God takes the person that you are and makes something that glorifies Him – something beautiful that glorifies the Lord.
Alright thank you very much, and hello again dear radio friends. How in the world are you? Doing Alright today? Oh, I trust so. My heart is warmed with the thought that so many of you have learned to pray your way through the day as you’ve told me with your postcards and letters, and you’ve turn things over to the Lord, step-by-step as they happen.
Pray your way through the day and God makes you unshakable. He’ll keep you, He’ll guide you. “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord and He delighted in His Way”, God’s way, “though he fall he shall not be utterly cast down, for the Lord upholds him with His hand”. God guides your steps and protects even your stumbles and that’s part of the meaning of Romans 8:28, “All things work together for good to them that love the Lord, to them who are the called according to His purpose”.
His purpose is what counts. “He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His Name sake”, said the psalmist. God’s name, God’s purpose, God’s plans, God’s reputation, these are what are at stake in your daily life, and so the best way to live life is to constantly to turn toward your blessed Lord and to consult Him. Pray your way through the day. Look up even now and say, “Lord I’m yours. Guide me”, He will. Oh yes He will.
You and I are in Colossians- we’re to walk around in that book for a little while. Paul says in Colossians chapter 1 verse three, “We give thanks to God in the Father Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you. Since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and the love which you have to all the Saints and the hope which is laid up for you in Heaven. Where have you heard before in the Word of the truth of the Gospel which is come unto you as it is in all the world and bring forth fruit. We give thanks to God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ praying always for you”.
Now here, you have a little microcosm of Paul’s theological position: start with God, God the Father, God the Father because of our relationship to the Lord Jesus Christ. God the Father because of our relationship to the Lord Jesus Christ, which makes a difference in our praying about people. Now, that’s the logic of that verse.
Let me ask you a question; In how much of your life do you really start with God? I think that for many of us, and I have to include myself in this from time to time, for many of us we tend to take care routine matters on our own, and it is in the matters where we think we can handle things that we get into trouble. Isn’t that true? You never get into trouble when you’re praying, “Jesus help me now”.
I’ve often said to people who are trying to break the cigarette habit, or who are trying to get free from the grip of alcohol, I’ve said to them, “You’ll never take a cigarette when you’re praying, ‘Jesus help me now’. You’ll never reach for a glass of alcoholic beverage of some sort while your praying, ‘Lord Jesus I’m yours, help me now’”. You start with God in the process of everyday living. Have you learned that beloved? Oh, you see, the biggest lesson we have to learn is that we can’t make it on our own, and then when we’ve learned that, God says, alright I’ll set you free to be the best you can be, by My grace.
It’s a strange anomaly in this matter because you have to come to the Cross and say, “Nothing in my hand I bring, simply to Thy Cross I cling”. We can’t bring anything to God that will make Him like us any better. We have to trust completely the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus on Calvary and His shed blood to cover the crimson debt of our sins. Isn’t that true?
And so, Paul who was highly educated, said to the Corinthians, “When I came to you, I came now with excellency of speech or wisdom declaring unto you the whole counsel of God, for I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ and Him crucified. Unto the Jews a stumbling block and unto the Greeks foolishness, but unto us which are saved, Christ the wisdom of God and Christ the power of God”, he said, “I came with that simple message of Christ crucified and risen again”, and he said, “that’s what I preached and will preach”.
There is a simplicity about the complete breaking down of human pride when we come to the Cross. It has to happen; I have to admit to God and to myself that I can’t make it on my own, and then what? Well, miraculously the Spirit of God comes to indwell your believing heart and he says, “Now you can be somebody by God’s grace”. You don’t have to sing, ‘I would be nothing, nothing, nothing”. You can be somebody by God’s grace. If He leads you into business, you can be a successful businessman. If He leads you into teaching, you can be a number one, excellent teacher and if He leads you into the professions, you can be a great surgeon or a great chemist or a great researcher or whatever it may be.
You can be somebody by the grace of God, but you have to start at the foot of the Cross where everybody’s level, and you know, oh how you know, that there’s nothing in you that God can use unless it’s touched by His Divine grace. Start with God every step of the way. That make sense to you?
See, God is not in the process of destroying you. He wants to make something of you, He wants to conform you to the very image of Christ. He wants you to grow up into Christ as Paul says. He wants you to be like His blessed Son. That’s why we sing that song, “Be like Jesus, this my song, in the home and in the throne be like Jesus all day long, I would be like Jesus’. The truth is there, you start with God, you start as a supplicant, you start as bankrupt, you start as one who cannot bring anything to God, but yourself.
You know the old story of the Indian who came to one of the early meetings in another century. Out in the wilderness somebody was holding a meeting, and the Indian came to give something to God and he laid his tomahawk and he laid his bow and arrows, he laid some other trinkets on the altar. Still he didn’t have peace.
Finally he said, Indian gave himself to Jesus. Well, I think that has to be true of us too, beloved. God wants you as you are so that He can make something of you. Will you get that twofold truth fixed in your heart and mind? Start with God. We give thanks to God and you can come to Him because He’s now your heavenly Father, “Let us come boldly to the throne of grace to obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need”, says Paul, and all of this happens because the Lord Jesus Christ has become Lord of your life.
The price has been paid and the redemption is been made and the wrath of God has been assuaged and the Law of God has been fully satisfied and Jesus our blessed Lord stands at the right hand of God, seated now I guess is the position that the Scripture gives us, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty On High, but He spreads his nail-pierced hands and speaks in love, your name to a Holy God, “He ever liveth to make intersession for them that come unto God by Him”, the Bible says. You come to God through Jesus because He paid the price.
Here’s the truth of it. In everyday living, you don’t start with yourself, you start with God. You don’t bring anything to try to make God like you any better. You bring all that you are so that God can make something of you. Paul said, “By the grace of God I am what I am”. Paul said to the Galatians, “My little children of whom I travail in birth, until Christ be formed in you”.
Oh this growth into the very likeness of the Lord Jesus, this is what you and I are after, and then God takes all of the possibilities of your life, whether you can sing or manage or make money or wield a surgeon’s scalpel or go make some kind of scientific breakthrough in research or teach in a classroom or be the queen of some Godly Christian home, rearing your children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord- whatever it may be, God takes the person that you are and makes something that glorifies Him, something beautiful that glorifies the Lord Jesus out of your life. Oh, let it be so for you and me, I pray.
Now he says, “We give thanks”, and the object of all that he’s saying there is you, we give thanks for you. Later on he says, “Praying always for you”, but if you take out all of the intervening words, he says, “We give thanks to God for you, since we heard of your faith and hope and love”.
How thankful are you beloved, for other Christians? It must be admitted that some people are difficult enough that we think of them, not in terms of being thankful, but maybe thankful when they leave, right? Sometimes I talk to people and say, “You ought to be the kind of person concerning whom people say when you arrive, ‘Thank God you’ve come!’, instead of being the kind of person concerning whom they say after you’ve left, ‘Thank God he went!”. You know, there’s a difference, isn’t there? Oh dear, yes….
But have you given any thought in thanking God for others of His children? You look back in your life and see who was influenced you for God. See who brought a word of comfort when you’re heart was aching. See who brought a word of counsel when you were floundering and wondering which way to turn. See who upheld you in earnest prayer. See who it was that, who faithfully, reminded you of some fault or failing, but did so in love. Think of people concerning whom you ought to be thankful, will you?
Spend a little time with your Lord just thanking Him for His children. Those, I mean, that you know about. You’ll be surprised what it will do to your heart. Number one, it’ll change your attitude. Number two, it will make you appreciate people more than you ever did before. And number three, in the process you’ll get to know your Lord better because He loves those people too, right?
You know, here’s an illustration. Two young people fall in love and get married and their families are very different. One family, let us say, is Italian. The other, let us say is Scandinavian. They have different customs, different ideas, and there’s a little strangeness there, but what happens is, if those young people come to a place where they have a need, both of those families are going to join ranks and do everything they can to help meet that need. Seen it happen many times, haven’t you? Why?
Well, because shared love brings people together. We love those kids, your son and my daughter or my son and your daughter, whatever, we love those kids. Oh we’d do anything for them and in that shared love of another, you’re brought together. It’s happened many times, you know that.
Say, had you ever thought that in thanking God for His children and in extending love to them, you’re going to be brought closer to your blessed Lord? Something to think about, isn’t it? Next time we get together we’ll talk about, “Praying always for you” he said. How do you go about praying always for people? A successful intercessory prayer life, that’s what we want to do the next time.
Dear Father today, I pray that we may begin to appreciate Thy children more and in loving them may our love for Thee grow, 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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