Don’t Waste Time
You don't always have an opportunity to obey the Will of God. You need to obey and to take advantage of it in His time.
Alright. Thank you very much. Always nice to be put on air with a friendly voice. I remember back in… It must’ve been 1935, I was on the air daily, live at 7:00 in the morning in Philadelphia. And the announcer I guess was hungover. He forgot that he hadn’t shut his microphone off. And after he put me on the air he said under his breath, “That’ll hold ’em.” [laughter] So I’m glad for my friends, believe me. And hello radio friends, how in the world are you? You doing alright? Bless your heart. I hope everything’s alright at your house. It’s your good friend Bob Cook. And I’m just sort of recapping some of the precious truths that came to our attention as we went through the gospel of John. Just hitting the high spots until we take our leave of this beloved book and go on to other portions of the Word of God.
Chapter 12 is the story of the precious perfume that was lavished upon our Lord Jesus and what people said and what he said. Do you remember that story? After Lazarus had been brought back from the dead, they made him a supper. And Martha served, Lazarus was one of them that sat at the table with him. A difference by the way in Martha’s attitude. The last time we saw her at the dinner table, she was all flustered and she said, “Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? Bid her therefore that she help me.” Period. End of sentence. And oh, she was upset because she wasn’t being helped. Now, she seems to have a different attitude. She’s there ministering and happy to do so. A new touch from Jesus will make your work seem different, did you know that? The old testament passage that teaches this is this one. “Commit thy work unto the Lord and thy thoughts shall be established.” You pray about your job and God will change your attitude and the circumstances as well.
Well, anyhow, there she was serving. Lazarus was one of the honored guests. Now it says, “Then Mary took a pound of ointment of spikenard.” Now, this was very costly stuff. It says very costly. And Judas Iscariot later appraised the value of it at 300 pence. That’s 300 days wages for a laboring man. So she anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped his feet with her hair and the house was filled with the odor of the ointment. Then said one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, the one who would betray him, “Why was not this ointment sold for 300 pence and given to the poor?” This he said not that he cared for the poor but because he was a thief and had the bag and helped himself to what was put therein. Then said Jesus, “Let her alone: Against the day of my burying hath she kept this. For the poor ye have with you but me, ye have not always.” A couple of thoughts there. House was filled with the odor of the ointment. Anytime you do anything for Jesus the effects of it are felt and sensed by other people without you saying a word.
You wanna remember that the next time you seem to be neglected, people don’t thank you or anything. As a matter of fact, this lady was criticized for what she did. And often times when you do your best, you turned up being criticized, don’t you? Well, when you do something for Jesus, he said that, “She did a good work on me.” That’s the quotation from one of the other gospel records. She did it for him and he said so. As a matter of fact, there was a little bit of divine annoyance in that 7th verse, “Let her alone.” He was tired of all these bickering. And because he said, “She’s the only one that realizes she won’t have a chance to do any of this anointing when I’m being buried.” Womanlike, her intuition had told her that if Jesus was going to die and rise again, there may not be time to do all of the little last tender touches that they would bestow upon the beloved body of a loved one. And so she was going to use that precious perfume now.
The house was filled with the odor of the ointment. When you do something for Jesus, the effects are sensed by others without you saying a word. You don’t have to hire a public relations firm if you’re going to live for Jesus. You just do what He says, He’ll take care of the sunshine. [chuckle] Now, mixed motives show up in Christian service. Here was a man who was in what we would call Christian service, Judas Iscariot. He was the treasurer. But John had him tagged. He said, “He didn’t care for the poor.” He was concerned because he was a thief and carried the common purse and helped himself from what was in it. He was stealing from the group. Jesus knew that. Why didn’t he cut him down? Well, he didn’t. How patient God is with us. Well, the Lord Jesus didn’t answer his question, “Why was not this ointment sold?” He said, “Let her alone. She has done this against the day of my burying because she knows there won’t be time for the careful wrappings and the bestowing of spices and perfumes.” That is usual, was usual in those days in burying the dead.
Another thought here that I want just to pass along to you. He says, “The poor always you have with you, but me ye have not always.” Two things. One, there’s always a chance for you to help people look for it and take it. “The poor ye have always with you.” There’s always a chance for you to help somebody look for it and take it. Help somebody. I remember the old Sunday school song. We sang it when I was a little boy living on a farm in Ohio going to Sunday school at a town called Old Fort, Ohio. Actually just a wide spot in the road. And a little white frame church building, and went to Sunday school there in the old evangelical church. And the Sunday school superintendent was Mr. Yingling. We boys used to laugh because he had the habit of jingling some coins in his pocket and we would giggle and whisper to each other, “Mr. Yingling is jingling.”
But he would, almost every Sunday, he would announce the same hymn, “Help somebody today, somebody along life’s way. Let sorrow be ended, the friendless befriended. Oh, help somebody today.” We used to sing that. I haven’t heard it sung for many years. The last time I heard it sung was by an undertaker riding with him in his hearse on the way to the cemetery. I was a minister who had been pressed into service to perform the last rights for this departed person. And so he said, “Well, you can ride with me in the hearse.” And we were talking about this and I mentioned the song. “Oh,” he said, “I’ve sung that many times.” And he sang the entire thing through as we were on our way to the cemetery. Well, help somebody.
Have you given any thought lately to doing something for other people without being asked? You’d be surprised at the results. They’ll be surprised, they’ll wonder what’s up. And then when they realize that you’re sincere in your attempt to be of help, they will appreciate it. And you will have made a new a friend. Look for a chance to be of help, the poor ye have always with you. The second thing that you need to see here is that you don’t always have an opportunity to move in the will of God if you turn it down. “Me ye have not always.” They were in his presence then but they wouldn’t be months later, for he would’ve gone back to Heaven. You don’t always have an opportunity to obey the will of God. You need to obey and to take advantage of it in His time. In His time, obey. In His time, make the sacrifice. When God speaks to your heart, that’s the time to do something for your Lord. Don’t wait around.
Solomon said, “Say not to your friend go away and come again another time when you already have something with you now with which you could meet the need.” I’m paraphrasing the verse. “Say not go and come again and I will give thee; when thou hast it by thee.” Passage from Proverbs 3. Don’t stall when it’s involved in either helping people or doing the will of God. You wanna mark that down in the notebook of your mind? Don’t stall, delay, procrastinate, use what words you wish, when it comes to helping people or obeying the will of God in a matter, ’cause you may not get another chance. Well, it says that there were people who believed on the Lord Jesus because of all of this. Your testimony may well be used of God to bring other folk to know the Lord Jesus Christ. Your willingness to obey God may well encourage other people to say, “I’m going to trust Christ as Savior as well.” Well, that’s some of the thoughts out of John 12. Lots others there, aren’t there, but we’ll stop with them.
Dear Father, today help us to be aware of the need of others and to be quick to give our best to Jesus. I ask in His 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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