His Choice, Not Mine

Jesus takes care of those things that have to do with people relationships, and he also takes care of the things that threaten to break your heart, because He's Lord of all.

Scripture: John 4:43-45


Alright, thank you very much. And hello again radio friends, how in the world are you? Yes, this is your friend, Bob Cook. I’m glad to be back with you. I hope you’re as glad as I am. My, it’s wonderful to have the opportunity of sharing the Word of God with you, my beloved friends, by way of radio. I’m so grateful for those who have opened up the opportunity in these various locations from which we broadcast, and made it possible for us to share God’s Word with you in these precious moments that are ours. You and I have been looking at the Gospel of John. We’re in John chapter 4. Beginning now with verse 43. John says, “After two days Jesus departed thence,” this is the town of Sychar, you remember, where He spent a couple of days with them at their invitation, after the lady, who was no lady, went back into town and said, “There’s a man out there that told on you.”

They went out and listened to the Lord Jesus and trusted Him, and they were able to say, “Now we believe, not because of thy saying only. For we have heard Him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world.” What a blessed spiritual renewal came to that village, because of our Lord Jesus. It said, “He must needs go through Samaria.” He didn’t have to, most people detoured around that part of the country, but he went on through, stopped at the town, made a difference in the life of one person, and she in turn, introduced the whole town to Jesus. Has that any significance for you, beloved, and for me? You know it does. One person can make a difference in a whole community when you are committed to Jesus Christ. Would you like to be that person? Now, you don’t start with the idea of influence. Influence and making a change in people’s lives, and attitudes, and lifestyles; influence is a byproduct.

You don’t start with that as your goal. You start with commitment to Jesus Christ, and you start with witnessing concerning what he means to you. Sharing, in other words, with people what the Lord Jesus Christ has done in your life. She went back and she said, “There’s somebody out there that told me everything I ever did.” That triggered their interest and caused them to come out and meet Him for themselves. You don’t say, if you’re the only Christian in a family for instance, “My job is to change these people so that they have a different attitude.” No, no, no. The change in people’s attitudes and feelings, and ultimately then their decisions, comes as a byproduct of your faithful reflection of faith and commitment to Jesus Christ. Our Savior said to the disciples, “Ye shall be witnesses unto me.” Jerusalem, all Judea, Samaria, outermost parts. What did they do? They simply told what God had done in their lives in relationship to the Lord Jesus.

Their first speech anywhere was, “The God of our fathers hath raised up His son Jesus, whom ye crucified.” You killed Him. God has raised Him up. He’s Lord, He’s Savior. If you’ll receive Him. Oh, what a blessed message we have, so simple and yet so profound. Preacher, I think we make a mistake when we try to embroider on the simplicity of the Gospel message. Get fresh illustrations and up to date applications. For example, the Bible doesn’t say anything about labor unions, and the question comes up, “What should be the Christian’s attitude toward labor unions?” The Bible doesn’t say much about that, but there is plenty of truth that will give you guidelines as to what to do concerning your relationship, and your witness in this kind of a culture. So let your illustrations be up to date, and let your applications be relevant. But never embroider on the basic message, “Christ died for our sins and was buried, and rose again for our justification. And whosoever believeth on Him hath everlasting life.”

Keep it simple, yet profound. That’s the way God gave it. Amen? [chuckle] I throw that in free. Well, our Lord Jesus now is leaving Sychar. And I’m sure that there was a feeling of emptiness when He left. When someone as wonderful as our Lord Jesus Christ has been in a place for a while, and lives has been changed, then He went on into Galilee. I’m sure the people in that ancient town of Sychar felt as though something had dropped out of their lives, and yet when they went back to the routine business of living, there was a difference. Small thought here, there are high points of blessing in our lives when God visits us with great refreshing of soul. Revival we call it or some people call it renewal. There are high points of blessing now and then, where God seems to pour out His presence, especially upon us. And then it’s over. And you have to go back to the business of everyday living, and it seems so routine. And you say “Oh, I wish I could always be on the mountain top.”

Well, that’s what Simon Peter said, “Lord, let us build three tabernacles, one for thee, one for Moses, one for Elias. And God the Father spoke out at that point and He said, “This is my beloved son, hear Him.” Don’t you compare the Lord Jesus Christ either to Moses or Elijah or anybody else, He’s unique, He is the only begotten Son of God. So there was that moment of shining glory, there was that revelation of the uniqueness of the Lord Jesus, and how they wished that they could stay there on the mountain top. And now they come down and what are they met with? Human need, and the failure of human resources. See, after revival you have to come down to the business of everyday living with human needs, and human failures, and human heartaches. What are you gonna do about that? You bring the blessing and the power of the highpoint with you when you come down into the valley.

Bring the blessing and the strength and the power of the spiritual high point that you reached, you bring that with you when you come down into the valley, and that in turn, transforms the whole process. Well, our Lord Jesus left Sychar and went, it says, into Galilee. And there’s a little aside there in verse 44, Jesus himself testified that a prophet hath no honor in his own country. Interestingly enough, the people who know you best are the first to discount anything special in your life. In His hometown people said of our Lord Jesus, “Is not this the son of the carpenter? Why, we saw Him grow up, we knew Him as a little boy. We saw Him grow up. We know Him.” Well, you see that statement doesn’t prove a thing, it only says you were there. Small thought, it is possible to be in the presence of great spiritual life and power without ever realizing it.

Many years ago there was a student revival at Wheaton College, I was in that area in those days and was pretty close to what was going on. Hundreds of students had their lives, literally, transformed by the sovereign working of the Spirit of God. First there came great conviction of sin, then there was great yielding to the will of God. And out of that spiritual renewal came missionaries, and pastors, and Christian workers and people who got things straightened around with others whom they had wronged. Airmail letters went out to all over the country; someone was heard to remark, “You know there’s a revival there when all these airmail letters of apology, and making things right are going out.” And so it was that on a given day, there was a high placed member of the staff, whoever it was, now I really can’t remember and it doesn’t matter. And the question was asked, “Well, were you blessed? Did you have a great time during the revival?”

And he looked blankly at the questioner and said, “What revival?” He hadn’t even known that God was working on that campus. A prophet without honor in his own country. People who are so close to what’s going on that they don’t realize it nor appreciate it. Don’t let that be said of you and of me. Let us always preserve that sense of holy awe and pristine wonder at the working of Almighty God. Let us always be quick to recognize the moving of the Holy Spirit of God. What revival? In his own country and his own people received him not. Don’t let that happen to you and to me. Always be alert for the presence and blessing of God. Well, I’ve had two or three detours and it’s going slow, but it’s good, isn’t it? Say “Amen.” [chuckle] Well it says, “When He was come into Galilee, the Galileans received Him having seen all the things that He did at Jerusalem at the feast; for they also had gone to the feast.”

“So Jesus came again into Cana of Galilee where He had made the water wine. There was a certain nobleman whose son was sick at Capernaum. When he heard that Jesus had come out of Judea to Galilee, He went unto Him and besought Him, that He would come down and heal his son; for he was at the point of death.” Let me stop here, just to give you a little study in contrasts. John chapter 2 tells a story of a wedding reception, where they ran out of refreshments. A social and family emergency, not to say crisis. The Lord Jesus intervened. And the master of ceremonies was heard to remark to the bridegroom, “You kept the best until now.” A phrase that lingers in the memory of every believer who has ever allowed God to make the choice. God gives His best to those who leave the choice with Him, someone has said. And that’s still true, beloved. In matters having to do with everyday living, you let God make the choice and follow His will, He’ll give you His best.

Now, however we come to the same area, and here is a little different situation. Here is a crisis involving someone very dear to this nobleman, a son who is at the point of death. And again, the Lord Jesus Christ is called into the picture. And so we’re reminded that God can take care of the crises and emergencies that have to do with family life, and that have to do with societal relationships. People relationships. He can work. He gives you the best if you let Him make the choice. But now you come to something where your heart is breaking, and you can’t do anything except look on helplessly, and wish that you could do something. Some of us have been in that position, haven’t we? And your heart is just heavy with sorrow and concern over something that just will not budge in response to any human effort. There was this nobleman and his son was dying. And he hunted up Jesus and said, “Come on down before my son dies.”

My point being, Jesus takes care of those things that have to do with people relationships, and he also takes care of the things that threaten to break your heart, because He’s Lord of all. Hallelujah.

Father God today, oh, may we be wise enough to leave the choice with Jesus. I pray 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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