Two people who are at odds with each other can get together on their knees.
Alright, thank you very much and hello again radio friends. How in the world are you? Doing Alright? That little corny greeting establishes the fact that this is indeed your friend, Dr. Cook, and I’m glad, oh so glad to be back with you. I look forward to these times when we can share from the Word of God, we belong to each other don’t we, you and I, in the bonds of Christian love and fellowship, Hallelujah for that! And as a brother he said, many years ago I heard him, I suppose in the 1930s, somebody put this dear brother on to give a testimony and he says, “You know, it’s so God to know the Lord and he gets gooder and gooder”. Well, it does, doesn’t it? The end is not yet, praise the Lord.
We’ve been hitting the high spots in Philippians, just for little break in between our study of the, the gospel of Mark, and we’ve come now to looking at the forth chapter. He says that, “We should stand fast in the Lord”, he said, “My brethren, dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown”. Small thought here, the more you get involved in the Lord’s work, the more dear God’s people become to you. It’s impossible to be casual and careless and calloused concerning God’s people if you are really serving Him. You see this in evidence here with the apostle Paul, don’t you? He said, “My brethren, I belong to you as a family, my dearly beloved brethren you’re precious to me as special members of a family”. I get lonesome to see you, “longed for my joy and crown”. I get joy and I get satisfaction and my own status is, is enhanced, my crown, my own status is enhanced when you do well.
Do you feel that way about other Christians? If the truth were told some believers you, you try to cope with them, and that’s but the best you can do. Some people are like an accident going somewhere to happen, isn’t it true? And you think, when someone is drawing near of that type you think, “Oh, here he comes again”, or, “Here she comes again”, and you brace yourself as though for a storm. Let me whisper something to you, beloved. Now, people do reserve the right to be difficult. I guess you and I are sometimes, aren’t we, as nice as we are, but people do reserve the right to be difficult. That is not the determining factor, is it? The determining factor is if you really love them in Christ, then you won’t brace yourself as though against the blast of stormy wind when they approach, but rather open you’ll open you heart. Bible word that’s called long-suffering is in your Greek New Testament, makrothumia, large heartedness, room in your heart that makes you patient with people’s faults and foibles.
Yes, mother you remember when your, when your son or daughter was a little baby, was just growing on into, into toddler years? How many times did you have to clean up after them? How many times did they have an accident and you had to put new, new removable seat covers on that little chassis? How many times? Oh, you say, I didn’t count. Of course you didn’t, but did you, did you resent it? I don’t think you did. Why? Why, because this was your own flesh and blood and you loved that little mortal desperately, deeply, devotedly. Yes, beloved, we do have to do some cleaning up after God’s people now and again, but that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t love them with all our hearts. The more you get involved in God’s work, the more you love God’s dear people.
Now, brethren, your family, dearly beloved, your special family, long for them, you get lonesome for them. My joy, you, you rejoice over them. My crown, your own status is enhanced when they do well. It’s quite a thought, isn’t it? Well, that’s a little detour and it took a moment or two, but anyhow.
Now, what’s he asking them to do? He says, “Stand fast in the Lord”. In Galatians he says, “Stand fast in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free”. Another place in the New Testament says, “Hold fast your confession of faith, don’t forsake the position you’ve taken of trusting the Lord Jesus Christ absolutely. Don’t forsake the position of being free from the law, the Mosaic law because the Lord Jesus Christ has forever satisfied the law and now faith in Him, the Lord Jesus, is the determining factor for eternal well-being”.
Now in this passage it says, “Stand fast in the Lord”, and that wraps it all up, doesn’t it? “Stand fast in the Lord”. What might that mean? Well, I think on the face of it, you’ve made a commitment to a person. The Lord Jesus Christ is, is a person, not just an idea. He’s a wonderful, lovely person, you’ve made a commitment to Him and He says, “Don’t forget your commitment to that person”. It’s more than church membership, it’s more than a religious point of view; it’s more even than a religious calling, if you happen to be in what’s called full-time Christian work. Your commitment is, is something greater than relationship or work or people or career or success, your commitment is to a wonderful person, your Lord Jesus. Jesus is Lord and you’ve committed yourself to Him, and so Paul is saying, “Don’t forget your commitment to that wonderful person”.
Now, how does this work out? I thought I’d run down some of these verses and show you how it works out, Alright? First of all, He talks to two ladies, Euodia and Syntyche.
Dr. Ironside, any of you remember Harry Ironside? Dr. H.A Ironside? Dear man of God. He was my dear friend. Great expositor of the Word of God. When he got to this passage he always used to chuckle in his, in his cavernous, bass voice and he would say, “I beseech Euodia and Syntyche”, he said, “I often call them Euodia and soon touchy”. I guess they will have forgiven him for that misnomer, by the time he met them in the glory. Euodia and Syntyche, of that they be of the same mind in the Lord. Now, these gals were at odds with each other. Why they were no one knows. The reasons over which people disagree are a myriad. You never get to the end of reasons for, for people’s disagreement, and when two ladies in your church start feuding, I tell you, it is something serious. Isn’t that true?
Well what’s the answer to it? Do you have to agree on everything in order to have fellowship in the Lord? No you don’t, no you don’t. He says, “Be of the same mind in the Lord”. Now, they may have disagreed over what color to paint the nursery or over what menu to have for the next church supper, they may have disagreed because one of them dared to criticize the other in the way she disciplined her children. Who knows what they were in disagreement about? It doesn’t matter. You project, listen to me, you project your present feud with somebody, project that a million years in the future and then take a look at it and see how ridiculous it’ll look. Who cares what color the boiler room was painted? Who cares what the color of the shingles on the roof of the church happened to be? Who cares who was chairman of the committee? See, those things are not eternal. What is of eternal value is your relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. Two people who are at odds with each other can get together on their knees.
Many years ago, I discovered that there was a couple who were, at least she was, considering divorce. In a moment of pent temper, her husband had lashed out at her and hit her, and given her, as a matter fact, a black eye, and when I saw her in midweek I said, “Why, say you, you’re in town early today. What brings you to town”? She said, “I was talking to my lawyer. I’m going to get a divorce”.
Well, then I knew that this was more than a, than a casual spat and I began to pray together with my dear wife, Coreen. We began to pray for these dear folk, and I took steps to get them together with me. And so after a day or so, it was that they came and we sat down over a cup of coffee, in the big kitchen of the parsonage that I operated and that I, and that I occupied then. And so, we talked. Well, they were solemn, they were mad and defensive and hostile, wouldn’t even look at each other. So after a while I asked, I said, “Do you ever pray together”? “Pray with him?” she said. I said, “Did you ever”? “Oh, yes, oh yes we used to”. Well I said, “How long has it been”? “Well, it has been so and so long”, and I said, “How long as this resentment toward each other been growing?”, and then it dawned on them that the resentment they had toward each other had started to develop when they stopped seeking the Lord together. Well, a few minutes more of conversation and then the blessed Spirit of God operated in both of their hearts and we got down and prayed. He prayed, she prayed, Coreen and I both prayed for them, and when we finished praying we left them there in the kitchen in each other’s arms. We found something else to do in another part of the house for a while.
You can get together, dear friends if you get on your knees and talk to Jesus. Be of the same mind in the Lord. Now, this works in church fights as well. I’ve been in the pastorate, full-time 18 years and I’ve been called in, in intervening years, called in to help with some situations that were scratchy, you may say, and in every case where I have had opportunity to exert a little influence, I’ve try to get people to pray. Why? Well, because when you get praying, the Holy Spirit of God has a chance to speak to your heart, has a chance to sift out those motives that are unworthy, those feelings that are unworthy, God begins to work . I’ve seen this work. I can give you a name and address on that beloved.
Oh, am I talking to somebody today that’s out of sorts with another believer? You’re resentful, that resentment, even close to hatred sometimes. Listen, Paul says, “I beseech you”, he’s he’s begging, that word beseech means just begging on my knees, I’m begging you be of the same mind in the Lord. Get on your knees together, seek God, let Him heal hurt and let Him put love there instead of resentment. He’ll answer the prayer, I promise. Indeed He will.
Dear Father today, oh may we learn the secret of one heartedness in the Lord, I ask 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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