Living Alert

Be on the job for God, alert and open to the Holy Spirit's leading. Live in an atomosphere of constant prayer and commitment to him. Summary of "the meaning of a saved mind."

Scripture: 1 Thessalonians 5:6-10, Romans 1:18, John 5:24, Romans 8:1


Alright, thank you very much, and hello again, my dear radio friends. How in the world are you? Yes, of course, that greeting establishes the fact that this is indeed your friend, Bob Cook, and you and I are back together again by way of radio, the miles drop away, and we’re together in the presence of our Lord and His inerrant, infallible, eternal Word, the Bible. I look forward to these times when I can be with you.

As a matter of fact, right now it’s just getting light; it’s very early in the morning. I awoke with one of the blessings of the senior citizen: a cramp in my left leg. You would have laughed to see Bob Cook hopping around on one foot in the semi-darkness, trying somehow to loosen up that muscle that had started talking back. Well, by the time it calmed down, I was wide awake, and I thought, “Well, why don’t I just look into the Word of God and talk to my Lord, and maybe, just maybe I can come out with a broadcast that will have some blessing in it.” So I did, downstairs to this large, one-room apartment which I commandeered when we moved into this gracious home out in the Pocono mountains, in Tannersville, PA, and turned on the lights and tape recorder, then opened to the Bible and opened my heart to the Lord, and asked Him to speak through me to you today. So here we are, it’s just barely getting light, and we’ll start the day together, you and I. Alright?

Now, if you’re listening in the night hours, you’ll just have to sort of adjust your mental clock. That’s alright; we’re together anyway, aren’t we, no matter what time it is, and the Word of God is open before us. You and I are working around in the 5th Chapter of 1 Thessalonians. We talked about the fact that we’re not to be sleeping on the job, but awake and on the job for God, because the Lord Jesus could come at any time. And so, Paul uses two verbs: “watch,” and “be sober.” Do you remember when I talked about that, what it means to be on the watch? Priority attention to God’s will, active participation in God’s program and purpose, and exclusive attention, exclusive of anything opposed to God (that means “to watch.”)

I had a personal experience of “watching” some years ago while I was President of the College; I was also an auxiliary patrolman at Briarcliff Manor. They put me through the ten weeks of training, and I went with the rest of the police force from that very fine village up to the FBI headquarters on a nearby mountain. We went through the handgun course; I got my sharpshooter medal, as a matter of fact, and was very, you may say humbly, proud of that. But in those days, now and again I would be asked to help the regular force with some chore that required more manpower than was available, helping to direct traffic during a given event or being on the job if there was a large fire somewhere or whatever it may be, and I was glad for that. I was glad for the contact with some of the finest people you’d ever meet.

So it was that they said, “We want you to help us stake out a place.” And I said, “Well, what do you want me to do?” They said, “We know that the people who broke in are going to come back because they had to leave what they were after.” I said, “Alright.” So they placed me in an upstairs window looking out over a spacious lawn with trees and shrubs and a driveway, and I sat there for some hours. As a matter of fact, nothing happened while I was on the job, just to be honest with you. It would have been nice had it been so, but I was alert and awake, and my eyes were simply glued to that area where the perpetrator of the crime might show up. You did what was involved to the exclusion of every other idea or activity.

Well, the following night it was my bad luck not to be there, because I had another commitment and I couldn’t do it. Sure enough, the perpetrators of the crime showed up to see if they could recover their lost loot, and my dear friend Hank Kaufman, just as the one young man was trying to get out of the car, simply stepped over and threw his 200-pound weight against the car door, and pinned the young man fast and held him there until someone else could come and help him, and put him in handcuffs. But in the process of watching, you have to be on the job for God.

Have you thought about what is involved in being watchful in the light of the second coming, so far as your own life is concerned? What does it mean to be on the job for God? Well, I think for one thing it means to live in a constant atmosphere of prayer and commitment to Him. When you wake up and greet your Lord in prayer, before you start the business of the day, spend some time alone with your Lord. It’s that quiet time with God that puts the cast of blessing on the whole day. The glow of God on your life makes the difference throughout the whole day if you have a quiet time with Him before you start. To be watchful, to be on the job for God, it means to be alert for what the Holy Spirit of God may whisper to you concerning what God wants you to do just now.

Oftentimes, just on impulse, I’ll call up someone about whom I’ve been thinking, and so many times it’s happened that the people say, “Oh, Bob, I’m so glad you called just now. This is just what I needed,” and they go on to tell me what was on their heart. Be alert for the guidance of the Holy Spirit moment by moment. This is no flaky semi-hysterical business. Dr. Donald Gray Barnhouse used to say, “Don’t be afraid of fanaticism. Fanaticism is not too much religion, but too little brains.” If you’ve got any brains, stay in the Word and trust your Lord. That’s a pretty good idea.

So, there’s nothing flaky about what I’m telling you. It’s simply to be alert for what the indwelling Holy Spirit whispers to your heart as you pray your way through the day. And when God gives you these nudges along the way, to guide you into His perfect will, obey them. That’s part of being watchful. Be on the job for God. And always remember that the supreme purpose of our Lord is to use you to win others to Christ.

Jesus said, “Neither pray I for these alone, but for all them also which have believed on Me through their word.” Our Savior expected that through the word of believers, there would be others brought to faith in Him, and the supreme purpose of God’s work in your life is to bring others to Christ, that we might by all means, said Paul, save some. Stay on the job for God today, would you? Keep your attention fixed on the objective of God’s will. Find out what the will of God is and then keep your attention fixed on that objective as you go out, just as I looked steadily out that second floor window for five or six hours, watching, watching, watching. So, you and I are to be steadily fixed on the objective of God’s will for our lives.
Well, he said, “Watch,” and then, “be sober,” and we talked about the meaning of that word, “sober.” There are two Greek words: one means “a saved mind,” and the other means, “calm, collected, temperate and in control.” If you put the two concepts together, you have an exciting view of what it really means to live for your Lord. A saved mind is programmed by the Word and the Holy Spirit, a saved mind approaches issues of life from the perspective of the Cross, a saved mind gives God the glory, a saved mind wears salvation and righteousness as a bulletproof vest (a breastplate, in the old days, was equivalent to what we would call a bulletproof vest these days.)

Faith plus love equals righteousness, and there is your protection from the attacks of the enemy. Then, he said, the helmet, the hope of salvation: the fact that you are different because Jesus has entered your life. If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature. The awareness of who you are will protect you in the battles of life. That’s what Paul is saying. The helmet is to protect the head, and so, the salvation that you know has occurred to you because of trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. The awareness of who and what you are in Christ will see you through the pressures and the trials and the battles of life. For a helmet, the hope of salvation.

Well, anyhow, we come now to Verse 9. He said, “God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ.” The hope of salvation in Verse 8 is related to this statement: “God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him.” Living with Christ moment by moment, is the ultimate protection for you in a world filled with problems and troubles and trials and demons and all the rest. Let’s see how that works out, shall we?

“For a helmet,” said he, “the hope of salvation, for God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation.” You’re not heading for the judgment, where the wrath of God is going to be revealed. It’s already revealed, says Paul in Romans 1: “The wrath of God is revealed from Heaven against all those who hold down the truth in unrighteousness” (Romans 1:18.) It’s already revealed in that sense, but there will be a time when that holy anger against sin is made real and is experienced by those who are unsaved at the judgment. Our Lord Jesus said, therefore, in John 5:24, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that heareth my Word and believeth on Him that sent me hath (present tense) everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment but is passed already from death unto life.” You’ll not be judged for your sins if you know the Lord Jesus Christ and He knows you as your Lord and your Savior. You don’t have to go around fearing the great White Throne Judgment. You’ll be there, but as a spectator only, and you’ll see what God does with the unbelieving dead who have been raised for that last judgment.

God isn’t angry with you anymore. Have you decided that? Have you accepted that truth? People write me so often and say, “I wonder if God is mad at me for what I did, this and that and the other. Is God mad at me?” No, He’s not. Romans 8:1 says, “There is therefore no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”

Well, time is up and we’ll get at this thought the next time we get together, but today, walk in the sublime consciousness that God loves you, and He’s not angry with you because Jesus died for you.

Dear Father, today, thank you for salvation. Thank you for your love. Oh, help us to walk in the light of Christ’s soon second coming. 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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