He just needs you to be available to do His work. Know what your job is and how to do it.
And hello radio friends. How in the world are you? Well, I’m fine thank you. Nice of you ask. I feel great, praise the Lord. It’s so good to be alive and be ready to meet another day with God. Let me give you little secret. This isn’t the sermon, I’ll throw this in free, okay, no charge. If you go to sleep with Jesus on your mind, your unconscious mind, that’s the computer portion of your mind, will keep that concept going all through the night and I can guarantee you, you’ll wake up with Jesus on your mind. Many a person goes to sleep with worries and wakes up worrying. Some people go to sleep fantasizing of various ideas that are in their mind, and they wake up with that same type of difficulty, but if you and I will go to sleep with Jesus our blessed Lord and portions of the Word, of the Word of God, for exampleI very frequently quote silently the 23rd Psalm just as I’m dropping off to sleep, “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want”.
Oh, when you go to sleep with God on your mind, you’ll wake up with God on your mind, and it certainly will make a difference in the manner in which you greet a new day, whether you greet it with joy or with a groan. God in your heart and on your mind when you fall asleep means that you’ll have God in your heart and on your mind when you wake up. Well that’s just a little trade secret that I’ve learned through the years and it serves me well and I now pass it unto you. Try it.
You and I’ve been looking at Colossians. We started in that book the last time we got together and if you don’t mind I want to just walk around in some of these precious passages that have blessed and warmed my own heart as I thought about them. Paul said that he’s in apostle, a person is been sent with the gospel and so indeed in a larger sense, are you and I, and then he said, he’s in the Will of God.
The Will of God encompasses where you are, what you are, the circumstances in which you are, all of it constituting an opportunity for God Almighty to work. The Will of God. It’s not how I feel, it’s what God wants that counts. Have you decided that? Many a person still lives his or her life based on their feelings, “Oh, I feel terrible about this”, “Oh, this is so hard to bear”, “Oh I hurt so bad”, and so on. Well of course all these things are real, and I’m not to discounting the reality of the pain you have. If you’re knotted up with arthritis or rheumatism or if some illness or other has struck you and you are incapacitated, or if you have a difficult job situation and the burden is so heavy you can scarcely bear it. No, I know that’s real. That isn’t my point. The point I’m trying to make is in all of the reality of our feelings the emphasis we make, the point of view we take, and the resultant attitude that we have, is not how I feel but what does God want. There’s the difference.
You can just digest yourself with worry if you want to, but on the other hand if you want to turn the situation over to God and say, ‘Lord this is your Will and I’m going to see it through for Your glory. Show me now, this is an opportunity for You to work, Lord’. You’re going to have an entirely different attitude toward life. You follow that? You want to try that in something? You don’t have to make a great big effort now, because you know it seems too far out for some of you who are really hurting or are really burdened or really broken up with sorrow and you say, “Cook doesn’t understand. He’s telling me not to emphasize how I feel and I feel terrible”. I know. Try it on something that you can get hold of, that isn’t so terribly big, and just say to your blessed Lord, “Dear Lord, I want this experience to reflect what you want. I want your Will in this. This is an opportunity for you to work dear Lord”. Tell Him. I can guarantee you that when you change your point of view on that and the focus of your life changes from yourself to God, everything else will change along with it, and you are going to reflect the shine of God’s glory in your life.
Now, somebody needs that, I just beg of you, don’t be impatient with me because I try to bring it to you in this matter. Try it for yourself and see to your own delight how changing the focus of your attention from your feelings to God’s Will, and exercising your faith so that you tell Him in faith that this is a chance for God to work. See what a difference it makes in your life. Okay?
Well, he’s writing to the saints and this of course the last time we got together, we remarked that God looks at you as His saint because of the work of the Lord Jesus and His present intercessory ministry on our behalf. He also says, “To the saints and faithful brethren”. Now, the saints, that’s how God looks at you. Faithful brethren, that’s how people evaluate you. It’s one thing to know by faith that you’ve trusted the Lord Jesus Christ to be your Savior and you have by faith made Him Lord of your life. That’s one thing. It is another thing for you to live day by day in such a manner that people will say of you, he’s a faithful brother. Paul wrote to the saints and faithful brethren. We need to have those two concepts in balance beloved. Some people are so heavenly that they’re no earthly good. You know they can pray up a storm, but you can’t depend on them to sweep the floor. That’s the saints part of it, you know and some people us are so saintly and sanctimonious about it that they really aren’t much good for anything else. Other people, it must be admitted, are so busy being faithful in doing things, that they don’t get around to enjoy the presence of God, and it actually terrifies them if they have spend a few moments being quiet before God, either by themselves or with anybody else.
So, the real objective here, for you and for me, is to balance these two concepts. Saints means God knows me, He’s saved me, He loves me with an everlasting love, He has adopted me into the family of heaven, I am a joint heir with Christ, I’m accepted because I’ve been redeemed with precious blood, not with corruptible things such as silver and gold, and I am God’s saint. At the same time, I’ve got a work to do and I better be faithful, “It is accounted among stewards that of man be found faithful”, the Bible says. Faithfulness rather than genius is God’s measurement of success.
I surmise that if there are any front seats in heaven you and I will, perhaps to our surprise, find people there who we never heard of. People that labored in some forgotten corner of the world. They didn’t have a national revival. People weren’t coming by the thousands to their meetings, but here and there they found someone who was ready to receive the glad, good news of the Gospel and they led persons to Christ, here and there, but they were faithful. When it came time to lay down their labors and slip along into the presence of the Lord, a great welcome awaited them at the courts of Glory, because they’d been faithful. I say, if there any front seats in heaven, people like that are going to occupy them, rather I surmise, rather than some who were in the limelight, as we say, and who were recognized by the many as being important servants of God.
“Faithful, it is accounted among stewards that if a man be found faithful, be thou faithful unto death and I will give you the crown of life’, said our Lord. “Well done, good, and faithful servant”. Our Lord Jesus has the judge of all the earth saying, “Well done, good, and faithful servant”. Faithfulness.
What does it mean to be faithful? Number one; means to be on the job. Number two; it means to know what your job is. Number three; it is to keep at it until it’s done. Number four; it is to do it the best you can. Faithfulness means to get on-the-job. Many a person is sitting around, when he ought to be, or he or she ought to be on the job. Faithfulness means get on-the-job.
A good many years ago I had the idea that the way to make a Sunday School and church grow is to get out into the community and have people calling from door to door. Well this is of course an accepted procedure. The largest growing churches in the world depend upon the same technique, to this very day, and so we established that Tuesday nights would be calling night in this little church which I Pastored and we’d meet for supper, a potluck supper, and then we go out calling. Well, I had it all organized and I paired the people up two by two, and I had the prospects on which they ought to call. People whom I knew or areas where they would even go door-to-door, inviting folk to the to come to the church and Sunday school, and was so after the supper, I got them all organized, had prayer with them, inspired them the best I knew how, then sent them out. Then I sat in my study waiting for them to come home. Well, the first night it worked fairly well. The second night there were fewer people out. The third night even fewer and I could see that this thing was dwindling out, and it was going to fall of its own weight and it would be a failure.
I began to pray, “Lord what’s the matter here? This is a good idea. I know we ought to do it. I felt in my heart we ought to start it. What’s the matter”? You know God is so patient isn’t He? You’ve seen what’s coming already haven’t you? Oh, He whispered to my heart, “What are you doing sitting here? You ought to be out there”, and then it dawned on me. I should be out there too, and so the next week I paired myself up with one of my deacons and we went out together and we had a glorious time, and you know the interest immediately revived.
Yes, you get out there with the people, Pastor. Don’t you sit around in your study and say, “Well, I’ll pray while you work”. That isn’t the way it goes. Get out there with them, get out there with them. I inquired, good many years ago now, during my college days, about the success of a minister in one of the communities near to Wheaton College where I was enrolled, and I said, “What is it that makes this man’s church go? I know he’s an indifferent kind of a preacher, he’s not a great preacher really. He’s a good, godly man, I know that, but what is it that makes people come to his church”? Oh, they said, “That’s no secret. At 5:30 in the morning he’s at the at the gate of the factories. He’s at a different factory every morning giving out gospel tracts and greeting people and inviting them to come to church. He’s out there where the people are. That’s why they come to his church”. Oh, then I knew, then I knew. Oh yes, faithful brethren, faithful means get on-the-job. Faithful means know what your job is. Many a person is trying to help God in ways that God doesn’t need any help, like Uzzah who reached out to steady the ark. God doesn’t need any help from you. He just needs you to be available to do His work.
Know what your job is and how to do it. Stick with it until it’s done and do your very level best while you’re at it. Good idea? Faithful, faithful. “Be thou faithful unto death and I will give ye the crown of life”.
Dear Father today, make us faithful, faithful servants of our wonderful Lord, 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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