, “Well, Brother Cook, how do you do that?” Well, the very simple matter, the Bible says, whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved. “Call unto me and I will answer thee.” And so, to make Jesus Lord of any given detail simply means pray and ask Him to be that way. If you’re driving your car in traffic, say, “Lord, be Lord of my driving,” you see what I mean? If you’re interviewing somebody that you’re going to hire if you’re a business executive, say, “Lord Jesus, be Lord of my procedure now with this person.” If you’re gonna make a speech, pray, “Lord, be Lord of my words, and help me to make the right speech,” and so on, just turn, talk to Him, that’s what I mean, talk to your blessed Lord and let Him in by faith, just like you trusted Him as Savior.
Colossians 2:6 says, “As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus as Lord, so walk ye in him.” And just as you trusted Christ as Savior, let him into the details of life by faith. Ask Him in, that’s the heart of it. Then working on back into that passage, he says, “Having made known the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself.” The grace of God lets you right into the very heart of God, so that you learn the things that please Him. The grace of God is calculated to help you please God and do the things that He wants. And the way He does that, it says, He abounds toward us in wisdom and in knowledge, in mind. The grace of God focuses in the things you think, which in turn result in the things you do. We’ll get at that again the next time that we get together.
Make much of the grace of God today, will you? It’s not simply a little formula that we quote in Ephesians 2:8-9, “By grace are you saved, through faith and that not of yourselves, it’s the gift of God.” Uh-huh. It isn’t a formula. The grace of God is Jesus himself, the center of your life and the heart of God, pleased by the things that you do as a result, and the leverage that is applied is a mind full of the Holy Spirit. You think about that, and we’ll get back to it the next time that we get together.
Dear Father, today, help us to make much of the grace of God. 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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