Follow After Him
Obey God and you'll find Him doing great and wonderful things in your life.
Alright, thank you very much. And hello again, radio friends. How in the world are you? You doing alright? Thank God we can be in the world, but not of it. And that of course, is the background of the little corny greeting that distinguishes this particular 15-minute segment. And this is your good friend, Bob Cook, speaking to you from the downstairs studio that I have in our home here in Tannersville, PA. We’re up in the mountains, and we can look out the window in winter time, see the skiers coming down to break their ankles. [chuckle] Oh, dear, but I suppose I say that because I never learned to ski. I can ride a motorcycle, and that is far more dangerous, I suppose. Well, anyhow, we’re in a lovely setting here, and I’ve commandeered the ground floor apartment. There’s an apartment on the ground floor of this house, built on a hill, and that’s my studio and my office. And I’m surrounded with a comfortable array of junk, as I have sometimes explained to you.
Going from right to left, there’s a paperclip container, and a tape eraser, a stack of Bibles and commentaries, a big mug full of pencils and pens, and some memo paper, and some labels and an ink bottle, and let’s see what else? Well, that’s enough. And right in front of me the blessed, inerrant, infallible Word of God, the Bible. That is the center of my life, and I trust also of yours.
We’ve been looking at the 9th chapter of the Gospel of John. And our Lord Jesus pointed out the fact that the reason for what had happened to this man, who was now a man, his parents said, “He is of age, ask him.” What had happened to him, and being being born without sight, is Jesus said that, “The works of God should be made manifest in Him.” The word ‘made manifest,’ the Greek verb which means manifest in a person. God wants to show his work in people. And you and I can be that kind of people. “It is God,” said Paul in Philippians 2:13, “that worketh in you, both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” God takes care if they want to. He takes care of the performance of his will if you let Him work in you. That the works of God should be made manifest in Him.
We also commented on the fact there’s no substitute for character, ‘I must.’ No substitute for work, ‘I must work.’ There’s no substitute for dedication. The works of him that sent me. And there’s no substitute for urgency. “The night cometh when no man can work.” That’s a good sermon outline, preachers, and you can preach it if you want. You’ll have a good time with it. Now, we also pointed out, this is all review, but maybe it’s helpful to someone who may just have tuned-in to the broadcast, pointed out that the commands of the Lord Jesus and His promises of miraculous power were associated with the need of obedience. Our Lord Jesus put some homemade clay, made out of saliva and the dust of the ground, put that upon the eyelids of this blind man, said, “Go wash that off in the pool of Siloam.” He went therefore, and washed, and came back seeing. But he had to do something in obedience. Same thing is true, for example, of the occasion, the wedding reception where they ran out of refreshments. Our Lord Jesus said to the servants that were there, “Fill up the water pots with water.” Now these were large clay jars holding many gallons each. And so it required a good many trips to the nearest well to fill them up. But it was finally done. They did it.
And He said, “Now, you give a sample of this to the master of ceremonies,” which they did and he said, “Well, you’ve kept the best until now.” Obedience was involved in miracle. Same thing was true, as you recall, in the feeding of the 5,000 when somebody had to give up his lunch, the five loaves and two small fishes. The disciples had to organize the crowd into orderly groups. And then, they gave out the divinely multiplied loaves and fishes. I think then, we can take from all of this the fact that God always gives you something for you to obey if you want him to work sovereignly in your life. Peter said, “We are his witnesses of these things.” That is we, full of the Holy Spirit, manifesting a heavenly other worldly supernatural kind of power. We are his witnesses of these things and so is also the Holy Ghost whom God hath given to them that obey Him. Prophet Samuel said to King Saul, “To obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken is better than the fat of rams.”
Now you wanna give some thought? This is all review but maybe we pause here just for a moment to ask you, do you want to give some thought to the unexplored areas of obedience? In your life, what is there that you ought to do today just to obey God? I’ve often said to people whom I was counseling, or to whom I was speaking in prayer meetings or otherwise, “Find one thing, just one, one thing on which you know you ought to obey God, and do it. You’ll be amazed at what happens.” You try that, will you? It’s the case of the man who came back from a fishing trip convicted that he hadn’t been a tither and a steward, and he asked to say something after the pastor’s sermon was finished on a Sunday morning there on that south side of Chicago church.
I’m very familiar with it because I held a series of meetings there many years ago. This man asked if he might say something, he got up and he said, “I’ve been thinking and I think I’ve robbed God. I’ve been reading Malachi Chapter Three. I haven’t been a tither and a steward of my income, and so I’ve taken all the money in my checking account and I’ve made out a check for the church and here it is.” He gave the pastor a check in four figures. The pastor fainted but recovered in time to grab the check. We always do, you know. And the man went on and said, “I had the church director with me and I began to pray for the rest of you, dear folk. And I found out that there are many others I think that must be robbing God in the same way because you’re not tithers and stewards.”
And that triggered a tremendous time of revival in the church. They had two weeks of unannounced meetings with people coming to the church every night without any advertising and without any evangelist because one person obeyed God. Well, I don’t know what God is asking you to do, beloved. I don’t need to know, do I? That’s between you and the Lord. Maybe it’s to write a letter of apology, maybe it’s to return a book that you “borrowed” and you’ve kept all these years, maybe it’s to pay an old debt, maybe it’s to go next door and speak a word of love and witness to your next door neighbor to whom you’ve never even mentioned the name of the Lord Jesus. I don’t know what it is. I don’t know what it is.
There was a man I knew who got convicted about obeying God and the thing that got to him was that he really ought to speak to his co-worker on the job about Jesus and finally he said, “Lord, I’ve got to do it. I’ve got to obey. I’m gonna obey you today,” and so he did. And he said, “Jim, I’ve got speak to you about something. I’m a Christian and I wish you were too.” And the man looked at him with amazement and he said, “Are you a Christian? I never suspected it.” He says, “I am one too.” [laughter] Here the both of them were being very careful to conceal their Christianity. And when one man finally obeyed God, it opened the door for some good fellowship. Well, you never know what God may do. I simply remind you, beloved, that the promises of God are all linked to his commands. The promises of God are all linked to his commands. So you obey God and you’ll find Him doing great and wonderful things in your life. Amen? Good idea.
So the man came back and he was healed. He was seeing, he washed and came back seeing. Now you have the typical reaction of people. Notice what the reaction of people was, verse 8, John Chapter 9, “The neighbors, and they which before had seen him that he was blind said, ‘Is not this he that sat and begged?’ Some said, ‘This is he.’ Others said, “He is like him.’ But he said, ‘I am he.’ This is he, he is like him. He said, ‘I am he.” The reactions of the leaders next, they said, “It was the Sabbath day when Jesus made the clay and opened the man’s eyes.” And they said, “This man is not of God because he keepeth not the Sabbath.” They didn’t care a fig about the fact that the man had been all his life in blindness and now was miraculously healed and seeing, that didn’t affect them at all. They were concerned about the fact that somebody had broken one of their rules. You’re gonna expect some people to question as to who you are and what right you have to be what you are. You’re gonna expect some people to say that what you’re doing is just a facade. He is like him. Your job, and you can expect some people to be upset because you may be doing some things that are different from what they are used to.
You become a Christian and your lifestyle will change and you won’t any longer be stopping at the corner bar for a snort before you go home. You won’t any longer be using cocaine, or marijuana, or other stronger drugs. You’ll be different. You won’t be interested in gambling. You won’t be interested in some of these other things that have taken up your time and have created, let us say, your circle of friendship. You were friends with people who liked that sort of thing. Now you’re different and it’s gonna upset some of them because you’re different, you’re going against their particular rules of life. You understand me? So don’t be surprised if people seemed to pick on you when you become a Christian or when they discover as you come as a new employee for example into the office. They discover that you’re a Christian. They may find it out when the first time you refused to join the office gambling pool when everybody chips in to the office pool to see who’s going to win the football game, or the basketball game, or the baseball game, whatever it is. It’s a form of gambling and you say, “Well, I don’t do that.” And they say, “Hey, what’s the matter with you? You… ” Well, you see immediately there’s a reaction, a predictable reaction based on the fact that you are different.
Alright, I wanted just to point out, you can expect people to have some comment on you if you’ve been in touch with the Lord Jesus. Some said, “Who is He? Is this He?” Others said, “He’s like Him, it’s a facade.” He said, “I am He.” What is your job? Your job is to be real with God. He said, “One thing I know that whereas I was blind, now I see. I’m the man. I’m the one.” Be real. You can know,  that you had a need. You can know,  that Jesus met the need and you can know,  that you belong to him. These are things you can know, and once you’re sure about that, it establishes your turf. You don’t have to wonder about it. Other people may resent you, they may question you but you don’t ever have to have any doubt as to where you stand. He said, “I know who I am. I’m the man.” You can say, “I know whom I have believed and I’m persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.” You can be sure if you love Jesus and serve him. Amen? [chuckle] I love God’s truth, don’t you? What a privilege it is to share it.
Dear Father today, help us to obey the things Thou does tell us so that Thou canst do the miracle. 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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