Keeping ‘Good’ Busy

What you really are is going to show up in what people say about you. Over a period of time, what people say about you will be precisely the truth.

Scripture: Mark 3:13-15, Romans 12:6-8, Acts 1:8


Alright thank you very much, and how in the world are you my friend? You doing all right? Well, is your good friend Dr. Cook. I’m feeling great, happy in the Lord. Glad to be back with you. We’re looking at the third chapter of Mark. We just got into that verse where the Lord Jesus was appointing His apostles, “Twelve, that they should be with Him”, we talked about that, “That He might send them forth to preach”, that’s telling other people what Jesus is and who He is and what He can do. Then, in verse 15 of Mark chapter 3 says, “They should be with Him, that He might send them forth to preach”, that’s the second thing, and the third thing is, “and to have power”. It says here, “Power to heal sicknesses and to cast out demons”. Now the great question is, is everybody supposed to have that kind of power? I think you have to let God do the giving of the gifts, “Unto everyone is given gifts according to the measure of the grace of Christ”, said Paul, “To one is given one kind of gift and to another, another kind of gift”, you remember that passage in Romans 12? He says, “Having then gifts differing, differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy or ministry let us wait on our ministry, the teacheth on teaching, He that exhorteth on exhortation, He that giveth, let Him do it with simplicity, He that ruleth with diligence, He that showeth mercy with cheerfulness, and let love be without hypocrisy”. God gives you different gifts as it pleases Him. I think that is pretty clear. Personally, I don’t think I have the gift of you healing. I have prayed for some people and they were gloriously healed, and I prayed for the people and they died, so I don’t know whether I have the gift of healing or not, I only know that God can heal when it pleases Him. We believe that, don’t we? Hallelujah! God will heal in answer to prayer when it’s within His perfect will.

I may have some of the gifts. I remember an all-night prayer meeting we had in Sioux City, Iowa many years ago, and we were having a difficult campaign and so all I know is to seek God in pray, and then work as hard as you can, and I got everybody I could together in this all night prayer meeting, and we were seeking God and asking Him to break through with victory. One of the folk who was there for a day or two, was Rudy Atwood who at that time, was the pianist for Dr. Charles E. Fuller, and Rudy was there so we got him into prayer meeting and he graciously came along because his heart was right, I’m sure of that. The precious brother, not just a good musician, but a precious saint of God, and so he was praying along with the rest of us. Well, it came his turn to pray after we’d we prayed around different times and he started to pray for me, and I was glad for that. I’m always glad when people pray for me, but he started to pray for me, Rudy Atwood did. This is about what he said, he said, “Oh Lord”, said, “Bless Bob Cook. Here’s this brother, got this great gift of administration and he thinks he wants to preach. Bless him, Lord”. Well, it broke up the meeting. Everybody had a chuckle at that, you know. I wasn’t aware of having any administrative gift, that point, maybe I still am not, I don’t know. Bless his heart. He laid it right on the line. Different gifts. See, the thing that counts is, is there any power being exercised within the framework of the gift God has given you? That is what counts. “Ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost has come upon you and ye shall be witnesses unto me”, Jesus said as recorded in the Acts 1:8. The only reason for power is to magnify the Lord Jesus and witness, for Him, the display of religious power by itself can be a snare. The display of religious power if it points straight to Jesus and wins people for Him is what God has in mind, “Ye shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you and as a result ye shall be witnesses unto me”, said, “They that were scattered abroad upon the persecution that arose after the stoning of Stephen went everywhere, preaching the gospel”. So, this whole matter of spiritual power is not to display. God may indeed give you, my dear listener friend, as you yield to the fullness of His Holy Spirit, He may indeed give you the joy of praying for the sick and seeing them recover, and for someone else He may indeed give you that special assignment of combating the demons on their own turf and expelling them in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Eric Hutchings, who is now with the Lord several years, was a very successful evangelist in the British Isles and elsewhere in the world, and he had a team of people who went with him, one of whom was a specialist in combating demon forces. You must understand that in many places in our world, the forces of Satan have much more free reign then they have here in the United States. I’m afraid with the increase of the godlessness and pornography, and all the rest that we are opening the door rapidly to the influx of evil spirits, but that’s another subject. It is a fact however, that in many countries of the world, evil spirits have much more free reign and access to human beings then they have here, and so as Eric Hutchings went from one great, citywide campaign to another, he had this one man whose special gift it would seem, his special assignment from God, was to combat evil spirits, and he had learned the hard way, Eric told me. He learned the hard way, not to presume upon that gift, but always to make sure that he was, as we say, prayed and confessed up-to-date. There had been times when he had confronted evil spirits as they dwelt within some poor human, needy human being. He had confronted the evil spirit and had been thoroughly vanquished and defeated. Why? Because he had neglected to wait on God in prayer and fasting before. Jesus said, “This kind of spirit goeth not out, but by prayer and fasting”, and so this man whose special gift it was, it would seem, to combat the forces of evil on their own turf, he had learned that you must go depending in the power and the might of the Holy Spirit of God and your life has to be complete the yielded to Him. So, there are people who do have certain gifts, including those that were mentioned here in Mark 3:15, to heal sicknesses and cast out demons. The point that I think is important, is that you will be sure and I be sure that the power of God is operating in our life, within the framework of the gift He has given us. Whether its administration or prophecy, that’s our idea preaching and forth telling, or whatever it may be, healing or casting out demons or anything else, whatever gift God has given you beloved, be sure that you are prayed and confessed up-to-date, be sure that you’re waiting on God, be sure there’s no hint of carnality or sin or compromise your life, and let the power of God flow, unhindered through you in that particular channel. Remember the old song,” Channels only, blessed master, but with all Thy wondrous power flowing through us, Thou canst use us every day and every hour”. Channels; oh the power of God. Do you know anything about that in your life? God’s power in your life within the framework of the gifts He has given you. Some of you dear ones have many gifts, you’re so gifted. How fortunate you are. Others of us may only have one gift or two, whatever it is that God has seemed sovereignly fit to bestow upon us, let’s make sure that our lives are open to the power of the Holy Spirit of God, and that He can work. That is would Jesus intended, don’t you think?

Three things than that He had in mind in ordaining these apostles, to be with Him, to be set forth to preach, and to have power. Oh, may that be true of you and of me. Now, He named these folk, interestingly the nicknames were only applied to Simon Peter and James and John others just had their regular name, except for Judas who was identified as being which also betrayed Him. Two reasons for this. One; your character sticks to you and people will always identify you by your character and the other is there was another Judas, which they call Judas not Iscariot, because they wanted to make a difference between the person who betrayed the Lord Jesus and another man by the same name, who was true to Him.

Small thought here just for a moment, what you are is going to show up in what people say about you. Now, there’s room for the occasional misunderstanding, I know that, but over a period of 20 years, let us say, what people say about you will be precisely the truth. It’s a little frightening isn’t it, but it’s absolutely dependable as an axiom that you can use in running your own life. There’s room for the occasional misunderstanding. When it happens, clear it up in Christian love and make sure that is cleared up, but remember this, the person you are is going to come through, inevitably, and what people say about you over a period of time, say like 15 or 20 years, what people say about you will be precisely the truth.The correlate of that of course, is that after age 50 people get the face they deserve. That’s a frightening one too, isn’t it? Look in the mirror and scream. Well, bless your heart, the grace of God can accomplish a great deal in all of our lives, and you can always start from today on to let God lead in your life and to let Him mold your character and to determine your actions and to let Him manage your motives, so that what people say about you, while it’s the truth, is also going to honor and glorify your blessed Lord. The names He gave them were based on the kind of people they were. Now it says, “They went together and they went home and the multitude came together so they couldn’t even have a meal”. Now people misunderstand when you get busy for God, isn’t that strange? If you’re in sales you’re so busy that you can’t eat, they say. boy he’s a hotshot salesman, well look at him, he selling so hard that he doesn’t even take time to eat. If you’re in politics and the crowds are gathering and you don’t have at time to enjoy any kind of privacy at all, they say well, isn’t he popular, look at the way the crowds follow him, but if you’re in religious work and you’re busy, people say, oh, look at that, oh my goodness he’s just flying off into left field somewhere, he’s a religious fanatic, look at him. See, that’s what they did, they misunderstood. There was so many people that there wasn’t even time to eat, and when His “friends”, that word actually means kinsman’s, his relatives, heard of it they went out to lay hold on Him for they said, He’s beside Himself, He’s crazy. Now, why did they misunderstand? What is the basis of this kind misunderstanding? Time will run out before we can get to this very much, but let me just telegraph it to you. The basis for this kind of misunderstanding is that people think any time that you are busy enough for the Lord, that it interferes with normal routines, that you’ve sort of gone off your rocker, that you are not really mentally competent if you let religion interfere with anything else. That is the assumption of the world around you. We’ll talk about that later on, but you chew over that and realize that that’s what you’re up against in this kind of a world. Anytime you let your faith interfere with normal routines of life, people assume that you don’t have both oars in the water. Well, thank God you and I know better, don’t we, and we can be busy for our Lord and happy doing His will. We’ll get at this again the next time we get together.

Dear Father today, keep us busy for Thee, full of the Spirit of God, yielded to Thy Will, walking with Jesus, Amen.

Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!

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