Praise And Faith
Sit down and make a list of the things that you ought to be thankful for -- things for which you have never thanked your Lord, and then get busy thanking Him.
And hello, radio friends, how in the world are you? Doing Alright? Bless your heart. I’m glad to be back with you. I feel fine, I’m so happy in the Lord today, I woke up just happy in Him, and my first words were, “Jesus is Lord of all. Be Lord of my life today”. I believe He’s answering that prayer, as the hours go by. It’s still early in the morning. I like to do these broadcasts in the morning because so many of you to hear the message in the early morning hours, and I like to feel like you feel when you’re just waking up and struggling to get started in the day. You know somebody who has been on the job for eight or 10 hours and greets you in that cheerful, jumpy, shouting way you know. You like to be shouted at the early the morning, do you? I don’t anyway. So, I try to identify with the way you are, as you are, bless your heart. Thanks for being there on the listening end.
Let’s go to the 116th Psalm, and we’re answering the question that the psalmist asked, “What shall I render to the Lord for all His benefits toward me?” One of them is before that person verse in verse nine, “I will walk before the Lord in the land of the living”, live your life with the knowledge that God has His eye on you. The awareness of divine surveillance, of all that I say and do and all that I am, will make a difference in the way I live. What else? He said, “I’ll take the cup of salvation”, that means taking all that Christ has for you, “call on the name of the Lord”, that means active and aggressive faith in meeting life’s challenges and crises, “pay my vows unto the Lord”, that means real obedience, prompt and public where necessary, “and then I’ll realize that my life is precious in God’s sight and my attitude will change, thereby, precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His Saints”, he says, “I march through life with the inevitability of the end of physical life at some point or other, unless the Lord Jesus comes and catches us a way to be with Himself”. Oh, that would be a great day, wouldn’t it? But, otherwise, if He tarries in His second coming, as well He may, God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance, God is longsuffering toward usward, so He made tarry in His coming, and if He does then some of us are going to have the privilege of lying there in that in that casket, and have people look down at us and say, how natural he looks. I promise you, if I’m able to, I’ll open one eye and say, “What did you expect?”, oh boy. Well anyhow, it’s coming, what are you going to do about it? Fear it, live in gloom, live in depression, as you wind down the years, some of you are in nursing homes right now, and retirement facilities where your activities are greatly curtailed, compared to what you used to do. You going to be gloomy and feel sorry for yourself? No, you’re moving toward a moment which God says is precious, precious. It’s like homecoming, it’s like coming home.
When were first married, Coreen and I, lived in Philadelphia, which was a long, long way from her girlhood home of Chicago, in those days, and she never lived away from home before she got married, she got lonesome for mother and dad, and her sister, and all the rest, and so I said, “Well look, why don’t you just take a little visit back and get it out of your system?” Well, we didn’t have the wherewithal to put her on a train, so I put her on a bus, which was my first mistake I guess. The buses in those days were spartan affairs, as you may remember, maybe you can’t, 1935 how can some of you remember? Anyhow, they were spartan, and they were rough, and as a 17 or 18 hour journey was enough to shake anybody up, together with the constant flow of tobacco smoke, and all of that, and so as a result, this dear gal arrived at Chicago, on the way to being very ill, and she got, I suppose, something very close to pneumonia, if it wasn’t that. She was pretty sick for a number of weeks, and what was going to be a visit of a few days, turned out to be a visitation, and oh, I was lonesome and so she. Well, the days came finally when she was coming back and she’s going to take the train back this time. Well, I’m a pretty good cook, as some of you know, and so, knowing the time when the train was to arrive, I got a capon, and I roasted it, had stuffed it, roasted it, and had all the fixings, and had everything all set, so that if I put it on at a certain time, when we got back from the train, it would just be done and everything would be ready, in of in that little one-room apartment, the kitchen was a little enclave there, on one side of that one room apartment, you know kitchenette I guess they called it. And the bed was a Murphy bed that you moved into a long closet to get it out of the way, and then you had a small sitting room, dining room, living space, one room apartment, that’s where we were. Well, the train came in. Oh, my heart leaped, as that dear gal came off the train and threw her arms around me, and said, “I’m so glad to be back”, and so, we drove on over to the apartment, and I took the roast capon out of the of the oven, the baked potatoes, and all of rest, and set the table, and I said, “Now deary, welcome home”, we sat there and we just looked at each other and we both burst into tears. Precious.
See, homecoming is a very precious thing, isn’t it? Oh yes. And that’s how God feels about you, beloved. You want to prove that you love Him? Just let your heart dwell in the fact that He’s lonesome for you, and when you come home, oh He’s going to put His big arms of love around you, He’s going to welcome you. He’s going to say, “I gave Calvary for you, I robbed Heaven of its best for you, but you’re worth it. I love you so much”. When you come home beloved, it’s going to be a precious time, and if you live with that in mind, I can guarantee you, your lifestyle and your attitudes will be different while your on the way. That’s part of proving that you love God. Precious in the sight of the Lord. Now, what else? He said, “Lord, truly I am Thy servant”, that’s word slave, I’m your slave, “and I’m the son of your handmaid”, I’m the son of one who belonged to You”, and then he said, “Thou is loosed my bonds. You’ve set me free”. Live free under God. “Stand fast”, Paul says in Galatians, “in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free”, free to be cleansed from the old guilt of sin, free from the domination of the ceremonial law, free from the idea that you have to do something to curry favor with God, free to serve other people. “Use not your liberty that as an item of the flesh, but by love, serve one another”, Paul says in that same Galatians 5 passage, “Free by faith to crucify the old life and the live the new life in Christ”, free to be full of the spirit of God, so that He bears His wonderful fruit in your life; love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, self-control, against such there is no law. Free to walk with God. Oh, he said, “You’ve made me free. I’m your slave, I’m the son of one who was your servant, and you have made me free to serve you with all my heart”, so he said, “I’m going to offer unto Thee, the sacrifice of thanksgiving.” Gratitude is part of the way you prove whether or not you love God. Have you ever thought of that? How many things do you really thank God for?
Now, beloved, I know that that you say grace, most of you do at least, before meals. If you don’t, you ought to. Just a simple act of bowing your head and thanking God for your food, can be a great testimony, in the restaurant for instance, so I know that the most of you think of your food, and when you have your devotions, you run through the usual routine. You thank God that He’s on the job, and you thank Him for life, and strength, and health. I remember at all-night prayer meeting in Belfast, Ireland, where one brother prayed every hour on the hour, throughout the night hours, and his prayer was invariably the same, word for word, said, “Oh Lord, we thank Thee for health and strength and food and raiment and the right use of our minds.”
Well, Alright, that’s good. Have you ever thanked Him for anything else? Have you thanked Him for the problems, have you thanked Him for the trials, and have you thanked Him for your in-laws, and have you thanked Him for your job, and have you thanked Him for the situations that you are now facing, knowing that all things work together for good, to them that love God, to them that were called according to His purpose? “I will offer unto Thee”, he said, “The sacrifice of thanksgiving”, Paul says, “In everything, give thanks”. Somebody has pointed out that he didn’t say, for everything give thanks, he said, in everything give thanks. You can be thankful to God when you’re in the midst of going through the ringer, so to speak, and God will bless you for it. “I will offer unto Thee, the sacrifice of thanksgiving”, the writer to the Hebrews urges us to do this, “By Him therefore, let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name, for with such sacrifices”, he says, “God is well pleased”. The sacrifice of praise to God continually; there are three things that please God that are written in Hebrews 13, that one, is praise, the other is doing good, and the third is giving. He says, “By Him, let us offer the sacrifice of praise and to do good and to communicate forget not”. Doing good, now you know what good works are, communicate means giving Christian stewardship he says, “With those sacrifices, God is well pleased”. I will offer the sacrifice of thanksgiving.
Sit down, and make a list of the things that you ought to be thankful for, for which you have never thanked your Lord, and then get busy and thank Him, will you? Praise opens the door to aggressive faith. Paul and Silas were in prison, and at the midnight hour it said, Paul and Silas prayed and sang praises to God and the prisoners heard them, and suddenly there’s a great earthquake and everyone’s bands were loosed. The jailer, thinking his prisoners had escaped was about to kill himself, when Paul cried out, “Do thyself no harm, we’re all still here”, and he sprang in, called for lights, sprang in, came trembling, said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” What opened the door? Praise, prayer, and praise, opens the door the victorious faith. Start praising your Lord today, will you? Even if you don’t feel like it, thank Him and praise Him for all that He is and for all that He has planned for you, and for all of His mercies. How many times has God kept you from making a fool of yourself? Thank God for His mercy and His loving-kindness, and His keeping power, and His patience with us. How patient God has been with you and me! See, the sacrifice of thanksgiving is one of the ways that you prove that you love God. Well, we’ll get to some of this the next time we get together. Isn’t this good? Well, I enjoy it anyway, bless your heart.
Dear Father today, help us to love Thee and to serve Thee and to prove by the way we live, that we do indeed love our Lord, 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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