Commitment Without Compromise
Whenever you compromise, you buy a package of heartache for yourself.
And hello radio friends. How in the world are you? Yes this is your friend Dr. Cook and I’m back again with the Word of God, to share with you and try as we say sometimes, try to put a handle on it, so that you can get hold of it for yourself. The Word of God, inerrant, infallible Word of God, the Bible is true whether or not anybody reads or believes it, but it becomes a value to you and to me, when we apply it to our lives. The applying of God’s Word is the point at which it becomes real and valuable to you and to me, and that then is my purpose in coming to you day by day, with these broadcasts, to apply God’s blessed Word to our hearts. Well now, we’re in the closing verses of Mark chapter 7, and we read in verse 31 as follows, “Again departing from the coasts of Tyre and Sidon, Jesus came unto the Sea of Galilee through the midst of the coasts of Decapolis, and they brought unto Him one that was deaf and had impediment in his speech, and they beseech Him to put His hand upon him, and He took him aside from the multitude and put His fingers into his ears and spit and touched his tongue and looking up to heaven He sighed and sayeth, ‘Unto him effatha’”, that is be opened, “and straightway his ears were opened and the string of his tongue was loosed to he spake plain and Jesus charged them that they should tell no man, but the more he charged them, so much the more a great a deal they published it, and were beyond measure, astonished saying, ‘He has done all things well. He maketh for the deaf to hear, the dumb to speak’”. Now let’s think about this, shall we? It says, “They”, I don’t know who they were, “they bring unto Him one that was deaf and had an impediment”. This man was brought by somebody.
I remember in a gospel invitation many years ago, evangelist Merv Rozelle was urging people to speak a word of invitation to folk standing near them, and I remember hearing him say, “Someone brought me when I came to Jesus and I’m grateful”. Well, you know, all of us have that debt of gratitude to pay to others who are interested enough in us to get us in touch with the Lord Jesus Christ. My mother prayed for me from during the months that she carried me under her heart. She and two other ladies, I am told, joined in a covenant that wherever they were at 10 o’clock each morning, they would pray for the baby that was on the way. She died shortly after I was born, but my father my sister then took up the task of guiding that life, mine that is, and encouraging me in the things of the Lord, so that I learned to read out of the Bible. That was my primmer, my first primmer was the Bible and began to store those verses in my heart at an early age, and I was encouraged when I felt the need of a Savior was not quite six. My father knelt on one side of me end pastor H.E. Nelson of the Christian and missionary and alliance, knelt on the other side of a little store building church in Cleveland, Ohio. I gave my heart to the Lord Jesus Christ, encouraged by someone, my father in that instance, who had gone with me and brought me. And so it is been throughout my life and I’m sure it’s true of you also dear friend, isn’t it? We look back and we see how other people’s interest and love has been instrumental in moving us along in the will of God. Now, the Lord Jesus is God in the flesh and so bringing someone to God, we call intercession, and I want to speak then with you for a moment about this matter of intercession. What does it really mean to bring someone else to the Lord in prayer and faith? Number one it means that you realize their need. Number two you identify with it, number three you get under it and bear it yourself as though it were your own, and number four you trust God to take a hand in lifting the burden and meeting the need. Intercession let’s get some examples of that, shall we? The first one that I think of in the life of Abraham and God had said to Abraham, “I’m going to destroy Sodom”. Abraham stood before the Lord and Abraham drew near and said, “Wilt Thou also destroy the righteous with the wicked? Peradventure there be 50 righteous within that city wilt Thou also destroy and not spare the place for the 50 righteous that are therein, that be far from Thee to do after this matter, to slay the righteous with the wicked, shall not the judge of all the earth do right?”, this is Abraham interceding for Lot, and the Lord said, “If I find in Sodom, 50 righteous within the city, then I will spare old place for their sakes”, and Abraham keeps on praying and he says, “Peradventure there shall like five will Thou destroy all the city?”, and He said, “if there be 45”, Abraham said, “Peradventure there be forty found there in many get peradventure the be 30 found there”, and then in verse 31 of Genesis 18 Abraham says, “Peradventure there should be 20 found there”, and God answered again, “I will not destroy for 20 sake”. Now Abraham says, “Oh, let not the Lord be angry, I will speak yet once peradventure 10 shall be found there”? Now, Lot had four daughters. He and his wife that make six and the two daughters were married, so that makes eight, and Abraham figured somebody else must have been one to faith in God during the years that Lot lived there, and so he said, “If there’s just 10 there, I won’t destroy”.
Well of course, Abraham figured wrong and Sodom was destroyed and Lot’s two married daughters with their husbands were consumed, and Lot’s wife lost her life because she tarried and looked back in longing, too long and thus was killed in the hail of fire and brimstone. Lot ended his life in a miserable business, where he fathered children by his own daughters. What a miserable end of a life of compromise.
Small thought here; whenever you compromise you buy a package of heartache for yourself. The life of compromise never has a happy ending beloved, just avoid compromise with evil, like you would the plague. Lot compromised, he pitched his tent toward Sodom, he moved to Sodom, became a an elder or an alderman or a judge in Sodom and he became part of the culture of Sodom, and he lowered his moral standards in Sodom and God got him out in answer to Abraham’s prayer, but oh the tragedy of it was that Sodom had gotten into Lot and he ended his life in a miserable business. That’s just a little side thought on this matter.
What we were talking about was Abraham’s intersession. Well, then you go and we think about Moses. I think about Moses. Moses discovered that when he came down from the mount, that the people had gone back into idolatry, and oh everything seemed so terribly wrong. Well, Moses went back to the Lord and said, “Oh”, I’m reading now from Exodus 32 verse 31, Moses said to the Lord, “Oh, this people have sinned a great sin and made them gods of gold, yet now if Thou wilt forgive their sin”, and there’s a dash there, Moses I think broke down and sobbed right there, then he continues, “and if not, blot me I pray thee out of Thy book which Thou hast written”. The Lord said to Moses, “Whosoever haveÂ sinned against Me, him will I blot out of my book now therefore go lead the people unto the place of which I’ve spoken unto thee, behold my Angel should go before thee”, and nevertheless I’m going to visit their sin upon the Lord plagued the people because they made the calf, which Erin fashioned. Moses praying for his people that God would not destroy them. God said, let Me alone. I’m going to destroy this whole people and I’ll make of you a great nation. Moses said, no don’t do that. I’m praying for this people, forgive their sin and if not blot me out of the book, I’ll take their place.
Intercession, what did I say is involved in intercession? Number one, see the need. Number two, get under the burden of it and bear it yourself and then bring it to God in faith, that He will do the right thing. That’s Moses. Well who else do we think of in this matter of intercession? I’m going to turn over the pages of my big Bible here to the book of Daniel, and I find Daniel praying for his people. Have you read his prayers lately? The prayers of Daniel are something. He said, “Lord hear and Lord forgive. We have sinned against you”. You remember that? Oh, the prayers that he prayed for his people. “Lord incline thine ear and hear, open thine eyes and behold our desolations. Oh Lord”, I’m reading now from Daniel 9, “Oh Lord hearken of duty for not for thy own sake oh God for Thy city and by people are called by Thy name”. He’s praying for his people. Daniel interceding. Then of course you go over to the epistles of the apostle Paul and there he’s telling people, “I’m praying for you, for the first day I heard about you” writing to the people in Colossae, “I recall”, he said, “I don’t cease to pray for you that you might be filled with the knowledge of God’s will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding being fruitful in every good work”, and so on. Oh how he prayed for people intercession.
Now, what do we make of all that? Number one, you can make a difference in other people’s lives by praying for the. That’s what we call intercession. You can make a difference in other people’s lives by praying for them. That is a fact. Number two, when you sense their need, you identify with their need, you identify, with that is to say you take it upon yourself. Number three, you get under the burden of it, so that the responsibility of their need rests upon you, and fourth you commit it to God in faith knowing, as Abraham said in his prayer of intercession, that the judge of all the earth will always do the right thing. They said of our Lord Jesus in this very passage in Mark seven, “That we are considering He hath done all things well”. God always does the right thing and you can commit your matters and the condition of your friends and those for whom you’re praying, you commit them to God knowing that He will answer an answer in the right way. Do you do any interceding for anybody? I must confess that many a time, I’ve been convicted in my own heart of the fact that I prayed mostly for my own matters, my own burdens, and my own ministry, I didn’t do all that much praying for other people. I need with you to learn to intercede for others. Now we’ll talk about this passage again when we get together.
Dear Father today, teach us how to pray for others effectively, in Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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