God Works With You
People want to be helped, not converted. God works with you when you get the Gospel out to others by the indwelling Holy Spirit.
Hello, radio friends. How in the world are you? Well, of course I wait for you to answer. You know that. This is your good friend, Dr. Cook, and I’m glad to be back with you and sharing from the Word of God.
We’re finishing up our study in the Gospel of Mark. And you and I are in that last verse. They went forth and preached everywhere. I was commenting on the fact that God used the persecution that arose after the stoning of Stephen. “To get His people out with the Gospel they were scattered abroad,” it said. They went to Judea. They went down into Samaria. “And wherever they went,” it said, “they preached the Gospel.” Everywhere, sharing the Word of God. Can you put that into modern framing? Let’s suppose that, for some reason, you were under great pressure because you were a Christian and you had to leave home. You had to flee. And you put a few of your belongings into the car, you took the family and you headed out. Why are you leaving? “Well, because if I stay, I’m going to be killed because I’m a Christian.”
Now that is an unthinkable hypothesis in our country at this time, I realize that. But let’s suppose that that were true. That wherever you might have been living, you had to leave because, if you stayed, you’d be killed. Alright, now, the family’s in the car. You got a few belongings, you’ve had to leave the rest behind. You’re on your way out, but you have to stop and get some gas. And so you stop on the edge of town at a gas station and you say, “Fill her up.” And the attendant says, “Hey, you goin’ on a vacation? Where are you goin’?” And what are you gonna say? Are you gonna mumble and say something and change the subject? No. If you’re like the people in the Book of Acts, you’re gonna say, “We’re getting out because we have to. We’re Christians. The Lord Jesus died and rose again, and he is Lord of all and we’re trusting him. We have to get out, but we wish you knew him, too.” Sharing your Lord under pressure. That’s what those people did.
Well, I don’t know whether I would have been up to that. How about you? But they did it. They that were scattered abroad upon the persecution. The reason that they had to leave was if they stayed, they’d be killed. They went everywhere, sharing the good news. Our word “evangelizes” the Greek verb that is translated “preach” there in Acts. They were sharing the good news of the Gospel wherever they went. Oh, I wanna be that kind of person. Don’t you? It’s not something that we do to try to convert somebody. People don’t wanna be somebody’s convert; they want somebody to help them and to share with them. Share the Lord Jesus Christ with people. So they went forth and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them.
Now here’s a great principle. I wish you’d get hold of it for yourself, beloved. Oh, do get hold of it for yourself. God works with you when you’re in the business of introducing the Lord Jesus to other people. Now we can ask God to bless us in our ordinary daily living, I know that. Jabez prayed, I pray his prayer every day of my life, the prayer that’s found in 1 Chronicles 4:10: “Oh, that Thou wouldst bless me indeed and enlarge my coast and that Thine hand might be with me, and that Thou wouldst keep me from evil, that it may not grieve me! And God granted him that which he requested.” Ah, yes. You can pray for God’s blessing in all parts of your life, and I do, as I know many of you do.
But the point that we’re raising here is that God works especially with people who are sharing Christ with others. Do you wanna know the sweet presence of your Lord in a very special way? Start sharing him with other folk around you. The Lord working with them. Paul said, “Ye are laborers together with God.” He spoke of himself. He said, “Where unto I also labor according to His working,” His working, “which worketh in me mightily.” The Spirit of God works within the believer to reveal Christ and to promote divine power flowing through a human life. The Lord working with them.
Now how does that work out? Well, it works out as a quite natural component of a reaction to the circumstances. The Holy Spirit of God has been given to the baby church. Peter has preached his Pentecost Day sermon. And now, the next day, Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer. Being the ninth hour, that’s 3:00 in the afternoon, isn’t it? “A certain man, lame from his mother’s womb, was carried whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple to ask alms.” The beautiful gate of the temple to ask alms of them that entered into the temple. “Who, seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, asked for alms. And Peter fastening his eyes on him when John said, ‘Look at us.’ And he gave heed expecting to receive something and Peter said, ‘Silver and gold have I none but such as I have give I thee. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.’ And he took him by the right hand, lifted him up and immediately, his feet and ankle bones received strength, and he, leaping up, stood and walked and entered with them into the temple, walking and leaping and praising God.”
Oh, that’s good preaching in there. I wish I had time to preach on that passage. The point of it being, they were on their way to a prayer meeting, routine. It was time to go to a prayer meeting. They were on their way. They were asked for alms by a person who was lame, who was there every day. It said, “Whom they laid daily.” He was a fixture. He was part of the furniture. People were used to him. And so this was routine, a routine trip into the temple with a routine contact with somebody who was there every day. But now it goes out of routine into miracle. Peter said, “I don’t have any silver and gold, but I do have Jesus.” And he shared with him the power of God.
Now I’m not citing this passage to say that you and I ought to take lame people by the hand and they’re gonna be healed. God gives the gifts of healing, I believe, to some folk, but not to everyone. “Have all,” it says, “the gifts.” No, not everybody has all the gifts. It says, “To everyone, God gives sovereignly as it hath pleased Him.” So whatever gifts you have, use them for God. The point of what the Scripture that I just gave you is that God worked with Simon Peter. God was in what Simon Peter said, “I will dwell in them and walk in them,” the Scripture says in 2 Corinthians. “God works with you by living in you by His indwelling Holy Spirit and enabling you then by His power flowing through your life.” Do you follow that? Your labor’s together with God. The Spirit of God dwells within you. He’s within every believer. He wants to fill your whole life with Himself, and when that happens, He then can speak and work through you in the power, not of yours, but of God.
For instance, you come to chapter 5 of Acts, and here they have Ananias and Mrs. Ananias, Sapphira, keeping back part of the offering that they were supposed to give, and offering a part of it as though it were the whole. God wasn’t forcing anybody to do anything, but they were putting on a show there. They were being hypocritical about it. They wanted to get credit for sacrificing while keeping something for themselves, something for a rainy day. So they brought it in. Sapphira and Ananias kept back part of the price, his wife also being privy to the deal, and brought a certain part and laid it at the apostles’ feet, but Peter said… Now here again, this was routine.
Other people did that. Back in chapter 4 of Acts, it says, “Neither was any of them that lacked, as many were… ” As many as. See, here were other people doing it. “As many as were possessors of lands or houses, sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold and laid them down at the apostles’ feet. Distribution was made to every man according as he has need. Barabbas, having land, sold it, brought the money, laid it a the apostles’ feet, but a certain man named Ananias kept back part of the price, and brought a certain part and laid it at the apostles’ feet.” See, he was saying, “All for Jesus. All for Jesus,” but he was keeping back something for himself. He was lying, in other words.
Now, all of this up to that point was routine. Now, Peter opens his mouth. What happens? He said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost? Keep back the price of the land. While it remained, wasn’t it yours? After it sold, didn’t you have power over it? Why have you conceived this thing in your heart? You haven’t lied to man, but to God.” Ananias, hearing this, fell down and died. Same thing happened to Sapphira later on. Oh, that was tremendous, tremendous judgement upon the early church, God pointing out in a dramatic way that God is not mocked, and He is not gonna put up with lying to Him.
Well, you see, God, working with him, Peter opened his mouth, God did the work. You follow me? It’s not what happened that is so important as how it happened. Right?
Now, the same thing is visible over here in chapter 8. Simon, the sorcerer, came to Peter, this man full of the Holy Ghost. When Simon saw that through laying on of the apostle’s hands, the Holy Ghost was given, he offered the money, saying, “Give me also this power that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost.” And Peter said to him, “Thy money perish with thee because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money, thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter; for thy heart is not right in the sight of God. Repent, therefore, of this thy wickedness and pray God if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee, For I perceive that thou art still in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity.”
Now see, the Lord working with them. God gives you perception. He undertakes the work of judgement. He intervenes in a miraculous way when it pleases Him. The point is not what happens, because God is the god of infinite variety. The point is how it happens, the Lord working with them. You follow me on that? Let God work with you today. There may not be any loud explosions, there many not be any resurrections, there may not be any healings. Or indeed there may, I don’t know. Let God be God. But let God work with you through the indwelling Holy Spirit who always can be counted upon to honor the Lord Jesus and to help you fulfill the promises and the commands in the Word of God. God always leads in agreement with His inerrant inspired Word, the Bible.
Let the Holy Spirit of God work with you today to honor Jesus and to prove that God is still on the throne and that the Gospel is true. Does that make sense to you? Well, I hope it does. We’ll finish that up the next time we get together.
Dear Father, today, oh, may we yield to the indwelling Holy Spirit of God so Thou canst work through us to prove that the Gospel is true and that Jesus is real. 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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