Consider One Another
Learn to listen, learn to find out how the other person feels. Ask questions and share Jesus with people.
Alright thank you very much, and hello again dear radio friend. How in the world are you? Well that familiar greeting establishes I think, that this is indeed your good friend, Dr. Cook, and I’m delighted for the privilege of speaking with you once again by way of radio. I never stop thanking God for the inestimable privilege of sharing the Word of God by means of this modern miracle of radio, and so many of you have written and said that it helps to give you start for the day or those of you who hear late at night, it helps to put a cap somehow on the days’ activities; send you off to sleep with blessing. However it is beloved, I’m grateful, so grateful that God has set up this way, and grateful really that you’re there on the listening end. Thanks for being you, thanks for being there.
We’re talking about works, you remember that? I pointed out the fact that when sin came into the world, work had a curse put on it, so that the inevitable reaction of human nature seems to be to get out of work if one can, but now since Calvary, since the Lord Jesus died and rose again, work has a halo around it, so to speak, work has been sanctified, work that fulfills and that pleases and that delights and that glorifies God, is part of the new creation, “Ye are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus, unto good works which God hath before ordained, that we should walk in them”. So, enjoying work, and having fruitful work, and fulfilling work, and work that glorifies God, is one of the results of salvation as provided in the Lord Jesus Christ. If you’ve got a job that you hate, get before your Lord and ask Him to give you His viewpoint on your job. I promise you not only will you feel differently about it, but your productivity will increase a thousand fold.
We’re talking about some of the things in the scripture that have to do with works. Our Lord Jesus said, “That the light that shines from your life is a light of good works. Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works”. Those two phrases are parallel to each other as you can see. What is the light that shines out of a born again life? It’s the good works that turn people toward the heavenly father. You can be rich in good works. There is a certain enrichment of your life if you specialize in doing good things for the glory of God. Now there are a couple phrases that are connected to the verse that I just started from 1 Timothy 6:18, “Rich in good works, ready to distribute”, that means that you’re willing to share, “willing to communicate”, that means you’re willing to listen. Two of the commented truths having to do with successful work is willingness to share: share the authority, share the responsibility, share the vulnerability. You have to be vulnerable along with other people if you’re going to get along with them. Share–willingness to share. Share your efforts even though it’s not in your job description. Share your money, your substance, your time, your strength, your love. Share. That’s all involved in that ready to distribute, willing to share, glad to share.
Now, let me just give you little clue to what may be helpful on your job. Look around you from time to time, and see situations where if you lent a hand it would help the other person. Don’t make a federal case of it and say, “I’m going to help you now, brother”, don’t do it that way, but if you see somebody that is just covered up with work and struggling to meet a deadline, and maybe there’s some typing that’s involved or some filing or some packaging or whatever it may be, they’re just covered up and they’re just never going to make it and they’re so frustrated. You saddle on over and say, “Let me help you with this”. Nine chances out of ten, they’ll be so grateful to you and you will have formed a friendship and you will have demonstrated that Christians are willing to share. Look for situations where you can pitch in and be of help.
That’s part of the deal, and then you know that somebody’s having a hard time making ends meet. There’s too much month at the end of the money, as I sometimes say, and you know that John Doe is having a rough time of it. He’s had a lot of sickness, a lot of operations on members of the family and all of that. Slip a $10 bill in an envelope. You don’t even have to sign your name, just slip a $10 bill in an envelope and see that he gets it and say, “I know you’ve been having a rough time. God bless you”. Oh hey, I’ll tell you, that sort of a thing proves your Christianity far better than any sermon you could preach. You know that? “Rich in good works”, and then it says, “willing to communicate”, that means you need to learn to listen, you and I. Listening is always been one of my weak points. I didn’t do very much good listening in the early years of my life and I don’t really know whether I do yet. My mind goes ahead of the person talking and I’m there already by the time they pause for breath, you know how that is? But it says, “Willing to communicate”, and communication is a two-way street. You have to listen before you can say. Solomon said, “He that answer the matter before he heareth it is folly and shame onto him”. You have to learn to listen and to interact with people and to communicate effectively with them.
I asked Ben Weiss, my friend of many years, former principal of a large high school in Los Angeles, now retired for many years. I asked him some of the secrets of his success he said, “Well”, he said, “you don’t tell people, you ask them questions”, he said, “you say, ‘I wonder if you’ve ever given a thought of this’, instead of telling them, ‘You ought to do this’, you ask a question, ‘I wonder if you ever thought of this’”, and he gave me a little rhyme: “Things remembered as things forgot”, oh by the way you know, “things remembered as things forgot, things taught as though we taught them not”. It’s a very good idea. Learn to communicate with people not on the basis of telling them or telling them off, but on the basis of listening and interaction with the way they feel.
I talked to a man on a plane a few days ago. I’m always looking for a chance to share Christ with anyone that may sit by me in an airplane or other means of transportation, and so here was this man, turned out he was a banker in a Western state, and it also turned out that although he had been subjected to quite rigorous Sunday School training in his youth, he had turned against it in terms of not really feeling that he needed all of the “dogma” as he called it. All of the things that he was supposed to believe. He said, “When I asked questions in my teens people said, ‘You got to believe it. Don’t ask questions’, and so he turned against it. Well, I shared with him the fact that the Lord Jesus is so preciously real to me as a wonderful person. It’s not a matter of the theological dogma, so much as it is a matter of a relationship with a wonderful person, who let us hastened to remind ourselves, this wonderful person who is the fulfillment of all of the scripture, so you believe the scriptures because you know the Lord, and vice a versa. “Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God”. So I told him, “You know, I’m not going to argue with you about these things, but I just wish you knew my Savior. He’s a wonderful person”. So when our conversation was over he said, “Well”, he said, “there’s one thing about you”, he said, “you actually care about me, don’t you”? I said, “Sure I do. That’s what I’m spending the time with you. You’re valuable to God and to me and I’d like to see you know the Lord Jesus”. Well he said, “I’ve had experiences with people that were too busy to do other than talk formally with me but”, he said, “you seem to care what happens to my soul”. Oh, to communicate means to let the other person know that you care about him or her and what happens to them and how they feel, about life and God and about themselves and perhaps, oh perhaps in the process of the faithful Spirit of God can take those things that you say and the warmth of your love and concern, and lead that person to Calvary. I hope it may be so with you, beloved, and with me, day by day. Willing to communicate, learn to listen, learn to find out how the other person feels, ask questions, and share Jesus with people.
Here’s an interesting verse about good works Hebrews 10:24, “Let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works”. Let us consider one another, now you can stop right there and preach a sermon on it, couldn’t you pastors? Consider one another. Do you know husbands that you want to study your wife, and vice versa, wives you want to study your husband? Consider means to study. Many a person drifts through life without giving a second thought to the feelings and biases and prejudices and longings and needs of people with whom they interact every day. Now, I’ll guarantee you, if you want to raise, you’d probably study your boss and find out what his moods are, isn’t that true? I’ve a little saying about, don’t ever ask for a raise when the barometer is falling, because the boss feels bad, his hair pulls, his teeth bite, and his corns pinch, he feels bad, the barometer is falling, he won’t even listen to you. He’ll throw you out. You wait till the barometer is rising and then he’s feeling better and he’ll listen to you and then throw you out. The matter of studying people is very much neglected among Christians, I observe. Let us consider one another.
Now, for what purpose? Number one, to know the person better. Number two, he said, “To provoke unto love and to good works”. There are some things you can do and say that will open the love gate, so to speak, in another Christian’s heart and enable him to function in the atmosphere of God’s wonderful love, shed abroad in his heart by the Holy Spirit. “To provoke unto love”.
Did you know that you can help another person open his heart to God and to people in divine Calvary love? Did you know that? Did you know that real Calvary love, John 3:16 kind of love, is contagious, just as greed and complaint and envy are contagious? You remember when Mary lavished that expensive perfume upon her Lord. Judas and the others were complaining and it says, “Likewise also”, said, “they all complain”. Complaints are contagious, but so thank God, is Calvary love. “To provoke unto love”, and the outgrowth of that is good works, because if you love somebody you want to do something for them, for the glory of God. So he said, let’s study each other. Let’s find out something about how that human being works, and then let’s do all we can to share the love of God with that heart, so that is a result, the life will be full of Calvary love and the conduct will be full of good works, and it all starts with being interested enough in another person to think about him and his needs. Good stuff isn’t it? Well, you try it on for size. May the blessed, indwelling Holy Spirit make it fruitful in your own life. We’ll get back to that last verse in Titus again and finish it out the next time, perhaps that we get together.
Dear Father, wilt Thou bless us today, to be fruitful in provoking love and good works in the lives of other people, 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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