Comforted To Comfort
When your life is filled with God's Holy Spirit, you'll make people feel comforted just by being with them.
Alright thank you very much, and hello again radio friends. How in the world are you? You know, of course I wait to hear how you are, bless your heart. I know some of you talk back to me and I like to that. Well this is your friend, Dr. Cook, and I’m glad to be back with you to share from the Word of God.
We’re winding up our study in the book of Titus and we’re looking now at Titus 3 verses 12 through 15. I’ll read them and then there’s a couple comments I think that may be helpful. Paul says, “When I shall send Artemas unto thee, or Tychicus, be diligent to come unto me to Nicopolis, for I have determined there to winter. Bring Zenas, the lawyer and Apollos on their journey, diligently that nothing be wanting unto them and let ours”, that is our people, “also learn to maintain good works for necessary uses, that they be not unfruitful. All that are with me salute thee. Greet them that love us in the faith. Grace be with you all. Amen”.
I don’t find any other reference to about this person Artemas. Do you know about him? Who he was, what he did? He really isn’t listed with any great accomplishments, is he? Who was he, Artemas? Which leads me to say, do you know that God thinks people who don’t have a pedigree are important? Well He does there. There are a number of names mentioned in Paul’s letters, concerning whom nothing is said by way of detail, but they’re mentioned as being faithful co-workers. Now, when we get to Tychicus, we’ll find that that there are a number of passages that talk about him, but Artemis, we don’t know an awful lot about him.
Let me speak a word to someone right now who says, I’m nobody, I don’t amount to anything, nobody knows about me, I don’t matter. Yes, you do matter. God knows you. Jesus said that, “Even the hairs of your head are all numbered”, not counted, that’d be a very simple matter especially for somebody like me. I have very few left. I told you about the barber who told me he wouldn’t charge me so much because I didn’t have any hair to cut. So, counting them would be very simple. Numbering them is something else again. This God of infinite precision in the universe has taken the trouble to assign a separate number to every one of your hair follicles. That’s what Jesus said.
So, God knows you. He knows where you are. He knows all about you. Where you are and what you are in the circumstances in which you are, are all part of God’s grand design, and you may not like it at this point. You may be irking under something that you don’t like to go through, and some of you are invalids, and some of you are shut in’s, bless your heart, and arthritis has grounded you or whatever it may be and you say, “Well Cook can say that all right because he’s healthy and he can get around, but look at me”. Yes, bless your heart, look at you. Do you know that you’re somebody in God’s sight? Do you know that you’re important in God’s sight? Do you know that you have a ministry to fulfill, that no one else can do just the same way? Yes you do. Oh today, spend a little time with your Lord and say, “Lord show me the things I can do that only I could do. Thank you for trusting me with some opportunity to honor you dear Lord. Show me the things I can do that only I could do”, and He will. I promise you. Whether it’s a phone call to cheer up a friend or a letter or postcard or some kindly deed or just a smile that you flash across to someone who may be gloomy and down, whatever it may be. God will use you beloved today, oh yes He will. You’re not forgotten. Maybe they didn’t print your pedigree in the newspaper, but God knows you and He loves you. Jesus said, ‘Even a cup of cold water will not fail for its reward’, and Paul said in Colossians 3, “Whatever you do, do it heartily”, that means psyched up with enthusiasm, “as for the Lord and not just for people, knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance, for ye serve the Lord Christ”. Do what you do today for Jesus and you’re going to get your reward.
So, there you have the listing. “I’ll send Artemas or Tychicus’. Now, Tychicus has a little more said about him in Ephesians 6 sees called a beloved brother, 6:21 is the verse, “A beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord”, and it says, ”He will comfort your hearts”, that’s in Ephesians 6. “A beloved brother, a faithful minister, and a source of comfort”. Wouldn’t you like that said about you? I would I know.
Where is the beginning of Christian usefulness? The love of God shining out of your life to your brothers and sisters in Christ. Most of us start somewhere else. We start straightening people out or lecturing them, or are being busy doing something for God. Where does your Christian usefulness start, beloved? Starts in allowing the love of God to shine out of your life in ordinary situations. When you come into a room, do people feel that you love them or not? Huh? Oh well, you say, now wait a minute, all right.
Romans 5:5, “The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost, who was given unto us”. Jesus said, “By this shall all men know that ye are My disciples, that you love one to another”. So I have to ask, if it’s an embarrassing question let it be. When you come into a room full of other Christians, can they feel that you love them? You don’t go around saying, I love you buddy. You can if you wish, but ordinarily you don’t do that. God’s love of is a reality that goes beyond language, doesn’t it? Yes it does, and sometimes it manifests itself in a smile or a handshake or a hug, and sometimes it shows itself in a kindly deed that nobody told you you had to do but you volunteered to do it to help someone else. Sometimes it shows itself in a thoughtful gesture, like a second sympathy card to someone who’s lost a loved one, may be a month after the funeral. You were at the funeral and you sent a sympathy card or a flower at the time, most people then forget but you send a second card maybe four weeks later and say, I just want you know I didn’t forget, I’m thinking about you. You know because sorrow doesn’t stop after the funeral, it comes back again and again and again in waves of loneliness, doesn’t it, and just when you think you have it licked, it hits you again. God’s love can be expressed by somebody who cares enough just to say so. A lot of different ways to show God’s love.
“A beloved brother”. I pray every day that His love might be in my voice as I speak with you, my dear friends. I pray every day that God’s love might be in my actions, as I mingle with people. That’s the beginning of Christian service. Yes it is. We can get so busy doing things for God that we get to be a little rough and abrasive on the outer edges of our societal life, and instead of helping people, often times we may cause a little abrasion on the surface of Christian fellowship. Let’s you and I pray and trust God to put His love in our lives. All right? Who does that? The blessed Holy Spirit, “The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost who has given unto us”. He’s a beloved brother, He’s a faithful minister in the Lord. The idea of ministry is giving God to people, meeting people’s need at the point of their need. The idea of the deacons in the Acts chapter 6, they ministered to people and the need at that point was food for their bodies. Ministering to people is giving God to people at the point of their need, helping them at the point of their need.
Bob Pierce, my dear friend of many years, now with the Lord for some years, founder of World Vision and dear man of God. Remember him, some of you? I remember him saying so often, “You have to deserve a hearing for the gospel. You have to deserve a hearing for the gospel”, and so it was that he would get boatloads of rice and other supplies and take to these people who were refugees, for example in Korea and elsewhere, and after he fed those hungry stomachs he would give them the Gospel. World Vision is doing the same thing today in Ethiopia and other parts of the world, where famine stalks with its gaunt specter and destroys the lives of multiplied thousands. Today still, World Vision is helping to feed the hungry and then giving them the message of life in Christ. I’m glad that’s so, aren’t you? But you and I need to do the same thing.
Faithful minister means ministering God the people at the point of their need. If he needs shoes, get him shoes and then preached Jesus to him. If he needs a square meal, give him a square meal and then share the gospel, share your Savior with him. If he needs comfort, cry with him and then lead him to Jesus. Ministering is sharing your Lord with people at the point of their need, all right? “A faithful minister in the Lord”. The word faithful gives us pause. Is there any time when you can say, that’s not my job? No, there isn’t any time when you can say that is not my responsibility. When you see a need jump in and help to fill it. That’s the Christian way to do it. Don’t worry about whether it’s in your job description. We go by job description so often don’t we? Well, you have to have a job description in order to run any organization so people get in each other’s hair. I understand that, but often times you say, that’s not my job and so they let human need go by unmet and uncared for. When you see a need, jump in and help to fill it, regardless of whether it’s in your job description. All right?
Then he said, “He might comfort your hearts”. This man was a source of comfort to people and that of course is a direct result of the presence of the one whom the Lord Jesus called, the comforter, the Holy Spirit of God. Do you know that when your life is full of the Holy Spirit, that just by being with people you can bring comfort to them? Comfort is more than sympathy, you know that. Comfort is an actual healing process of the soul and it has to be brought about by the presence of the Lord. “He’ll comfort your hearts”, it says, and this comes as I say, by the presence of a Holy Spirit of God. When your life is filled with God’s Holy Spirit you will make people feel comforted just by being with them. You don’t have to preach sermons to them, no-no, just by being with them, your presence full of the Spirit of God is going to comfort their hearts.
Depend on that today, will you? You don’t have to go around preaching sermons beloved, just be with people and share Christ with them at the point of their need. Help to meet the need and then share your Savior with them. As a result you bring eternal life to them and in the process, comfort to their hearts. It’s a great truth, isn’t it? Well, we’ll keep on with these closing verses. Paul made some plans, Paul appreciated people, and Paul emphasized work. We’ll get at that the next time that we get together.
Dear Father today, may would we be folk whose very presence brings comfort to others, we ask 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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