The goodness of God leads you to put your Savior first instead of things and people.
Alright thank you very much, and hello again radio friends. How in the world are you? You doing Alright? Thank God, we can be in the world, but not of it. You don’t have be tarred with the world’s brush. You can be kept clean and shining for Jesus. “You who are kept”, says Peter, “You who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation, ready to be revealed at the last day”. So may God keep you shining today beloved, wherever you are, in a dirty world, keep you shining for His glory. Nice to be back with you, this is your friend Dr. Cook. We’ve been thinking about the goodness of God, “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life”, and in that connection, we went over to Luke chapter 12, where the Lord Jesus said, in Luke 12:32, “It is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the Kingdom”. God’s good pleasure involves that whole passage there, from Luke 12:22, 21 or 22, right straight on through verse 40. I want you to see that it holds together. The last time that we were talking with each other, I went over these verses in Luke 12:22, about verse 31, and He said, “Don’t worry about what to eat, what to wear, where to live”, He said. “Look at the birds, look at the lilies, but the fact that God takes care of them and consider also, that all of your worrying isn’t going to change a thing”. I wanted just dwell on that for just a moment. Worry, I think I got this idea from Dale Carnegie’s book years ago, worry is the absence of an organized plan. If you sit down and think about your circumstances in terms of a constructive plan, it’s far better than just worrying about it. You can worry yourself right into the grave or you can worry yourself into a nervous breakdown, or at least into a deterioration of your own circumstances and relationships with others. Jesus said, “You can’t, by worrying, change how tall you are”. He used a very obvious illustration, “Which of you with taking thought, (that’s by worrying,) “can add one cubit to his stature?”. It doesn’t work. Worry will shorten your life, but it won’t lengthen your stature, see, and so, the Savior used a very telling illustration there, in terms of how tall are you. Now the fact is that worry, far from being helpful, is destructive, and you and I should avoid it, first of all because psychologically it’s harmful, second because the Bible tells us not to. Paul says in Philippians 4:6, “Be care-filled”, that means worried for nothing, “be worried for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with Thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God”.
Now, anything I tell you, I’ve been there, and I’ve done my share of worrying to be sure. But I have to testify to the fact that those matters about which I prayed earnestly, and then which I committed to God after having thought the best I could through the situation, those matters God has seen me through and worry was not necessary. Now God never said it would be easy and He never told us we wouldn’t have troubles and needs. Paul said, “My God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus”. Supply your need, presupposes the existence of a need, doesn’t it? So, the Bible doesn’t teach us that we won’t have times when we are in need- of course we do. But God teaches us and demonstrates His faithfulness in such situations, and you don’t have to worry. Worry tears you down, worry actually is an affront to God. Worry is a way of saying, I don’t think God can handle this. I used have a saying that I used with the young men in Youth for Christ when I was leading them, and I would say, “Fellas, you don’t have to worry about anything unless you’re not quite sure God can handle it. Then, you better worry”. First pray, then plan, then obey. I got that series of ideas from listening to Evelyn Christensen, this great prayer warrior lady, who’s written a number of books on prayer. First pray, then plan, then obey. That’s the way you get through a situation of stress. Well now, our Lord Jesus put it this way in Luke 12:31, “Rather”, He said, “rather than worrying”, that is rather than being concerned about the things around you, He says, “the heathen, the unsaved people around you are concerned about that”, but He said, “seek ye the Kingdom of God and all these things shall be added unto you”. With what things food and shelter and clothing and the so-called necessities of life. Now, it’s interesting that He said, “Seek the Kingdom of God”, and that is a quotation that is given to us also in Matthew 6:33, the one that we usually quote, “Seek ye first, but seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you”. Seek the Kingdom of God. Zae titae, from a Greek verb that means just go after it, go for it we would say, the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you.
What is it beloved, that you are really going for in life? Now, that’s a general question that may not be too easy to answer. I’m speaking to homemakers who say, Brother Cook, how can you ask a question like that?! My life is full of things I have to do. I have to get up, I have to get the family going, I have to make the breakfast, I have to pack six lunches, I have to see that everyone is properly dressed and equipped for work and school, I have to pick up 3 million things that they dropped on their way out, I have to do the wash, and I have to do the ironing, and I have to do the shopping, and I have to take Junior to the Cub Scouts, and I have to take sister to her music lesson, and I have to see the dog is bathed and de-fleaed, and so on, and I have to get supper ready, and I have to have it ready when dad comes home, because he’s hungry and he wants to eat, and you’re talking about what is it I’m going for? (laughs) Hey, Brother Cook I’m going wild, is what I’m going for. I know, I know. But that isn’t really the question. What is it that drives you, what is it that drives you? What is the overriding concern of your life? For some people, frankly, it is their family, for some it is their businesses, for some it is their enjoyment of pleasures of one sort or another. He says, “You go for the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, let that drive you”. Paul says. “The love of Christ constraineth us”, that means drives us, “Christ’s love in my heart, His love for the Father, His love for other people, His love for the lost, His love for His church, His love for me. Christ’s love in my heart is what drives me”, he says. Well, you think about the answer to the question I asked you, what is it that drives your life? And when you have decided what that is, then bring that to Calvary and let the Lord really overhaul your motivation. When it comes right down to it, what will be important a million years from now, is what you and I have said and done that put Christ first. You know that? The goodness of God leads you to put your Savior first, instead of things and people. The goodness of God leads you to put your Savior first, instead of things and people.
Alright and then He says in verse 32, here’s the verse we started with, “Fear not little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the Kingdom”. Now when the Lord Jesus speaks about the Kingdom, this is that whole package of truth that involves the redemption that our Savior accomplished: the taking of a people for His name, the establishing therefore, of a group with a right relationship of God- when the Lord Jesus said repent because the Kingdom of God is at hand, Kingdom means the reigning of a King, and so that by inference would mean putting Christ on the throne of your life and letting Him be King of your life. It’s your Father’s good pleasure to give you the Kingdom. What does He mean? That Christ is on the throne of your life and that because that is so, you share in His royalty. Because Christ is on the throne of your life, you share in His royalty. Peter in his Epistles says that, “Ye are a royal priesthood, a holy nation”, a royal priesthood because you belong to the King of Kings, you share in His royal privileges and power. Hallelujah for that! God likes to have you associated with His kingliness. “No longer servants, but friends”, Jesus said. “I don’t call you servants any longer for a servant knowest not what is master doeth, but I have called you friends”. You belong beloved, because you’ve trusted the Lord Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you belong to that heavenly family, the royal family. Your life will never be the same as it was before.
Somebody told me years ago, that one of the little boys who had been born into the royal family in Great Britain, was out playing one day and the grown-up person who was assigned to watch him said, “Well now, it’s time for you to do this and that in the other”. And little boy-like he said, “Why can’t I just play like other people?”, and the answer came back, “Because you’re not like other people. Someday you will be a King and you have to learn to act like one now”. Well, dear friend, you have the blue blood of Heaven flowing in your spiritual veins, and you belong to royalty. It is your father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom you share in His royal blessings. Hallelujah for that! But then what- because that’s so what did the Savior say? Now this will shake you up! Not only are you blessed with belonging to the Savior, who is the King of Kings but now He says, “Sell what you have, give alms, provide yourself bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also”, he said, “being part of the Kingdom of God means putting them first”, we had that verse previously. It also means making Christ your treasure, your treasure. You belong to the Savior. He is first in your life, but is He your treasure? Is He in other words, more valuable to you, than anything in all of this world? Jesus said, “Belonging to the Kingdom means making Christ your treasure”, and then we go on to see that belonging to the Kingdom means being ready for His Second Coming. We’ll get at that the next time we get together.
Dear Father today, may we put the Lord Jesus first and may we have Him as our treasure down deep in our hearts, in His name I pray, Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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