No Competition

Crank the importance of the Lord Jesus into your value judgment system. He deserves first place over other things that might be demanding , but are not eternally important.

Scripture: Ephesians 4:13, 1 Peter 2


Alright, thank you very much, always nice to be put on the air of the friendly voice. I can remember sometimes many years ago when it was a little different. I had one announcer that was hung over one morning. [chuckle] This would be back in 1935. And I was on the air live every morning, and it was early, and this announcer was hungover, and he put me on the air, and then forgot to shut off his microphone and he said, “There, that’ll hold him”. [laughter]

Hello, radio friends. How in the world are you? You’re doing Alright? Bless your heart, this is your good friend, Bob Cook. I’m glad to be back with you. And we’re looking at Ephesians 4:13. Now the purpose of all of the gifts God has given in terms of people whom He has placed in His church. Apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, teachers, the purpose of all of these is that he may do a special work that is called edifying. Now that means build-up. Verb is oikodomeo, build a house. He wants to build up his church as one would build a house. The building up of the body of Christ. Now, the body of Christ when it’s spoken of in the Scripture means all of the born again believers everywhere, that’s the body of Christ. And so your part and mine is to build up that body.

While we were talking about this the last time we got together, we reminded ourself that God does the building through you, “It is God that worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure”. He gives you the want-to. And then he makes it possible for you to obey what He wants you to do. Never forget that it’s God that does the building, not you. That puts everything in proper perspective.

Well then, what is the process that’s involved? First of all, he said, “Till we all come in the unity of the faith”. And as I spoke to you the last time, I just ticked off some of the things that count about this. The unity of the faith has to do with the deity and the work of our Lord Jesus Christ. Saving work, His redemptive work on the cross, His death and resurrection, that has to do with the inherent Word of God. You were built… It says upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief cornerstone. It has to do with a continuing miracle of the Christian life, “He also as living stones.” That would be a miracle, wouldn’t it? A stone that is made alive, are built up. A spiritual house, a royal priest to offer up spiritual sacrifices to God by Jesus Christ. All of this is from 1st Peter chapter 2.

So, it’s a continuing miracle based on the person and work of the Lord Jesus, His deed and His atoning work, and the inherent infallible, eternal Word of God, the Bible. That is the basis for the building which is called the unity of the faith. Alright. Now he says, “We all come in the unity of the faith and of… ” So that there’s another phrase that follows the verb, “We all come to something”. And of the knowledge of the Son of God. And now this is something else you see. This is part of the… This is part of the building up, remember. “Till we all come in the unity of the faith and the knowledge of the Son of God”. Now the Greek verb is epiginosko. And that is a… That’s an on top of kind of thing. The prefix epi means on top of. And the verb ginosko means to know not only intellectual, but personally and a personal relationship, so that you know it as a person.

The knowledge of the Son of God. You see, it isn’t just knowing about the savior that counts, it’s really to know Him. I’ve had a chance to shake hands with a number of presidents. God’s gracious provision has put me in positions where I would be in attendance at occasions where I could actually shake hands with the President, well that’s nice. But to say, “I know President Kennedy”. Or to say, “I knew President Truman”. Or to say, “I know President Ford”. Or to say, “I know President Nixon”. Well yeah, I shook hands with all of them, yeah I did. [laughter] Shake the hand that shook the hand huh. [laughter] Or to say, “I knew President Reagan”.

I’ve had more contact I think with President Bush than any of the others that went before, but to him I’m sure I’m one of the thousands of names that he may well forget. See, I know about these people, I can… I can give you some facts, I can line them up and give you some facts about them, but to know a person, you have to have a very special relationship there, see. And now you multiply that a million-fold when it comes to your Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, he’s God in the flesh. The Lord Jesus, there’s one God and one mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus, the Bible says. He stands between you and the judgment of God, He intercedes for you. And the book of Hebrew says, “He ever liveth to make intercession for them that come unto God by Him”. He’s naming your name believer, before the Heavenly Father.

And so the… The essence of growth and the rate of growth, and the means of growth. See I’m changing the… I’m changing the figure of speech each time, but they’re all pertinent. Are all bound up in a personal experience with the Lord Jesus, a Greek verb ginosko has an experience factor to it. To know that you know, that you know, that you know. Because you’ve been there.

I remember a consultant that Scripture Press when I was working there years ago, who was very able actually and I happened to remark on that. That I said to him calling him by name, “You seem to zero right into the cause of the problem and go right at it. I admire that,” I said. And he looked at me and smiled, and he said, “Well, Reverend”. He always called me Reverend. He never let me forget that he thought I was out of place in a business situation. He said, “Well Reverend, when these problems come along”. He says, “You can’t sit there and study about it. You got to have been there”. Oh, experience. Have you been to Calvary for the cleansing flood? Are you washed in the blood of the lamb? Do you know Jesus? Can you sing, “I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I’ve committed unto Him against that day?” Can you say that or sing it? And with assurance in your heart that you really know the Lord? Not only that. But in the scripture we’re told to follow on to know the Lord.

You get to know a person better if you spend more time with him or her. See, you get to know a person better if you spend more time with him or her. Much of our praying is hurry up praying, I think. Especially in these busy rushed and tension-filled days in which we are living. Hurry up, praying, “Lord help me through this situation. Lord deliver me from this trial. Lord guide me in this perplexity. Lord protect me in this danger. Lord helped me through this just now.” See?

Well, I believe in praying your way through the day, I do that all the time, and I hope you have learned also to do it. Pray your way through the day, pray before you… Well pray when you wake up and pray before you greet the family in the morning. You don’t have to greet them with a loving snarl, you know that you can act like a Christian, even before a coffee. Pray before you answer the phone, you don’t know who’s there. Pray before you open a letter, you don’t know if it’s a check or a bill or a threat. Pray before you make a decision, pray before you go on a date, pray before you go on a trip, pray before you hire someone or transfer or certainly before you fire anybody, if you’re in supervision. Pray before you sign a contract, God has already read the fine print. Pray your way through the day. Oh, I believe in that.

I wanna tell you something, you wanna get to know your Savior, you have to spend time with Him, aside from the times when you call up Heaven with an emergency phone call, to for spend time with your Lord. Well, does the hymn writer say, “Take time to be holy, speak oft with thy Lord, abide in Him only, and feed on His Word, by looking to Jesus like him thou shalt be, thy friends in thy countenance His likeness will see. Take time to be holy”. See, it takes time to get to know your Lord. “Well, yes, I’m so busy”. I know you are, but we tend to make time for the things we think are the most important.

“Come on John, play golf today”. “Oh I can’t, I’ve got this business appointment”. “Well, tell him you can’t come”. “Oh, I can’t do that, no”. “I have to do this”. “Why?” “Because it’s more important than that”. All day long. We’re making value judgments. “This is more important than that. So I will do this rather than that”. All day long, you live that way. Crank your estimate of the Lord Jesus into your value judgment system so that He is given first place over other things that might be demanding but are not eternally important. Did you get that? Crank your estimate of the importance of the Lord Jesus into your value judgment system so that he can take first place over other things that might be demanding but are not eternally important. Put the Lord Jesus Christ first. First. Leland Wong. I guess it was, who used to have the saying, “No Bible, no breakfast.” He would get up early and spend time with his Lord so that his own soul was fed and his heart was filled with God’s presence before he ever went down to breakfast and greeted the rest of the folks. No Bible, no breakfast.

I was inquiring into the success of a pastor and wife team, and was surprised and yet not surprised to learn that at 5 o’clock every morning the wife, arose and went to that church site and prayed. Because there was something that was wanted, that was needed, they were trying to purchase a place. And so at 5 o’clock every morning, she got up and went and prayed. Now, I tell you that takes some doing doesn’t it? Especially if you’re not a morning person. But it’s putting Jesus first. It’s putting Jesus first. It’s doing the things that are eternal by contrast with those that may seem important, but are only temporal.

Our Savior put it this way, when he was speaking with Mary and Martha. Martha came zooming into the living room one day and said, “Everything’s burning, and I need some help in the kitchen, don’t you care that my sister has left me to serve alone?” And the Lord Jesus said tenderly to her, “Martha, you’re worrying about a lot of things.” But he said, “Only one thing is really needful. Only one thing is eternal. And Mary has chosen that good part and it’ll not be taken away from her.” She sat at Jesus’s feet and heard His Word. If there’s ever a choice between demanding things, and the eternal value of spending time with Jesus, choose Jesus.

Father God today. Oh, may we spend time with Thee and get to know Thee better through Jesus Christ our Lord, 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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