Christ’s Living Presence
The turning point is the realization that He is alive and we are filled with the Holy Spirit and surrounded in His Presence. This truth gives us a glorious awareness of God.
Alright, thank you very much. Nice to be back with you and nice to be put on the air with a friendly voice. I remember back in the 1930s, when I was… Well, I was on the radio live, every morning in downtown Philadelphia. Get up, and get dressed, get ready in my own soul, drive on down to inner-city there, and be on the air by 7:00. [chuckle] Oh, boy, that was something. And one morning, the announcer that put me on was hungover. And he didn’t realize that he hadn’t shut his mic off after he announced me, and he said under his breath, but quite clearly, “That’ll hold him.” [chuckle] I’m always glad to have a friendly voice at the transmitters. And how are you my dear radio friends? How in the world are you? You doing alright? Well, bless your heart.
I’m glad to be back with you and try to put a handle on the Word of God, so that you can get hold of it for yourself. I’ve just been praying that God might put His love, and His truth, and His power into everything that I say, the tone of my voice even. You can tell a lot by the tone of a person’s voice, can you not? And when I open my mouth to speak God’s Word, I want it to come forth, and be all love, and concern, and compassion, and truth as well, and power.
Well, we’re looking at Mark Chapter 16, Verse 14. We’re still in that 14th Verse, “The Lord Jesus appeared unto the 11, as they sat at meat.” Small thought here, it’s called the 11. Used to be the 12, now it’s the 11. Judas is gone. I wonder if they missed him? I’m sure they must have, even though some of them were quite critical of him, as John writes.
John said he was a thief and helped himself to the common purse, that he was in charge of. They were critical of him, but they missed him. It’s the 11 now, not the 12, because somebody had failed so tragically. You wanna remember that, the next time you’re tempted to compromise on the will of God. Oh, when you and I fail, and drop out of some part of God’s work, we leave a gaping hole there that isn’t filled, and there’s a hurt, and an ache, and a heartbreak that comes, when you and I fail. Jesus can forgive, He does. Thank God for the forgiveness evident in First John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful, and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” But it still leaves a big hole. It still leaves a big ache, that just isn’t filled.
Well, it said, “He appeared to the 11 and scolded them… ” That word ‘upbraided’ means scolded… “With their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not, them which had seen Him, after He was risen.” “Because they believed not.” Believed not, what? “Them that had seen Him.” It develops that the test of faith, oftentimes, turns out to be the acceptance of the testimony of one who has met the Lord Jesus Christ. “Because they believed not, them which had seen Him.” Jesus said, “Ye are my witnesses.” Peter said after Pentecost, “We are His witnesses. We cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.” It does seem that God holds you and me responsible for our reaction to people who have met the Lord Jesus Christ. Similarly, the turning point in anybody’s life, is the realization that the Lord Jesus is indeed alive, and that He deigns to have a personal connection with your life. This, then, was the message that Peter and the others gave after Pentecost, “The God of our Father hath raised up Jesus, whom ye crucified, and He’s made Him both Lord and Christ.” The man you murdered is back to be your judge.
Oh, [chuckle] what a thought. And it simply devastated those people, and they cried out, “What must we do?” Peter said, “Repent. And be baptized every one of you, in the name of the Lord Jesus for the remission of sins.” Now, how do you apply that in your own life? Jesus is alive. The turning point in any life, is the realization that the Lord Jesus Christ is alive. You see, we live… There is a dreadful honesty that shows up, even when you are trying to be a little hypocritical, let us say. We tell on ourselves everyday, by the way we live, and by what we say. There is a built-in honesty in all of the nerve synapses in your brain and nervous system. God sees to it that the truth does come out, be sure. Moses said, “Your sin will find you out.”
The little boy who’s been in the cookie jar or the jam pot, tries so hard to look like an angel, but he only ends up looking guilty and ridiculous, because the crumbs are still on his guilty, little mouth, and the jam is still either on his lips, or hands, or clothing, or something. And his sin finds him out. Well, like poor, naughty children, we come to our Heavenly Father. And the same principle applies, doesn’t it? There is a dreadful built-in honesty that shows up, even when we’re trying to appear different. And so many of us, when I say ‘us,’ I mean religious people, professing Christians, nominal Christians, live to all intents and purposes a perfectly secular life. We don’t really count on the presence of the Lord Jesus in any particular situation, except perhaps when we’re in church.
Now, is that a fair statement? I really think it is. The turning point in your life comes, when you realize that the Lord Jesus is alive, and that you can talk to Him, and that He will take charge of your life, and that He will answer prayer, and that His presence through the indwelling Holy Spirit is real every moment. So that the verse, “Thou God seest me,” is real. You’re never in a position where you can say, “It doesn’t matter,” no. It always matters, because God is always there. And let me say, if you love the Savior, that’s one of the most delightful awarenesses in all of life, to know that in every circumstance of life, He’s there, He’s with you. He said, “I will dwell in them and walk in them.” That means, “I’ll walk in their shoes.” God walking in your shoes, when you walk into a room, or a situation, or a testing, or a temptation, or a trial, or a heartbreak, or whatever.
God walking in your shoes. He’s there, because Jesus is alive. Oh, what a tremendous and precious truth that is. So it was, that Peter and the rest of them, who were diffident, and scared, barred the windows, locked the doors, afraid that someone would come upon them to condemn them, because they had been known as followers of the Lord Jesus. After Pentecost, Peter stands up, he said, “These are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing that it is, but the third hour of the day.” “Who gets drunk at 9 o’clock in the morning?” Said he. “But this is that, which was spoken of the prophet Joel in the last days. Sayeth God, ‘I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh,’ ” and so on, and so on. Simon Peter speaking up, boldly now, proclaiming that, “The Lord Jesus Christ is alive.” What made the difference? Well, the difference was that the blessed Spirit of God, filling that life, as the Spirit of God was bestowed upon the early church. They were speaking in languages that other people could understand.
The amazement shown by the visitors in Jerusalem, they said, “How is it that every man hears this message in his own language, wherein he was born?” God was speaking His good news of the gospel and these people were boldly proclaiming it, because the reality of the risen Christ had been made known to them. Now, how do you achieve that? I must say, that there are many dear Christians who are always diffident, and backward, and shy about any involvement with others, concerning a verbalization of their Christian faith. I meet people, and in my usual way, I say, “Well, what’s the Lord been doing for ya?” And oftentimes, there’s a mum silence, “Well… (mumbles).” They didn’t know what to say, largely because the Lord hasn’t been doing much in their lives. [chuckle] Nothing going on, but the rent.
Well, how do you achieve this glorious awareness of the Lord Jesus Christ in your life? Now, let me start at the foundation point and say, if you’re not really born again, if you don’t know the Lord Jesus as your Savior, then there’s no future in it for you, until you do.You’re not really going to be aware of God’s presence in your life, until you commit yourself in faith to the Lord Jesus Christ, as your Lord and Savior. Do that right away, if you haven’t already. You don’t have to even finish this broadcast. Seek God somehow. If you’re driving, pull off the road and pray. If you’re at home, or at work, or whatever, just seek a little quiet nook somewhere and say, “Lord Jesus, come into my heart and save me from my sins. God, be merciful to me, a sinner, and save me for Jesus’ sake.” Pray a simple, but heartfelt prayer, inviting Christ into your life, and you will have then begun the process of realizing the presence, and the reality of the risen Christ.
But say now, that you know that you have trusted Christ, as your Lord and Savior, and you have committed your life to Him, but you’re interested in this matter of being aware of His presence. How do you go about it? Number one, realize that when you opened your heart to Christ, the Holy Spirit of God came in to dwell. Romans 8:9 says, “If any man have not the Spirit of Christ, He is none of his.” And First Corinthians 6:19 says to the people in Corinth, who certainly were in lots of trouble, as far as their conduct was concerned, but they were saved, he said, “Know ye not, that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost, which ye have of God, and you’re not your own, for you’re bought with a price?”
If you’re truly saved, the Spirit of God is dwelling in you. But there are areas of your life, aren’t there, that He needs to take charge of? And that’s why Paul says, in Ephesians 5:18, “Be not drunk with wine, wherein as excess, but be filled with the Spirit.” And that verb ‘be filled’ is in the linear sense, so it means ‘keep on being filled with’ a constant overflow of the Holy Spirit of God out of your life. See, the presence of Christ is made real to you through the ministry of the indwelling Holy Spirit of God. And so the next step, after been saved, is to open your life consciously, every room in your heart-house, open consciously by faith to the blessed Spirit of God, and let Him fill that area. You do this by faith, just as you trusted Christ for salvation. And when you do, the Spirit of God fills your life with Himself, and takes charge of that area, and Christ becomes real. We’ll get at this some more the next time we get together.
Blessed Father, today, may we be aware of the presence of the living Christ, His power, and His love, His holiness, and His beauty. Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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