God’s Plan For You In The Daily Things Of Life
The 'keeping of their souls' involves committing the deep down of you to the Lord's control. The details of life line up when your heart is right. Living out the day to day things is how God works out his eternal plan for you.
Alright, thank you very much. And hello again radio friends. How in the world are you? You doin’ all right today? I trust so, bless your heart. If you struck a rough day remember, look up and say, “Lord Jesus, see me through this one.” And He will. You don’t have to blow up or give up, or cave in, or anything else. You can go on through, triumphantly. “Thanks be unto God which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the fragrance of His knowledge by us in every place.” Under pressure you become God’s perfume, as you trust Him to see you through.
Looking at 1 Peter 4:19. He said, “Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God…” Suffer is a fact. You have troubles, you have troubles that come to everybody — that’s human nature troubles; and you have troubles that come because you’re a Christian — that’s persecution troubles. He says, “Suffer according to the will of God.” You’re in the will of God even though circumstances seem to be painful or contrary, or discouraging. Remember you are somebody; God cares about you, and He has plans for you.
He said, “I know the thoughts that I think toward you; thoughts of good and not of evil, to give you a desired end.” And the wise man said, “In all our thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct Thy paths.” And the psalmist said, “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord; and He delighteth in his way.” And so we have ample evidence, haven’t we, to realize that despite circumstances, the will of God involves a definite plan for our lives. And so there’s a reaction then, to that will. He says, “Let them commit their souls, commit the keeping of their souls, to Him in well-doing.”
Let me stop here long enough to remark on the fact that, that Peter didn’t say, “Bodies…” He said, “Souls…” Why? Because your soul and spirit — the spirit so part of you will, will still be alive a million years from now. You’ll have a resurrection body, you won’t be a disembodied spirit after the resurrection. You’ll have a resurrection body; but the real you will be alive a million years from now, identifiably you. And so he says, “Commit the keeping of their souls unto Him in well-doing.”
Give some thought to committing the undying, eternal part of your life to your Lord. That I mean is the inside life; that’s the private life; that’s the ‘down deep in your heart’ life; that’s the life that involves your feelings and emotions and your will, your conscience and your aims and your hopes and your disappointments and your failures and your guilt’s and your victories — all of the things that involve the real you he said, that is what’s going to last for all eternity. You better let God have control of that. You want to give some thought about that in your own life?
Oh it does seem to me that so much of our time is taken up in non-eternal things. Coreen and I were just coming home from an event the other day. And I said to her, “You’re quiet; are you upset?” “Oh no.” She said, “I was just thinking, there’s so much that we have to do that doesn’t seem eternal.” Boy that was putting it right on the mark, wasn’t it? There’s so much that we have to do that doesn’t seem eternal.
Well beloved, I don’t suppose there’s any substitute for doing the dishes or mopping the floor, or diapering the baby, or carrying out the garbage, or budging the budget, or selling a product — all of these things are non-religions, I know that. And the directive we have from God is, “Whatsoever ye do, do it heartily as for the Lord, and not just for people. So that even routine can be glorified — as I’ve often told you. Routine can be glorified if you do the routine things for Jesus.
But I’m talking about the things that are discretionary uses of time and strength. You can make a decision about many things. And I think you and I would benefit tremendously if we’d give some thought to spending a little more time and effort on matters that are eternal. You want to put that in the notebook of your mind, and sort of mull it over from time to time? He said, “Keep, commit the keeping of their souls.” Let God start to run that part of your life that involves eternity. And, as a result, everything else will line up, I assure you.
Interesting isn’t it, how the details of life line up when you get your heart right? I’ve often said jokingly, that when revival comes to a campus, the beds get softer, and the food gets better, and the rules get more easy to follow. Strange how things and circumstances seem to change when my heart has been made tender toward the will of God. But, that’s how it is. Commit the keeping of their souls.
Now it says, “To Him, in well-doing…” Do you realize that eternal matters are inextricably linked with daily conduct? Eternal matters are inextr-… Yeah, I stumbled over that. That’s a nice big word, and I was going to enjoy it. (Laughs) Yes, you can laugh at me. Inextricably — I got it! They are linked, eternal matters are linked with every day affairs. Now here’s an illustration from Scripture. You know the story of, of the beggar who’s name was Lazarus? Very name means ‘beggar’. And the rich man who fared it says, scrumptiously every day. He was clothed in purple — that’s the royal color. And he had everything that he wanted.
And there was a beggar that sat at the gate of his house, begging and longing to be fed some of the garbage — the scraps that fell from the table. That was the picture that our Lord painted. And so the days went on, and finally Lazarus died; it said was ‘carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom’ — which is a euphemism for what we would call heaven. And he says the rich man also died and was buried. And in hell he lifted up his eyes and beheld Lazarus in Abraham’s bosom. And he cried out, “Father Abraham, send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am tormented in this flame.”
Now, what did Abraham say in this story that our Lord Jesus told. He said, “Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime hadst thy good things. Likewise Lazarus, his evil things. But now he is comforted and thou art tormented. And beside all this, between us there is a great gulf fixed so that they which would pass from us to you cannot; and neither can they pass from thence,” and so on. You remember that story that the Lord Jesus told? What’s the point of it?
What happened on a Wednesday as the rich man had his prime rib, standing rib, roast beef, and his mashed potatoes, and his fresh peas, and his jello salad, and his apple pie, and all the rest you know… Ah boy! He was enjoying it. What happened on a Wednesday while he was enjoying things, and while Lazarus had an empty stomach and was longing for just some scraps to keep body and soul together, registered in terms to eternity. “Commit their souls to Him in well-doing.”
The ordinary things you do, day after day have an eternal significance because they are all involved in the working out of God’s plan and purpose for your life. Oh I, that shakes me up. You wonder why I stopped there for a moment. I was thinking about it in terms of Bob Cook. What you and I do day by day affects eternity. “Their souls in well-doing, to Him.” Now, what does it mean, ‘well-doing’? Well that takes in the whole gamut of, of good things. “We are His workmanship,” you read in Ephesians 2:10, “created in Christ Jesus, unto good works which God hath before ordained that we should walk” — that means ‘live every day’ — “in them.”
Paul said to Titus, “Let our people remember to maintain good works so they’ll have a good testimony toward people that are unsaved.” Doing good things, trust in the Lord and do good. “So shalt thou dwell in the land and verily thou shall be fed,” said the psalmist. Now what does it mean to do good works? Are you going around being what we call a traditional ‘do-gooder’, making a, a crusade of it so that you’re kind of a nuisance to everybody? No. I think it’s far simpler than that. When you see a need, meet it.
You get, go next door to, to, to visit your neighbor and find out that she’s sick, down in bed with the flu; and the baby is crying and needs a — that little chassis needs a, a removable seat cover; and there’s a stack of dirty dishes in the sink. What do you do? Well, you take care of the baby; then you wash the dishes; and then you go home and you make a pot of hot soup and bring it over for lunch and feed that sick lady something that’ll strengthen her… That’s good works. Don’t wait to be asked — just go ahead and meet the need. And don’t wait to be thanked.
A psychiatrist in charge of a large hospital many years ago — this would be back in the 1930’s — many years the psychiatrist in charge of a large mental hospital told me straight out that many of his patients were there because they were longing for somebody to appreciate them, and thank them, and, and notice them — and nobody did. Well I don’t know how accurate that appraisal may have been — I’m not a medical man myself. I only know that’s what he said. He said, “Most people go through life hoping to be appreciated, and they don’t. And there are some people who just can’t stand it. And they’re here.” Sad, isn’t it?
Well, just don’t expect to be thanked. If somebody thanks you, that’s an extra bonus. Don’t expect to be thanked or paid. Jesus said, “When you do good, don’t expect people to pay you back. Do good things for people that can’t pay you back and you’ll get a reward in heaven — that’s what Jesus said. “In well-doing.” What, what does it mean to do good things? It means to meet needs where you see them. It means to encourage people when they’re discouraged. It means to notice people when they’re lonely and devastated. It means to help people when they’re carrying a burden too heavy for them. Yes, it may mean just to cry with somebody when his heart is breaking.
See the need and meet it for Jesus’ sake. See, “commit their souls to God in well-doing, as unto a faithful creator who made things.” Who’s the creator? John 1, “All things were made by Him, the Lord Jesus. And without Him was not anything made that was made.” So what you’re actually doing is to meet the needs of people for the sake of your blessed living Lord. The Creator? Yes. The redeemer? Yes. Your high priest and coming king? Yes. The one who has a perfect plan for your life? Yes. The one who can take you through trials?
See, this verse started by the word ‘suffer’. The one that can take you through suffering in a way that will glorify Him, and meet the needs of others. I’ll finish this verse up the next time that we get together, God willing. It’s good stuff, isn’t it? My how it shakes up my own heart to visit with you as we look over the Word of God.
Father today, help us to good things in the light of eternity. 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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