Love And Conduct

God looks for people whose love for Him informs their actions towards the world. Explore living a life characterized by the peace and love of God.

Scripture: Psalm 37:37


Alright, thank you very much, and hello again, radio friends. How in the world are you? Doing alright today? Well, I trust so, bless your heart. This is your good friend, Bob Cook and we’re back together again for a few moments with the precious Word of God, the inerrant, infallible, eternal Word of God, the Bible. I am grateful for God’s Word, aren’t you? What a difference it can make in one’s life just when you hide it in your heart and then start obeying it. You and I are looking at the 37th Psalm. We’re just about finished with it, aren’t we? Verse 37, Psalm 37:37: “Mark the perfect man and behold the upright, for the end of that man is peace.”

Now, you and I know there aren’t any perfect people. When the Bible uses the Word perfect, it means mature, or grown-up in God. At least, that’s the New Testament meaning of it especially. Perfect: it also has reference to a heart that’s right before God. “Man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart,” the Bible says. “Whose heart is perfect toward Him.” You find that reference occurring. God looks for people whose heart is perfect toward Him. What does that mean? Does that mean you never make any mistakes? No. It means that you love Him without any additional clauses in the contract. There aren’t any whereas-es. There aren’t any however-s. There aren’t any strings to the bargain. You love Him with all your heart; it’s a perfect heart. That’s what we’re talking about.

Jack Richards used to cut my hair back when I had hair to cut, in my college days. He also used to preach to me a little when he was cutting my hair. He got going one day on this matter of a perfect heart. Just to kid him a little, I said, “Jack, do you mean to say that you don’t ever make any mistakes?” Oh, he said, “Of course I do. It’s like this. You know, I’m married, and I’ve lived with Mrs. Richards for a good many years, and he says, “I can know that I love her with all my heart. Can’t I?” I said, “Oh yes, I guess you can.” He said, “Then I can know that I love God with all my heart. That’s a perfect heart.” Well, that’s the way it is, isn’t it? Sure.

I have to ask myself the question now and again: “What’s my heart’s relationship to God? Do I really love Him with my whole heart?” And when I ask that question, my eyes fill up with tears and my heart spills over and I have to say, “Yes, God, you know.” Like Simon Peter said, “Lord, you know everything.” You know it all. You know I love You. That’s what he’s talking about here: a heart that really loves God.

Then he says, “Behold the upright.” Now uprightness has to do with your conduct. And there’s the combination that makes for a successful life: a heart that really loves God and conduct that reflects it. What we do is always a reflection of what we are inside. You know that. “Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaketh. As he thinketh in his heart, so is he,” the Bible says. So what you do and say is a reflection of what you are inside. And if you and I are walking with God, if our heart is filled with love for Him, then our conduct is going to show that. He says the upright person is one whose conduct shows that he loves God with all his heart.

Now, he says, you watch him, “for the end of that man is peace, but the transgressors shall be destroyed together.” The end of the wicked is to be cut off. There’s a difference in the way your life ends when you know Jesus. Now, of course, some people face death suddenly without a moment of warning and without even being conscious of the fact that in the next heartbeat, they’re going to be gone. We know that. But you come to a consideration of the closing of your physical life (and that, of course, is a reality that’s with every one of us.) If our Lord Jesus doesn’t return in the clouds of the air and call us to be with Himself, you and I are going to breathe our last one of these days and people will look down and say “How natural he looks.” I always chuckle a little at that. I feel as though I’d like to sit up in the coffin and say “What did you expect?”

But anyhow, the consideration of the end of a physical life is with us. The godless person tries to avoid that and worries about it, and when he comes right down to it, he’s terrified. But the psalmist said listen, if you love your God with all your heart, and your conduct has been the kind that shows that you love God, when you get to the end of the line there will be peace.

I think my own father was a good illustration of that. He certainly had his faults. I, as a little boy, was aware of some of them. Then, when I grew up, I was aware of more of them. He was a human being, my father was. But, he loved God with all his heart. I know that. And so, as the years went by, I noticed that he was consciously getting ready for Heaven. Oh, he still would get up at five o’clock and make breakfast, and then come stomping down the stairs at seven or seven-thirty and we’d say, “Oh, hello Pop. Have a danish and some coffee. He would say with infinite scorn, “Oh, it’s practically noon, boy!” That was a ritual with him. He could be quite critical and all of that, but you know something? He was getting ready for Heaven.

I remember one time stealing upstairs and standing in the doorway of his room when he still lived with us in Chicago. He became aware of the fact that I was there and he turned around and said, “Is that you, boy?” I said, “Yes, it’s me.” He said, “Well, he said, I’ve just been thinking about heaven. You know, when it’s time for you to go, you’d better have your ticket. You can’t feel in your vest pocket to see if you’ve got a ticket for Heaven when it’s time to go. I’ve just been thinking about Heaven. One of these days, I’m going to get a brand-new pair of eyes.” He was blind at the time, because glaucoma had robbed him of his eyesight. “I’ll get a brand new pair of eyes,” and he said, “We’ll walk down the street, your mother and I, and we’ll sing again the song she sang with me as a duet ten days before she left us: I shall know Him by the print of the nails in His hands. Hallelujah, my boy!”

Now, see that was the real thing! It wasn’t too many years after that; I guess that would have been ’49 or ’50, and he died in ’54. So it wasn’t too many years after that that he simply slipped away in his sleep one night, and they phoned me from the old soldiers’ home up in Milwaukee, saying “your father passed away in his sleep.” The end of that man is peace. You can be at peace as you come down to the end of physical life. You don’t have to be upset, don’t have to be worried, don’t have to be fussed. Just make sure that there isn’t any unfinished business.

Dean Arlton was Professor of Music at the college in the years when I was there, and he was taken from us in a tragic boating accident on the Hudson River. He was on a catamaran sailing, and a quick wind came up as it often does there, coming down from across the cliffs and forming a miniature tornado, and flung him into the water and he was drowned. But speaking about him in the memorial service, one of his students said, “Dr. Arlton said to me just a few days ago, ‘You’d better live so that when it’s your time to go, there isn’t any unfinished business.’” That, my friend, is cogent thinking, isn’t it? No unfinished business. How do you make sure that there isn’t any unfinished business?

Make sure that you love God with all your heart and make sure that you’re obeying Him the best that you know how. That’s all there is to it. “Mark the perfect man,” (that’s the person that loves God with all his heart) “Behold the upright,” (that’s the person whose conduct reflects his love for God) “the end of that man is peace.”

Moody lay dying and he said, “This is my coronation day.” There it is: “the peace of God that passes understanding keeps your hearts and minds,” Paul said, “through Christ Jesus.” The end of the road isn’t a disaster; it’s a commencement, it’s a graduation day, it’s the beginning of other things. Paul said, “I have a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better.” It’s better the farther you go with God. Now, just the opposite is true with the unsaved person. I’m talking to some this very minute who have never yielded your life to Jesus Christ, and the farther along in life you go, my dear friend, the worse it’s going to be. You’ll be more discontented and more bitter, and more resentful. You’ll have more things that hurt you and bother you and worry you. There will be less to live for, less to satisfy you, less to make you happy. The farther along you go, the law of diminishing returns applies.

All that the world has to offer has a narcotic effect: you take any kind of drug and you have to increase the dosage to get the same result in your system. All that the world can offer, either by way of substance abuse or conduct or experience, is subject to the law of diminishing effectiveness. But the grace of God, the path of the just, said the wise man, is like a shining light that shineth more and more unto the perfect day. So there’s more blessing, and more peace, and more joy, and more effectiveness the farther you go with God, increasing all the way. Oh, I’m glad that’s so. Aren’t you?

Do you have that kind of experience today, beloved, and if you don’t, why don’t you? See, God hasn’t moved. God is willing. God is waiting. Jesus, our Lord, said “The Father seeketh such to worship Him.” God is looking for people who will be right with Him and who love Him and who will serve Him. Let’s you and I be that kind of people, shall we, today? Mark the person who loves God with all his heart and behold the upright person whose conduct reflects that love, “for the end of that man is peace.” Oh, may the peace of God characterize our lives increasingly as time goes by.

Dear Father, today, oh may we love You with all our hearts, and may our conduct reflect that love as we serve Thee and obey Thee. 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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