You cannot succeed in life with partial surrender to Christ. Your example will be noticed by others if you are being changed by God's Word in your life.
And hello again radio friends. How in the world are you? You doin’ all right? Oh, I’m fine, I got no complaints today. I’m just happy to be alive and living for the Lord. And full of bounce to the ounce, and looking forward to whatever He has for me today. I oftentimes echo the prayer that Ed Mann, the former president of Eastern Nazarene College, used to pray. He said, “Morning Lord. What are you up to today? Count me in on it, please. Amen.” (Laughs) So I like to be counted in on whatever God has in mind, for the day.
Well, you and I were just finishing up our consideration of this matter of being an example. And the last time we got together, we were looking at that 15th verse of 1 Timothy 4, where Paul said, “Meditate on these things, give thyself wholly to them, that thy profiting may appear to all.”
Small thought here before we go on: There is no way to succeed if you practice partial surrender to God. Now God has… He’s, He’s the God of infinite mercy. The Bible says, “His mercy endureth for ever.” He’s the God of forgiveness. The Bible says, “There is forgiveness with Thee, that Thou mayest be feared.” “And if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness”. He’s the God of forgiveness and cleansing, He’s the God of mercy and restoration, oh thank God He is! And we’re imperfect human beings, and we know it. That one thing God asks of us, of us and that is that if we’re going to deal with Him, we surrender totally to Him, our imperfections included.
Give thyself wholly — ‘w-h-o-l-l-y’ — to them. The truths of the Word of God, as you read them and you understand them, are such that the only way you can succeed is by giving yourself over completely to God’s will, in that area. There is no substitute for complete surrender to God. “Yield yourself to God as those that are alive from the dead and them, and your, the members of your body as instruments of righteousness unto God.” Have you learnt beloved to give up? No, you won’t be perfect; yes you will have some failings and mistakes and shortcomings. Yes there’ll be times when you’ll say, ‘Lord, I blew it, please forgive me.’
But basically, basically, you need to know that as you are, and what you are, and the kind of person you are. the whole package of you — could we say — has been handed over by faith to the Lord Jesus Christ. Give yourself completely; there is no way to succeed under the, the shadow of incomplete, surrender.
Now He said, “Your profiting will appear to all.” Well, this is all under the heading of ‘being a good example’, ‘being examples to the flock’. We’re over in 1 Peter 5; we came over here for an explanation of it, remember? So this is part of your example, that you’re profiting. Now, some people bristle a little when anyone remarks that they may have grown in the things of the Lord. And I think I ought to remind myself and all of the rest of us, today let’s not be so proud that we, we bristle and resent it if anybody implies that, that we may be improving a little, you know. You didn’t start up perfect. That halo that you wear wasn’t there before you know; it took a while. (Laughs) So he says, “That Thy profiting may appear to all…”
People watch you to see if you’re going anywhere in your life. They watch you to see if you’re learning anything by the knocks and, and jostling that you get in the process of living. They watch you to see whether you’re learning anything by way of wisdom, in handling situations. “And the way to profit,” says Paul, “so that you be an example to others, is to let the Word of God work in your life. The only way to modify character permanently is to let the Word of God work in your life.” Will you remember that? Good advice doesn’t do it, sublimation doesn’t do it, will power doesn’t do it; because you get tired trying. The only way permanently to modify human character is by applying the Word of God and letting the indwelling Holy Spirit make you different.
“We all with open face beholding as in a glass” — that’s a reference there to the Word of God —“the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image” — that’s His image, get to be like the Lord — “from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord, that thy profiting may appear to all.” Part of your example is to be growing enough so that other people can be encouraged by it. All right?
Make sure that God is having a chance, in your life, to make you grow. Now he said, “Take heed to thyself, and to the doctrine” — still under the heading of ‘being a good example’. You be careful, watch your step, take heed to thyself; we could say, “Watch your step and watch what you really believe.” Two things that are important: watch your step, and make sure what you really believe, because that’s the basis on which you live and influence others. Well it’s quite a handful of truth, wasn’t it? Examples to the flock, 1 Peter 5:3.
Now he says in verse 4 of 1 Peter 5, “When the chief shepherd…” See now, you’re an under-shepherd, “feed the flock, which is among you…” You’re an under-shepherd. “But when the chief shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.” Crown of glory, all the different crowns: crown of life, crown of righteousness… crowns. God is planning to reward faithfulness, that’s the, that’s the bottom line. “Behold I come quickly, and my reward is with me to give every man according as his work shall be.” That’s what our Savior says.
God has plans to reward faithfulness. Now what will happen on the other side of the ledger? What will happen to the part of our life where we’ve been unfaithful? Well, I take comfort in the fact that Jesus said, “He that believeth on me shall not come into judgment, but is passed from death unto life.” We must all appear at the judgment seat of Christ, but that judgment is not going to be for salvation because He all ready paid for our sins.
Whatever our blessed Lord is going to do at that judgment seat, it’s not going to have anything to do with whether or not you’re saved. Rather it’s going to have to do with recognition of the times that you allowed Him to work through your life. Crown. “When the chief shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.” A reference here to the fact that things do fade, and do disappear. Peter started that. Interesting how, how consistent the scriptures are with themselves.
Peter started his lesson, his letter by saying, “You’re born again unto a living hope, by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance, incorruptible and undefiled, and that fadeth not away.” See, you got the same phrase there again, ‘That fadeth not away.’ “Reserved in heaven for you who are kept by the power of God, through faith and to salvation.”
What’s the point here? Well you live a while and you know that all the values of life tend to diminish. The law of diminishing returns applies not only in the field of, of business, but also in matters having to do with energy, and matters having to do with incipient, or real values. Fadeth not away. What’s it worth? Well it’s worth less now than it was before. You’ve had that experience when you bought a new car, haven’t you? If you didn’t realize it, the minute you drove that car out of the showroom, it became worth at least a thousand dollars less. Bang, just like that.
If for some reason, the next day you bought that, that new car back; you’d driven let us say five miles in all. But you had bought it, and you had driven it out; and now you bring it back. You’ll find that it’s worth a great deal less than what it was the day before. Values fade away. Those who can remember the stock market crashes, you know that dollars disappear almost by magic, in moments when you have one of these wild fluctuations in the stock market. People who have been making fortunes in real estates, tell me that in some areas the real estate market has what they call ‘peaked out’.
And here is a person I was talking with the other day, who said, “Well, I had hoped to sell my home for $350,000 but now they tell me I can’t get more then a hundred and fifty,” or whatever it was, you know. The price had dropped drastically. What happened to that other two hundred thousand? It’s gone, (Laughs) it’s gone. It faded away. (Laughs) Well you know what I’m talking about. He says, “You’ll receive a crown of glory that fadeth not.” It’s not the crown, it’s the glory that doesn’t do the fading. God’s glory doesn’t diminish with the passing of time.
And this is something of great comfort to those of you who may have passed the shady side of let’s say, 60. And the year you’ve gone through the turbulent twenties and the, the tireless thirties, and the forceful forties and the, whatever it is fifties, and the sagging sixties, and the…(Laughs) some, some wag had said, “The senile seventies.” I’m mad about that ‘cause I’m in the seventies and I don’t think I’m senile. The aching eighties and so on…
All right, you’ve lived awhile, and you know that the shine of things sort of diminishes even in matters having to do with your own life and personality. But anything that is connected with the glory of God doesn’t fade. Aren’t you glad that’s so?
Dear friend of mine, a good many years ago — this will go back into the forties I guess — was the victim of some kind of mischance, under surgery. And when he came out from the anesthetic, he was greatly hindered in his mental processes so much so that he became almost entirely dependent upon the care of others and didn’t really communicate all that clearly. Except, when he quoted Scripture or when he prayed. Then he was perfectly lucid, and his face was just lit up with, with the glory of God. The glory that fadeth not away.
Paul said, “Though our outward man perish, yet our inward man is renewed day by day.” Dear brother, dear sister, dear friend, make sure that you’ve got the glory that doesn’t fade. ‘Cause that’s what will be real a million years from now.
Dear Heavenly Father today, may the glory of God shine through our lives. I 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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