Vitality in your Christian experience is directly proportional to your willingness to obey God.
Alright thank you very much, and hello again dear radio friends. How in the world are you? Yes, this is your friend, Dr. Cook, and I’m glad to be back with you. So grateful for the privilege of sharing God’s Word with you, day by day. We’re looking at Mark chapter 9, the last verse. We’ve been lingering on that for a while, but there’s so many good things in it that I hate to leave it. Our Lord Jesus spoke about salt. “Salt is good”. Then He spoke about salt that lost its flavor, “If the salt have lost his saltiness, wherewith will ye season it”. Another gospel passage that parallels this says, “It is thenceforth good for nothing, neither fit for the table nor for fertilizer, but to be cast out and trodden under foot of men”. The ultimate result of a professed believer who has lost touch with God is to be scorned by people and stepped upon. That’s the ultimate result. Nobody believes a message that is empty. It’s a said business, isn’t it, if the law, the salt have lost his saltiness. Oh I pray every day that God may keep His touch upon me. I don’t want to lose the blessing of God.
Bob Pierce came into my office one day, put his head down on my desk and burst into tears. I said, “What in the world is the matter”? He said, “I’ve just spent six hours with a man who has lost the blessing of God and doesn’t know it. He’s trying so hard, but he refuses to see what has happened”. Well it does happen, it does happen. God doesn’t withdraw His gifts, but you can lose God’s special anointing, God special blessing. Anyhow, He said, “If the salt have lost his saltiness”, there is a possibility of losing the flavor, the reality of God in your life, and it gets to be an empty shell going through the motions. Said He, “Have salt in yourselves”. Small thought here; it’s up to you to be a resource person, have salt in yourselves. Why when you’re sitting at the table do you say to someone, please pass the salt? Why it’s because there is not enough salt in that particular morsel of food and you have to add some from outside, right?
Now, Jesus said, “Have salt in yourselves”. That is to say, you be God’s saltshaker, you be God’s source of divine seasoning, divine preservative in this world. It is up to the individual to be God’s resource person, “Have salt in yourselves”.
Now, immediately this zeros in in our tendency, upon our tendency to lean on other people or to use them as an excuse for our own mediocrity. Dealing with young people through the years, often times you would hear them say, “Well everybody else is doing it, why are you picking on me?”, or, “John Smith or Hazel Brown or whatever the name may be, she did it, why do pick on me”? We use other people as either an excuse for our failures or our mediocrity or our lack of spiritual life and power. We lean on other people in various ways, don’t we? Now, Jesus said, it’s up to you, it’s up to you. See, when you come right down to it no one can breathe for you. No one can take nourishment for you. No one can live your life. It’s up to you.
That same truth then shows up in this matter of the spiritual life and your impact upon the world around you. Well then if that be so, how does one become a resource person? Well as I’ve indicated to you in other days as we talked about this, the presence of the indwelling Holy Spirit of God is the one that makes Jesus real. “His Spirit witnesses with our spirit that we are the sons of God and if sons, then heirs, joint heirs with Christ”. The witness of the Holy Spirit of God within you, when you own the Lord Jesus as your Lord and Savior and you receive Him and He receives you, and you are, to use Christ’s wonderful term born again. Then my friend, the Spirit of God takes up residence in your life and you know that you belong to the Lord Jesus Christ. There is a beginning of spiritual reality that instant. You can remember many of you, when that happened, can’t you?
There’s an old song we used to sing, Ray Schulenberg and I used to sing it together. I played the guitar and he played something else, and we sang duets and that song was one of our specials, “I was there when it happened and I ought to know”. Do you remember that old-timer? Well it’s true. “His Spirit working in me set my heart aglow, so I praise the Lord today as I walk the narrow way, I was there when it happened and I ought to know”.
Yes, that’s the beginning. You want to be real with God? Some of you have never yet asked the Lord Jesus Christ, to come into your heart and life. Every now and again, I’ll receive a letter, just saw one the other day said, “I gave my heart to Jesus as I listened to your broadcast and I’m new creature in Christ”. Well, halleluiah. I’m glad for that. How do you do it? You ask Him in, “As many as received Him to them gave ye power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name”.
Two things God asks you to do; one is to receive the Lord Jesus, invite Him in. The other is to believe on His name. His name is Jesus which means savior. If you believe on His name that means you trust to do what His name means, save you from your sins. So you invite Him in and you trust Him to save you and He does the work.
Oh, if I’m speaking to someone this moment who has never known the blessed reality of Christ in your life, whatever you’re doing, just stop if you can. Or if you’re driving the car, pull alongside of the road just for a moment and bow your heart before God and say, “Oh God, be merciful to me a sinner, save me for Jesus’ sake. Lord Jesus come into my heart, make me a child of God. I do trust you to be my Lord and my Savior.”
Tell Him that. He’ll answer your prayer. That’s the beginning of spiritual reality, isn’t it? And many a poor, plodding, religious person, faithful in ritual, faithful in program, faithful in routine, faithful and doing religious things, has never yet known the thrilling reality of Christ Jesus dwelling within you, by His Holy Spirit.
How else do you become a resource person? “Have salt in yourselves”. You receive the person, that’s the first thing. Second, you begin to dwell upon His Word, “The entrance of thy words giveth light, giveth life”, and the Lord Jesus said, “The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, they are life”. The Word of God, Paul speaks of the washing of water by the Word. Reading and dwelling and meditating upon God’s Word will cleanse your heart and mind and rearrange your thought patterns and change your motivation. Yes it will. “Wherewithal shall a young man change his way by taking heed thereto according to thy Word”? You dwell on the Word of God, you read it day by day, you meditate upon it to memorize portions of it, what happens? Your motivation is changed, your attitude is changed and the ultimate direction of your life is changed by the Word of God, and extends into such small details that we would otherwise overlook.
Many years ago a young matron, mother of two or three toddlers, stood up in the Wednesday night prayer meeting when I asked for some words of testimony from the congregation. She said, “You know I have to tell you folks something. I’m a very busy housewife and by the time I’ve got dinner finished, the dishes washed, and the children put to bed, I’m tired”, and she said, “It’s been my custom to lie down in bed and read the paper”. This was in Philadelphia and she read the Philadelphia Bulletin and so she said, “I go to bed and I read The Bulletin and then go to sleep”, but she said, “Since I become a Christian I’ve been reading the Bible and God has been speaking to my heart and I have felt that I ought not to finish the day with the paper, but rather with the Lord.” And so she said, “Recently, instead of reading the paper till I fall asleep, I’ve been reading my Bible”, and she said, “I am so blessed”. Her face was just shining.
Hey, have you learned that? Have you learned that you can become a resource person with your entire thought pattern rearranged by dwelling upon, meditating upon the Word of God? “Have salt in yourselves”. Well, what else? Well, as you read and meditate upon God’s Word and pray about it, these things go together, Bible and prayer go together like two sides of a coin, then what?
There’s the step of obedience. Vitality, think about this will you, vitality in your Christian experience is directly proportional to your willingness to obey God. I can give you name and address on these statements, but I’m not about to of course, but I know of people who have a great deal of knowledge of God’s Word, and they had at one time a thrilling experience with the Lord, but at some point or other they refused to obey God. To obey God.Now what has happened? The vitality has gone out of their lives. I expect I shall meet them in heaven because, “Faithful is he that calleth you also will do it, being confident of this thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you, will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ”.
So, I’m not dealing now with their salvation. That’s up to the Lamb’s book of Life and the one who keeps it, not up to me, but I notice that the vitality, the power, the evidence of God’s Holy Spirit working in and through and around, and many times in spite of us, that blessed vitality is lacking, and you trace it back. And you’ll find that it started when the individual said “no” to God. Do you want to be spiritually vital? Salt in yourselves, a resource person, oh be very careful beloved, to obey what God says to you today.
Dear Father today, fill us with Thy Spirit, Thy Word, and give us the good sense to obey Thee, step by step, I ask in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, Amen.
That’s all for now. Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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