Involving God In Your Life
Start with God and ask Him for advice. We can invite God to get involved in our ordinary life. You get comfortable with God as Father when you make Him Lord.
And hello radio friends. How in the world are you? You doin’ all right today? Well I trust so. I’m feeling fine thank you. Nice of you to ask. Feeling as Tony the Tiger says, “Grrreat!” Thank God! Nice to be alive, and to be able to serve God. And I’m particularly grateful of course for the chance to be with you, my beloved friend, by way of radio.
We’re looking at 1 Peter 1. And we got through verses 1 and 2 I think, the last time we got together. And we come now to 1 Peter 1:3, where he says, “Blessed be the God and father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to his abundant mercy has begotten us again onto a living hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you who are kept with the power of God, through faith.”
That all hangs together which is the reason I read it all, although we’ll not get over all of that in this particular broadcast I’m sure. Now I want you to notice the order in which these concepts occur – God, Father, Lord Jesus Christ, abundant mercy, born again, living hope, resurrection – you follow that? Where do you start in any dealings with the eternal matters? You start with God.
I read just today the story of a man who was faced with the need to make some very difficult decisions. And really what was involved was a willingness to say yes to God. Most of our decisions actually are made difficult because we fight the inevitable surrender to what we already know to be God’s revealed will. This was so for him. And so he begun to pray and wait on God. And as he did, these concepts came to him. God is, God is good, God is a loving God, God loves me and wants the best for me. And so I’m going to say ‘yes’ to His desires for me.
Now that was the way the, the truth came to that particular person. Start with God. Let me ask this very simple question, and please don’t be offended if I ask you. How long has it been since you asked God for advise? I mean, really wanted to hear from Him. Oh most of my listeners I know pray. And our prayers oftentimes are made up of petitions, “Lord bless me, and bless mama, and bless the kids, and the grandkids, and the job, and the Church,” and so on, and so on… That’s the way we pray most of the time, isn’t it?
Now how long has it been since in any real relationship of life you said, “No, I’m going to involve Almighty God in this.”? Some of the most fruitful relationships I’ve had through life have been those where after I’ve been talking with someone for a moment, I’ve said, “Listen, God knows what we’ve been saying to each other. Let’s talk to Him.” And there we would speak with our heavenly Father about matters which has the result number one, of clarifying our thought, and number two, of cementing a human relationship that is based not on mutual liking but on the presence of God in our lives.
Do any of you old timers remember T. J. Bach, one of the founding fathers of the Evangelical Alliance Mission? Yeah, in the old days it was called the Scandinavian Alliance because most of them were Swedes and Norwegians. Then it became the Evangelical Alliance, and they put the initials together as an acronym and call it TEAM now. But brother Bach was one of the founding fathers of that great missionary enterprise. I served on their board for some time until I got too far away to attend board meetings regularly. Good people all over the world, hundreds and thousands of missionaries serving the Lord.
Well brother Bach was, well he was one of a kind. Yeah, he had a number of sayings. He used to say, “Walk softly, speak tenderly, don’t run upstairs, don’t run down people.” I remember his saying that. After he got through preaching on time, he came down and, and a dear lady rushed up to greet him. And he looked at her and he said, “Was you ashamed of me sister?”
One of the verses that he oftentimes quoted was from the Psalms. ‘Yeah let none of them that wait on thee be ashamed because of me’. That was one of the verses that he, that he used to quote often and often in his prayers. Great man. And somehow he befriended me, Bob Cook. I was just a young person then, in my salad days. I remember meeting him on one occasion in the, the bookstore of the Moody Bible Institute.
Now you Chicagoans know how long ago this was when I tell you that the bookstore was located on Wells Street, yeah. And today of course it’s over on the corner of LaSalle and Chicago Avenue, in a great big new – or at least newer – building. That place is expanding so rapidly, and I rejoice in it as a graduate of the institute. I came there – can you believe it – in 1928? (Laughs) And I’m so young. And graduated in 1930. Went on to Wheaton College and, and Eastern Baptist Seminary, and the school of hard knocks.
So I was just a young fellow, and I was in the bookstore. And here came brother Bach. He greeted me warmly. You know, I’ve been fortunate in that people of real significance in the world have gone out of their way to be kind to me. That’s God’s, that’s God’s gracious gift I’m sure. H. A. Ironside was my friend. You know, Homer Rodeheaver who was my friend, and Billy Graham is my friend. You know, some of these people whose names are household words have gone out of their way just to be kind to Bob Cook, and I’m so grateful. Don’t deserve it but I sure can enjoy it.
And here comes brother Bach. And he just, he, he gave me a big hug. And he wanted to know how things were going and all of that. And I told him, we talked for a moment right there in the, in the bookstore. Suddenly he put his arm around my shoulders, he said, “Now we pray.” And he lifted his heart to God in, in earnest prayer for Bob Cook. He prayed quite a while as I recall. But when he’d finished I knew that we had drawn near to the heart of God. A great man of God with a great missionary vision whose, whose, whose vision and whose efforts reached half a world took time to pray with a young sprout coming along in the work of God.
Talking to God, bringing… What I’m getting at is bring Almighty God into the ordinaries of life. Invite Him in. That’s what it means to walk with God, don’t you think so? You start there. He’s God, He’s God the Father, He’s God the Father. Jesus said, “When you pray, say ‘Our Father’.” When he prayed, he said, “Abba Father.” Abba is a Bible word that is equivalent to our word ‘papa’. Papa God, tender loving, intimate. And that’s where we’re going in, in, in the direction of, of being involved with God.
He’s not simply the God of the universe that runs things and keeps all of the stellar spaces neatly on time through billions of light years. He’s our father. He cares about us, and he has plans for us. He said, “I know the thoughts that I think toward you – thoughts of good, not of evil – to give you a desired end.” “In all thy ways, acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths,” says the wise man of Proverbs 3. God the Father.
Now here again let me ask a simple question: how do you feel toward God? How do you feel? Is He, is He a remote somebody, like a bearded old potentate somewhere in the corner of the sky, to whom you address a, a prayer now and again, but with whom you don’t share a great deal? I suppose some of the sweetest memories I have dating back to the days when our children were little, would be when I had of necessity had to be traveling – been on the road for a while. And then I would come on home, pull the car up in front of our house, get out of it, walk up the front walk, up to the front door. And then I’d be greeted with a chorus of happy little cries, “Papa, papa.” And those chubby arms would be around my neck, and Coreen would come and give me a hug. But their father – the little kids knew that their father was home again, and that he loved them.
How do you feel about God? Are you comfortable with Him, or are you a little afraid to be involved? There are people by the millions who are afraid to get involved with God. You can prove that for yourself anytime you want, simply by mentioning the Lord’s name in, in an unreligious situation. Talk to your neighbor or your friend when you’re shopping in the neighborhood grocery. You’ll find that that person disappears very rapidly for some reason or other.
Most people, I have to say, are not very comfortable with God. And so what we’re driving at today is just to remind you that the normal, the normal Christian position beloved, is to look at God as your father through the Lord Jesus Christ. Blessed be the God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Now you get comfortable with God the Father when you make Jesus your Lord. That’s the simple truth of it. When you get right with the Lord Jesus Christ, and He’s Lord of your life… You read in Philippines 2, “Therefore the God hath given Him a name which is above every name. That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.”
When you make the Lord Jesus Christ Lord of all of your life, somehow you feel comfortable with God. Because He our Lord Jesus is the way to God. He said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No man commeth unto the Father but unto Me.” So to be comfortable with God as your father involves making the Lord Jesus Christ Lord of your life.
It might be a good idea to do a little inventory of your life and, and look at those areas where you’re not very comfortable with God. And face honestly those areas where Jesus our blessed savior is not the Lord of that area. And then by faith to turn them over to Him, and let Him start to run them. You’ll get comfortable with God as father when you make Jesus Lord of all.
Dear heavenly Father, thank you for being our father because of Jesus our Lord. Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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