Living To Impact
You need to walk before the Lord in the land of the living. That is to say: your life today needs to count for people who are alive today, but who may not be tomorrow.
Alright, thank you very much, and hello again dear radio friends. How in the world are you? Doing Alright today? Well, I trust so, bless your heart. If some of you have struck a rough day, remember to look up and say Lord Jesus, see me through this one. The key word is through. He takes you through. He hasn’t brought you this far to dump you now. “Yea, though I walk through the valley, I will fear no evil”, said the psalmist. You can trust your Savior. Trust Him to see you through today or tonight, whatever the situation may be.
You and I are looking at the 116th Psalm. Reasons why we love God; the answers are prayer, He listens to us personally as individuals, He meets us in the crises of life, He’s gracious and righteous and merciful, He helps us, not just lectures us. “I was brought low and He helped me”, says the psalmist and circumstances to the contrary. There is rest of soul in knowing that God’s dealings with you are bountiful, that is always the best possible deal, and then He delivers us, He delivered my soul from death my eyes from tears in my feet from falling.
The basic condition of fallen human nature is dead, spiritually dead. You hath been quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins, and so this deliverance from death is the infusion of a new divine life. God gives us His eternal life through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. He dries our tears, that is to say, He comforts us. 2nd Corinthians 1 says, “Blessed be God the father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the father of mercies and the God of all comfort, who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.” God dries your tears so that you can dry somebody else’s, that’s a beautiful, beautiful truth, “And then you kept my feet from falling”, he says. God keeps you from stumbling, that’s our word, stumble. He holds onto you like you hold onto a little three-year-old when you’re crossing the street, so that those toddler feet, that even though they may stumble, are not going to allow the child to fall, because you uphold him. “Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down”, says the psalmist, “for the Lord upholdeth him with his hand”. There are the reasons, then we came a day or so later to our reaction to all of this, and the first is, “I will walk before the Lord in the land”, that means I’m going to live every minute knowing God has His eye on me. The reality of divine surveillance, once it dawns upon you, will make your life entirely different, like naive children often times, unconsciously we live as though we were saying well it doesn’t matter now, God doesn’t see me now. But, read the 139th Psalm and see for yourself that there just is no escaping the presence of God. You are under and I am under divine surveillance every moment of the day and night. The darkness and the light are both alike to Thee says the Psalmist. “The darkness hideth not from thee.” You can’t go any place in this universe where you get away from God, no place to hide. “If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there shall Thy hand hold me and Thy right hand, uphold me,” and so on. Oh yea, God is there. God sees you, God knows about you, and He knows all about you.
I was about to engage in a time of prayer, years ago, with one of God’s precious choice servants, David Morkan. David was a kind of a goodwill ambassador for Youth for Christ in the early days, and spent some days in China and when China, mainland China, fell he was interned and was housed, a prisoner for some many months actually, with no mail getting through, coming out from him, getting from us to him. He had to borrow from some Chinese believers, just to have enough to subsist on during those years, and all through the years of trial. Later on, he went to Japan to be a representative there, and for many years now he’s been the sort of a missionary to missionaries and pastors and, and people everywhere, blessing the hearts of all that he comes in contact with. David Morkan, good man of God. In the early years, I had fellowship with him in the work of youth for Christ, and so it was that we were we were roommates on one occasion, during what was then known as a council meeting. The organization in those years was, was made up of representatives from various geographical areas of the country and of the world and, this made up then the executive council. He was my buddy during those days, and so we had some good times of fellowship and prayer. I remember one night, the first night actually that I arrived. Everything was late and I was tired, and I got ready for bed, and I said to Dave, “Dave, I’m going to bed. I’m whipped, I’m just going to go to sleep”, and I said a very brief prayer and turned over and prepared to sleep, and then from across the room and the other side of the room and in his bed I heard these soft words coming, “God, who had sundry times and in diverse many manners spake in times past, unto the fathers by the prophets have been these last time spoken unto us, by His son who mayeth ordained heir of all things, by whom mostly made the worlds”, and so on. What was this brother doing? He was quoting the entire book of Hebrews. I listened for a while when he got the Hebrews 11:6, “He that cometh to God must believe that He is”. I said Lord, I believe. Amen, good night. I went to sleep. How precious, wonderful brother full of the Word of God. Now, I’m coming to the point that I started to make three or four minutes ago, when I get off on this story, we were engaging in a time of prayer, he and I, and as we knelt down he looked at many said, “Now brother, remember God will not make any discoveries about you, by the time you’ve said Amen. He knows it all. So you might just as well tell Him what the score is now”. God will not make any discoveries about you by the time you’ve said amen. He knows it all.
Oh, to know that your Heavenly Father knows about you, and loves you nonetheless with an everlasting love, and He said, “I have loved thee with an everlasting love, therefore with loving kindness have I drawn thee”. It was said of our Lord Jesus as recorded in John’s 13th chapter having loved his own which were in the world he loved them onto the end. Oh, beloved, you can trust your Savior, yes you can. And this fact that He knows all about you need then not frighten you, but it can encourage you to be honest with God. He doesn’t scold you, let us come boldly to the throne of grace and we may obtain mercy. It doesn’t say that we shall be scolded does it? That we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in our time of need. When you level with God, you don’t get a scolding, you get love and help. Believe that my dear friend, some of you’ve been dodging the matter of really being honest with God about yourself because you are afraid of what He might say or do. You’re afraid if you yield completely to the Lord Jesus as your Lord, that God is going to take away something from you, and that life will be harder, and that you will lose out on some of the things you now enjoy, and so therefore, you’ve been dodging that whole issue. You may say a prayer, but it’s an artificial prayer. You’re not really telling God the truth because you’re afraid to. Now, would you turn around and just make a different attitude toward your Heavenly Father? He loves you, He’s not out to whip you. He’s not out to take away from you the things that you enjoy. What He wants to do is to hear from you honestly, your needs and your condition and your confession, so that He can do His perfect, blessed, wonderful will in your life. Oh, I will walk before the Lord, that’s what it means. Honesty with God, commitment to God, no matter what, absolute, unqualified, without reservation, commitment.
We have a doctrinal statement at the college, and for many years I would ask people when it came to signing that doctoral statement, all the faculty and major administrators and all the trustees sign that statement of faith every year as their affirmation of where they stand vis-Ã -vis the inerrant inspired Word of God. And so, I would ask people, “Are you signing this without any mental reservation?” We don’t want anybody signing it with tongue-in-cheek, so to speak, we don’t want anybody signing his or her name saying, I believe this, but down in their hearts denying it. Without reservation, committing yourself to the Lord Jesus Christ will result in your having an experience of Him that simply beggars description. You will enjoy your Lord, you will have His presence and His love in a way that you never did before. “I will walk before the Lord in the land of the living”, that phrase in the land of the living causes me to stop momentarily to remind you that after people are dead, your influence can’t do them much good. You want to be a good testimony to people who are alive around you.
A friend of mine many years ago pointed out a little child playing in a next-door front garden and he said, “That that’s that’s the little gal that is the daughter of my neighbor. He died last week”. Then he turned to me with extreme concern and almost agony written upon his face he said, “Bob, you know, I felt so often that I should go and speak to that man about his soul, but I never did. Do you think that his blood is on my hands?” Well, it wasn’t for me to say whether or not that is so. That’s up to the Lord who does all things right, but certainly the responsibility was there and he shirked it. Oh your influence and your testimony won’t do people any good after their dead, and you have no guarantee that that man or woman who works beside you in the office or the shop, or that person whom you meet in the grocery or the butcher shop or wherever it may be, that man who works on your automobile, you have no guarantee that these people will be alive tomorrow. You need to walk before the Lord in the land of the living, that is to say your life today needs to count for people who are alive today, but who may not be tomorrow. Knowest not thyself of tomorrow said the wise man, for thou knoweth not what a day may bring forth. Now he says, “I believe therefore have I spoken”, this is a scripture that is quoted for us by the apostle Paul over in 2nd Corinthians 4, he said, “We have this treasure in earthen vessels that the excellency of the power may be of God and not of us. We’re troubled on every side yet not distressed. We’re perplexed, but not in despair, persecuted but not forsake and cast down but not destroyed”. I like to read that phrase knocked down but never knocked out, cast down but not knocked out. “Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body, for we which live are always delivered unto death, for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh. So, then death worketh in us but, life in you. We, having the same spirit of faith according as it is written. I believed and therefore by spoken, we also believe and therefore speak”.
The point is this, and I’ll come back to it the next time we get together, God willing, the point is this. When you know the Lord Jesus Christ, you share His death but you also share His resurrection life, and that fact makes what you say meaningful. When Jesus Christ is living in you and His resurrection life is real in your conduct and motivation, what you say is going to be meaningful to others. We’ll get at that the next time we get together.
Dear Father today, help us to trust Thee every step of the way, help us to make that kind of an impact upon people who are alive around us, that we wish we would’ve made when we stand face-to-face with them and Thee at the judgment seat of Christ. 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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