Hand’s Off The Wheel
You achieve a change for the better when you turn the control of your life over to the Lord Jesus Christ.
Alright, thank you very much. And hello again, radio friends, how in the world are you? [chuckle] Oh, yes, I am happy today, and I’m glad to be alive and thankful for the privilege of talking with you. One thing that never fails to touch my heart is that people listen, and then they say, “You didn’t sound so happy today, what was wrong with you?” Well, you have to realize that these broadcasts are made roughly about a month before you hear them. I have a tape recorder here in my little basement office in the Pocono Mountains, and I turn on that tape recorder and I talk with you and open my heart to you, but by the time that message is duplicated and sent out to, I suppose, nearly 100 stations across the country here and there, it takes about a month. So by the time you hear me sound either glad or happy, or like I had a cold or whatever it is, [chuckle] a month has gone by and I’m altogether different, probably a lot better, hopefully. [chuckle] But I’m grateful that you care.
We’re in John Chapter 1. “As many as received Him,” the Lord Jesus, “to them gave He power to become the sons of God even to them that believe on His name.” That word ‘power’ is the Greek word ‘exousía.’ which means ‘authority.’ The power comes from God, the power to change your life, but you have to realize you have no right even to approach God except through the Lord Jesus Christ. He Himself said it, didn’t He? He said, “I’m the way, the truth and the life, no man cometh unto the Father but by me.” That’s the meaning of the use of that word there which is translated ‘power’ in your King James version of the Bible; you go back and look it up in your Greek concordance or New Testament, you got the word ‘authority.’ All right, anyhow. “As many as received Him,” we were talking about that the last time we got together. How do you receive a person? He says, “I am standing at the door waiting. I’m knocking and I’m calling. If any man hear my voice and open the door, I will come in.” Now, how do you open the door of your life?
Well, yeah, that’s a simple question, but the answer’s apt to be pretty complex, isn’t it? Well, let’s take it on its simplest level. Let’s say that I came to your house and rang the doorbell. And let’s say that you wanted to receive me, I hope you would want to receive me, but anyhow, let’s say that you wanted to receive me, what would you do? Would you wait ’til I beat the door down? No. If the door were ajar, would you wait until I pushed the door and you out of the way and pushed my way in? Oh, no. What would you do? You would open the door, you would stand aside, you would say, “Come in, Bob Cook, and we’ll put on the coffee pot,” or words to that effect. Right? Now, put it in its simplest dimensions, faith in God is never so profound that you cannot understand it and take action on it. Put it in its simplest dimensions, your life is a dwelling. You live inside; Christ has been outside; He wants to come in. You at this point are disposed to receive Him, what do you do? You open the door, you invite Him in. He takes care of the rest.
So now you’re saying, “How do I invite Him in?” Well, talk to Him. Romans 10 says, “Whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Call on Him. Call on Him. Talking to Jesus produces results. Edwin Orr is now with the Lord, I guess he passed away last year, didn’t he? Great man of God, great student of revival movements throughout history, and he was my dear friend through the years. I remember him telling this story, which grew out of his experiences as a chaplain in the war. He said that there was a day when… And I don’t know whether this chaplain was he or someone else, he never did clear that point up. It may well have been Edwin himself, rang the doorbell in a home in Baltimore and the lady came to the door, and there was this army chaplain standing there. He said, “Are you Mrs. So and so?” She said, “Yes.” He said, “I have a message for you from the government concerning your husband.”
And her eyes filled with tears, she said, “What could you possibly say to me? We received the message that he was killed in action, and we’ve done the best we could to put the pieces of life back together.” And her eyes just brimmed over with the tears of sorrow. Well, he said, “May I come in and talk with you?” And she let him in. He sat down, he said, “What would you say if I told you that your husband was still alive?” And she looked at him almost angry and she said, “If you’re joking, sir, that’s a very poor joke; my heart has been broken and I’m trying somehow to put the pieces of life back together again, that’s a very poor joke. I don’t think that’s funny.” He said, “Well, ma’am,” he said, “Your husband is alive, and if I may use your telephone I’ll ring the hospital ward where he is.” She says, “I don’t believe it.” Well, he picked up the telephone and dialed the number of a base hospital on the West Coast. And when he got the operator, he asked for a certain ward. And when he got the ward, he asked for a certain patient. And when that voice came on the line, he said, “Just a moment, please,” and he handed the phone over to her.
She kept on saying while he was dialing and all that, “I don’t believe it.” And now she’d picked up the phone, and she said, “Hello? John?” And then she laid the phone down for a moment in her lap, and as she looked at him, she said, “It’s him all right, I just talked to him.” [laughter] See, all you need to do to know that Jesus is real is talk to Him. How long has it being since you talked to God? How long has it being since you called the name of Jesus Christ in prayer? How long has it being since you said, “Lord Jesus, come into my life and fill me with your presence”? That’s what it means to receive Him, it’s nothing that you can do to make yourself look better to God. All over the world, millions of people are trying to do something through which they think they might deserve a better condition, here and after life.
You don’t do anything, by grace, that means free for nothing. “Are ye saved through faith. And that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not of works.” Not of works. “Lest any man should boast.” Martin Luther had two great tenets of truth that he emphasized. One was sola fide, faith only. And the other was sola scriptura, the word of God only. Faith and the word of God, the great foundations of Reformation theology. And you and I today, in our own simple way can prove the truth of John 1:12, if you just talk to Jesus. Invite Him in. Call on the name of the Lord. Talk to Him. And like the lady in Baltimore, you’ll say, “I know it’s He all right. I just talked to Him.” [chuckle] Well, John 1:12, “As many as received Him.” Now, receiving involves something else. What is it? “Even to them that believe on His name,” His name is Jesus. Do you know what that name means? For an explanation of it you can go to Matthew 1:21, “Thou shalt call His name Jesus for He shall save His people from their sins.” Jesus means Savior. If you believe on His name, if you believe on anybody’s name, you’ll allow them to do what their name means. People used to be called by their occupations, didn’t they? Mr. Baker, Mr. Banker, Mr. Shoemaker, my name is Mr. Cook. If you believe on a person’s name, what do you let him do? You let him do what his name means.
If my name is Banker and you believe on my name, you’ll let me do the banking. If my name is Shoemaker and you believe on my name, you’ll let me repair your shoes. My real name happens to be Cook, Robert Andrew Cook. If you believe on my name, you might let me do the cooking, and that is a risky business. [laughter] Although I had to learn to cook as a small boy, living alone with my father after my sister Mildred had gone off to school, I had to learn to cook, so I’m not a bad one. But if you believed on my name, you’d let me do the cooking. Now, His name means savior. And you’re gonna believe on His name. What do you let Him do for you? You let Him save you from your sins. You invite Him in, and you turn over to Him the control of your life, so He can do something about the sin problem. Friend, and this happens to apply not only to those who are unchristian, but to the many in the audience who have already committed their lives to the Lord Jesus. You know, don’t you? That the only one who can ever make a difference in your life is the Lord Jesus Christ. You don’t make the difference by saying, “I’m gonna be different.” You achieve a change for the better when you turn the control of your life over to the Lord Jesus Christ, and you believe on His name. That is to say, you’ll let Him do what His name means.
You’ll let Him do what He wants to do in your life, and that is deal with the sin problem. I’ve often told people and I have to remind myself again and again, you’ll never go wrong while you’re praying, “Jesus, help me now.” It is in those moments when you refuse to pray or forget to pray, it is in those moments when you do not pray that you get into trouble. You’ll never go wrong when you’re praying, “Jesus, Jesus, help me now.” He takes care of the sin problem by His own presence. The Bible says, “He’s the light of the world,” and He Himself said, “Then spake Jesus, again, unto them, saying ‘I am the light of the world. He that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.'” You turn control of your life over to the Lord Jesus, and the darkness is gone, the light is turned on. Try that today. That’s why I used to tell my students, “Pray your way through the day.” When you’re praying, and turning your life over to the Lord, the light is turned on, and you’re walking, thank God, in victory. Well, we’ll go on with this the next time we get together.
Lord Jesus Christ, we give thee control of our lives today. Have thine own way with us, in that matchless name, Jesus, our Lord. Amen. ‘Til I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing.
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