Like Our Father

Talk to your Heavenly Father about those various characteristics that are His and ask Him to plant them in your own life.

Scripture: John 17


Alright, thank you very much. And hello again, radio friends. How in the world are you? Doing alright today? Bless your heart. I trust so. This is your good friend, Bob Cook, and I pray, each time before I go on the radio, that God may have some word, especially for you, that will help, or encourage, or inspire, or guide, or whatever it may be, from His blessed eternal Word, the Bible. We’re just summarizing some of the truths in John, before we go to another passage, and we come now to Chapter 17. Our Lord Jesus has just said to the disciples in the world, “Ye shall have tribulation, but be of good cheer. I have overcome.”

You go back to the Book of the Revelation, in the 12th Chapter. I think it’s about Verse 11, “They overcame him,” that’s Satan, “They overcame Satan by the blood of the lamb, and by the word of their testimony, and they loved, not their lives unto the death.” This is speaking of the victorious servants of our Lord Jesus Christ and it was written about 2,000 years ago, more or less. But it speaks of future happenings in the past tense, “Satan is a defeated foe.” We know he’s still around. We know that. “Be sober, be vigilant, because your adversary, the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about seeking whom he may devour.” “Resist him steadfast in faith,” said Peter. So we know he’s still around, but he’s a defeated foe. “I have overcome the world,” Jesus said. “They overcame,” past tense, “They overcame him,” Satan, “By the blood of the lamb, and the word of their testimony, and lives laid down for Jesus.”

What I’m saying is, when God accomplishes something, it’s done, whether or not the chronology of history has caught up with it yet. You can depend upon the fact that Satan is a defeated foe. You can depend upon the fact that not all of the pressures of the world around you can take away your faith, your contact with almighty God, and your usefulness in His purposes. It’s done. It’s settled. Jesus is Lord. God has the victory. And you and I belong to Him. Hallelujah for that. Well, “Then our Lord Jesus,” it says, “Lifted up His eyes.” By the way, you don’t always have to close your eyes when you pray. Now, I know in church, it’s not really polite to be looking around, when everybody has their heads bowed and eyes closed. This is a custom we have that is centuries old and I’m not inveighing against it. But sometime, why don’t you try what Dr OJ Smith taught me many years ago?

Dear man of God, the founder of the People’s Church in Toronto, great missionary statesman, great man of faith and prayer, my dear friend, now with the Lord. He would pace back and forth in his room. Now, you can’t walk back and forth with your eyes shut or you’ll bump into something. He would pace back and forth in his room and pray. He said that did two things: It kept him awake and it demanded that he be alert enough not to let his mind wander. Personally, I’ve had some of the finest prayer meetings of my life with my eyes open. I give you one incident. I preached, I think for six or seven services, during one Sunday in Buffalo, New York years ago. And I got through, finally, at about 10:15, after having spoken to a group in Jim Andrews’ Church. And then, I decided, “Well, I better get on home, because I have to be on the job tomorrow at the college.” Now, Buffalo is roughly about seven hours drive from Briarcliff Manor, something like that, depending on who’s driving, I guess.

That night, it was snowing, snowing up a blizzard. And I was driving, of all things, a Ford convertible. My good friend, Brother Larson, Carl Larson, had been talking to me in his showroom one day and I said, “Well, I gotta trade in my old Ford. It’s wearing out.” And he said, “Well, come out here in the showroom and look at some of these things.” And I saw this red convertible, 19… What would it have been in that… It was in the 60’s. And it just caught my eye. I said, “Carl, can you arrange for me to have that?” Well, he did, and I did, and the bank did. [laughter] It was you, and me, and the bank, you know how that is? And there I was, driving a Ford convertible on a wintry night, when I had to follow, actually, the snowplow, in order to get through on the Thruway, the New York Thruway, from Buffalo on toward New York City. And you know what I had? I had a list of things up on the visor, above me there, in the windshield. And I began a prayer meeting that lasted for seven hours.

I got on the road at 10:30. I arrived at Briarcliff Manor the following morning at 7:30, utterly refreshed. I have to tell you that. I didn’t feel as though I had missed any sleep. I was refreshed, I was blessed, and I had talked with my Lord through much of that night with my eyes wide open. I’m not trying to prove anything, you understand me. “Jesus lifted up His eyes to Heaven and said, ‘Father.’ ” So sometime, when you’re by yourself… I don’t recommend this in church. Now, don’t be staring around in church. You know there’s a difference. You understand that… But sometime, when you’re by yourself, maybe you’re driving, or maybe you’re in a hotel room, or maybe you’re in the privacy of your own home, and nobody’s around to look, you just talk to your Father with your eyes open. Look up, up, up. Lift up your hands when you pray sometime, just in the private… You don’t have to do this out in the church. You’ll disturb some of the deacons, so don’t do it. [laughter]

But lift up your hands, and open your eyes, and talk to your Father, by faith, and you will be amazed at the blessing that comes. Well, alright, that’s the end of the detour. Now, don’t write and scold me about it, if you disagree. Like my father used to tell me, “We’ll be in Heaven sometime and you’ll know I was right.” [laughter] Whatever you do, pray. I don’t care whether it’s with eyes shut or eyes open, but do pray. Right? “Jesus lifted up His eyes to Heaven and said, ‘Father, the hour has come. Glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee.’ ” Now, notice the past tense that He had there. We’re just hitting the high spots again, as I say, not verse by verse here, but just some of the precious things that we wanna be reminded of.

He said, “I’ve glorified thee.” Verse Four, “I have finished the work, which you gave me to do.” Verse Six, “I have manifested your name to the men you gave me.” Verse Eight, “I have given them thy words, the words that you gave me.” Alright? “I have given them thy Word,” again, Verse 14. “I have,” Verse 18, “I have sent them into the world.” Verse 22, “The glory that you gave me, I have given them.” Now, this is the heritage of the child of God. It is so rich. I have to resist the temptation to dwell on it, and dwell on it, and dwell on it. And I don’t wanna bore you, ’cause it’s so easy for you to turn the radio off, and I don’t wanna risk that. But He said, “I glorified you on the Earth.” To glorify God, is to make God larger in the impact that He makes on human life. To glorify God, is to amplify, shall I say, and enlarge the aura of blessing, and the awareness of His presence, and the impact of His being upon you. Second, He said, “I’ve finished the work.” Remember, our Lord Jesus Christ did what He set out to do. It was a long journey down the stairways of the stars to Mary’s womb, and the stable at Bethlehem, and the babyhood, and boyhood in the carpenter’s home. A long journey to Calvary, but He said, “I’ve finished the work, it’s done.”

Paul, later on, could echo the same sentiments. He said, “I have fought a good fight. I have kept my course. I have finished. I’ve finished my course. I’ve kept the faith, henceforth, the crown.” You and I can do no less. What has God set you to do? For some of you, He’s given you the cup of loneliness to drink. People write to me, or phone me sometimes, and they say, “Oh, it’s so lonesome. My husband died, my wife died.” A dear man wrote me the other day, and he said, “All I can do is go out, and by her grave, and cry.” Oh, that’s a bitter cup to drink, isn’t it? And only time, and the grace of God can help you work through that sorrow. God has given you that experience just now, and He’s doing it, so that you can comfort somebody else. Second Corinthians One, Four, Three, and Four said, “Blessed be God the Father of comfort, who comforteth us in all our trouble, that we may be able to comfort others, by the comfort wherewith, we, ourselves, are comforted of God.” And you, my brother, my sister, have been trusted with something that you don’t like right now, so that you can bring blessing, and comfort to others. Be sure that you are able to say, later on, “I finished the job.” Jesus said, “I finished the work.”

Then he said, “I manifested thy name.” Oh, the names of God, no time now to go through them all. He’s the Jehovah God. He’s the one who is our supplier. He’s the one who is our healer. He’s the one who is our banner. He is God, thy name, Almighty God, Elohim. Do you know God by name? That is, are you acquainted with His attributes? Get yourself a concordance, and a Scripture textbook, and look up the attributes of God, and study them. And then, talk to your Heavenly Father about those various characteristics that are His, and ask Him, oh, ask Him to plant them in your own life. To be Godlike, is the meaning of godliness. You wanna be a godly person? It means God-likeness. Ask God to plant His characteristics in your life. “I manifested your name.”

Then, He said, “I gave him your words,” the Word of God in your heart and it becomes real when Jesus Christ is your Lord. The Bible is sawdust, mentally speaking, to those who don’t accept the Lord Jesus as Lord and Savior. “The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness unto him, neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. It takes the miracle of the new birth to make the Bible live.” But, oh, when Jesus comes in to reign in your life, you become, and not only interested, but involved in the divine eternal truth of God. He said, “I’ve given them thy Word.” Then He said, “I’ve sent them into the world.” You and I are sent, people, not to sit around and hope that something will happen, but to move out into the currents of everyday life, shining for the Lord Jesus. Among whom, Paul says in Philippians Two, “Ye shine as lights in the world. Wherever you go, you shine.” Great, shine in the darkness with a built-in light, because He, the light of the Word, is in your life. Well, time’s gone, I have to quit.

Dear Father, wilt thou, today, fill us with the Spirit of God? And may the living Christ of God live through us, we ask in His name, Amen.

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

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