Marked By Love

Part of your completeness then, as a Christian, is the fact that you are marked as being His own. Don’t run away from it.
Scripture: Colossians 2:11-12, 2 Corinthians 5:11

Transcript

Alright, thank you very much. And hello again, dear radio friends. How in the world are you? Yes, it’s your friend Dr. Cook. I’m glad to be back with you. I look forward to these moments that we invest together in the things of eternity. I look forward to them, believe me. Have you ever thought of the use of time as an investment? Paul says, “Redeeming the time.” And that has to do with investing in something. You go into the market and you buy it for a profitable use. “Redeeming the time.” Think of your use of time as an investment in eternity. You and I are going to see our used, invested moments at the judgment seat of Christ. Unfortunately, we shall also see our wasted, self-centered, useless moments there when the story of our life is played back for us in 3D, so to speak, on God’s video recorder. You say, “Oh come on now, Brother Cook.” Yes, I mean it. The God who enabled, the Creator who put into the mind of man the ability to concentrate a symphony orchestra on a piece of tape or in a diamond needle being vibrated by a phonograph record, the God who enables these things and all the rest of the so-called modern miracles of communication that we have -- radio and video recording and all the rest. Now that’s done by human beings and science tells us that no energy is ever lost, that every sound, every word, everything that’s ever been done has produced a kind of energy that is never lost. That’s what the scientists tell us. So then, the God who enabled a man, His creation, man to invent and to use, let us say for example the tape recorder such as I’m using today, certainly would find no difficulty in turning on the tape recorder of the universe and playing back for you in full sound and color your own life. It’s quite a thought, isn’t it? And that’s what Paul had in mind, I do believe, when he said, “We must all stand before the judgment seat of Christ; that everyone may receive the things done in his body, whether they be good or bad.” God’s going to play it back to you. Now your salvation is taken care of through the Lord Jesus Christ. He paid your price. “God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” So everything that has ever been amiss in your life and in mine has been paid for at Calvary completely. Thank God for that. But the fact remains that God is going to remind you, when He gives out those rewards for faithful service, He’s going to remind you of the kind of life you lived. So he said, Paul says in 2 Corinthians 5, “Knowing therefore the terror of God, we persuade men.” This is a serious business that God is looking, listening and recording and you and I want to give Him the opportunity to record things that honor and glorify Him, don’t we? Let’s make it that kind of a day today. We’re looking at verse 10 of Colossians 2 in some, what I call, random wrap-up thoughts. It says “complete in Him.” You’re complete in the Lord Jesus. In Him “all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge,” in Him a daily walk touched with miracle. “As you’ve received Christ Jesus as Lord, so walk ye in Him.” “Rooted and built up in Him,” rooted means a source of life; built up means the schedule of growth and development of life. In Him, “all the fullness of the Godhead bodily,” everything you’ll ever need to know about God is found in your Lord Jesus Christ. In Him, you’re marked as his own, verse 11, “In whom also you’re circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, putting off the body the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ.” It’s a symbolic use of the ancient Hebrew rite which marked a whole nation as belonging, in a special sense, to God. And so, we can paraphrase it by saying you’re marked as being His own. Marked as being His own, that’s part of your completeness. Don’t run away, beloved, from being identified as a Christian. In my audience, I know I have some highly-placed executives. I know that because you’ve written to me. Thank you very much. I know I’ve got some professional people, some doctors and dentists, some lawyers, a psychiatrist or two, a facial surgeon. I’ve got some professional people. And I’ve got some teachers, lots of them that write in. So in your life, day by day, the tendency is to try to say to yourself, “Well now, my religion is a private thing and I’m not going to impose it upon my client or upon my patient or upon my student.” And if you’re a public school teacher, of course, you’re saying as well, “Oh well. It’s illegal.” Now, don’t avoid the fact that being born from above… I detour around the idea of born again because that phrase has been ruined by people who misused it. Born from above. Christian. You are different. “If any man be in Christ, he is a new creation: old things are passed way; behold, all things are become new.” And the scripture tells us that the Lord Jesus died and rose again for us that He might “purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.” That word “peculiar” is translated by some as meaning “a people for His own possession.” Greek word “parousia,” which literally means “to be around Him.” A people for His own possession. God wants it known that you belong to Him. “For ye are dead and your life is hid with Christ in God.” So what I’m saying is you professional people and as well as all the rest of us human vegetables in God’s garden, we may not have anything to distinguish us from the rest of the garden-variety Christian. But we’re all marked by belonging to the Lord Jesus Christ. Don’t cringe at the mention of His name and don’t try to hide the fact that you belong to Him. On the other side of the coin, of course, is the warning, don’t intrude yourself into other people’s lives where you have no business. Dr. Turnbull… Trumbull was his name. Turnbull was another Christian leader in the Christian Missionary Alliance. Dr. Trumbull wrote a book which has been out of print now for a long time. But I look at it every now and again, my aged copy of his book, “Taking Men Alive.” And he had a principle there which I think bears repeating. He said, “Whenever I am justified in choosing the subject of the conversation, I will endeavor to speak of my Lord and try to win my friend to Him.” Whenever I am justified in choosing the subject of the conversation, I will endeavor to speak of my Lord and win my friend to Him. Now obviously, there are some times when you don’t have the right to bring into the conversation a subject such as one’s personal relationship with the Lord Jesus. But there are other times when you do and I’ve found singularly enough that people don’t resent this. Just yesterday I was visited by a retired businessman who is a self-made man and who has been very successful in investment and in building and in sales and all sorts of things. And so as we talked together, sat there in the front room of our little house here in the Pocono Mountains, the subject got around to things religious. It came about quite naturally when he explained that he was of one faith and his wife was of another but he never forced her to go to his church and all that. Well, it was a very small step, then, for me to speak to him about the fact that a personal commitment to the Lord Jesus is much more important than church membership and that a life that is committed to Christ is in itself a continuing miracle and an adventure with deity where step by step you go through a day knowing that God is guiding you. Well, I don’t know if he bought the concept. I kind of doubt it. But I don’t think he’ll forget it, either. And we’ll trust the blessed, in-dwelling Holy Spirit, who was in my heart and mind in those moments, to remind him faithfully at some point or other in the near future of his need of a personal commitment to the Lord Jesus Christ. You do have, sometimes, the option of choosing the subject of the conversation. Be ready then. I know you’re a vice-president in charge of sales. You can’t come into a sales meeting and say, “I want you fellows to know that you all need to be saved or else you’re all going to be lost.” You can’t do that. I know that. I’m not asking for you to be way out in left-field. Donald Gray Barnhouse, Dr. Barnhouse, now with the Lord a good many years, had a saying. He said, “Don’t worry about fanaticism.” He said, “Fanaticism is not too much religion. It’s too little brains.” He said, “Use the brains you have and you won’t be in danger of being a fanatic as long as you stay close to the Word of God.” So I’m not urging anybody to be, as we say, off-the-wall. In your religious life or in your conversation, certainly you don’t have to be an eager proselyte or knocking everybody down and saying, “Are you prepared to die?” That isn’t what we’re getting at. But you, my friend, are marked. If you know the Lord Jesus at all, you’re different. It is as this godless person said to my good friend Mr. Hill years ago. After Mr. Hill had had a real experience with the Lord, the next contact that they had in the other man’s office, he looked at Mr. Hill and he said, “You’re different. What happened to you?” Well, there was a perfect opportunity then to tell him what had happened and that the Lord Jesus Christ was now real to him and that the Blessed Holy Spirit was speaking through him. You’re marked. Don’t cringe. Don’t run away from that fact. When I came to the college, I said, one of the first things I said to the faculty and students was “We are going to be a college where people don’t wince at the mention of the Lord Jesus Christ, even in an academic setting. You can be an excellent scholar and at the same time be totally committed to the Lord Jesus Christ.” Part of your completeness, then, as a Christian, is the fact that you are marked as being His own. Don’t run away from it. Be proud of it. Stand tall today. And when you do have opportunity, proudly assert the fact that you belong to Him. The words that the disciples used after those post-Pentecost days, when they were questioned, they said, “We are His witnesses.” Let that be true of you and me. Dear Father, today, let us be thrillingly aware of the fact that Thou has marked us as Thy own and may we stand tall and happily confess the fact before men that Jesus is Lord of all. In His name I pray. Amen and Amen. Until I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!

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