His Plans, Or Yours?
Maybe that is the most important concept you hear all day long, that God has plans for you and He expects results.
Alright, thank you very much and hello again dear radio friend. How in the world are you? Doing alright today? Oh, I trust so. I’m happy. Happy in the Lord, glad to be back with you and I trust that something that is said today will just precisely fit your need. I never know how different people are feeling because these broadcasts are prepared on tape and then duplicated and sent out to the many stations that carry the program so there is a time lag between the time I say something and the time you hear it. Only the blessed Holy Spirit of God knows what you need and can prepare those words in advance for you. That’s what I pray every day, that God may suit something ‘specially to your need and I trust that may be so today.
We’re in Mark 12. Now this follows, now it’s certainly obvious that Mark 12 follows Mark 11, ha haha doesn’t it. But it follows the conversation that our Lord had with the people who came and said by what authority are you doing all these things, that is cleansing the temple, throwing people out who were buying and selling and accusing them of making God’s house a den of thieves. He said “who are you anyway, what right do you have to do this?”
He gave them a question concerning John the Baptist and they were stuck with their own perverse reasoning and they said “we can’t tell”. And he said “neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things” but then he went on to tell them a story which establishes the fact that he was talking to them about their ultimate destiny and relationship to Himself. You find this indicated in verse 12. They sought to lay hold on Him but feared the people for they knew that he had spoken this parable against them and they left Him and went their way.
Now what did He say growing out of that little colloquy about who gave Him authority, well He said a certain man planted a vineyard and set a hedge about it and digged a place for the wine vat, built a tower and lent it out to husbandmen and went into a far country. That’s the setting, the certain man, that’s the Lord, the vineyard, that’s Israel. The hedge, you understand what that is, God protected them during those years that they were obeying Him. Digged a place for the wine vat, there was to be productiveness and certainly there was. And built a tower, they were able to watch against their enemies and defeat them. And he lent it out to Husband and went His way. Now at the season, He sent to the husbandmen, that’s our word for vineyard keepers or farmers, a servant that he might receive from the husband of the fruit of the vineyard. Now the word servant means one of the prophets. This refers to the prophets, the age of the Prophets. They caught him and beat him and sent him away empty and he sent them another servant and at him they cast stones and wounded him and sent him away shamefully handled and again he sent another and they killed him and many others, beating some, killing some.
See, this is reference to the ancient Prophets. “Oh Jerusalem, Jerusalem that stoneth the Prophets, killeth the Prophets and stoneth them that are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thee as a hen gathers her chickens under her wings but you would none”.
Our Lord Jesus spoke of the shameful way in which God’s chosen people had often treated the prophets that came to give God’s truth to them. Now He says having yet therefore one Son, His one beloved, he sent Him also last. That word last is an awesome thing when you stop and think about it. We’ll come back to it. Saying they will reverence my son. See, now he’s referring to Himself, the Lord Jesus. “But those husbandman said among themselves and said this is the heir, let’s kill Him. The inheritance shall be ours and they took Him and killed Him and cast Him out of the vineyard. What shall therefor the Lord of the vineyard do? He will come and destroy the husbandman and will give the vineyard unto others. Have ye not read this scripture? The stone which the builders rejected has become the head of the corner. This is the Lord’s doing, it is marvelous in our eye’s.”
Christ the cornerstone, Christ the well beloved Son, and finally Christ the judge. Now, do you want to talk about that for a moment? What does this say to us? Number one, God has plans for all His people. He had plans for Israel, He has plans for you. Known unto God are all His works from the beginning of the world. Have you spent any time recently talking to God about His plans for you? Most of us come with our little laundry list of things we want, don’t we. I know I do often times. I’m so full of needs and burdens that when I come to pray that sometimes I don’t even get around to listening to what God has for me. Do you ever do that? Well, it will do us all good, I think to think in terms of God’s plan for us. I know the thoughts I think towards you, thoughts of good and not of evil to give you a desired end.
Delight thyself also in the Lord and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart. God says me first then you. Elisha the Prophet came to the widow lady and she was just preparing to make one last little loaf of bread so that she could eat of it with her son and then she was prepared to starve to death after that. You remember that? And what happened was that the Prophet said go ahead, do what you said but make me first a little cake and afterwards, you and your son because he said, the flour and the oil are not going to run out as long as there is a drought and it is going to be there for you as long as you need it until the Lord sends rain on the earth. Elisha, his story found in II Kings 4. Well, what are you going to do? The thing you and I have to learn is to wait on God until we get some understanding of His will for us. Some understanding of God’s will for us. Then we can pray with effectiveness.
God has plans for you. I reviewed again, you heard me turning the pages of my big Bible, someone said to me the other day, I like to hear you turning the pages of your Bible. It makes me know that you’re using the Word of God and I love that. Well okay, I’m glad.
But Elisha the Tishbite, you know? God’s plan for him were first of all, announce the draught, go stay by the brook Cherith, when the brook dries up go live with the widow woman, a person who is planning to starve to death. I’ll take care of you. But God’s order for her was put God first, put His Prophet first, put your service to God first and I’ll take care of you after that. “Do as thouest said, it says but make me a little cake first because as the Lord liveth, the meal shall not waste neither shall the cruse of oil fail until the day that the Lord sends rain upon the earth. And she went and did according to the saying of Elisha and she and he and her whole household did eat many days, that means a year. The barrel of meal wasted not neither did the cruse of oil fail according to the Word of the Lord which He spake by Elisha”.
Finally then it was time for Elisha to show Ahab and the whole nation that God is still on the throne and He can still answer prayer and they had a great national revival and then the draught was broken and all that. You remember the story? God has plans. Now all of this last few minutes grew out of the statement, have you given any thought, beloved, to what God wants for you? A lot of my praying is what I want from God. You and I need to learn, see I put myself right with you because we are all human beings and we have this tendency. We need to learn to spend some time with our Lord saying “what do you want me to do?” Lord, what will though have me to do? That was the second question that Saul of Tarsus asked when our Lord apprehended him there of the road to Damascus, right?
Okay, that was comment on Mark 12:1, God’s vineyard, the hedge, the wine vat, the tower and the responsibility. God’s plans. Now the second thing that you see here right on face of the text is that God expects results from your life. At the season, that is when harvest was there, He sent to the husbandman a servant in order that he might receive from the husbandman of the fruit of the vineyard. He wants some profit out of it. What did you sell the grapes for? Well, they weren’t going to do that. They caught him and beat him and sent him away empty. God’s plans involve responsibility. He expects production from you and from me.
Now someone immediately says “now brother Cook, I’m all crippled with arthritis, I can’t even move out of this room. Someone has to help me into this chair and out of it and into bed and I can’t have any production. Oh yes you can, you can talk can’t you? You can pray, can’t you? You can get someone to even write a letter for you if your dear hands are so crippled up with arthritis you can’t hold the pen, I know that’s true of some of you. You can get somebody to write a letter for you. You can be a blessing to people half a world away by praying and by letter writing and sometimes if you have a phone handy you can call up somebody and bless them. Oh yes, you can be a blessing, you can be productive and God expects you to be so. You want to think about that as it affects your life? See, none of us is so helpless or so shut up or shut in that we can’t be a blessing to somebody. Do you believe that? It’s true. No one is so shut in or shut up or crippled or handicap but that he or she can be a blessing to someone. God expects results from your life, beloved.
Now let me ask you just as lovingly as I can, what has God been getting out of your life? What has He been getting out of your life by way of production, by way of ministry, by way of results, by way of blessing? Anything happening? Anything going on besides the rent? Well, that’s what you and I need to think about. Maybe that be the most important concept you hear all day long. That God has plans for you and He expects results. Would you spend some time before another day has passed in seeking God concerning His plans for you? Perhaps you are quite aware of the will of God in a general way but it will do you good to seek Him and say Lord, renew in me the awareness of your will.
I often do that. I often say “now Lord, I just want to back off and take a look at everything, tell me again what it is you want”. And God refreshes your whole outlook on life and ministry if you take time to seek Him that way. And then when you have gotten a clear idea of God’s will, then say, now Lord, I want to be productive, I want some results from my life. What do you want in terms of results? What do you want out of my life? And He’ll tell you, the faithful Holy Spirit who dwells within the believer will tell you, I can guarantee you that. He shall seek me and find me in the day you shall search for me with all your heart. You get desperate and sincere with God and He will answer you, I can guarantee you. Find out God’s will, start doing it so you can be productive. That grew out of Mark 12:1 and 2.
Dear Father today, help us to fit into your plans, help us to be productive for your glory and in Jesus name, Amen.
Until I meet you once again by way of radio, Walk with the King today and be a blessing.
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