Draw Nigh To God
When you make God Lord of your life, you will get direction from Him. Don't let religion become routine. Always find time to be alone with God and to pray. Acknowledge His Lordship and you'll begin to understand what He wants of you.
Alright thank you very much, and hello again dear radio friend. How in the world are you? Doing all right today? Well, that well-worn greeting establishes the fact that this is indeed your friend Dr. Cook speaking with you, sending you assurance of my love and prayers across the miles. I think of so many of you whom I know personally, then I realize there are thousands more who I’ll never meet until we get to glory. Won’t that be a great reunion? We ought to have a radio rally in Heaven. Wouldn’t that be wonderful? Send out a notice and say at such and such an hour there’ll be a radio rally on the corner of Amen Street and Hallelujah Avenue. Oh, that’ll be wonderful you and then I get to meet some of you. I don’t know how we’ll look once we get to heaven. It’s a question as to whether your human characteristics will all be reduplicated it in that resurrection body. Although Paul said, “Then shall I know also as also I am known”, which tells me that we will be recognizable. The disciples saw Moses and Elijah there on the Mount of Transfiguration. They knew who they were.
So, my feeling is, I can’t prove this, I haven’t been there yet, but my feeling is that we’ll be recognizable there in the glory, and if that’s true I’m sure that somebody will come up to me and say, ‘Oh you don’t look at all likeI thought you did’. People say that all the time. They’ll meet me in a meeting or something after a meeting they’ll come up and somebody else will say, ‘Oh, you don’t look like I thought you’d look’, or somebody else will say, ‘You look just like I thought you’d look”. Well, however, some of us to you know, the Scripture says, “I’m fearfully and wonderfully made”, some of us were really fulfill that Scripture, don’t we?
Well, the main thing is the kind of person that lives inside of that body, isn’t that true? Be sure that the spirit that lives inside of your body is sweet, blessed, and full of the Spirit of God than He can shine through you no matter what the color of your hair or lack of same, in my case, might be.
Well, we’re looking at Mark chapter 6. We’re just about through with the passage. He said, our Lord Jesus said to the disciples as He came walking there on the waves, He is master of the creation that He created, “All things were made by Him and without Him”, says John, “was not anything made that was made”, and so it was very easy for our Lord Jesus Christ, God in the flesh, to step on the water. You and I wouldn’t be able to do that. The water wouldn’t part and we’d sink, but there He was walking on the water. He said, cheer up, don’t be afraid, it’s I, don’t be afraid, and so He went up unto them into the ship and the wind ceased. Now, notice the reaction of these people, says, “They were so amazed beyond measure and wondered, for they considered not the miracle of the loaves, for their heart was hardened”. Now, what is this any way? It is possible to be so close to divine working that you become impervious to any kind of a penetration of it into your life. One of the hardest people to win for Christ is a person who’s been active in religion all his or her life, because religious phraseology has come to be part of the armor, you may say, of that person’s personality and the truth doesn’t get through, because it is stopped by the concepts, and by the words, by the vocabulary, and by the habit patterns, that have been associated with religious work for years. Hard to get through.
I personally have talked with people who I knew, they weren’t saved, they were just religious. Highly trained and highly intelligent, but you talk with them and you’d find the individual is one that’s shaking his head and saying, ‘I don’t, I don’t really get what you’re driving at Cook. I just don’t really get it’. Here he was, he could quote Scripture, he could tell you about the history of the all of the ancient nations that have to do with biblical history, he was said a great philosopher, he could line up his presuppositions in a row, as we say, but he’d look at me and he’d say, ‘I don’t get it’.
See, Paul said quite truly, “The natural”, that is the unsaved man, “receive not the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness on Him, neither can He know them because they are spiritually discerned”. The miracle of the new birth open’s your understanding so that you can begin to understand eternal matters. Somebody listening to me this minute says, “Oh Cook, come on now. I don’t buy all that”. Of course you don’t and you won’t until you say yes to Jesus Christ. When you commit yourself to Him as Lord you’re going to get direction, first of all.
Take the illustration of Saul of Tarsus, later called Paul the Apostle. There and in the ninth chapter of Acts, hurrying on his way to Damascus, murder in his heart, he was going to get rid of these Christians. Now he is intercepted there on the road, the shining light, he’s offhis mount if he was riding, in any case he’s face down on the roadway and his first question is, as he hears that voice, “Saul, Saulwhy persecutist thou Me?”, he says who art Thou Lord? His first reaction is to acknowledge the Lordship of the one speaking with him, and then came the answer, “I am Jesus whom thou persecutist”. It’s hard for you to kick like a dumb ox, against the ox goad. Now his next question, “Lord what will Thou have me to do”? He’s asking for directions and he gets them. Says, “Go into Damascus you’ll be told”.
He was there then, three days without sight, praying, seeking God, finally the Lord sent Ananias to lay his hands on him and his eyesight was restored. He was filled with the Spirit of God. He began his meteoric career as a preacher, missionary leader of the New Testament Church. God’s choice of an apostle to take the place of Judas Iscariot. See when you make Jesus Lord, here’s the point I’m trying to put across, when you make Jesus Lord of your life, you do get directions, you do get understanding. You begin to understand who He is and what He wants you to do. “Who art Thou Lord and what will Thou have me to do”? This is the essence of efficient living, isn’t it? So, you begin understand who He is and what He wants you to do when you make Him Lord.
Today if you’ve never opened your heart to the Lord Jesus Christ, do so. How do you do this? It says, “Call upon Him”. “Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved”. Talk to Him, that is to say, and ask Him to come into your life, forgive your sins, and make you God’s child. Do it right now, before the end of the broadcast. You don’t have to listen to me, it’s not so important that you have to listen to me. Do it now, get down on your knees, or if you’re driving a car pull off the side of the road as soon as you can, and bow your head and say, Lord Jesus Christ I want you to be Lord of my life. Please forgive my sins and make me a child of God. I want to know you today. Talk to Him. “Whosoever shall call the name of the Lord shall be saved”.
I can promise you this, if in sincerity, you open your life to the Lord Jesus Christ and ask Him to come in, He will. He says, “I stand at the door and knock, if any man hear my voice and open the door, I will come in”. See, the promise of the Lord Jesus Christ is that when you ask Him to come in your life, He will. So, when you do that, then what happens? Number one; you find out who He is, God in the flesh, born of a virgin, dying for our sins, rising again for our justification, living today to be our intercessor at the right hand of God the father, coming again in power and glory one of these days, soon. It may be today. You get to know who He is and second you find out what He wants you to do. You get an understanding of the will of God for you. God has plans for you. Oh, hallelujah for that. It’s great, isn’t it?
Well, it said, “They considered not the miracle of the loaves for their heart was hardened. They were amazed in themselves beyond measure and wondered”. Why? They had been so close to deity, that they had grown calluses, you may say, on their hearts and the truth and blessing of God couldn’t get in. Could that possibly be true of anybody listening to me today? So close to religious matters, maybe you’re a pastor or a missionary or a teacher in a Christian school or Sunday school teacher, or professor in a Christian college or seminary. So close to religious matters, that it’s all become routine.
I noticed sometimes, through the years, that people who are active, you know, in their life’s work I mean to say, active in religion, get a little impatient when you say let’s pray a while. I’ve had people say to me, “Come on, let’s get on with the business”. Why? Because they’ve grown calluses on their heart in the matter of praying. Prayer is something that has for the become a formality to be gotten over with. I heard someone say years ago, “Let’s get through with all at foolishness and get on do something worthwhile”. Oh how it grieved my heart and I’m sure grieved the Spirit of God to hear something said like that.
Well then, how do you get around this? How to get around it? Well, I think you get around it is Peter did, on another occasion, when our Lord Jesus approached the disciples, on this same basis from the stormy sea. Peter got down on his knees he said, “Depart from me oh Lord, I’m a sinful man. If you want God to strip the calluses away from your heart, get on your knees before God and confess your sins. The hardened heart is always the result of personal non-commitment, personal noninvolvement, and personal non-confession. You follow that? If I refuse to let God cleanse my sin, if I refuse to humble myself before Him and acknowledge my need of Him, if I neglect those times when He touches my heart until my eyes are wet and my heart is tender and my conscience is cleansed, if I do not meet my Lord in that kind of prayer, my heart gets hard, and I begin to take sacred things for granted, and I begin to be formal and ritual and crass and callused, about eternal matters. What’s the answer to the hardened heart? Get down before God. That’s right, get down before God and wait before Him for a while.
Make a list, Charles G. Finney used to say to students, “Make a list of your sins and start confessing and forsaking them”, he said, he had to have, Finney said, he had have a personal revival of that nature every two or three weeks or he would backslide. Well, it’s an excellent thing to let God touch your heart and the way to do it is to get down before Him and confess your need, and let Him touch you once again. “Humble yourselves therefore in the sight of God and He shall lift you up”. “Draw nigh to God and He will draw nigh to you”. This is the message that will help you get rid of the hardened heart. Don’t get so close to religion that you drift away from God.
Dear Father today, help us to get close to Thee, keep us from getting hardhearted, in Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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