His Guiding Voice
You can’t see around the corner of life, but He's already there. When He puts forth His own sheep, He goeth before them and the sheep follow Him, for they know His voice.
Alright thank you very much, and hello again dear radio friends. How in the world are you? Yes, this is your friend Dr. Cook. I’m glad to be back with you. It’s a delight for me to open up the Word of God and share it with you. We’re talking about goodness. We were looking at the 23rd Psalm, came down to that last verse where it said, “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life”. And so in just thinking about the different facets of that truth we’ve come across a number of wonderful scriptural passages that we thought about as we got to them. Now, I’m looking at John chapter 10, “I’m the good Shepherd”, Jesus said, “The good shepherd giveth His life for the sheep. He that entereth in by the door is the Shepherd of the sheep. To Him the porter openeth and the sheep hear His voice, and He calleth His own sheep by name, and leadeth them out, and when He putteth it forth, His own sheep He goeth before them, and the sheep follow Him for they know His voice. I am the door–by Me if any man enter in, he shall be saved and shall go in and out and find pasture. I am come that they might have life and that they might have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd, the good shepherd giveth His life for the sheep, I am the good Shepherd and know My sheep and am known of Mine goodness”. Goodness. Now the goodness of God is demonstrated in the Person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ. I’m looking at Titus now, chapter 3, “We ourselves were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving different lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hate-filled and hating one another”. That’s the condition of the unsaved heart- no matter how nice you may be on the outside, that’s how you are on the inside, but he said, “After the kindness and love of God our Savior toward man appeared”, kindness is the equivalent of our word goodness, and “the goodness, kindness and love of God our Savior, not by works of righteousness, which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us by the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost which He shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior”. His goodness is demonstrated in the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ, “I’m the good Shepherd”.
Now what’s involved in that kind of goodness? Well, first of all what He is to you, He’s the Shepherd. The Shepherd cares, the Shepherd knows, the Shepherd leads, the Shepherd protects, the Shepherd provides, the Shepherd disciplines when necessary. What does He say in chapter 10. “Our Savior use this illustration about Himself. He said, ‘People that don’t enter by the door but some climb some other way, that’s a thief and a robber -don’t follow them. He that entereth the door is the Shepherd of the sheep’”. Turns out that the Shepherd Himself is the door, verse nine, “I am the door, by Me if any man enter and he shall be saved and go in and out and find pasture”. In the sheep folds of those days there was just one entrance and the shepherd would lie down in that entrance, he himself was the door keeping marauders out, keeping the sheep in. They didn’t go out until he led them out himself. The door. Had you realized that the Lord Jesus Christ, your Savior, is for you, the doorway of life and opportunity and usefulness and blessing and joy and satisfaction and safety? “In Him are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge”, Paul says. “Ye are complete in Him”. There is a Person who becomes to you the essence and the epitome of all that you need. He Himself satisfies those needs.
A.B. Simpson wrote a hymn years ago, once. It was a blessing, now he is with the Lord. Oh, to know that in this Person to have the door to the sheep fold. That means that you’re going to have reference to what He wants in your desire to get out of the sheep fold. That means that you’re going to follow His leadership to the green pastures in the still waters. That means that you’re going to submit to His discipline when you tend to stray away from the rest of the flock, and He’ll reach out with that Shepherd’s staff that has a crook on the end of it, and get around your neck and pull it back in. The disciplines of God’s goodness. He’s the door.
I’m talking to somebody I know right now, who has been irking over the fact that you can’t really seem to find something to do, you can’t get out into the work of the Lord. I get letters from people that say, “I want to preach, but I can’t find any place to preach. I want to pastor a church, but nobody will have me. I have gotten a certain amount of financial means and I could easily work for the Lord, if by my own charges even, but nobody seems to want me”. I know. Just remember that Christ’s timing is perfect. In the 11th chapter of John, just beyond the passage that were looking at here, you have the story of Mary and Martha and their brother Lazarus, who fell ill, and concerning whom they sent a message the Lord Jesus saying, “Lord, he who Thou lovest is sick”. When he heard that, He stayed two days longer where He was and then went to Bethany arriving four days after the funeral. The body had been interred immediately, according to Jewish custom, and He was four days late, according to their reckoning. Except that He didn’t have a healing in mind. He didn’t have a healing in mind, He had a resurrection in mind. That makes the difference. Now, His timing you see, was different from what Mary and Martha had in mind. They wanted him to come right away and heal their brother who was ill. Well He didn’t. He came four days later and raised him from the dead. Something far more wonderful! Christ’s timing is perfect, He’s always on time, He is never late, He knows what He’s doing. John chapter 6 says verse four, “He Himself knew what He would do. His plans are already laid, I know the thoughts that I think toward you, thoughts of good not of evil, to give you a desired end”, God says through the prophet Jeremiah. Oh, would you today, I’m talking to somebody that needs this. I don’t know who you are, you just need somehow to relax and say, “Lord I’m yours. I’m going to stop fussing about it. You’re the Shepherd and You’re the door, You’re there in the doorway, and as soon as You want to lead me out, I know You will”. In the meantime keep your heart warm and tender toward the Lord, and do what you do find to do for Him. I have found that in every situation of life, I can find something to do for the Lord. Have you discovered that? In every situation of life there is something you can do for His glory and for helpfulness to others. So look around you and see what you can do today, this very day look around you, and see what He will lead you to do. In the meantime, if it seems a little stuffy in the sheep fold, and He’s there in the doorway, and He hasn’t led you out yet, be patient. He leads you, “He leadeth me, oh blessed thought, oh Word, with Heavenly comfort, fraught. I’m the door, by Me if any man enter and he shall go, be saved and shall go in and out and find pasture”. It says, “When He putteth forth His own sheep, He goeeth before them”. This has been a great comfort to me, as doors of opportunity opened and closed in my life, I knew that the Lord Jesus Christ was there ahead of me. He’s the one who is there. You can’t see around the corner of life, but He’s already there. When He puts forth His own sheep, He goeth before them and the sheep follow Him for they know His voice.
My good friend Pastor Ward Potts has a little book about hearing the Voice of God, and in it he points out that passages like this say very clearly, that the Lord Jesus has a special voice for His own and that you can hear it. Now, God speaks through His Word. “Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God”- always turn to the Word of God, to the law, and to the testimony, for they speak not according to this Word is because there is no light in them”, Isaiah says in his eighth chapter. So always go to the Word of God, but with the Word of God and in your prayer, listen for the still small voice, listen for the Voice of the Spirit of God speaking to your heart and telling you what the Father wants. His Voice, they know His Voice.
So, I ask you, have you heard anything from Jesus lately? When I was president of Youth For Christ, they used to ask the fellas that came in off the road, (we had a number of traveling evangelists and representatives in those days) when they would come in off the road on a Monday morning or whatever was, I would say, “What did you get fresh from the Lord today?” And they would stammer and stutter and try to dream up something from the last sermon they had preached, until the word got around that Cook expected you to have something fresh for yourself. I learned that from David Morkan, years before, that you can get something fresh from God’s Word every day, and you can share it then, with others. What have you heard from Jesus lately, huh? Oh, go to the Word of God and pray over it, and think over it, until the Spirit of God ministers to your own heart something precious, just for you. Then you can share that with someone else.
Steven Olford gave me that blessed little formula that I’ve used for so many years, and put it into my book, Now That I Believe which some of you have read. Stay with any given passage of Scripture until it says something to you, pray that God will open your heart and speak to you and you stay with that passage with its two verses or a chapter, whatever it is, stay with any given passage until it says something to you. Second, write it down, because as any school teacher will tell you, if you can’t write it down you don’t have it. Write it down, what God said to you, in a notebook or whatever. Third, pray it back to God until your heart gets warm and tender with the Truth. Pray back to God what He said to you, committing yourself to the truths that He revealed to you, and forth, share it with someone that very day, as soon as you can. That’s how to keep your soul fresh in the Word. They know His voice, Christ’s voice, “Of the sheep I have which are not of this fold, them also I must bring and they shall hear My Voice”, there it is again verse 16 of John 10. The voice of the Shepherd, He’s the door, He’s the Voice, He’s the One who calls you, He’s the One that leads you, He is the One that keeps you safe from thieves and robbers, He’s the One that gives Himself to you and for you, “I am the good shepherd, the good shepherd giveth His life for the sheep”. Let me close this broadcast with the question- how long has it been since you thanked Jesus for giving His life for you? “God hath made Him to be sin for us, He who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him. He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities”. Jesus tasted death for you, the stinger is pulled out of death because He went through it for you. How long has it been since you thanked Him, beloved? Do it today, will you? Look up and thank your Savior for being the good Shepherd.
Dear Father today, may we know the voice of the good Shepherd in Jesus’ 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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