Get with the blessed Spirit of God. Get into the Word and open every room in your heart house to the love of God.
Alright, thank you very much. And hello again dear radio friends, how in the world are you? You doing alright? That little greeting establishes the fact that this is indeed your good friend, Bob Cook, and I’m back with you once again to look into the Word of God. I pray every time I approach these microphones that God may take some word of mine, and by His Holy Spirit, who indwells the believer, fit that word or that phrase or that concept to some special need you have. I want it to be personal. My good friend, Pastor Ross Rhodes told me recently that I come across so close to the microphone that he can hear me breathe. [chuckle] Well, that’s good. You know I’m alive then. [chuckle] Well, I just want it to be personal. I want you to feel that God said something to you. That’s what it’s all about, isn’t it?
Well look with me at 1 Timothy chapter six, and we’re in the middle of verse 11. “Thou O man of God, flee these things.” What are the “these things”? Well it has to do with the idea of money and the things it can buy; the attitude that if you’re really successful in spiritual life, you’ll be rich. “Supposing that gain is Godliness,” he says, “from such withdraw yourself.” And he said, “People that absolutely insist on being rich fall into temptation and a snare. Many foolish and hurtful desires which drown them in destruction or perdition. They err from the faith and pierce themselves through with many sorrows.” He says, “Run away from that. Flee these things, but follow after… ” That word follow is a verb that means pursue. “Pursue righteousness, Godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness, and fight the good fight of faith and lay hold on eternal life.” Well we’re right in the middle of verse 11. We took righteousness, and Godliness, and faith, and patience, but we left out love, and we have to go on and talk about meekness.
Now when he says love, what does he mean? Verse 11 of chapter six uses the John 3:16 word for love, “agape.” God so loved the world with a Calvary love, an eternal, sacrificial altogether Godly love. That’s John 3:16. That word there is “agape.” Look in 1 Timothy, chapter six, and you’ll find the same word. Follow after faith and agape, John 3:16 Calvary love. That’s the kind of love you’re to purse. Now how do you do that? How do you pursue something that you can’t package, you can’t kid yourself into feeling a certain way. Someone said to me wistfully years ago, “How can I love him when I really hate him?” [chuckle] Well, that’s being honest isn’t it?
Our differences with people rise up to plague us in this matter of Christian love. And of course, all of you who have been members of a deacon’s board have been in a deacon’s meeting where some brother or sister while getting purple in the face pounds on the table and says, “I say this in love for the good of the church.” [chuckle] It’s a different kind of love, huh? How do you pursue something you can’t package and you can’t buy a pound of it, and you can’t make yourself feel it. You can’t work yourself up to a certain psychologically caused peak of Divine affection. How do you do this? Well, Romans 5:5 says, “The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost who was given unto us.” Now you know don’t you that every person who is truly born from above does have the Holy Spirit of God dwelling within him or her.
“What know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which ye have of God, and ye are not your own for you’re bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, both of which belong to God.” Paul says that the Spirit of God dwells within you. And the command, of course, is not only that He should be resident, but that He should be, as someone has said, President. That He should fill all of your life. Ephesians 5:18, “Be not drunk with wine, where in is excess, but be filled with the Spirit.” And that verb “to be” is used in the linear sense which means “keep on”; keep on being filled with the Spirit. In other words a life that is lived in complete dependence upon and under the complete control of the Holy Spirit of God, that is the normal Christian life.
Now then that being so, the Holy Spirit dwells within the believer, and your duty in obedience to the Divine command, is to open every room in your heart house to that blessed Spirit of God, so that He can fill you and speak through you. That being so, what happens? Romans 5:5 again, “The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost, who is given unto us.” That Calvary love will fill your life. I spent a whole summer reading the writings and reading about the work of evangelist Charles G. Finney, an agnostic. Well he thought of himself as an atheist, I guess, for a while, but at least an honest agnostic; trained as a lawyer, a brilliant mind scoffing at the things of eternity as presented in churches around him, but then wonderfully converted and brought to faith in Christ. Still carrying on his law practice, but more and more drawn to the things of the Word of God, and the ministry of God’s Word.
So it was that one Sunday night before going to his own apartment, he stopped by his little law office and kindled a fire in the hearth, the fireplace there, to stave off the winter’s chill. And then he began to seek God, for there had been such a great hunger in his heart for God recently. And he began to pray and seek the Lord. And he writes about it in his own autobiography. He says there came over him a sensation of wave upon wave of liquid love. His whole soul was filled with Divine love. He said he doesn’t realize how long he lingered there, but when he finally finished that time of adoration and prayer, enjoying the outpouring of God’s love, the fire had long since gone out in the fireplace, and there was nothing there but cold, black embers. He then put on his overcoat and went on to his own apartment and went to bed.
Wave upon wave of liquid love. Same thing happened to D. L. Moody when the Spirit of God especially filled him. And I notice that those who have any dealings whatever with the Holy Spirit, as we meet people from time to time who have opened their lives to Him, one of the great manifestations of His Presence is the outpouring of genuine love. It isn’t a matter of mere tolerance or, “Hail fellow,” well-met kind of heartiness. Far more than that, it’s the outflow of Divine love. You say, “How am I gonna pursue Calvary love?” Get with the blessed Spirit of God, get into the Word, let God speak to your heart, open every room in your heart house to the love of God.
There are a number of things that we hold onto that keep God’s love from flowing. One is resentment, of course. Henry Brent, my good friend of many years, a professional psychologist and psychological counselor as well as being an able expositor of God’s Word, told the following story, I suppose, maybe nearly 30 years ago in my hearing. I still chuckle over it, although it was tragic in a way. He said that while he was still living up in Michigan, and I think while he was still employed by General Motors, this would be quite a while back now, of course. He said there came to him a young man with great psychological and emotional difficulties. The young man was in bad emotional trouble.
And so he sat down and listened to the young man tell about his difficulties, and it developed that one of the key elements in the young man’s feelings had to do with his attitude toward his father-in-law. He hated the man with a purple passion. It was not simply ordinary dislike, he really hated him. And so it soon became clear to Henry he said, that this young man’s problem stemmed from the fact that his soul was filled with hatred. And that of course was giving rise to all other kinds of difficulties emotionally.
So after a while he looked at him and he said, “Now, I take it that you dislike your father-in-law?” “Oh,” he said, “I hate him!” “Well,” he said, “I get that impression.” [chuckle] He said, “If I were able to give you a prescription and some therapy that would not only relieve these distressing problems that you’ve talked to me about but also would enable you to love your father-in-law, would you be interested?” He said the young man thought just a moment and then got up from his chair, took his hat and went toward the door, and just before he went out the door he said very crisply, “Nope! I’d rather go on hating him.” And he went on out.
Now, you see, there is the problem. We would rather incubate our hatreds and our resentments than to give the Holy Spirit of God a chance to pour Divine love through us. How do you pursue agape love? Number one, you get with God. Number two, you get in His Word. Number three, you open every room in your heart house to the blessed Holy Spirit of God. And in that process, you deal with some of these things that have stood in God’s way.
Unconfessed and unforsaken sin, resentments that you’ve held against different people. I said to an evangelist friend of mine, [chuckle] we were talking about somebody that he really was down on the man, he just had no use for him. And so I said to him, “Jim, you shouldn’t hate him.” He looked at me with some surprise. He said, “I don’t hate him, I just can’t stand him!” [laughter] Well, whatever you wanna call it. You have to let God operate on that, and He will. He will. He can give you a sweet spirit instead of a sour, acid, negative attitude toward people.
And when that happens, then the love of God is shed abroad in your heart and it pours out. There’s one thing about it, you can’t conceal real love. It does come out. The man who suffered unspeakable tortures at the hands of the godless communists a number of years ago simply because he was a Christian, was in a cell, and in one of the Iron Curtain countries. Which it was and so it doesn’t matter now. But there he was in jail, and his interrogators would come. They’d wake him up out of a sound sleep. They would interrogate him; they would beat him; they would subject him to all sorts of indignities.
And so one of these nights it was a routine night filled with all of the horror and the torture to which he had become almost accustomed. Somehow God had touched him in a very special way that day as he prayed there in his cell. And so when the guard came to peer in at him and utter a few obscenities, this man said, “You are doing your best to make me hate you, but I want you to know, I love you. God loves you. Jesus loved you and died for you. You can’t make me hate you because God’s love is in my heart.” He said the man recoiled as though he’d been struck in the face.
And later on at the midnight hour, there was a rattling at the door. The key turned, that same guard came in and said, “I can’t get away from that idea. I want to know your Savior too.” Ah yes, let the love of God flow through you. Pursue Calvary love.
Father God today, oh may our hearts be filled with Thy love. I ask this in Jesus’ 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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