Love With Christ’s Love
The love of Christ can become the motivating factor of everything in your life on Earth.
Alright. Thank you very much. And hello again, radio friends. How in the world are you? Everything going alright? I trust so, bless your heart. Thank God we can be in the world but not of it. That’s the reason I asked you that way. How in the world are you? I stole that expression many years ago from my dear friend, Elliot Stedelbauer, who’s not too well these days. He had a stroke but he’s still got that magnificent spirit that keeps him trusting the Lord. And he would whack you on the back hard enough to make your molars jump and say, “How in the world are you?” [laughter] Well, I trust it’s all right with you and if you struck a rough day as I sometimes say, “Look up and trust your savior and say, ‘Lord, Jesus, I don’t like it but see me through this one.'” And He will. You trust Him, He’ll see you through.
We wanna start in this broadcast with the 11th Chapter, of the Gospel of John. Let me read a few of these words for you, may I? Now, it said, “A certain man was sick, named Lazarus of Bethany”. That’s where he lived. The town of Mary and her sister Martha. Lazarus was brother to these two girls, and John takes particular pains to identify Mary. It’s a preview of Chapter 12 where it says, “Mary took pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, wiped His feet with her hair. The house was filled with the odor of the ointment.” So John in writing says, “It was that Mary, which anointed the Lord with ointment and wiped His feet with her hair whose brother, Lazarus was sick.”
So it’s two sisters and a brother, all of them unmarried, making a home together and Lazarus now was ill. Therefore, his sisters sent unto Jesus saying, “Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick.” And it says in verse five, “Jesus loved Martha, and her sister Mary, and Lazarus. When He heard therefore that Lazarus was sick, He stayed two days still in the same place where He was, and then after that, He said, ‘Let’s go to Judea.'”
Well, we’ll get into the story of what happened but I want just to touch down on some of these little truths that stick out as I look at them and ponder them. A certain man was sick. They wanted him healed, “He whom thou lovest is sick.” They sent the message. He stuck around long enough for Lazarus to die. He had something else in mind, a resurrection.
You are entering now in this chapter into the mysteries of God’s delays. Sometimes, they are absolutely heartbreaking. God’s delays. You pray, “Oh God. Do this,” and you have the sense of praying in the will of God, the spirit of God witnesses with your own spirit that you’re free in praying, and then nothing happens or something happens that puts the plan in reverse. And you look up and say, “God, what are you trying to do to me?” And you feel a combination of impatience and frustration and a little anger sometimes if the truth were known because things are not going the way they should.
The Psalmist had the same problem, he said, “Hath the Lord forgotten to be gracious? Did you forget about me, Lord?” He said, “Look at what people are doing, and what they’re saying, and how they’re accusing me. It’s time for Thee Lord to work. Hurry up, Lord,” was his prayer. The Psalmist is just as human as you and I.
And so when you feel a combination, as I say, of disappointment and frustration and perplexity, you can’t figure it out, and maybe a little anger that things aren’t working the way they should. Just remember, join human race. Other people have come the same way before. God’s delays are part of His sovereign plan and He says to you and to me as He did to one of His disciples, “What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter.”
God’s hereafter is always a divine possibility in a life full of inexplicable delays. A certain man was sick, the sister said, “Let’s call for Jesus, He’ll heal him.” Nothing happened. Let me speak then tenderly to someone who’s been praying for a change in your employment and things seem to be getting worse on the job you now hold, and you don’t find any other doors opening. It’s a rough assignment, isn’t it? Remember the Bible says, “Commit thy work unto the Lord, and thy thoughts shall be established.” I advise the person who is having a terrible time on her job. With a boss that harassed her and a workload that she just couldn’t cope with. I advised her to pray on the basis of that promise. “Commit thy work unto the Lord, and thy thought shall be established.”
I got a letter not too long after I wrote her. And she said, “You know I did what you suggested, and things have gone so much better. My whole attitude toward the work and toward my boss has changed, and now I’m in line for a promotion.” Well, I can’t guarantee that you’ll always get a promotion if you pray about your work and commit it to Jesus. But I can tell you that, if you’ve been praying for a change in your employment, and things aren’t happening. Just remember the Bible says, “Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him.” God’s timing doesn’t include jumping at your request every Tuesday at 10 o’clock. God’s timing sometimes includes some delays. Count on it, but count also on His faithfulness. He never, never makes a mistake. God is never late. He’ll always be on time. Just when you need Him.
Lazarus was sick. Now, it says, “Jesus loved Martha, and Mary, and Lazarus.” Affection is part of God’s gift to the believer. True Cavalry love that is not tinged either, with selfishness or with any subtle intent to harm the other person in any way. Cavalry love is part of God’s gift to the believer. We live in a day when sexual aberration has caused any display of affection to be looked upon with suspicion. That’s a pity really. But let me tell you something, if your heart has been cleansed by Jesus blood and you’ve been filled with the spirit of God, who indwells the believer, you also will feel in your heart the byproduct of that experience.
According to Romans 5:5, “The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost who is given unto us.” And you will have what the psychologists call that positive unconditional regard for other people that makes room in your heart for them as they are not as you wish they were or they ought to be. And you’ll be pouring out the love of God through your life. Not necessarily in any demonstrative way. You can’t go around hugging people.
No, no, I don’t mean that. I mean there’s a reality of divinely given love that is a byproduct of the presence of God. Galatians 5:22 says it. Does it not? “The fruit,” that means the result, “of the Holy Spirit is love.” Joy, that’s love rejoicing. Peace, that’s love unruffled. Gentleness, that’s love in operation. Goodness, that’s love spontaneously reacting to the will of God. All right, and the rest of it. See, what I’m saying is, you have a right to a heart full of love as a Christian. You don’t have to have resentment. You don’t have to live in hatred. You don’t have to live in bitterness. You don’t have to be afraid of other people as to what they’re gonna do. Perfect love casteth out all fear. You can have a heart full of love. You can accept people as they are with warts and all. And you can love them for Jesus’ sake.
Bill Bright taught me many years ago, Dr. Bright as you know is head of Campus Crusade for Christ. And one day I met him, I said, “Teach me something, Bill.” And he told me that he had learned some time previous that you can take love for other people by faith just like you can take other blessings from God. He’d been praying one day about one particular person who irked him because he was afraid that this gentleman, who may not have been such a gentleman, was undermining him and he was talking to God about it and suddenly the Spirit of God whispered to him, “Why don’t you take love for this man by faith and let him be My problem?” He said he stopped right where he was and he said, “Lord, in Jesus’ name by faith, I take love for this man.” He said his heart was filled with divine love and then he looked up at me, his eyes twinkled, he said, “Today we’re good friends.” Oh yes.
You don’t have to live in resentment, beloved. No, you don’t. You don’t have to live in bitterness and unforgiveness and fear. See, when you are bitter in your heart and you fear other people, you build a wall around yourself that makes them feel the same way. Somebody said to me the other day, “I just don’t have any friends.” Well, when I began to inquire about the lifestyle and the kind of attitudes that were there, I found out the reason why there weren’t any friends. There was suspicion, there was selfishness, there was resentment, there was a wall built up around the dear person. Let God fill your heart with His love. Will you? “The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost who is given unto us.” God has given you, if you’re a believer, He has given you the Holy Spirit to dwell within you. “Know ye not,” Paul said to the people at Corinth, “that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which you have of God and you’re not your own.”
You’re bought with a price, so glorify God in your body. And then the love of Christ can become the motivating factor in your life. “The love of Christ constraineth us because we thus judge that if one died for all, then we’re all dead and that they which live should not henceforth live for themselves but for Him who loved them and gave Himself for them.” The love of Christ makes us do what we do. “Jesus loved Lazarus and Mary and Martha.” And there wasn’t anything wrong with that because it was true agape.
John 3:16, Cavalry love, and you, beloved, can manifest that same kind of uncalculating, unqualified, no reservations, no strings to the bargain kind of love. As your heart fills with the love of God and spills over into other lives. Specialize in God’s grace for your life and God’s love for other people’s lives. Jesus said to the disciples, “This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the son of God might be glorified thereby.”
Interestingly enough, Jesus knew that Lazarus was going to die physically, but He said, “This sickness is not that he should die only.” See, that you have to put an only in there, “Not unto death only, but that for the glory of God.” Take your circumstances not just as they are, but with the addition of God’s eternal plan and purpose for you in them. “This sickness is not just unto death.” He’ll die alright but he’s gonna be raised. See, God has some plans that are bigger than the circumstances. Will you remember that? God has some plans for you that are bigger than the circumstances, let Him show you what they are.
Father, today fill our hearts with love, and pour out that love through us to others. In Jesus’ name I ask this, Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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