That to which you give your interest becomes a compelling and growing force in your life.
Alright, thank you very much. And hello again, radio friends, how in the world are you? You doing all right today? Well, thank God we can be in the world but we don’t have to be of it. Our Lord Jesus prayed for us and said, “I pray not that Tthou shouldst take them out of the world but that Thou shouldst keep them from the evil.” The evil one, that means. So, you could be kept, as Peter says, “Kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.” You can trust your blessed Lord to see you through any day or night victoriously, not just somehow, but with triumph. “Thanks be unto God which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and makes manifest the fragrance of His knowledge by us in every place.” You’re God’s perfume under pressure and God makes you always a winner. Hallelujah for that.
You and I have been looking at 1 Timothy 4. We’re looking now at verse 15. Paul says, “Meditate on these things, give thyself wholly to them, in order that thy profiting may appear to all.” “These things,” now, you’ve got, “these things,” verse 11 and, “these things,” verse 6. “If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things,” verse 6. What are they? Watch out for apostasy. Accept what God gives you thankfully. The Word of God in prayer sanctifies mundane things. That’s verses 1 to 6, “these things.”
Then he said, “These things command and teach.” What are they? Exercise yourself unto Godliness. Work at being Godly, because it pays off. The reason for living the Christian life which involves both labor and reproach, you have to pay the price. The reason is that we trust in the living God who is the Savior of all men, especially those that believe, these things command and teach.
Now, he comes down here, in verse 15 he says, “Meditate on these things.” In verse 6, “Put the brethren in remembrance.” In verse 11, “These things command and teach,” but in verse 15 he says, “Meditate on these things and give thyself wholly to them.” What is it that we’re supposed to think about so deeply that it becomes part of our very life?
Well, first of all, verse 12, you can be a walking demonstration of what Jesus Christ can do, “Be thou an example of the believers, in what you say, in your lifestyle, in Calvary love, in the envelope of influence around your life, in your capacity to trust God, and in the holiness of your life. You be a walking proof of what Jesus Christ can do. Think about that,” says Paul.
What else? He says, “‘Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.” You ought to read so that you’re full of information. “Reading maketh a full man, writing maketh an exact man,” Bacon said. Reading. What do you read?
First of all, read the Word of God. Second, read books on Christian truth. Third, read everything else you can get your hands on except the garbage of the world. Don’t let yourself be drawn away into literary pornography under the guise of wanting to read how the other half lives, so to speak. You don’t have to eat garbage to know it is garbage. Stay away from the dirt, and filth, and garbage of the world but read everything you can aside from that that will keep you up with what’s going on. Life doesn’t have to take you by surprise. Read up.
Exhortation has to do with persuasion of others toward Christ. Exhortation has to do with soul-winning and communicating Christ, sharing Christ with others. And then, doctrine has to do with that which you believe so deeply that you’re willing to risk your whole life upon it. The things that you really believe and cherish. He said, “You think about that. Think about these things,” said he.
What else are you supposed to think about? Verse 14, “The gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, by the laying on of the hands of the presbytery.” You have certain gifts and God has given them to you. They’re not yours in a proprietary sense so that you can say, “This is mine,” but they’re loaned to you. And although God won’t take them away, the gifts and calling of God are without repentance. God doesn’t snatch the gift away but He does hold you responsible for how you use it. He said, “Don’t neglect the gift that’s in thee.” God gave it to you to use. Develop it.
Do you know that there are certain things you can do that no one else could do quite as well? Do you realize that God has given you certain gifts that are peculiarly your own, bestowed by Him? You wanna think about that and start developing those areas of your life where God has gifted you and trusted you with a little extra talent? Paul says, “Meditate on these things. Give thyself wholly to them.”
And what about this matter of meditate? The Greek verb means to think, to ponder, to think about a thing deeply enough so that it becomes purpose and to think about it enough that you really care about it. That’s what the Greek verb means. The Hebrew verb that’s translated “meditate” has the background of the chewing of cud of an animal. Chew the cud. Chew it over. “Think about it” means chewing it over and letting it digest in your own soul.
You put all those meanings together and this is what God is saying to us. He says, “Take the truth that God has given you and think about it.” First of all, think. Someone has said that thinking is… Oh, that was Henry Ford, “Thinking is hard work, that’s why so few people do it.” It is hard work, you sit down and say, “I’m gonna think about something,” and you’ll find your mind wandering off in every direction and you have to discipline yourself to think in a straight line.
[chuckle] Don’t do what I did. I took a course just for myself one summer, got all the books I could get on concentration, and self-hypnosis, and that whole business of disciplining your mind so that you’re thinking in a straight line. Well, it worked very well, actually, and gave me some techniques that I use to this very day. But I was on my way to a meeting in Rockford, Illinois, that was when we lived in Wheaton. And I was on my way to a convention meeting in Rockford, Illinois and on the way, as I drove along the turnpike or the freeway, whatever it was, I thought to myself, “Now, I’m going to set my mind to work, thinking about this subject.”
I had a special thing that was on my mind and I wanted to grapple with it and so I put my mind to work and I began to think about that. [chuckle] Well, I missed my turn off and ended up in Beloit, Wisconsin. Had to turn around, hurry back and got to the meeting just in time to hear them pray, “Lord bless our brother Cook wherever he may be.” [laughter] When the man said “Amen,” I said, “I’m here, the Lord answered your prayer.” [chuckle] No, learn to concentrate but don’t do it at the cost of practicality. Think.
Give some attention, beloved, to the matter of using your brain. Scientists tell us that none of us uses his or her brain more than 10% of its potential. I don’t know how they determine that, but that’s what they say. And lots of us use far less than that. We’re in, today, what I call the sensate culture, people want to feel and experience rather than think and ponder. They don’t wanna read, they’d rather look at the pictures. They don’t wanna think, they’d rather have just some kind of a pleasant experience. And the code of ethics for many is summarized in the words of a song, “It must be all right because it feels so good.” No, you better start thinking about the things of God, and about the Word of God, and about the will of God, and about the purpose of God for your life.
“Meditate,” said he on this, that means think. Set aside for yourself a few minutes every day when you’re gonna think about a given subject- it’s a good mental discipline. That’ll be hard at first, you’ll find your mind will go off woolgathering in every direction. It’ll be difficult but you can do it. Set aside a few minutes. Now, you don’t have to take an hour, take a few minutes every day when you’re gonna think about some given subject. Start with something from the Word of God that will bless you as well as disciplining your mind. Think on these things.
Then the verb also means “ponder” and that means “turn it over, look at it from different directions.” Look at it from different directions, think about it. The story of the tax collector who was converted and who invited the Lord Jesus home to supper. Did you ever figure how much that cost him? He invited all of his tax-gathering friends and some harlots and some other kinds of sinners in to the supper, so motley a crowd it was that some of the stuck-up Pharisees standing outside said, “How is it that this man eateth with publicans and sinners? Oh, so terrible.”
You ever figure out what it cost him? Huh? Did you ever figure out how he got them gathered together in such a short time? Think about the different things that are involved. Ponder, ponder, not only ponder the different angles of approach but also ask the question, “What does this really mean to me? What does it mean in my life?” Here’s a verse, “Provide things honest in the sight of all men.” What does that mean? Well, that can mean that if the person at the checkout counter hands you too much change, you’re gonna hand it back, be honest. That means that if the policeman stops you for speeding, you’re gonna admit it instead of trying to lie out of it and say, “Well, I don’t think I was going that fast, officer.” You know, all that. Honest. That means that when you send in your income tax return, you’re going to remember to report all your income.
One of the great sources of inquiry from the IRS is what they call unreported income, isn’t it? Honest. See, what does it mean to me? Well, we took a verse, “Provide things honest in the sight of all men.” You ponder it, it begins to nip at you at different places in your own conduct, doesn’t it? And then, to meditate means to think about it deeply enough that it becomes part of your own personal purposes in life. The word “purpose” comes in there. Purpose, in other words, which way am I going from here on? What difference is it going to make today and tomorrow and tomorrow after that? Purpose.
I think one of the great distinguishing features of our day is lack of purpose. I have found in the past years that I served at the King’s College as president, I would ask young people, “What are you gonna do with your life?” “Oh, I don’t know.” “Well, what are you gonna have as your major?” “Oh, I don’t know.” “What do you think you may… What direction do you think you may go as far as choosing a career?” “I don’t know.” Just sort of drifting along, lack of purpose.
And I have found to my surprise and delight, beloved, that when a young person gets really right with God and starts living in the Word, there comes a development of God’s purpose for that life. Believe me, the two go together. “In all thy ways, acknowledge Him and He shall direct thy paths.” God delights in directing the person whose life is yielded to Him. You think about God’s Will and God’s Word and He’ll show you His purpose for you. Well, we’ll wrap up that idea next time we get together.
Dear Father today, may we be thinking about Thy Word and doing Thy Will, I ask 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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