Living For His Purpose
The reason we’re asked to give ourselves over to God completely as a living sacrifice is to prove that God is right. That you may prove what is good and what is acceptable and what is perfect, namely, the will of God.
Alright, thank you very much. And, hello again radio friends. How are in the world are you? Yes, this is your friend, Bob Cook, and I’m delighted to be back with you. Bless your heart. There was a Swedish man that came over from the Old Country and was a dishwasher at the college, maybe 15, 20 years ago or something like that. He knew very little English and didn’t want to learn any more. He was very proud of being Swedish. Well, I would talk with him now and again in my fractured Norwegian and we got along fairly well.
One day, I was joking with him and I said, “You’re whole Norse. I’m half Norwegian. “And, meaning, of course, that half is on my wife’s side. All my heritage is German on my father’s side and Scotch-Irish on my mother’s side. And so, there’s no Scandinavian blood in me. But, I was joking with him. I said, I’m half Norwegian. Well, he thought a moment. And then, thinking back to that time when the Norwegian’s got their independence, he said, “Yeah, but 100 years ago, you were Swedish.” (Laughs) Ah, yes.
Well, congratulations to those of you who may be celebrating and for all the rest of us, hallelujah! Christ is alive and we are living in Him and Christ hath made us free. Galatians 5:1: “Stand fast, therefore, in the liberty where with Christ hath made us free.” Thank God for that freedom that no one can deny. We were talking about Romans 8:28, you recall? And we’ve been sort of meditating on that phrase, “Them that love God.” And I’ve been reminding you that God wants from you and from me not the kind of love we speak of, being fond of as a friend or a brother, but he wants Calvary love, John 3:16 kind of love.
The Greek word, agape, Calvary love. That’s the kind of love that is put in your heart, shed abroad in your heart by the indwelling Holy Spirit who comes to indwell a believer when you make the Lord Jesus Christ, when by faith, you open your heart to Him and make him your Lord and he becomes then your Savior. Oh, the love of God. And he says, “All things work together for good to them that love”, (Calvary love, divine love, shed abroad in your heart by the Holy Spirit love), “to them that love God.”
And just at the end of the broadcast, I was reminding you that when your heart is full of Calvary love, circumstances somehow seem to line up and ultimately make sense. Because, and you come to the second part of that verse — “to them who are the called according to His purpose. Whom he did foreknow them, he also did predestinate to be confirmed to the image of His son,” says Paul in Romans 8. “And whom he did predestinate, them he also called.” “Called and whom he called, them he also justified. Whom he justified, them he also glorified,” Romans 8:30.
And so, this whole matter of being called according to the purpose of God, goes clear back into the eternities, before the creation of the world. Something that boggles our minds is that God could foreknow– because He’s omniscient. All that would happen through the centuries and the millennia of human history, He knew when he created Adam and Eve that they had the potential for sin and that they would choose to deny and disobey. And then, He knew also what He would do about it. The prophet says, quoting God, “I know the thoughts that I think towards you. Thoughts of good, not of evil, to give you a desired end.” And Paul says, that the believers are going to be aligned up as an exhibit A in the glory. “That in the ages to come, might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God.” God planned redemption. When the Lord Jesus Christ, this one who came down the stairways of the stars to be our Lord and our Savior, God in human flesh died on Calvary’s cross as God’s Passover lamb, shedding His precious blood there on Passover day and then rising again the third day from the tomb.
Living today in the presence of God the Father as the man and the glory. “There is one God and one mediator between God and man — the man Christ Jesus,” Paul says in 1 Timothy 2:5. Living today as our living Savior, our living Lord and our mediator, our advocate, the one who represents us. Hebrews says, “He ever liveth to make intercession for them that come onto God by Him.”
This is God’s wonderful purpose. To create you, to call you, to save you, to justify you, to make you a member of His family by adoption, to fill you with His Spirit so that you can be a small edition of incarnation. “Christ liveth in me,” says Paul.
And then, to bring you safe home to glory and have you throughout all of the eternities to be part of God’s exhibit A to prove the righteousness and the mercy and the love of Almighty God. Grand, wonderful plan. Called according to His purpose. Now, the wonderful thing about it is that the great purpose of God includes not only the vast movements of history and the great expanses of years over which we’ve just gone, recorded human history doesn’t go back all that far. There may have been some life before that. Who knows? I’m a creationist.
I believe that God did it. Whenever He did it, He did it. I am also a non-evolutionist. I don’t believe that we’ve ever discovered the missing link. Similarity and design does not mean that there is a genetic relationship necessarily. But in any case, recorded human history doesn’t go back all that far but you go clearer back beyond at the beginnings of what we call time. When the Bible says, “The earth was out without form and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep.” Go back before that — before the fall of Satan from heaven.
Jesus said, “I saw Satan as lightning fall from heaven.” Go back before all of that concentrated heartbreak ever entered into the universe. And there you have the plan of the Almighty God. Lonesome for the love of those who respond to him. Jesus said, “God is looking for people who will respond to Him in true worship. The Father seeketh such to worship Him.” That may be a clue to the question, “Why did God create man anyway?” The Father seeketh such to worship Him. God is looking for people whose hearts will be open to Him in true love and adoration.
In any case, we’re talking about the purpose of God. And I’ve been taking off some of the things involved in His eternal purpose — to know all about you, to create you, to call you, to save you, to justify you, to adopt you, to lift you up into the heavenlies with Christ where He represents you before a Holy God. To take you to be with Himself and throughout all the ages to show you off as God’s exhibit A, to prove the manifold wisdom of God. The great lie which Satan started was God doesn’t know it all. He’s not doing right by you.
The great truth is, “God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” The reason you and I are asked to give ourselves over, body, soul and spirit. And Paul uses the word, body in Romans 12:1. The reason we’re asked to give ourselves over to God completely as a living sacrifice is to prove that God is right. That you may prove what is good and what is acceptable and what is perfect, namely, the will of God. Satan’s lie said, “God’s will isn’t good. It’s not acceptable. You can’t stand it. It isn’t perfect. There’s something better than that. You can better yourself by disobeying God.” That’s Satan’s lie.
He’s still telling it today. Don’t believe it, young person. Believe God instead. Give yourself to the Lord Jesus Christ and let the blessed Holy Spirit live through you, the perfect life of Christ. God’s purpose — Alright, now. He said, “All things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are thee called according to His purpose.” God’s purpose is to get you safe home to glory and show you off to all the universe as proof of His righteousness and His mercy and His love.
Ah, now, how does that work then when I’m up against circumstances that I don’t like or that I don’t understand or that are breaking my heart or all of the above. It’s one thing to quote this verse when I’m feeling well. We know that things work together for good. It’s one thing to quote this verse when I have money in my pocket. All things work together for good. It’s one thing to quote this verse when my car is working well and I’m doing Alright on my way to some engagement.
But it’s another thing to quote this verse when my car is involved in an accident and totaled and I’m injured perhaps, or when something has happened that is just breaking my heart or when I’m broke and I don’t have two dimes to rub against each other. Huh? Or when my health is failing and I feel so ill that I can hardly put one foot ahead of another, then what? Somebody comes and quotes Romans 8:28, and it falls strangely upon ears that haven’t really thought the matter through. “We know that all things work together for good to them that love God.”
Now, you have to back to Job. Job lost his riches. He lost his property. He lost his family and he lost his health and ultimately lost even the regard of his wife. She said, “I’m tired of all this business. Why don’t you curse God and die and get on out of here?” Lost it all. And yet, you hear Job saying, “Though he slay me, yet will I trust him. I know that my redeemer liveth and that in my flesh shall I see God.” See? He never waivered in his commitment to the Lord. And, indeed, you and I have that same privilege in circumstances that we may not like or circumstances that seem to — really threatening to crush us. We know that all things work together for good to them that love God. The first approach in any kind of circumstance is, “Lord, I love you.” Hallelujah.
“Anyway, I’m yours. I love you.” That’s the first approach. Somehow, rather, you can stand anything if your heart is right with God. Have you learned that yet? You can stand anything that God asks you to stand if your heart is right with God because you love Him. You know that He’s not going to do anything to you or about you or through you, but that which is right. Then, what else? He said, “You’re called according to His purpose.” I don’t like to go to the dentist and neither do you. We have a very fine dentist to whom we go here in the Stroudsburg area.
I like him. He’s a pleasant man. And I guess, he likes me. Always greets me cordially. But I really don’t enjoy when he gets that animated telephone pole and sticks it in my mouth and digs around in there with his drill and his hand, other instruments of dental machination. (Laughs) I don’t like that. But we have a purpose in my — what is it? To get the tooth filled. The purpose of God makes the present difficulties add up to glory. Joseph said to his brethren, “You thought to do evil. God meant it to be for good.” We’ll finish this up the next time we get together.
Dear Father wilt Thou today, give us love for Thee and understanding of Thy purpose. 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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