Jesus, Only Jesus

There isn't anything in the world that is worth getting in between you and God.

Scripture: Mark 10:17-23, Ephesians 2:8-10
Topics: Works, Money, Riches


Alright thank you very much, and hello again dear radio friends. How in the world are you? Doing Alright? Oh, I’m fine thank you. I feel so great and happy in the Lord, grateful to be alive and so grateful, I may say, for your friendship and love and the, and the privilege of speaking with you, day by day, from the Word of God. I think the thing I like best in all of life is opening the Word of God and sharing it with other people.

We were talking about the rich young ruler who came running to the Lord Jesus Christ. This is found in Mark chapter 10 verse 17 and it said, “Good Master, what good thing shall I do that I may inherit eternal life”? You don’t get saved by doing good things. I had a card the other day from someone who protested that our emphasis on salvation by grace through faith, plus nothing, plays down the importance of good works. This was one of our Roman Catholic friends, and we have many of them, who wanted to be sure that we weren’t playing down the importance of good works. Then in my reply I, I replied to many these letters personally, in my reply I pointed out to this person that it’s a combination, it’s not either or, not either faith only or good works, but you’re saved by grace through faith, plus nothing, but if you go on a reading, for instance in Ephesians 2:8,9 and 10 it says, “For by grace are ye saved through faith and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast”. You can’t do anything, that’s what the good ruler, the, the young ruler made the mistake in. You see, you can’t do anything to merit the mercy of God and the salvation of God. So you’re saved by grace through faith but he says, “For we are His workmanship”, now this is Ephesians 2:10, the next verse, “For we are His workmanship.” Incidentally, that’s a beautiful word that word translated workmanship, it’s the Greek word poem, poema, you’re God’s poem, isn’t that beautiful? We are God’s poem, “Created onto good works which God hath before ordained that we should walk”, that means live every day, “in them”.

So that’s two sides of the same coin, saved by grace through faith plus nothing, that’s nothing you can’t do or pay or promise or join, anything that will save your never dying soul. It has to be done by the mercy of God, because the Lord Jesus Christ, born of the Virgin Mary and lived a sinless life and died an atoning death because He died for you and rose again, that’s why you can be saved, but God’s plan is that you do good works because you’re saved. Well, you know that, don’t you?

So, Jesus said, “You know the commandments”, and He gave them six of them, left out the four that have to do with your relationship with God the Father. Then he gave them what I, what I call an action summary. Now small thought here; in your reading of the Bible, always look for the action summary, that is to say Scripture portions that tell you what to do about it. What to do about it.

In one of the older aircraft there was some malfunction of, of the, the hydraulic landing gear, and they had, they had, there inevitably been some leak that it developed in the hydraulic fluid, had leaked out of one side of the, the aircraft so the one of the wheels didn’t come down. This was a good many years ago now. They told me that after circling for a while, the pilot thought upon an ingenious solution to his problem, and he got some coffee and poured it into the pipeline that led to that particular hydraulic part, and it lasted just long enough to get the wheel down and locked in place and they landed safely. Well, I believe in drinking coffee, I drink lots of it, but I’ve never used it for a hydraulics, but there is, there is a, there is a sense in, in which if you’re, if you’re hard enough put to it, you’ll, you’ll think of something to do, won’t you?

Action summary is that portion of Scripture that tells you what to do about the situation. So, the Lord Jesus gave him an action summary. He says, “I’ve given you six commandments, there’s four left and every one of them has to do with the, with the priorities of God in your life. Thou shall have no other gods before me. Thou shall I make unto thee any graven image, and that Thou shall not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain and remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy”. God, God’s name, God’s place in God’s day. Alright, now what’s the action summary? He says, “What’s the one thing that’s keeping you from doing anything about those four commandments”? Says, “It’s your money. You better get rid of that and come and follow Me”. Now, do you derive from that, that every one of us should sell everything and just enter into the life of, of mendicant to ministry? No, I don’t think that that is it at all.

I think the Lord Jesus addressed this man’s particular problem just as He addressed the problem, for example, of the lady who came out with her water jar to draw water at Jacobs ancient well of Sychar. He said, “Give me a drink of water”. She said, “How is it that you being a Jew asks me a favor? The only reason a Jew would talk to a Samaritan woman is the oldest reason the world. Is that what’s on your mind, Mister”? That’s what she was saying. “Why”, he said, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that sayeth to thee, ‘Give me to drink’, thou wouldst have asked of Him and He would’ve given thee living water”. There’s a, there’s a very powerful sequence of thought there that you might meditate upon sometime, “If thou knewest the gift of God, thou wouldst have asked of Him”.

Your job is to get people to the place where they know what God’s gift is. Many times they come immediately and ask for His pardon and forgiveness. Well, she said, “You’ve nothing to draw within. The well is deep”, and so on, “art Thou greater than our father Jacob?” He said, “Whosoever drinketh of this water”, and that’s in the well, “this water in the well, shall thirst again. Whosoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst, but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life”. She said, “Oh, give me this water”. He said, “Go call your husband”, and she said, “I don’t have any”. He said, you said a mouthful. I have no husband. “Thou has had five and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband”, and so finally He, He identifies Himself as the Messiah. She said, “I know the Messiah is coming”. He said, “’I that speak unto thee am He’, and upon this she left her water pot, went her way into the city and witnessed to the people who knew her best”. An action summary, what was it? Go call your husband. An action summary for the young man, your money’s standing in the way of your faith. Get it out of the way.

C.T. Studd was rich he had inherited his, his fortune and now God was dealing with him, and there is, so it came about that before he went to the mission field he felt clearly convicted that he should trust God for his support, not, not the fortune that was his, and so he deliberately gave away his entire fortune. Some of it went to Mr. Moody and some of it went to other causes, but that entire fortune was liquidated, they tell me, before he went out to the mission field, and he spent his lifetime trusting God for support, often times in, in situations of great need, but always trusting God because he had gotten his money out of the way.

Things can get in your way. I remember 1953, a man that told me that his own spiritual coldness had come about it in a very innocent way. He was on the mission field and he said that, that, one day a G.I. would been out on a bender the night before, woke up with a hangover and also greatly in debt and had to raise some money quickly, and so he came to this missionary, this was in Japan, he came to this missionary and offered to sell him a very expensive Japanese camera outfit. The camera, the regular lens, the, the wide-angle lens, the telephoto lens, everything and he would sell it to him for $100 dollars. Well, the missionary happen to have $100 in, in, in the inner pocket of his wallet. You know, you always have a little something tucked away for a rainy day, and he happened to have $100 that he tucked away there in the inside of his wallet, and so I thought to himself, he told me this, as we talked afterwards he thought to himself, “Well, I ought to take pictures of the work so that I can send them home to those who are praying for me and supporting me, and this is logical and it’s a good bargain and I would have a good camera and I could take pictures of the work here, and send them home”. So he bought it. Well, he said soon he was doing less and less of missionary work and more and more photography. It’s true he was sending pictures back home, but also true, his own heart was getting cold and he was becoming professional in his work. So now one day in an all-night prayer meeting, he was greatly convicted of this, and God told him that that was standing in the way, and it wasn’t long before he got rid of that camera and he told me one day with great joy he said, “I sold it this morning”. Well I said, “That’s great”, I said, “What you do with the money”? He said, “I gave it to our mission for the, for the fresh air camp that we maintain for Japanese boys and girls”. Well, I said, “You must’ve kept out a few dollars to buy yourself at least a brownie box camera to take some pictures”. He got very upset. He said, “Don’t talk to me about cameras. That got in the way once, between me and God. I’m not going to let it get in the way again”. Is there anything wrong with a camera? No, I have two or three that I use regularly. Nothing wrong with a camera. Nothing wrong with things, but when they get in the way remember what Jim Wright told me, I’ve quoted that once or twice to you, and some of you have remembered it, haven’t you? Jim Wright said to me one day, “I guess it’s whether or not you have things or they have you”. Don’t let them get in the way between you and your God.

The action summary when you read the Bible look for the action summary, a passage that sums up what you ought to do about the truth that God is putting into your heart and mind. Well, the young man failed his test, he was sad at that saying, went away grieved, for he had great possessions. He kept his riches and lost his Savior, “What shall it profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose his own soul”? Sad, but true. Now, the Savior says and this is Mark 10 verse 23, “How hardly”, that means with what great difficulty, “shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God”? Now, does that mean that it’s wrong to make money? Not at all. It doesn’t mean that it’s wrong to have money or to make money. The Bible speaks of profit. It speaks of investment. Our Lord Jesus gave the parable of the talents so that to, to make money and to invest money, and, “Seest thou a man diligent in his business, he shall stand before kings, he shall not stand before mean men”, all that. “It is the Lord that causeth to increase riches”, you read in Deuteronomy. God is not against money, but it’s the love of money, says Paul, that is the root of all evil. And so the problem is, isn’t it, the problem is that you get your eye on the money and you get your eye off of the things of heaven. A dear friend of mine said to me one day, regretfully and ruefully, he said, “You know, Bob, it was lot easier for me to tithe when I was making $100 a week than it is now when I’m making a hundred thousand dollars a year”. “A lot easier for me to tithe”. Well, I think you and I have to face that.

There isn’t anything in the world that is worth getting in between you and God. “Nothing between my soul and the Savior, naught of this world’s elusive gleam, I have renounced all earthly favor. Jesus is mine. There is nothing between”. Don’t let anything stand between you and God.

Dear Father today, help us to put Thee first in everything. Let there be nothing that stands between us and Thee, 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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