How Sorry Are You?
Godly sorrow works for repentance, but the sorrow of the world works for death. Submit your thoughts and emotions to God so He can really know how you feel.
Alright thank you very much, and hello again radio friends. How in the world are you? Everything all right at your house? Well, yes of course I wait for you to answer, you know that. Why not? Father used to say to me, “Boy, when you ask a question give people a chance to answer”. Oh, man he pounded that into me. I want you to meet my father when we get to heaven. He’s a character, see altogether different from me. No, I’ll tell you, for man who never went beyond, I guess sixth or seventh grade or eighth maybe, he was an educated man and omnivorous reader, and he knew a good deal of practical psychology in rearing his two motherless children, through those years, from 1914 and onward, while we were just in our childhood. He applied a good many principles that have stayed with us through the years. Thank God for a praying father.
Well, we’re looking at Mark chapter 6 and it’s the story of Herod and Herodias, and the daughter of Herodias, and the beheading of John, a sad, sad business. Last time we got together, we remarked that you never get away from the memory of your mistakes. Herod certainly couldn’t. He said, “John, why I beheaded him, but he’s risen from the dead”, and the point I made as you recall is that, while you never get away from remembering, you can be free by the grace of God from the plaguing of a guilty conscience, because Jesus by His precious shed blood, can cleanse your conscience from dead works, to serve the living God. And then I pointed out to you also that, the act of turning away from what you know to be the will of God, creates hatred for the person who has spoken of God’s will to you. That’s what happened with Herodias. Said she had a quarrel against John the Baptist and wanted to kill him, she would’ve killed him, but she could not. See, Herod feared John. He knew, now he put the man in prison, and at the same time he knew that he was just and holy, and observed him. Well, here comes the birthday party now. What a convenient day was come. See now, that word convenient modifies verse 19, Herodias had a quarrel against John the Baptist and wanted to kill him, but she couldn’t. Now verse 21, “What a convenient day was come”,, all right she’s scheming about it. She says to her daughter, she says, “You go in and you dance for him and then get him to promise you something and we’ll work on it”. Herod, on his birthday, made a supper for his lords, high captains, and chief estates of Galilee, and they were eating and they were drinking, you can be sure that that Herod had more than his share of booze, and so he was in high spirits. Now the daughter of Herodias came in and danced and pleased Herod, and them that sat with him. So he said, “Well, you can ask anything you want, even to the half of my kingdom, I’ll give it to you”. Ah, he was pretty well, he was pretty well under the weather I think, because any head of state, you know, is not going to promise to give away half of his kingdom to somebody unless he’s pretty well under the influence. Well he was. Now, he promised her with an oath, he sweared unto her, he promised with an oath, while she went on she said, “Mama what shall I ask?”, and Herodias said, “Ask for the head of John the Baptist”. So, she came back in, she said, “Give me on a platter the head of John the Baptist”. Now he says, the king was exceedingly sorry, but he wasn’t sorry enough to do right.
How sorry is really sorry? “Godly sorrow”, says Paul in Corinthians, “worketh repentance, but the sorrow of the world worketh death”. Remember that passage? Godly sorrow works for repentance that never will be regretted, but the sorrow of the world worketh death. How sorry are you and how sorry am I, for our mistakes? You want to think about that in the context of your own life? Godly sorrow, godly sorrow work is repentance to salvation never to be regretted, but the sorrow of the world worketh death”, 2 Corinthians 7:10. How sorry? You know, human nature is that way though, we say, “Oh, I’m sorry”, not sorry enough to quit.
We used have assigned parking spaces at the college. I think they’ve dropped that practice now, they have assigned areas, and you find whatever parking space you can within your area. If your faculty or student a visitor whatever it is. So, there was one that was assigned to me. It was convenient, right near the entrance to the main building where my office was located, but I don’t how many times I would come out and find that somebody was in my parking spot, or I would be coming into work, find somebody had left his car there overnight. There it was and I’d have to go find a place someplace else, maybe half a block away, down the hill or whatever, park with the rest of the commuters, come grumbling up the hill. Well, often times, I would catch the person just as he or she was leaving, and often they would say, “Oh, Dr. Cook, I’m sorry”. Well, see the problem is, they were sorry, but I think they were sorry that they were discovered, that were caught in the act. As a matter of fact one day, when I was feeling particularly mischievous, I looked at the individual I said, “You know you’re not sorry that parked here, you’re sorry that I caught you. Isn’t that true”? He said “Yea doc that’s true”. See, how sorry am I for my feelings? Well, God waits to see whether you’re real about it. He says, “Ye shall seek Me and find Me when you shall search for Me with all your heart”.
I learned the lesson about being genuinely sorry early in life, and it had to do with getting spanked. I think some of you can identify with the story. My father believed in the Scripture laying on of hands, you know, application of the board of education to the seat of knowledge. Yes, I got my share of spankings and deserved them I think, all but one or two as I I look back, but I noticed that when I was crying very hard he would let up with the spanking. So, I thought, I’ll start crying very loud right away and that way the spanking won’t last so long. That’s logical isn’t it? So, I tried it and I just tuned up a blast of crying right away, oh I was crying. Didn’t work until I sort of shifted gears and got genuinely sorry for what I had done, my cry took on a different tone, than he let up. Parents know and God knows whether or not you’re sincere. Yea it says, he was sorry, it says, “He was exceedingly sorry”, but he wasn’t sorry enough to do anything about it. Why? Because he stood to lose face before his people, for his people for his oaths sake, and because of the people that were with him, it says. Let me read it, “For his oath’s sake and for their sakes which sat with him, he would not reject her”. Now, if he’d done the right thing, he would’ve said, listen you want me to murder somebody? I’m not going to do that. I’m not that kind of a person. You know, he could’ve said that and he would’ve risen in stature with all of his lords and captains and everybody else. No, instead he wasn’t sorry enough to do the right thing. Well, I guess you and I have to face our own feelings about that. How is it with you in the matter of your relationship to the will of God, in those areas where we’ve stepped out of line, how sorry are we? Repentance, the word to repent, as I said to I think one or two days ago, has come to us in English from three Greek words of the New Testament ,one means to change your mind, another means to change your feelings, and another means to change your direction, turn around go the other way, and from those three concepts we get the idea what it really means to be sorry for sins, and as a matter fact this has to do with what you will to do. David the psalmist said, “I will be sorry for my sins”. There is a sense in which you and I, by an act of our will, can get down before God and say, God I’m wrong and I’m sorry and I want to be different, and I want you to have mercy on me and I want the Holy Spirit of God to fill me and to guide and make me different. Yes, you can and I can that we ought to. How sorry am I for the things that are wrong or out of the will of God, in my life? Something to think about isn’t it, and hallelujah for the fact that you can come to the Lord Jesus and He says, “Him that cometh to Me, I will never cast out”, and He will receive you and He will set things straight in your own life, including your feelings about things. Jesus Himself will set your feelings straight, so that you have the right attitude toward life and actions, toward sin and righteousness, and God in heaven and all the rest. The mind of Christ. “We have”, says Paul, “the mind of Christ. Let this mind to be in you which was in Christ Jesus, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ”. Yes, you can this minute, take those wandering thoughts, and those errant desires, and those plaguing memories, and the whole package of human fallibility, dear friend, you can wrap it all up with the string of faith and bring it to Jesus and He can handle it. Hallelujah! Aren’t you glad that’s so? Oh I am. Now we come to the question of why did God allow John the Baptist’s career to diminish and then to be extinguished in such an ignominious fashion as to be imprisoned and then beheaded? Why was he rewarded for his faithfulness with such a fate? Have you ever wondered about that? See, it doesn’t seem fair, does it, that John the Baptist who was used to introduce the Lord Jesus, and who had such tremendous crowds and had people coming up from Jerusalem everywhere else, to hear him preaching in the wilderness, and as he gave them the very straight truths concerning repentance and doing right, and then to finish his career in prison and headsman’s ax. Why? We’ll talk about that the next time we get together, okay?
Dear Father today, help us to submit our thoughts and our feelings and all that we are to Thy blessed Will, through Jesus our Lord 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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