Made To Shine
The attempt to look holy only makes you look ill –- it doesn’t work that way.
Alright thank you very much. And hello again dear radio friends. How in the world are you? Yes, that little greeting establishes the fact that this is your good friend, Dr. Cook. And I’m back again, once again, with the Word of God and handle to put on it so that you can get hold of it for yourself. Aren’t you glad we have this privilege of getting together, day by day? I never cease to be profoundly grateful that God has given to me this wonderful privilege of opening the Word of God and sharing it with you and being blessed myself in the process. I get blessed of my own preaching. That isn’t bad, is it?
Say, we’re just winding up the first chapter Mark. This man was told by our Lord to go to the priest and offer the things which Moses commanded for a testimony unto them — that is the chief priests and the scribes and the rest of the religious community. But he went out, disobeyed that Command and began to talk to everybody. Never went to the priest, but instead began to talk to everybody and as a result, he complicated the work that the Lord would’ve done. Jesus could no more openly enter into the city — but stayed outside in desert places, and they came to Him from everywhere.
Now, God’s work gets done, and I’m sure that the people who came to the Lord Jesus in the desert places where helped, and blessed, and healed, and inspired, and all of that. But that wasn’t the best — that was what God wanted for this situation. So, it’s possible, although God is sovereign and as Dr. Champion, my old seminary professor used to say, “God will get His Will done either with you or without you”. But His Will will be done because He’s sovereign — and I know that, and so do you. God is sovereign and He will do what He intends to do, with our without us.
The point being, however, that we can get crosswise of His Will and constitute a hindrance at that point. Not that we’re going to keep God from doing what He intends to do — because He’s a sovereign God and nobody’s going to stop Him. “I know”, the ancients said, “that whatever God doeth, it shall be forever, and no one can oppose Him”. Alright, that being so — the point that you and I need to think about is: is my conduct advancing the plan, the perfect plan of God?
See this man here, he was healed — he was so thrilled that he just began to shout to everybody, and telling everybody about Jesus is not a bad thing, it’s a good thing, but the his first job was left undone. His first task was to go to the priest — he didn’t do that. Now, what of it? Well now, every day, harking back to what I said the less time we got together — every day you and I need to pray that God will put us in the center of His direct Will concerning our relationships to other people.
God has one, proper, good relationship for you to sustain with other people at a time. Any person you meet, any time, God has a plan concerning that relationship. And as you pray in, as you yield to the indwelling Holy Spirit, who was given to guide the believer, you will find that God is doing what He intended to do — through you.
Now, He’ll do what He wants to do, either with you or without you. Remember we said that. But when you yield to the indwelling Holy Spirit, you’ll find that God is doing what He intended to do through you. Pray and yield yourself to God in every relationship of life.
I used to say to our students at the college, before I retired as president — I would talk to them several times a year in the chapel service. And now and then I would remind them: pray your way through the day. Pray when you first wake up. Pray before you greet your roommate. You don’t have to greet him or her with a loving snarl, you know you can be pleasant. Pray before you greet your roommate or the family, if you’re living at home. Pray before breakfast. Pray before you leave for work or school. Pray before you pick up that first job of work or that first assignment in school. Pray before you make a decision. Pray before you answer the phone — you don’t know who it is on the other end of the wire, why shouldn’t you be ready? Pray before you open a letter, it’s either check or a bill or a threat or whatever, you don’t know. So pray before you open a letter and certainly pray before you write and mail a letter. Pray before you sign a contract — God has already read the fine print. You remember the old saying, that large print giveth and the fine print taketh away. Well, God has read them both, hasn’t He? Yes. Pray before you go on a date. I used to tell them, you’ll have less praying to do during and after. Pray before you make the major decisions of life: where shall I live; whom shall I marry; what kind of work shall I do; what is my life’s work; and why am I really here after all? Pray before you make the major commitments of life and as you go on through the day in that fashion, praying your way through the day. Then when the day is over, you can turn out a pocket full of memories and turn them over to your blessed Lord and say, “Thank you Lord. I could walk with you all day long.” And in the process I can guarantee you, He will have guided you into contacts with people where you were indeed a blessing.
Surprisingly, I have had people say to me in situations where I wasn’t really trying to be religious — frankly, I was just there — and people have just said to me, “Oh, I’m so glad you’re here”. Well you know, you want to ask them why — what brought this on? Actually, whatever it was, the Lord was using the presence of another human being to encourage. And because that’s so, you and I need to be praying our way through and trusting God to guide us in human relationships.
Of course you can tell, can’t you, when someone is grouchy without them saying a word — and it has its effect on you, doesn’t it? You can tell when someone is angry or put out about something without their saying anything — and it has its corresponding effect on you. And so in the same way people can tell when you’re happy in the Lord and yielded to the guidance of the indwelling Holy Spirit — and it has a beneficial and encouraging affect upon them. Well, just make sure that in doing what seems to be a good thing, you are also in the Will of God.
This man did something good, but he did it while neglecting something even more important that Christ had asked him to do.
Hey, do you enjoy this? Is it a blessing to you? Oh, I hope so. You pray that as we go through this precious book of Mark — God will make every days broadcast very special and a real blessing, would you? Well, in chapter 2, it says again, “Jesus entered into Capernaum after some days”.
Small thought here — every pressure eases off eventually. Am I talking to somebody right now that’s under terrible pressure — so much so that you think you’re just going to scream or cave in or blowup or something? Well, now here was a situation. Look at verse 45 chapter 1. He says, “So much that Jesus could no more openly enter into the city”. He couldn’t even go into town because of the mobs that would gather. But then it says again, “He entered into Capernaum after some days”. Every situation of pressure eases after a while. You don’t have to give up or blowup, beloved. Today, when you’re under pressure, remember: things do pass. Things do ease up. God does bring you through. The key word is through. “When thou passest through the waters they shall not overflow thee”. God brings you through and things to ease off. And you don’t have to give up — don’t have to explode under the pressure. Just trust the Lord to keep you and guide you and He will. Well, I threw that in free.
Just after some days, it occurred to me that things do ease up. You remember the old man who was asked his favorite scripture? Remember that story? Said, “Grandpa, what’s your favorite scripture?”, he said, “Well”, he said, “I think my favorite verse is, ‘It came to pass’,” I like that. ‘It came to pass’, It always passes”. Well, true isn’t it? You just tie your emotions to that truth — that when the pressure is on, even today or someday soon, and you’re just about to give up or blowup, cave-in or whatever, you say, “Lord, see me through”. It says, “It was noise that was in the house”. Wherever the Lord Jesus is in reality, people will know about it.
Bob Pierce used to tell how after he became a Christian. The very next time that his little playmate came to play with him. Every Thursday — I guess it was — a little boy who lived at some distance, came to stay with his grandma next door to Bob Pierce. These boys were maybe 10 or 11, whatever it was, and the little playmate looked at Bob and he said, “You’re different. What happened to you”? Even a child looking at another child could tell that there was a difference because Bob Pierce had given his heart to the Lord Jesus Christ.
Well, it is true, “If any man be in Christ Jesus, he is a new creation, old things are passed away, behold all things are become new”. And there isn’t any doubt at all about that when the Lord Jesus is in your life — in control — it will be evident in everything you say and do. Not that you’re going to go around looking very pious and holy and all that. The attempt to look holy, only makes you look ill. You end up looking a little bilious when you try to look religious. It doesn’t work that way. You cannot fake spontaneous Christianity. But hallelujah, when the blessed Spirit of God is in control of your life, manifesting Christ through every pore of your being, I want to tell you — people will know that He’s real. Yes, and so the word got around fast that the Lord Jesus was there. And “Straightway”, that means immediately without any delay. “Many were gathered together and so much so there was no room to receive them, no not so much as about the door and he preached the word unto them”.
Now, the next time we get together we’re going to get into the story of the the paralyzed man carried by four of his buddies who brought their friend to the house. And the crowd was so great that they couldn’t get in, so they climbed up the side stairs. The houses in those days had a side stairway leading up to the roof, which was used as a kind of a patio affair. And so they took up and went up the side stairs and actually broke up part of the tiles of the roof and let their buddy down right where the Lord Jesus was. Well, that’s a great story and we’ll get into it and the next time we get together.
Dear Father today, may we shine with Jesus in our lives, Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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