Ordinary Made Extraordinary
God wants to meet you in the ordinary things of life. Yes, He does!
And hello radio friends. How in the world are you? You doing Alright? Well, bless your heart. I’m happy to be back with you once again. I’m feeling great, just like Tony the Tiger. Haha! Oh, I’m so grateful for the privilege of being with you and ministering from the Word of God day after day.
We’re looking at the book of Mark, you and I- you want to turn to it, and we’ll see what the Lord may say to us from this passage.
We spent the last time we got together in one phrase, “Now after John was put in prison”, your remember that? “The Lord Jesus will answer your questions and mine, when we get a new vision of Him, a new touch from God.
Well verse 14 continues in Mark chapter 1, “Jesus came into Galilee preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom of God and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled and the Kingdom of God is at hand, repent ye and believe the Gospel’”. Now, this is Mark’s abbreviation of Christ’s sermon. I doubt very much that this was all that Christ said. I think this is the heart of it, I think this is the sermon outline, stripped of every other word that He might’ve been saying. This is what He really was putting across. He preached the Gospel of the Kingdom of God.
Now, I’m not going to get into a quarrel between those of you who make a distinction using the kingdom of heaven in the Kingdom of God and all that. I simply want to point out that the kingdom is referring to a king, and a king has authority and a king without authority isn’t a king, so the Gospel of the Kingdom of God has to do with making God the King of your life, and this is precisely what you must do if you’re ever going to trust Christ as your Savior.
This is not some saccharine, sweet doctrine that says just give some kind of assent to Christ as your Savior and you’ll be alright. To be saved means that you acknowledge Him as your Lord and then He becomes your Savior by faith. This is what Romans 10:9 says, “That if thou should confess with thy mouth Jesus as Lord, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved”. Little later on verse 13, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved”.
Saul of Tarsus, lying face down there on the dusty road to Damascus said, “Who art thou Lord”, and second he said, “Lord what wilt Thou have me to do?” The authority of the Lord Jesus Christ has to be acknowledged in your life as you commit yourself to Him in faith, and ask for His forgiveness, and ask for His pardon, and ask for salvation through faith in Him, and then you become a Christian. I think that’s pretty straight doctrine, isn’t it preachers?
I am against what we call “easy believeism” where you simply give a mental assent to some statement of doctrine and say, “Oh, I’m a Christian, I believe all that”, and then you go on and live as you please. I don’t believe the Bible teaches that.
“He that covereth his sin shall not prosper, but whoso confessesth and forsaketh it, shall have mercy”, and you and I have to straighten up as we look up in order for our relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ to become that dynamic moment by moment miracle that we call the Christian life. The Gospel of the Kingdom means make God King of your life. How do you do that?
Number one, receive Christ as your Lord and Savior by faith, number two, start obeying what you know to be the Will of God, number three, read God’s Word so you learn more, number four, depend on the faithful indwelling Holy Spirit to guide you, moment by moment, in what God wants you to do.
Make the Lord Jesus the King, put Him on the throne of your life. Instead of self, instead of the world, instead of the opinions of others, put the
Lord Jesus Christ on the throne of your life, the Kingdom of God.
So, how do you do this? Well, Lord Jesus said, “Repent ye and believe the Gospel”. To repent, I said to you few days ago, there are three words that translate repent in your Greek New Testament; one means to change your mind, another means a change to your feelings, and the other is to change your direction-turn, run, go a different way. Repentance involves all three concepts, does it not?
To think about this and to change your mind, some people have of the idea that sin is cute and that to get away with things is clever. Now, that’s the way the world, it’ll land you in hell. You have to change your thinking. Sin is abhorrent, sin is disastrous, sin is ruinous, sin angers God and lands you in the lake of fire.
This involves a change of mind about sin, and then change of feeling immediately, when you realize the horrendous nature of the sin against God and you say as did David the psalmist, “Against Thee, Thee only have I sinned and done this evil in Thy sight, purge me with hyssop and I should be clean, wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity”, and so on. You’ll change your feeling, you’ll feel differently about God.
Congregation came in to hear Jonathan Edwards preach. He didn’t have a very dramatic presentation. He had a high-pitched voice and read his sermons by the light of a guttering candle, as he stood there in the high pulpit. But as those people came in, many them careless and disaffected, as they listened to the sermon the Holy Spirit of God got a hold of them and it was actually true that some of them gripped the sides of the pillars by which they sat, because it said, they didn’t want to slip down into the fires of hell. So real was the portrayal of God’s anger against sin and their own pitiful condition is sinners, so real wasn’t that they were simply frightened and under conviction and their feelings were changed, and then he said, “Repent ye”, and that means turn around, go a different way.
An old man was preaching in missions when I was just a boy starting out. He was trying to portray what repentance was, and he stamped across the platform in one direction, he said, “I’ll show you what repentance is. A sinner, you’re walking along and you’re saying, ‘I’m going to hell, I’m going to hell, I’m going to hell’, and then you turn around and you trust Christ as your Lord and Savior and you can walk’”, and he started walking back across the platform shouting, “I’m going to heaven, I’m going to heaven, I’m going to heaven.”
Well, it may not be quite that simple, but it does involve a turning around and going God’s way. Then beloved, you and I are in a position where we can believe the Gospel, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believe in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life”,
It’s this blessed combination of willingness to be different and asking Christ to perform in you that miracle that makes you different, “If any man be in Christ, he is a new creation”.
Walter Kallenbach, the blind evangelist used to say so often, I heard him said in meetings that he held for me when I was still in the pastorate, he would say, “If you don’t want to be different nobody can help you, but if you do want to be different, Jesus can help you. Come to Him”. So true isn’t it? “Repent ye and believe the Gospel”.
Alright, now what happens? Verse 16 Mark chapter 1, “As He walked by the Sea of Galilee, He saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea, for they were fishers, and Jesus said unto them, ‘Come after Me and I will make you to become fishers of men”, and straight away, they forsook their nets and followed Him.
When He’d gone a little farther thence, He saw James, the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, who also were in the ship, mending their nets and straight away, He called them and they left their father Zebedee in the ship, with the hired servants and went after Him. The call out to Peter and Andrew and James and John; they were fishers casting a net into the sea.
A couple thoughts here; the Lord Jesus reserves the right to interrupt your workaday business with His Will. Now, I’m talking to people who are salesman, and presidents of corporations, and vice presidents and principals of schools. I know this because I’ve talked with different ones of you and you’ve written to me, and physicians, and lawyers, and nurses, and psychological counselors, and production managers, salesman, and people who work with their hands in the production area of a factory, housewives and students.
We’ve all got different schedules, haven’t we? They’re all very important, I know that. I want to tell you I appreciate that you make time to be with me day by day. I know some of you carve out that 14 minutes, so that you can just be with Bob Cook and share from the Word, and I appreciate it, but your schedule is important, I know that.
I used to get so fussed when people having nothing to do would come and do it in my office. They’d say, “Oh hey Bob, had a couple hours to kill. I thought I’d come to see you”. “Oh, boy” I would say to myself, why do you kill time in my office?!”
Then I realized that God had a purpose in sending them in. I’d have a prayer with them and see what happened. Oh yes, your schedule is important, but God reserves the right to superimpose His Will upon your schedule.
Are you willing for Him to do that today? You’ve got some things planned out, you think, “Oh now, this is what I’m going to do”, but are you willing for God Almighty, just to impose His Will upon your schedule, and maybe have some different things happening, that will register in eternity, as a result?
Look for the overtones of God’s Will in the ordinary. “Casting a net into the sea for they were fishers, mending their nets”, ordinary business, they did it every day, but look for the overtones of God’s Wiill in the ordinary. God wants to meet you in the ordinary things of life. Yes He does! The routine-this lady said, “I don’t mind housework, but it’s so daily”-well I know that, never quits does it?
The work that you and I have is there, the schedule that we face is there, it won’t go away, but look for the impact of God’s Presence and God’s Will, or to change the figure of speech, listen for the overtones of God’s Will and program in the ordinary things of life. Jesus called people when they were doing ordinary things.
Second thing: He called busy people. God calls busy people, He doesn’t call lazy people. “A son that sleepeth in harvest”, said Solomon, “is a son that causeth shame”. Paul said, “Awake thou that of that sleepeth and rise from the dead and Christ shall give thee life”. “Let us not sleep, but let us work”, he said.
Jesus our Lord said in John 9:4, “I must work, the works of Him that sent me. While it is day than I cometh when no man can work. Labor with his hands that he may have to give to them that have not”, Paul said concerning folk of the word working. So, the work ethic is in the Bible, there’s no doubt about that. God calls busy people. You get busy doing what you ought to do and you will find God working with you and maybe in spite of you, to do His Will.
Paul said to the Corinthians, “We are laborers together with God. We are God’s husbandry and God’s handiwork”. God’s poem the in Ephesians 2:10, “We are His workmanship”, that’s the Greek word “poema”. God’s poem. He’s writing a beautiful poem out of your life. He’s building something, the architecture of God in your life.
Let Him take your ordinary work, which is there- it won’t go away and it has to be done. Let Him take your ordinary work and glorify it with His Presence, and, “Make of you”, as He said to Peter and Andrew and James of John, “fishers of men”.
Dear Father today, interfere, will You, in the ordinary things of life, so we can feel the touch of the Divine hand in what we’re doing, in Jesus’ name 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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