Living (For Real)
Lifestyle means your reaction to the business of living. The control of the Lord Jesus Christ is real.
Alright, thank you very much. And hello again, radio friends. How in the world are you? Yes, this is your friend, Dr. Cook, and I do wait to hear how you are. Some people tell me when they write or when they phone or when I talk with them at meetings, say, “Yes, I answer you and sometimes I say don’t ask.” [chuckle]
Well, I know how that is. I make most of these broadcasts in the morning hours because I know many of you listen early in the morning, and I like to feel like you do. So if you’re just getting up and stretching and groaning and saying, “Oh, boy do I have to get up today?” Remember that Cook does the same thing and I like to feel how you feel when I’m opening the Word of God to you and speaking about it.
Just getting light outside now, even the birds are walking, they can’t see their way around. But I remember Everett Mitchell who used to have that from The Farm and Home Hour many years ago on the radio. It was aired from Chicago and his opening phrase always was, “It’s a beautiful day in Chicago!” [chuckle] It could’ve been raining cats and dogs, or snowing, or whatever but that was his opening line. Maybe I should do that. What do you think? And I could open up by saying, “It’s a beautiful day in the Pocono Mountains.” [chuckle] Well, any day is a good day if you start it with God. Have you found that out? Oh, man. To wake up to God. “When I awake,” said the psalmist, “I’m still with Thee.”
Turn your life over to the Lord with those waking moments. It is a fact that the impressions made upon your mind and heart in the beginning moments of the day affect everything that happens the rest of the day. So meet your Lord in the morning, the reason for having morning devotions is to make sure that you’ll be in the Presence of God and then under the control of God all day long.
Well, you and I are looking at the fourth chapter of I Timothy. We’ve come to that wonderful 12th verse, “Let no man despise thy youth, but be thou an example of the believer, in word,” that means what you say, in conversation, it’s Old English word meaning lifestyle. In your Greek New Testament, it’s a word that means where you stand. It’s very interesting. Where do you stand on things? You’ll be a type, that word that’s translated example is the original word ‘type.’ Be a type of the believer in what you say, in where you stand. Your manner of life, in other words. “In the quality of Calvary love,” agape is the quality of Calvary love, John 3:16 love, ‘God so loved the world,’ that kind of love. Romans 5:5, “The love of God,” same word, “is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit that’s given unto us.” You’ll be an example, a type of the believer in your faith and in spirit, and in holiness or purity.
So we got started on that, just barely started, didn’t we? And I had talked about the fact that you and I need to be a type of a believer in what we say. You’ll be an example of the believers in word, in what you say. And what you say grows out of what you are out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaketh. So you need to have down deep in your heart the Word of God plowed in there so that you speak on the basis of the indwelling Holy Spirit who acts upon the Word of God. “Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.” If you don’t have the Word of God in your mind and memory, then the Spirit of God doesn’t have much to work on in terms of revealing Christ through you in what you say.
Small thought here. What you and I say does not necessarily have to be religious in order to be a blessing. You’re not required to go around mouthing Scripture verses all day long in order to be a blessing to folk and to be an example of the believer in your words. You follow that? Some folk feel that the only time when you are supposed to typify the normal scriptural New Testament believer is when you are being officially religious. Well, nothing could be farther from the truth.
Our greatest impact is made upon other people in our ordinary reactions to life situations. What do you say when you’re on your way to a wedding reception in the rain and you have a flat tire and you have to get out in your tuxedo and change the flat? What you say then may very well be a demonstration of whether or not the Holy Spirit of God is in control in your heart. Isn’t that true?
Someone called me up just the other day and said they’re saying this and this and this and this about me. “Well,” I said, “you can do either one of two things: You can marshal your facts and fight back. My rule all through my life has been, “Never hit a man unless you have to, but if you have to, plan to knock him out.” [chuckle] So I’ve had very few confrontations as a matter of fact. My advice that was given to me many years ago by Dr. OJ Smith was found in his words, “No defense, no attack.” He never defended himself, he never attacked anybody else, which is pretty good advice, isn’t it? So I’ve had very few confrontations of a serious nature through my lifetime, thank God.
Once or twice, I’ve had to say, “Now, brother, these are the facts.” and I had the facts lined up but… Well, the point is your words under pressure Your words when you’re under pressure in ordinary lifetime situations are far greater in the index of where you are spiritually than what you say when you stand up to give a testimony in Wednesday night prayer meeting, wouldn’t you agree? Your words don’t necessarily have to be religious in content in order to be a demonstration of what Jesus is in your life. Thoughtful words, “Here, let me help you with that.” Loving words, “I know how you feel.” Honest words, “I’m sorry. I did that and I’m sorry.” Words that are not necessarily religious but which prove that Jesus, our blessed Lord is real in your life. That is what is involved in being an example of the believer in what you say.
Then he goes on and he says, “You’ll be an example in the way you live.” In your King James version it says, ‘conversation,’ that means your lifestyle, the way you live, where you stand on things. Now, how does the way you live contribute to the spiritual impact of your life?
Well, I think we have to beg the question and say everything about the way you live contributes to the impact of your life. Do you get up in the morning? Or do you lie around and groan and waste half the day and just being lazy? What does that say about your relationship with God? Oh, you say, “It doesn’t matter.” Yes, it does. Yes, it does. If you get up in the morning and seek God, open the Bible and wait on your blessed Lord and get your soul tuned up so that by the time it’s time to go to work or school, you had an effective contact with your blessed Lord. You have said something to your family and those who are observing you, you have said something to them about your relationship with God, right?
You read the life of our Lord Jesus, you’ll find him oftentimes withdrawing to pray, He went out into a desert place and there prayed. In the morning, rising up a great while before day, He went out into a place apart and prayed. Again, it says He continued all night in prayer to God. He prayed before everyone of the great transitions in His own life. It said something to his disciples so much so that they wrote it down, remembering it when they gave us the Gospel record. Your way of life. Now, I took something very ordinary about getting up in the morning and seeking God, but you could walk right on through the day. What is your way of handling the family, mother?
And those hurry up breakfast occasions, everybody’s in a hurry in the morning. “Where are my socks?” “Where’s my clean shirt?” “What happened to my new sneakers?” Everybody’s asking for help, everybody’s in a hurry and most likely, everyone is in a rather quasi irritable mood. Don’t push them, don’t shove them, don’t look at them the wrong way or you’re going to get it.
Now, what is your attitude towards your family on those occasion? Let’s assume that you got up early enough so you could seek the Lord before the family started to kick around the house. And now, your lifestyle, is it one that’s calm? Is it one that’s loving? Is it one that’s efficient? Or is it one that is harried, and frustrated, and irritable, and tense? The kind of person you are mother, when you’re managing that hurry up family in the morning says something about your relationship with your blessed Lord. Isn’t it true?
Dad, you get to work and you find that the boss has thrown an assignment at you for which you certainly weren’t prepared, weren’t expecting it and worse still, there’s a deadline attached to it, and this thing has to be ready by 5 o’clock tonight, let’s say at quitting time, and your first reaction is to say, “What kind of a person does he think I am? You think I can do miracles? Throw this at me at the last minute.” And you probably feel like saying just those words, don’t you? Now, to your brother or sister in business, your reaction under business pressures tells your fellow employees just how effective your faith in Jesus is.
Lifestyle means your reaction to the business of living because the control of the Lord Jesus Christ is real in your life through His Holy Spirit Who dwells within the believer. “You’ll be an example,” He said, “in the way you live.” And the way you live is not calibrated or measured by your official religious stance. The way you live is measured and evaluated by what you do under the recurring pressures, many of them just little things but adding up to a lot of frustration sometimes. The way you act under the recurring pressures of ordinary everyday life. You’ll be a Christian, an example of the Christian.
Some of you are in school, you get to your first class, let’s say you always come late to your first class, some folk do that you know? What does that say about your Christianity? Well, it tells some people that your faith in Christ isn’t sufficient to make you prompt in meeting your time obligations.
And then let’s say that you always have an excuse for not having done your homework, and there are people like that too as you know. What does that say about Christianity in the case of that person? It means that Christ isn’t real enough in that life to result in doing the things they ought to do and doing them on time. You’ll be a Christian in the way you live at home, at school, in the office, or shop and with your friends.
Father God, we trust that thou wilt make us real Christians in the way we live today I ask 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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