God will open your eyes to see what He's doing in your life... if you'll wait before Him.
Alright, thank you very much. And hello again, radio friends, how in the world are you? You doing alright? Bless your heart. I trust so. This is your good friend, Bob Cook, and I’m back with you for a few minutes to share from the Word of God. We’re looking into the Gospel of John these days and we’re in the sixth chapter. And for today’s thoughts, we look at verse 36 and the verses that follow. John 6:36. Now, our Lord Jesus had just finished saying, “I am the bread of life.” The people around had been saying, “What good are you? Why are you so special? You fed us yesterday, that’s true, but Moses gave them bread from heaven to eat, so this is not anything so terribly unusual. It happened before.” Our Lord Jesus said, “Well, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is He which cometh down from heaven and giveth life unto the world, I am the bread of life. He that cometh to me shall never hunger, and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.”
Now, He says, “But I said unto you,” this is verse 36, this is where we pick up today, “I said unto you that ye also have seen me and believe not.” Now, go back from verse 36 to verse 30. “What sign,” that’s our word miracle, “What miracle are you gonna show that we may see and believe thee? What dost thou work?” “You’ve seen me,” He said, “And you don’t believe.” So, we stop here long enough for a small thought. Beloved friends, seeing is not always believing. I am from Missouri, “show me” is the old saying. When I see it I’ll believe it. No, not always. It has been my sad experience to see people who were right in the middle of something God was doing and they never saw it. At a campus revival many years ago, someone asked a member of the staff, “Well, did you get blessed during the revival?” and the answer came back, “What revival? I don’t know about any revival.” Right in the middle of it, didn’t know what was going on.
“Our Lord Jesus cried, He wept aloud,” it says, “Over Jerusalem,” and said, “Oh,” He said, “Jerusalem.” He said, “How often would I have gathered your children like a hen gathereth its chickens under its wings but you would not.” He said, “The days are coming when they’ll cast a trench around you and tear you down, because thou knewest not the day of thy visitation.” God walking in their streets in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ and they didn’t know it. I think you and I need to pray every day, “Lord, open my eyes that I may see what thou dost have for me.” The writer to the Hebrews says, “Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. Keep your gaze on Him while we look not at things which are temporal, but at the things which are eternal.” Paul says, “We all with open face beholding,” that’s our word gazing, gazing as in a mirror, “The glory of the Lord are changed into the same image from glory to glory even as by the spirit of the Lord.” We need to pray that God will open our eyes to see what He has for us.
That’s happened to me once or twice in my life, as I prayed and I must admit, oftentimes I’ve complained to God about the things that were happening. But then as I prayed and waited on Him, He opened my eyes to see what He was doing. And that is so great. I was in the pastorate for 18 years, full time. Trained, so far as I was trained, though the Bible Institute, the Moody Bible Institute and Wheaton College and Eastern Baptist Seminary, graduate work there and all of that, to do Christian work at the pastoral level. And I enjoyed it so very much. And then God moved me into Youth For Christ, and I served as president there for nine years, trying somehow to keep the fires of youth evangelism lit and burning brightly all across the world.
Well, it came a time when I was getting more and more tired from these trips, staying up all night, praying with people and coming back. And I thought privately that I’d better seek some kind of a change lest Youth For Christ turn out to be called “Old men for God.” [chuckle] So it was then that Vic Cory, my dear friend of many years, phoned me and asked me would I be interested in coming to work for him. And after I prayed about it over a couple of months I said, “Yes, I would,” and we made the change. I became then vice president and what they called distribution manager. I think that’s a pious way of saying sales manager, myself. But anyhow, that’s what it was for five years. Now, what God was doing with me, in the pastorate I learned to feed on the Word and feed my people and go for souls. In Youth For Christ I learned to promote and to organize and to keep constantly before me the vision of world evangelization which, as you know, is the supreme task of the church.
In Scripture Press, I took all of those concepts and combined them with some knowledge regarding organization, business matters, learned to look for the bottom line on the financial statement and all of that. Managed by objective, as they say. Learned all of those different techniques. And then came the invitation to become president of the college, which I started in March of 1962. Now, I wasn’t trained as an academician, I was trained as a Christian worker. I had a certain amount of business moxie that I had picked up here and there. But all of a sudden, after I got into this new assignment, what I’m talking about is opening your eyes and seeing what God is doing. All of a sudden I realized that God had been preparing me for this. Because in assuming the responsibilities at the college, I certainly had to promote and raise money, which I had been doing for many years, with more or less success. I certainly had to organize. I had to be aware of budgeting and business procedures. I had to know something about managing people, personnel work.
And all of this, at least a smattering of it, I had gotten along the way when God was changing me from one thing to another. What God had been doing without my knowledge [chuckle] was getting me ready for that new assignment. And oh, when I realized that I just bowed and tears filled my eyes, I said, “Oh, Jesus. Thank you. Thank you, thank you for what you’ve been doing. Now, please see me through this one.” [chuckle] And He did. And He did. There are two things that’ll help you, any of you who are starting on a new assignment. Number one, at least they helped me, write down all the procedures that you know are in effect. It’ll take a little time for you, a little homework, but it’s worthwhile. All the procedures, a kind of a working manual. How do things work here? Write that down and memorize it. Have it in a little pocket notebook and have reference to it.
Another thing is, along that same line, write down operating principles. Principles to follow. You don’t always have chapter and verse, rules that apply to what to do on the third floor of the factory. But you have a principle, an operating principle. And so write them down. Principles that you follow. And the second area that will help you, at least it helped me, was keep on top of the details of your assignment. Financial matters. What came in today, what went out today. Set up a reporting procedure and then put that together in a manner that you can refer to, so that somebody will ask you, “What’s the ratio of funded debt to your gross income?” for example, you can flip over a page and say, “Well, here it is.” Somebody says, “How many mortgages do we have on what kinds of property?” And you’ll turn to another page and say, “Well, there it is.”
I did that with some success when I came to the college. And after a year or so, we were bucking for regional accreditation. The college was not then accredited. And so that was my first task, along with turning the thing around budget-wise. And the people who came to examine us, of course, the first thing they do is to zero in on the president, to see whether he knows the score. So they all came into my office and they began to ask all these questions. “What is the trend in your enrollment? What is the ratio between your debt and your income? And where does your money come from? And where does it go? What is the percentage of cost of maintenance and how much do you expend for the library compared to your education and general fund?” Now, all of these questions came at me, machine gun fire. I just answered them because I had them there right in hand. Oh, that was fun.
And one of them said after the interview was over, he said, “Well, Mr. Cook, I must say I am amazed at how much you know about this college in so short a time.” [laughter] Oh, that was fun. Well, listen. You can do that. You can do that. Well, I threw all of this in free. It certainly isn’t Bible study, is it? And somebody is probably grumbling and saying, “Brother Cook, you wasted all that time talking about business.” But I happen to know there are a few business people listening who may have gotten some help from it. Back to this matter of, “Seeing is not always believing.” God will open your eyes to see what He’s doing in your life if you’ll wait before Him. Most of us rush in with a laundry list and tick it off and say, “amen”, and get on out of there before God has a chance to say anything to us. Isn’t it true?
Spend some time with your Lord and let Him tell you what He’s doing in your life. Let Him open your eyes to the opportunities around you. Never say that you’re too limited or too old, or too sick or too tired or too anything. God has possibilities for you as long as your heart is beating and you’re drawing breath. Always something that God can do in your life, wait before Him and let Him speak to you in love, concerning what He can be in your life. Seeing is not always believing, but God will open your eyes when you trust Him and commit yourself to Him and wait before Him.
Well, that was kind of a beef stew mix-up of truth there, but it’s all very important, at least it was for me. So He said, “You’ve seen me and believe not.” There is nothing beyond the person of Christ that can answer the questions of your doubting mind. Jesus said to Nicodemus, who kept saying, “How, how, how can these things be?” He said, “Marvel not, that I said unto you, you must be born again.” Take your doubts to the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ and you’ll find them dissolved. Will you remember that? Take your doubts to the Lord Jesus and talk to Him about it and commit yourself to Him. You’ll find your doubts disappear.
Dear Father, today, open our eyes to what you have in store for us, God’s purposes, for our lives. In Jesus’ name I pray this, Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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