Point To Him

God values fervor. God values earnestness. God values commitment and dedication. He was a burning light. Yes, if something's gonna burn, it gets consumed.

Scripture: John 5:23-40


Alright, thank you very much. And hello again radio friends, how in the world are you? You doing alright today? Yes, this is your friend, Bob Cook, and I’m glad to be back with you. I look forward to these times when we can spend the moments looking at the Word of God, and listening to the blessed Spirit of God as He speaks to us. I look forward to this like a missionary looks forward to furlough, I do declare. It’s refreshment for my own soul, that’s for sure. And I hope and I pray that it may be of blessing to you this very day.

We’re in John chapter 5, and our Lord Jesus continues to say, “Ye sent unto John, and he bore witness unto the truth. But I receive not testimony from man, these things I say, that ye might be saved. He… “, that’s John the Baptist, “Was a burning and a shining light, and ye were willing for a season to rejoice in his light. But I have greater witness than that of John; for the works which the Father hath given Me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of Me that the Father hath sent Me. And the Father Himself, which hath sent Me, hath borne witness of Me.”

That’s a reference to the voice that spoke from Heaven at His baptism. Do you remember there was the voice that said, “This is my beloved son?” “Ye have neither heard His voice nor seen His shape. And ye have not His Word abiding in you; for Him Whom He hath sent, ye believe not. Ye search the Scriptures, in them ye think ye have eternal life; and they are they which testify of Me. And ye will not come to Me, that you might have life!” Well, let’s go back aways now, and see what our Lord Jesus was actually saying. “Ye sent unto John, and he bore witness unto the truth. He was a burning and a shining light.” Three elements for ministerial or Christian life success. You may not be a pastor or a minister, but you are a believer. If you’re a believer you have a ministry don’t you? Three elements, what are they? He bore witness unto the truth.

You know, it’s a great thing if people can say about you, “You can believe him when he says, good morning. Whatever he tells you, you can believe him.” That is a great reputation to have. And you have to live a while in order to get that kind of a reputation, I’m sure. But John had it. He bore witness unto the truth. There’s no record that John ever had to back off from any of his preaching and say, “I’m sorry, I was mistaken.” All that he had to say was true. Now then, in your relationships with people, beloved, make sure that you’re telling them the truth. First of all, be a truthful person in the interpersonal relationships of everyday life. How often we trim the truth to save our own skins. And this of course, dishonors your Lord and makes people wary of you when you try to talk in eternal terms. If they can’t trust you about the time of day, or if they can’t trust you about statement of percent of interest, or if they can’t trust you about your account of a relationship with someone else, how are they going to trust you when you talk about eternal matters? You see the point?

So you have to start then with being truthful and dependable in everyday matters. And then be sure that when you speak of eternal matters, you base all that you say upon God’s inherent, infallible Word, the Bible. Base what you have to say about eternal matters not on your own feelings, or your own experience even though it may be great, but upon the Word of God. Small thought here, not everybody has the same religious experience. Did you know that? Not everybody feels the same when they become Christians, or when the blessed Spirit of God fills their lives. Not everyone enjoys the same religious experience or degree of fervor or whatever. Some people, when they’re deeply moved spiritually, will laugh, and others, when they’re deeply moved spiritually, will weep. So don’t expect that your experience is going to be exactly that of others, or theirs exactly that of yours. Don’t try to legislate spiritual life for somebody else. Just be sure that you’re telling the truth about Jesus. He bore witness to the truth.

Then there was fervor in his life. “He was a burning and a shining light.” Fervor, “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” How excited are you about Jesus? Now the tendency is, if a person’s been a believer for some years, the tendency is to say, “Oh, well. When I was first a Christian I was very zealous,” that’s a term that many people like to use, “I was very zealous. But now, of course, I’m more experienced and I’ve sort of calmed down.” Well you may have calmed down but maybe you’ve also cooled down. Maybe the fires of love, and faith and devotion have been banked in your soul. Maybe they need stirring up again. The Bible says, “Stir up the gift of God that is in thee.” The Lord Jesus said, “I have something against you in that you’re lukewarm. I wish you were hot or cold, but because you’re lukewarm I will spew you out of my mouth. You make me sick.” Said to the most spiritual church in the New Testament, the church at Ephesus, said, “You’ve left your first love. Repent and do the first works.

What’s it all about? God values fervor. God values earnestness. God values commitment and dedication. He was a burning light. Yes, if something’s gonna burn, it gets consumed. Bob Pierce used to say as he spoke to us at Youth for Christ conventions in the old days, he would say, “You’re gonna die anyway, be sure you die for something worthwhile.” He certainly followed that dictum in his own life even after leukemia had laid him low. Every time he’d get any kind of a remission, he’d head for the foreign field, the mission fields of the world and spend his energies such as they were in ministering to people. You’re gonna die anyway, be sure you die for something worthwhile, something eternal. Burning, yes, you’ll be consumed. Yes, it’ll take something out of you to care for other people, to weep with those that weep, and rejoice with those that rejoice, to identify with the needs of other folk. Yes, it’ll cost you. But it’s a glorious cost, because it pays dividends for all eternity.

Then it says, “He was a shining light.” And the shine came from the burning. “He was a burning and a shining light, and ye were willing for a season to rejoice in his light.” The shine. “Among whom ye shine,” Paul says to the people of Philippi, “as lights in the world, holding forth the word of life.” Our Lord Jesus said, “Ye are the light of the world. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father which is in Heaven.” What makes your light shine? Number one, good works. Number two, a good word. “Holding forth the word of life, among whom ye shine as lights in the world.” Number three, “They that win souls are wise, and they that win many to righteousness shall shine as the stars forever and forever.” Soul winners shine. Good works, good word, and soul winners. You want your life to shine? There it is.

Now there’s two things that keep you from shining. He said, “The light is not brought to be put under a bed, or under a bushel,” Jesus said. Under a bed means laziness, under a bushel means business. Two things can keep you from shining, laziness or busyness. Be sure that neither one of these things dim the eternal light of God’s salvation in your soul. “He was a burning and a shining light.” Do some shining today, will you? Oh, by the way, the shining is the byproduct of the incandescence. You don’t say now, “Go to now, I will shine.” No, you have to do the thing that produces the shine. And so let’s do the first works, as Jesus said. Let’s have the good works that the Savior talked about in the Beatitudes. Let’s hold out the word of life so that others can hear the blessed truth of God and be brought to the Savior. Let’s win people to Jesus. The shining is the byproduct of the incandescence. Alright?

Now he said, “Ye sent unto John, and he bore witness of the truth. But I received not testimony,” this is verse 34, “from man. These things I say, that ye might be saved.” What He’s saying here is, “I’m not trying to prove anything about myself. Everything I say to you is geared to your need of salvation.” Notice how He zeroes in on it again and again. “He that heareth my word, and believeth on Him that sent me, hath everlasting life.” “The Son has life in himself.” And, “I bare witness of the truth.” See? And, “The Father bares witness of Me.” “The scriptures, are those which testify of Me. Come to Me that you might have life,” verse 40. The purpose of His discourse here was not to justify himself, but to bring people to salvation. “These things I say, that ye might be saved.” Let me wind up this broadcast by considering with you the reason for saying anything. Take, if it’s still familiar in your memory, the case of the lady that lived in Sychar, the village of Sychar, who came to draw water from Jacob’s ancient well while the Savior was there, seated on the curbing of the well. John chapter 4.

He asked for a drink of water, she narrowed her eyes and said, “There’s only one reason why a Jewish man would talk to a Samaritan woman. Is that what’s on your mind?” “No,” he said, “if you knew who it is that says, ‘Give me to drink,’ you would have asked of Him, and He would have given you living water. Whoso drinketh of this water, in Jacob’s well, shall thirst again, but whoso drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.” He went on to talk with her about her need and she acknowledged Him as her Messiah. Now what happened? She left her water jar there by the well, forgot that she’d come out to draw water, left the water jar, ran back into town and told the people, “Come, see a man that told me all things that ever I did. Is not this the Christ?”

Now she had left that village going for water, and the subject of her conversation before that, much of it had been sinful. She goes back into the village after having met the Lord Jesus, and there’s just one reason for talking to people now. And that is, “You better come see Jesus.” Which is to say, when you’ve committed your life to the Lord Jesus Christ, what really matters is what you say that points to Him. What really matters is what you say that points to Him. Now that doesn’t mean you’re going around sermonizing all the time. It does mean though, that when you have opportunity, you’ll share your faith in Christ and your love for Christ with other people, and seek to lead them to commit themselves to Him as Savior as well.

Father God, today, help us to be specialists in pointing to the Lord Jesus Christ. I ask in His 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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