Powered By Love
If you want to make a difference in your world, you better go the extra mile and make the extra effort – motivated not by duty, only by the consuming love you have for the Lord Jesus Christ.
Alright, thank you very much. And hello again, dear radio friends. How in the world are you? Yes, you are my friends and you know it, those of you who know me, and the rest of you, I guess we’ll have to take it by faith. But there’s a very tender bond that binds us together, the love of Christ ties us together. Paul says that God’s love is the bond of perfectness. That word perfectness means fulfillment of purpose. So God’s love working in our hearts ties us together and helps to fulfill His Divine purpose in our lives. Aren’t you glad?
I think of all the different people I’ve met through the years and I realize afresh that God has brought them into my life for His purposes and perhaps, in a little way, my life may have been brought into theirs for the same reason. You and I are in the hands of God. His divine purpose is being worked out. Jesus is Lord, and God’s plans still stand today. Hallelujah.
Well, this is your friend, Bob Cook, and we’re looking at the Gospel of John. We’ve just about gotten through the book, and I hate to see the end of our study come because it’s such a precious book, but now we’re in the 20th chapter, starting the 20th chapter. Our Lord Jesus was laid in Joseph of Arimathea’s new tomb in the garden, and now the Sabbath was passed, and Mary Magdalene, it says, “The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, out of the sepulcher and saw the stone taken away from the sepulcher.” Then she ran and came to Simon Peter and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved,” that’s John, “and saith unto them, ‘They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulcher, and we know not where they have laid Him.’ Peter went forth and John and went to look.”
Now, Mary Magdalene, what do we know about her? We know, according to Luke’s Gospel, Chapter 8, I think Verse 2, that she had been delivered by our Lord Jesus from demonic possession. It said, “Mary Magdalene out of whom went seven demons.” So she’d had a tremendous experience of deliverance, and as a result, her heart was filled with gratitude and love for her Savior, and she became one of those who went with our Lord from place to place, it says, and ministered to Him of their substance. That is to say, what they had by way of funds and food, they shared with our Lord and with His disciples. He was ministered to by people who were in high places, the wife of Herod’s steward was there and others, so that this was not a motley crowd of what someone has almost profanely called, “camp followers.” This was a group of dedicated people who believed in what our Lord Jesus was saying and doing and who then went with Him from place to place, even following Him to the Cross. Mary Magdalene was one of them, which tells me that God can deliver you, my friend, no matter what your condition and give you a place of usefulness in His service. This is the great truth that thrills our souls.
Mel Trotter, who was gloriously saved out of a life of drunkenness and sin started the rescue mission, which bore his name there in Grand Rapids. So many people who just were nothing before God touched them found a place of usefulness and service for our Lord.
Now, you don’t have to reach bottom, as we say, in your condition before God can use you. That is the point I’m making. What I do feel deeply is that someone listening this very moment, whoever and wherever you are, needs to hear that Jesus Christ has the power to set you free from that which binds you, and torments you, and causes you all the while to fail in life, He can set you free by becoming your Lord and Savior, and then give you a place of usefulness in His service. Will you believe that today? And will you even now whisper a prayer and say, “Lord Jesus, take hold of my life. Become Lord of my life. Save me from my sins and give me a place of usefulness in your service.”
He, I promise you, will do it. He did it for Mary Magdalene. He will do it for you. He did it for Saul of Tarsus with murder in his heart, arrested him as he traveled there on the road to Damascus, changed his life, and made him the spokesperson for all of that New Testament age. Let Him do that for you, will you? You need Jesus and the way to be different is not to keep trying and failing and trying and failing, but to turn your life over to the Person Who can make a difference and Who can deliver you from the power of sin and Satan, and Who can fill your life with himself through the indwelling Holy Spirit, and Who can then use you to be a blessing to others. It’s a great truth, isn’t it?
Mary Magdalene. Well, what about her? Her love for Christ brought her to the grave site early, even before it was daylight. “While it was yet dark,” it says.
Why did the Holy Spirit who inspired every word of this great eternal document we call the Bible… Why did the Holy Spirit say Mary Magdalene came to the sepulcher when it was yet dark? I think that God would like to emphasize in our thinking that our love for the Savior is going to move us to do the unusual and the extra. She could’ve waited till sunrise, couldn’t she? Now many of you have to get up and go to work while it’s dark, especially in the winter days. And there’s something gloomy and depressing about getting up in the darkness, and dressing, and having breakfast, and going on out to work or school or whatever it may be that is your assignment early, early in the morning. So you know a little something of how she felt, but she was driven by the concern and the love of her heart. She just had to get out there. Now the point I’m making is, your love for Christ will motivate you to do the extra. Routine service never changed the world. It is only those who are willing to do the extra for God that make a difference.
Now that is not to say that routine isn’t necessary and valuable. They only receive a reward who are on the job wherever they are. And you remember the Old Testament ruling concerning the folk who stayed by the stuff and guarded it. When the victorious warriors came back from the battle, the ruling was those who stayed by the stuff are going to share equally with those who fought the battle.
So routine is necessary, that isn’t the point I’m making. I’m not putting down anybody who’s doing a routine job. I’m simply saying, if you want to make a difference in your world, you better go the extra mile, make the extra effort, motivated not by duty only but by the consuming love you have for the Lord Jesus Christ. What about that for you?
Can you think this very moment about some extra things that God may have been whispering to your heart that you ought to do? I can’t begin to enumerate them because I don’t live inside of your skin, you do. And you know what God is saying to your heart. But, oh, while He speaks to you through the whispers of the Spirit of God and through His inerrant Word, the Bible, as you read it and pray over it, please obey God in taking those extra steps of love that bring you closer to His Divine purpose for you. Good idea? Yes, it’s a good idea.
Her love drove her. Her love for Jesus and her concern for what had happened brought her before daylight. She didn’t wait for the sun to rise, she got there. Small thought here. Have you given any consideration to the value of talking with your Lord early, early in your day? Now it’s a great temptation to sleep until the last moment. This very morning I woke early, early on, and I can remember thinking to myself, “Well, I’ll just roll over and take another few minutes.” Well, fortunately, I got a cramp in my leg so I had to get up. [laughter] Isn’t that something? God was saying to me, “Hey, boy, get up!” [laughter] But you know, the temptation is just to roll over and say, “Oh, I’ll sleep a little longer.”
Now, have you thought at all about the value of meeting your Lord in the early morning hours? Ben Weiss, I think it was, now with the Lord for some years, a dear godly man who was such an inspiration to me, principal of a large high school in Los Angeles for many years, and headed up the counseling room in the first Billy Graham crusade out there. Ben said to me, “The first impressions you have in any day will make the difference all day long.” And I think he was correct about that, don’t you agree? The first impressions you have in any day will make the difference all day long.
How important it is then to follow what the psalmist said, “Early will I seek Thee.” And to follow the example of our Lord Jesus who rose up, we read in the Gospels, a great while before day and went into a desert place and there prayed. Give some thought to giving God some extra moments in the early morning hours.
And that doesn’t mean that you have to make a federal case of it as we say, 10 minutes extra will make a big difference in your outlook on life. So if you need to set the alarm, set it just for five or 10 minutes earlier than you would ordinarily get up and spend those moments with your Lord and let Him pour out His love upon you and fill you afresh with His Holy Spirit. Well, we’ll get at this passage in John again the next time we get together.
Dear Father today, oh, may we be spending time with thee to feel Thy love and to gain Thy guidance. 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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