Completely Redeemed

It does mean that all of your hope for accomplishment is going to rest in the enabling power of the Holy Spirit of God.

Scripture: Mark 10:23-30, Matthew 19:27, Philippians 1
Topics: Opposition, Trust


Alright thank you very much, and hello again radio friends. How in the world are you? You doing Alright today? Well, I trust so, bless your heart. Nice to be back with you.
This is your friend, Dr. Cook, and we’ve just been looking at Mark chapter 10, beginning with verse 23, going on the following verses where Lord Jesus is pointing out that those of us who trust in riches have a very difficult time yielding to our blessed Lord in the childlike faith that He requires. Verse 15 of Chapter 10 said, “Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein”. You take that little toddler, what two, three years old whatever, you hold out your arms to him or to her and say, “Come”, and those little feet scamper right toward you and you pick that little mortal up and hold him or her close to your heart and, and express love to that precious child. There’s nothing there of trust in things, there is a complete commitment of the little person to the older person, isn’t there?

That’s what God asks of you and of me, and we come with our pitiful trust in something other than God. And it’s an insult to Him and an exercise in frustration and futility for us. Well, it says, “They were astonished out of measure, saying among themselves, ‘Who then can be saved?’” See, because they realized, as I guess you and I do too, that everyone of us human beings has the tendency, if the truth were told, to put our trust in things that we know about, in things we can measure, things we can buy and sell, things that, that prop us up if you want to say it that way, in life. We tend to trust those things. My old philosophy prof in Wheaton College used to talk about mountains, cups and saucers, and model T Fords, and that was his way of saying things.

So, they were astonished because they were honest enough to realize that everyone of us human beings has that same problem. Jesus looking upon them said, “With men it is impossible, but not with God, for with God all things are possible”. Interestingly enough, the Lord Jesus spoke these awesome words in connection with our problem, not with, with great issues in the world, but with human nature. He said, “It’s impossible, it’s impossible for a person who normally, because he’s a fallen human being, trusts in money and things, it can buy, it’s impossible, but with God all things are possible”.

God can change my attitude. Jesus used these words, “With God all things are possible”, in connection with the difficulty of human nature and its attitudes. Anytime you get discouraged with yourself or with other people with whom you have to deal, remember Jesus said this about human nature, He said it about people not about things and issues. The way to change the world is to change people. You don’t change the world by legislation, certainly not by war, you change the world through changed people.

When a man get saved he’s going to stop beating his wife and abusing his children and cheating in his business. The way to change the world is to change people. Jesus said, “That’s impossible”, you don’t change people by lecturing them, by confining them, by imprisoning them, by psychoanalyzing them, you only change them when God gets hold of them, “For if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature, old things are passed away behold all things are become new”. Now, in this context, money that is, Peter began to say Alright Lord, if that’s the way you want to put it, he says, “Lo, we have left all and have followed Thee”. Oh boy, that sounds great doesn’t it, and that I think the other Gospels have an added question, let me look at it and make sure. It should be in Matthew 19. Somebody said the other day, “I like when I can hear you turning the pages of your Bible”. Well I do, because I work in the Word of God, that’s what I’ve done all these years, So, Matthew 19:27, says, “Peter answered and said, ‘Behold we have forsaken all and followed Thee. What shall we have therefore?’” See, “What shall we have”?

This is one of the questions that the disciples asked. I have a message I preach sometimes on questions the disciples asked. How can we know the way? Show us the Father, and to whom shall we go? Thou has the words of eternal life, and why could not we cast him out, the powerlessness of lack of faith and like of prayer and then here’s another one, What are we going get out of it? What shall we have? We’ve left all and followed Thee. Now, was it right for them to ask that question, or was he out of order? No, the Lord didn’t scold him for that. You don’t find any word of reproof in any of the gospel records, do you? He didn’t give him any reproof, but He gave him a tremendous answer. He said, “Verily I say unto you, there is no man that hath left house or brothers, sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for my sake in the Gospels, but he shall receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions and in the world to come eternal life. Many that are first to be last on the list first”.

What’s He saying? First of all, He, He agreed with the fact that Peter and the others had left all and followed Him. This is part of the way it is. If you’re going to work for God, you have to put Him first and this may involve a change of location, a change of relationship, a change in your possessions, a change in your lifestyle. It may involve one of these or all of the above, but He says if you have suffered that kind of a change, He says, you’ll receive a hundredfold, now in this time, a hundredfold, that means 100 times the seed that you sold, a hundred times, if you sold one seed, you get 100 times that seed that you have sown in the ground. It’s a farmer term. That’s pretty good, pretty good percentage, wouldn’t you say? They’ll receive a hundredfold, now in this time. You don’t have to wait till the sweet by and by, “houses, brother and sisters, mothers, children, lands with persecution and in the world to come, eternal life”.

Now, what to make of all this? Number one, there is something to give up if you’re going to serve the Lord Jesus Christ. You give up your right to try again on your own, that involves your self-image and your self-esteem. Everything that you will ever brag about comes from the Lord Jesus Christ. “We are complete in Him”, says Paul, “We are accepted not in ourselves, but in the beloved”, that’s the Lord Jesus. So, it costs in terms of your own self-image and self-esteem, that doesn’t mean that you’re going to put yourself down and become a nothing. It does mean that all of your hope for accomplishment is going to rest in the enabling power of the Holy Spirit of God, who indwells the believer and who manifests Christ through the believer. That’s one cost.

Another cost is that things and people are going to have to take a different order of priority from what they had before. When the Great Depression began back in ‘29 there was a bank in, in Cleveland, Ohio that, of course, along with the others closed its doors, and they told me that when those big brass gates were closed and people had realized that the banks were closing, there came this crowd around the front door of the bank, and there was one man especially that beat upon the bars of that metal gate and screamed at the top of his voice, “I want my money”. He kept screaming it. See, the priority, the priority there was number one for the money. The priority for other people may be some loved one, some child, some sweetheart, some loved member of family, some friend, people in other words have to go second to the Lord Jesus Christ. The priority for somebody else maybe position. You want to be the chairman. You want to lead the parade. You want to be elected president or whatever may be. That’s the priority, it has to go second to the Lord Jesus Christ. “Promotion cometh not from these to the West or from the South, but from the Lord. He put up one and put down another”, said the psalmist.

This is what He’s talking about. He wants to be first. “Whoso shall confess Me before men, him will I also confess before my father which is in heaven. Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you”, said our Lord. So He said, “If you’ve left any of these”, that is to say if you’ve paid the cost of putting Me first, payday is not coming just sometime, you’ll get it in this life. Houses; one of the nice things that I’ve discovered in Christian work is that when you are entertained in someone’s home, you feel at home with them because you both belong to Jesus and you come into that home and you’re not strange, you don’t tread softly and, and try not to make any noise, so to speak, you are at home. Why? Well, because like the Latin say, Mi casa es suya, you, you belong to each other, houses, brethren and sisters, mothers and children. You have family all over the world.
I’ve been in many countries of the world by God’s gracious provision during these past many years, and wherever I’ve gone I found people who welcomed me with open arms, not as Bob Cook visiting firemen, but as Bob Cook beloved family member. I love that. The open-heart and the big bear hug that some brother will bestow upon me as I come into his home, and I belong, I’m in the family. Why? Because we both belong to the Lord Jesus Christ.

“With persecutions”. Now, that’s an interesting addition, isn’t it? He says, if you belong to Me, you’ll not only be paid off in terms of, of all of the people who love you and the places where you’ll feel at home, and the complete freedom to serve God that you have, but you’re good have opposition as well. That’s part of the payoff. Have you ever stopped, listen to me, have you ever stopped to think of the persecution you have to endure as part of the payoff? That’s what He said, you get all these good things with persecutions. Part of God’s blessed provision is that you are going to share in being identified with what Paul called the reproach of the cross, “Unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only be to believe on Him”, Paul said in Phillipians 1, “but also to suffer for His sake”. The hardships are part of the payoff, not the penalty, they’re part of the payoff. Look at it that way and you’ll have an entirely different attitude toward things that happen in your life.

Dear Father today, have your way with us, help us to put you first 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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