God’s Love For Us
The main work of Jesus is praying for you. God never promised us we won't suffer troubles, but He won't forsake us. He isn't punishing us with wrath. He loves us.
And hello, radio friends. How in the world are you? Yes, this is your friend, Bob Cook, and I’m back with you for some precious moments we can spend together, you and I, around the Word of God. Thanks for being there, and thanks for being my friend. We’re looking at 1 Thessalonians 5, and I’ve just been reminding you that we’ve not been appointed to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ. God is not mad at you. We’ve been reconciled to God by the Lord Jesus Christ. If He said we’ve been reconciled to God by His death, much more will we be saved by His life. He’s alive today; He rose from the dead, and He’s in the very presence of God. And the Bible tells us that He ever liveth to make intercession for them that come to God by Him.
Dave Morkin asked me one time, “Bob, do you know what the main business of Christ is?” And I thought, “Well, I don’t know what he’s getting at.” So, I said, “Well, you tell me.” “Why,” he said, “look it up. It says He ever liveth to make intercession for them that come unto God by Him.” The main business, the main work of Jesus, is praying for you! What a huge concept that is! That my Savior, now risen and seated at the right hand of God the Father, is mentioning my name to God: “Father, I died for him and I rose again to be his righteousness.” Think of that. You are mentioned in the presence of God by the one who died and rose again for you. He knows your name, He loves you with an everlasting love. It said, “Having loved His own which were in the world, He loved them unto the end.” He’s not going to quit loving you, even if you stub your toe and fail and have to come back and say, “Lord, forgive me.” You’re His, and He’s praying. He’s interceding for you. “If any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.” He says, “Lord, remember what I did on His behalf at Calvary.” It’s a great concept, isn’t it?
We are not appointed unto wrath. God isn’t angry with you. You’re reconciled unto God. There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus. The door into Heaven is open, and so the writer to the Hebrews says, “Let us come boldly to the throne of grace.” It’s not a throne of wrath anymore, or of judgment. The judgment has been taken care of at the Cross. Let us come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. God’s arms are open to you today, beloved. Have you been walking around afraid of what’s going to happen, afraid that God is angry with you, misinterpreting the events of life in terms of “Has God forgotten me, or is He taking it out on me because of mistakes I’ve made?” Is He angry with me? Has He forsaken me? Is it all over?” These are the doubts that human nature oftentimes comes up with.
No. God hasn’t forgotten, and He isn’t angry, and He isn’t taking it out on you, and He isn’t vindictive. He’s not exacting vengeance on you. God loves you. Jesus died for you and rose again to represent you in the very presence of the Holy Father. You and I have the same troubles that other human beings have, but God says, “I will be with him in trouble,” and He helps you go through it. The key word, as I have said so often, is “through.” “Yea, though I walk through the valley of evil, I will fear no evil.” God gets you through the valley experiences of life because He walks with you. The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord.
“And he delighteth in His way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down, for the Lord upholdeth him with His hand.” God holds your hand. We stopped the other evening to get an ice-cream cone for my 3-year-old granddaughter, Grete, and as I got out of the car I said, “Wait, now, until I come around and take your hand.” And so, she waited, and I opened the door, and she climbed out, and I took hold of her hand and led her around the back of the car. We were close to the highway, and so the cars were whizzing by, and I held onto her, you may be sure of that. And so, we toddled on over to the ice cream stand, and ordered her ice-cream cone, and then came back again, and I held her hand. In her other hand, she held the ice-cream cone, very carefully preserving it, and looking longingly at it until she could take a lick of it. We got her back to the car, and I held her hand.
Well, you who are parents and grandparents, you know how that feels. God looks down at you in the same way. “The Lord upholdeth him with His hand.” God isn’t angry at you. He’s hanging on to you. He loves you. The price has been paid. The penalty has been paid. God commendeth His love toward us, we read in Romans 5:8, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” “He shall not come into judgment, but is passed from death unto life.” Oh, take hold of that blessed truth today and rejoice, and cast all doubt away. You don’t have to doubt the God who loves you. He hasn’t forgotten you.
Somebody’s going through the wringer. You’re having a rough time of it. Trouble follows upon trouble, and you just don’t know what to do. I read the story just yesterday of the parent who seemed to be having trouble relating to and communicating with his one son. The son announced that he was in love with a woman several years his senior, and the parents were trying somehow to avoid what they thought would be a catastrophic marriage. The boy said, “I want to have lunch with you, Dad,” and at lunch he announced, calling his girlfriend by name, “She’s pregnant, and we’re going to get married.” Oh, now what? The disappointment and hurt that welled up in the heart of the parents.
The little baby was born, but the marriage went bad, and finally the wife moved out and married again after a divorce, within two or three months. The boy floundered around and did poorly at his job, and one thing just happened after another. They just never seemed to go right. After some years, as a matter of fact, just to finish the story out, the boy came back and started really living for the Lord and rebuilding the pieces of his life that had been broken up. God isn’t through with your dear ones yet. He’ll see you through. But oh, how it hurts when you’re going through it. How it hurts when things aren’t going right, or when people, even members of your own family, snub you and hurt you. And so, to hear me saying, “The Lord is with you; He hasn’t forgotten you,” sometimes has a hollow ring to it if you’re hurting so badly, and you say, “Cook, you don’t know how I feel. Look what’s happening to me.”
Well, I suppose Job felt that way. He lost his family, and then he lost his possessions, and then even the respect of his wife. And on top of that, he had three people who spent some weeks, evidently, criticizing him. I guess that’s enough trouble for anybody. But he said, “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.” Oh, listen. Look up and trust your blessed Lord, because He is in the process of seeing you through. “When thou passeth through the waters, they shall not overflow thee,” says the Bible. Never doubt the love of God. He loves you with an everlasting love. You and I have the troubles that hit other people, as well. God has never said that we wouldn’t have trouble as Christians. But He has said that He wouldn’t forsake us: “I will never leave thee nor forsake thee,” that’s the promise. “I will be with thee,” that’s the promise. You see, you trust the God who is with you, and He will see you through. You’re not appointed to wrath. God isn’t mad at you; He’s not taking it out on you. He’s not exacting vengeance upon you. He loves you with an everlasting love, and He’s going to see you through, beloved. You trust Him.
Somebody needs that. If you didn’t need it, well, just check it out. But somebody needed it, and I trust that God will use it to your heart. “Not unto wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ.” Salvation comes from God. “The salvation of the righteous is of the Lord and He is their strength in the time of trouble,” we read in Psalm 37, Verse 39. God is my salvation. I will trust and not be afraid, for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song; He also has become my salvation. I love this verse from Zephaniah: “The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty. He will save. He will rejoice over thee with joy, He will rest in His love, He will joy over thee with singing.” That one verse gives you a profile of what God does for the believer. He will save (that’s the first thing), He will rejoice over thee with joy, the joy of the Holy Spirit. He will rest in His love. The quietness of the rest of the believer: the complete relaxation of a soul that is trusting in God. Then, it says, “He shall joy over thee with singing.” “Thou hast put a new song,” said the psalmist, “in my mouth, even praise unto our God.” That’s what God does for you when you get saved.
Salvation: the penalty is paid, the law is satisfied, the righteousness of God is vindicated, the door of Heaven is open, I can come bolting to the throne of grace, the Holy Spirit has come to dwell in my heart, I am indeed a new creature in Christ Jesus, and every step is ordered by God; even the steps that seem now to be times of trouble and trial. All of this is used by the blessed purpose of God to refine and to bless and to help me to be a blessing to others. This is the thrill of being saved, as the Bible says “saved by grace.”
Now, it says God appointed us to obtain, not wrath, but salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ. What’s the essence of all of that? He said in Verse 10 of 1 Thessalonians 5, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him.
“According to my earnest expectation, my hope that in nothing I shall be ashamed but that with all boldness as also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life or by death,” This is Philippians 1:20, “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” What does it mean? It means that whether you’re physically alive as we are now, or whether you’ve slipped on into the glory as some of us indeed may as the days go by, if the Lord Jesus tarries His coming…whichever way it is, you’re with Him. “For to me, to live is Christ.” Now, what’s involved here?
It means that the very essence of living is your relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, that when you open your eyes to wake up in the morning, be aware of the fact that you belong to the Lord Jesus. When you make your first decision of the day (the first decision is to get one foot out of bed and the other will follow it, I presume), getting breakfast, packing lunches, going off to work or to school, sitting down at your desk and facing a mountain of work that is crying out to be done, answering the phone, making a sales call, hiring a person or transferring, or whatever it may be…as you go on through the day, you do it with Jesus. You pray your way through the day, as I’ve so often said. You submit every decision to the wisdom of Christ, who through His indwelling Holy Spirit is helping you as you go on through the day. Live with Him. The presence of Jesus is the essence of being saved.
Well, time is gone. We’ll come back to this the next time we get together.
Holy Father, today, help us to live with Christ, the essence of our salvation being His presence in every part of life. Do that for us, would you please? Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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