Pray, Think, Do
To experience the presence of the Lord, you must wait on Him. Don't hurry through your worship, and just ask Him for things. Take time with God to tell Him that you are His and thank Him for all He does for you. He will reveal Himself through His Holy Spirit and guide you.
Alright thank you very much, and hello again dear radio friends. How in the world are you? Oh, I trust are everything’s alright at your house. I’ve been praying that God would make this message a blessing to someone with some special help for a life that just exactly needs what the Holy Spirit of God is going to say. I pray everyday that God may put His love and His peace of His power and His compassion and His truth into what I have to say. That these words then might become alive because God is in them. Well, you and I are looking at Mark chapter 6. Our Lord Jesus is approaching now the disciples. They’re rowing because the wind is exactly in their faces and there’s no way to set the sails, so as to get across the Bethsaida, and so there in the darkness they’re rowing, He saw them. Now, it was pitch dark. How could He see them? Well, because the Lord knows the righteous and His ear is open unto their cry, He sees, “Thou God seest to me”. The awareness of Almighty God goes beyond any comprehension that we have. We have equipment now for the military that can see in the darkness through the use of infrared rays and other types of technical matters, but God is aware immediately of you. “Ye the darkness hideth’s not from thee, the darkness and the light are both alike to thee”, the psalmist said. God sees. This gives me hope and comfort in my own times of trouble. Circumstances come upon you so that you just almost agonize over them and you say, “Oh, God where are you? Have you forgotten me”? No, he hasn’t forgotten you. He sees you, He hears you, and He cares about you. Do remember beloved, that God lets me cry so He can dry my tears, so I can help dry somebody else’s. That’s the truth of the Word of God. He’s the God of all comfort who comfort with us in all our tribulations, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. So, God lets you cry a little so He can dry your tears, so you can lead somebody else to the mercy seat, where they can find comfort as well. Well it says, “He saw them and He went to them walking upon the sea and would’ve passed by them”. When they saw Him they supposed it had been a spirit, they cried out they all were troubled, and immediately He talked with them and said, “Be of good cheer. It is I. Be not afraid”. Be of good cheer.
There are certain times recorded in the word of God where our Lord Jesus use that expression, “Be of good cheer”. The first is in Matthew 9 where He said to the man who was a paralytic, who been brought by his friends son, He said, “Be of good cheer. Thy sins are forgiven thee”. Cheer up, said He, your sins are forgiven. Oh, what a blessed word that is for the heart that is burdened with sin and care. Be of good cheer, your sins are forgiven. Have you heard that voice in your life as yet? Have you heard the Lord Jesus saying, cheer up, your sins are forgiven. He’ll say to you if you ask Him to. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all, not some, all unrighteousness. “Be of good cheer”, said He, “thy sins are forgiven thee”. Oh, let me hear that voice. Let me hear that voice and let Him say to me and to you, cheer up, cheer up John, cheer up Hazel, cheer up Bob, sins are forgiven. How can he do this? Paul says in Romans 1, “That He might be just and the justifier of him that believe in Jesus”. It is of faith, when you put your faith in the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ on Calvary, when He cried out, it is finished, it was atonement had been made, redemption was complete, God’s holiness had been satisfied, the law had been vindicated, He had been made to become sin for us, He who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him, and when you trust in that wonderful finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ and invite Him into your life as your Lord, He says, cheer up, sins forgiven. Hallelujah for that. There is another time help of course, the one that we’re looking at here, He says, “Be of good cheer. It is I. Be not afraid”. That’s recorded both by Mark and Matthew. The presence of the Lord Jesus Christ, His pardon first of all, second His presence. His presence. To know that He’s with you gives you an entirely different attitude toward life and the experiences that you are subject to this minute. They were afraid, they were toiling, the wind was contrary, the presence of Christ had not been with them, so far as they knew He was still in the land. Now He comes walking on the water. They’re troubled, they thought they saw a ghost. He said, cheer up it’s I. Don’t be afraid. The presence of the Lord Jesus. How do you come to experience the presence of the Lord Jesus? Well, Hebrews 11, “He that cometh to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him. Without faith it is impossible to please Him”. To the first step is to say in your own heart, I’m going to come to God. I know that He exists, I know that He answers prayer and I’m going to wait on Him. The presupposition in your heart that God is and that He hears prayer. That’s the first step. Then second to wait on Him. Wait on the Lord, be of good courage and He shall strengthen thine heart. You can’t just dash into God’s presence with a laundry list and say do this do this, do this, amen, and rush on out again. That isn’t going to give you any sense of His presence. Takes time, takes time. Wait on the Lord. Our hurried life oftentimes cheats us of the blessing of knowing God’s presence. Try this for yourself. Set aside some time whenever it may be. May be during the day or during the night hours or whatever, but set aside some time when you’re going to just be alone with the Lord. Get your Bible and read some passages of Scripture, that’s the best way to tune-up your soul, and then say to your Lord, out loud “Dear Father, I’m going to wait on you tonight, I want or today, I want your presence, I want you to reveal yourself to me by your Holy Spirit, I want you to speak to me by your word”, and then just be quiet. Have a notebook with you and a pencil or pen, so you can write down the thoughts that come to you while you’re waiting on God, because oftentimes He will say something to you in those moments that you might not hear otherwise. Always have a notebook handy when you’re praying. Some of my best ideas of come out of prayer meetings, I assure you, and so you wait on God, and by and by as you’re quiet before Him, you’ll sense a presence, a person is there with, you His name is Jesus, and He says, “Be of good cheer it’s I. I’m here, I’m here. Oh, to know that He’s there. To know that He’s there is the most delicious experience of all of life, and so He says that to you and to me. If we’ll wait in His presence and get our minds clear and get our hearts open and get ready for Him to speak to us. Then there’s another thing that has to do with His presence, and He says, those things, Paul says in Philippians 4, “Those things which ye have both heard and seen a learned and received in me, do, do and the God of peace shall be with you”. If you want the presence of God you have to obey Him. It’s that simple. Disobedience short circuits the switchboard of your soul and you’re no longer able to hear from heaven as you once did. Disobedience cuts off the flow of divine current through your life. If you want a sense of God’s presence you have to obey Him. Remember that as you read Philippians 4 verse 12. First of all, pray about everything. Second, think the thoughts that honor your blessed Lord, and third, do what God tells you to do. Pray, think, and do. That’s the beautiful triad that you find there in Philippians 4. Those things you’ve learned, seen, heard, learned, and received in me, do, said He and the God of peace shall be with you. When you pray, the peace of God is with you, when you obey the God of peace is with you. The presence of your Lord.
I made a pastor call many years ago, one afternoon while I was in the pastorate 18 years, it was my constant practice to make at least three calls a day, a thousand times a year, go tell somebody about the Lord Jesus. That’s the way to make your church grow. Pastor, you can’t just sit around and dream and meditate and hope that you church will grow. You have to go out, be among the people. Three calls a day. Anyhow I did and this was one of them. I rang the doorbell ,nothing happened, and I was about to turn away after having waited a moment. I figure nobody’s home. When the door opened and the lady came smiling and with her little three-year-old toddler, hanging shyly upon mothers petticoat there, and standing, looking uncertainly up at this strange man, and the lady said, “Pastor I’m sorry we didn’t come to the door right away”, said, “We were busy”. I said, ” Well I’m sorry to interrupt”, oh she said, “We were just practicing the presence of Jesus and I didn’t like to rush out of His presence”, and the little girl looked up with that angelic smile. She, at such a tender age had learned, that if she just waited quietly for the Lord, you can sense His presence. Practicing the presence of Jesus. “Be of good cheer”, He said, “It is I. Be not afraid”. Then our Lord Jesus said to His disciples, “In the world you shall have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world”. Past tense, I have already, it’s done. The victory is yours.
Ernst Lang, a German missionary in Japan, was in charge of the Easter afternoon rally in Yokohama, in the open-air theater, where Merrill Dunlop and the rest of us were gathered with Sensai Webster Smith, a dear lady missionary now with the Lord, who had helped to promote the meeting. It was a big crowd but it started to rain, and I was so worried, the rain was going down the back of my neck and I huddled there under by raincoat, trying to cover up my big 4 x 5 speed graphic camera that I carried with me, and my Bible and things, and I looked the picture of misery, and Ernst Lang looked over at me and he said in his broken English, “Do not anything worry, we already have the victory”, and then he said in Japanese to the crowd, “Let’s sing Heavenly Sunshine”, and so they sang Heavenly Sunshine in Japanese and they sang it and sang it and sang it, and in the meantime a water soaked note came up and was handed to me there on the platform, and in careful, almost childlike script, someone had written, do not shorten your sermon dear brother, we want to hear God’s Word. Well I was encouraged and as they kept on singing, there was a break in the clouds and a patch of blue shone through, and later on the sun came out. We had a wonderful meeting, a lot of people saved. Oh, do not anything worry, we already have the victory. God bless Ernst Lang. What a truth he spoke in those moments. Jesus said, “Be of good cheer. I have overcome the world”. It’s past tense, you have the victory because you know the victor, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Dear Father, I pray that today the presence of Jesus may be real in our lives, 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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