Circumstances can do all sorts of things emotionally to you. But underneath, there's the joy that never fades and that never subsides.
Alright thank you very much, and hello again dear radio friends. How in the world are you? Doing Alright today? I certainly trust so, bless your heart. This is your good friend Dr. Cook and I’m so glad to be back with you to share from the Word of God. We’re looking, you and I, looking into the 23rd Psalm, we’ve come to verse five. We talked about the fact of God’s provision, “Thou preparest a table before me, even in the presence of my enemies”. You never need to worry about your critics. Let God handle them and in the process, He takes care of you as well. Then He says, “Thou anointest my head with oil”. We were talking about the anointing oil the last time we got together, do you recall? Now, in the Old Testament sense of course, the anointing was particularly for priests, as they were initiated into the priesthood, and kings when the prophet or other representative of God’s Message, would anoint them to be king over a year given group. Royalty and priesthood, and of course immediately then, we turned to 1 Peter, where he said, “We are a royal priesthood, a kingly nation”. God puts the blue blood, so to say, of royalty in your spiritual veins and you become a member of His Royal Family, and not by any choice of yours, but because of His matchless grace. He loved you, sought you, bought you, saved you, adopted you into His family and gave you major joint heir with the Lord Jesus Christ. Not only that but He gives you the privilege of ministering the things of God, you are a whole royal priesthood. You not only then, have royalty but you also have the inestimable privilege of approaching into the Presence of God and bringing others with you. See, this is the thrust, this is the important point, let us say, about the Christian life! Not only are you going to get to Heaven, that’s important of course, but on the way God is giving you the indescribably sweet and precious privilege of introducing other people to the Lord Jesus Christ as God’s Royal priest. You have a priestly ministry believer- are you exercising it? How long has it been since you prayed with anybody for salvation? That may be an embarrassing question, but if it is, let it be. You and I should be sharing our blessed Lord Jesus joyfully, enthusiastically, and effectively with other people whose hearts you know are hungering for the Bread of Life.
Then he says, not only the anointing of royalty and priesthood, but then there’s the oil of reproof, “Let the righteous smite me; it shall be an excellent oil, shall not break my head”, said the wise man. There is that special, God-given, loving way of expressing concern for another believer. Have you discovered that? Many people are like a human bulldozer they just rush in, roughshod and ride over other people’s sensibilities and say, “Well, if they don’t like it that’s their problem”. Well you know it’s not just their problem, it’s YOUR problem, beloved. You don’t have to be like an accident going somewhere to happen, in order to be spiritual. Did you know that? You can learn by the guidance of the blessed Spirit of God to be loving, and kind, and tactful, and your words to other people can be as the Bible says, “An excellent oil which shall not break my head”. Have you learned to deal with other people’s frailties’ in love? Now I know that some people have the gift of just it just irking you, isn’t that true? My good friend Roy McCandless, used to talk about some folk who had the gift of discouragement. Well, I know about the people who have the gift of the irking you and bugging you. (laughs) They just seem to have that as their specialty. They’ll come and say, “I know you’re not going to like this, but I’m going to tell you for your own good”, and immediately you feel yourself tightening up and defending yourself inwardly, before they’ve ever said a word. Have you learned how to deal with other people’s frailties in love? Oh, that is so important, isn’t it? How do you want to be treated when you have the need, whether not you know it, you have need of some counsel and guidance? How do you want people to treat you? You want them to be kind, don’t you? And you want them to understand where you’re coming from, as the kids say, and you want them to have some kind of empathy with your situation, before they try to change it. How often we of said other people, “You just don’t understand!” And of course oftentimes they don’t. Oh, learn my dear friend, the secret of dealing with other people’s frailties in God-given love. The love of God Paul says in Romans 5 verse five, “The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost Who has given unto us”. Oh, I want to be that kind of person, don’t you? Yes, we do.
Well then, going on considering this matter of the anointing oil, you have in Isaiah 61:3, “The oil of joy instead of the spirit of mourning”. The oil of joy. Now, do you know the difference between happiness and joy? I suppose you do, don’t you? Happiness concerns our reaction to circumstances. There’s a little British chorus, I’ve never heard sung on the side of the Atlantic but they used to use it on the other side, “I’m happy when everything happens to please, but happiness comes and goes while the heart that is stayed on Jesus the Savior ever with joy o’er flows”. Happiness happens but joy abides in the heart that is stayed on Jesus. Beautiful isn’t it? Well, it’s so true. Happiness or un-happiness, is geared to circumstances, and the Bible nowhere says that you and I should be happy. You remember this person who has joined a religious cult that believed that everything was wonderful? You know everything’s wonderful. Well, he met a friend of his some weeks later and the friend said, “How you getting along with your new religion”, and he said dolefully, “I quit”. “oh,” he said, “I thought it was so great”. “Yes”, he said, “but I got tired of being so blooming happy all the time”. (laughs) Well, you’re not really required to be happy, as a Christian, but God’s provision is that in all sorts of adverse circumstances, your life can be filled with the Joy of the Lord, the oil of joy, instead of the spirit of mourning and heaviness. Now, how does that occur? Well, there’s joy in salvation, “Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation”. Think for a moment of what God is done for you and your heart will begin to warm with love and joy in His direction. And then there’s the joy that comes from the Word. “These things I have spoken unto you”, Jesus said, “that My joy might remain in you and that your joy might be full”. There’s the joy of doing the Father’s will, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame and is set down at the right hand of the Father on high”. The joy of doing God’s Will. There’s the joy of the bringing people to the Lord, “He that go forth and weep buried precious seed shall doubtless come again with rejoicing saying, ‘Bringing his sheaves with him’” That’s the scriptural source of the song that we used to sing, “Bringing in the Sheaves.”
When Dr. O.J. Smith was alive, he used to invite me to come up to People’s Church in Ontario. Great church now pastored by his famous son Paul. But O.J.would supervise the missionary pledge offering which was taken once a year and the missionary conventions. They raised, and still do, millions of dollars for foreign missions. Somewhere along the line Dr. Smith would say, “Well, let’s sing Bringing in the Sheaves”, and so they’d sing “Bringing in the sheaves”, and then he’d say, “Let’s change it bringing in Chinese”, so they’d sing that way, and then he’d say, “well, now we don’t want to leave anybody out so, let’s sing, bringing others in”, and so he’d have all sorts of variations on that Bringing in the Sheaves. Why? Well, because God has that way of winning others to Himself as you and I get the Gospel message out across the world. The joy of winning people to Christ, the joy of seeing the Lord Jesus exalted. “He that hath the bride is the bridegroom”, said John the Baptist, and the friend of the bridegroom which standeth aside and hears the bridegroom rejoices greatly at the sound of the bridegroom’s voice”, he said, “This my joy, therefore”, says John chapter 3 verse 29, “this my joy therefore is fulfilled”. The joy of seeing Jesus work and hearing His voice. See now, none of these things are related to circumstances which ordinarily bother us or hurt us or break our hearts or discourage us or threaten us. Circumstances can do all sorts of things emotionally to you, but underneath there’s the joy that never fades and that never subsides, and that is not, thank God, not dependent upon the circumstances around us. Oh, do you know about that? The joy, the oil of joy. I wish that I somehow could transmit this truth practically to every one of you, dear friends who are listening. You don’t have to be the victim of circumstances, beloved. You don’t have to be down and discouraged and gloomy because things aren’t going right. I’m not saying you have to be happy. There are a lot of things that are, produce unhappiness. I never heard anybody say, “Oh, goody, I have a big cavity and I have to go to the dentist, goody-goody”. You know you’re not always happy about things that are right even, So the Bible doesn’t say have to be happy. The Bible does say that you can have abiding joy. “That My joy might remain”, said He “in you”. It’s an abiding relationship with Jesus that gives you that good, solid awareness that God is on the throne and He’s not going to forget you and everything is in His blessed hands. Hallelujah the joy of the Lord. The oil of joy, instead of mourning.
Well, we’ll not get to some of these other concepts before the end of this broadcast, but just before we sign off, let me remind you that there is a blessed, holy, divine oil that flows through empty, clean channels, and we’ll get at that the next time we get together. Found in Zachariah chapter 4, “The pipes through which the holy oil can flow”. Paul used a little different figure of speech, he said, “In a great house there are many vessels, some to honor, some to dishonor, a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honor. Sanctified and easy for the master to use. So, whether you use the figure of speech about of a pipe through which oil flows or vessel that contains something valuable, either way the lesson is the same, you and I need to be channels for God’s blessing. We’ll talk about that the next time we get together.
Dear Father today, may we be filled with Thy joy, in Jesus’ name I ask this, Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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