Realizing The Extent

God's grace will "spill over" to others as we build up and edify one another.

Scripture: Ephesians 4:15, 2 Corinthians 9:8, 1 Corinthians 14:26,40, Matthew 21:22


Alright, thank you very much. And hello again, my radio friend. How in the world are you? It’s your good friend, Bob Cook. I’m back with you for another chance just to share from the Word of God… And as we say often, try to put a handle on it, so that you can get hold of it for yourself. We’re talking about the all things. Grow up into Him in all things. All things. We talked about all things made new, II Corinthians 5:17. We talked about all things in prayer, Matthew 21:22. We talked about observing all things that He has commanded, the totality of obedience to the commands of Christ.

Paul says in I Corinthians 14:26, and also in 40, he said, “Let all things be done to the use of edifying, and be done decently to the use of edifying…” All things done to the use of edifying. Now, here’s a very serious matter. You can’t go around re-arranging other people’s lives. Anybody who tries that gets to be a nuisance, and folk avoid him or her. You and I know that, don’t we? But he says, “All things to the use of edifying, all things decently, and in order.” What’s he driving at? You need to ask, and I need to ask with you, when we make a decision, is this gonna help the other person or not? You see, you don’t make a federal case of it, and come up and say, “I’m going to be a blessing to you, brother.”

No, no, don’t do that. You don’t make a federal case of it. You pray and you think, and you ask yourself this question, “Is this gonna help the other person? Is just gonna build him or her up in the faith, all things to the use of edifying? Edify means build up, like you build a house. To build the other person up. Build up his self-esteem. Build up his confidence. Build up his vision. Build up his abilities, Build up his skills. Build up the purity of his relationships. Build up his commitment to the will of God. Build up his understanding of the Bible. Oh, so many things in which you can help the other person, you can build him up.

Have you ever asked that about your relationship with other people? We tend to drift through life without realizing that we have a tremendous, an awesome effect upon the people with whom we interact, even for a short time. I’ve had people come up to me, and say “I remember something you said to me 20 years ago.” “Oh,” I think to myself, “Dear me, What could it have been? I hope it wasn’t something that was a mistake.” And then they’ll tell about some chance remark that I made, that had stuck with them for two decades or more, and they remember. You don’t realize most of the time what a tremendous affect you have on the other people with whom you interact, even in a casual way.

And so He says, “Let all things be done to edifying.” Always asking yourself, how will this help? How will this help, how will it build up? You wanna apply that to your life today? Start on that, start on it as a way of life. Whenever you’re gonna say something or do something that involves another person, you just ask the little question back in your mind, how can I help build up this person? You can build up some people by noticing them. Do you know some folk think nobody cares, and they’re just about right? And they go through life morose, and gloomy, and lonesome, and sad, because they think nobody cares about them. You can help build up some people just by noticing them, and expressing love and concern, and Christian friendliness, and compassion.

You can build up some people by complimenting them. It’s a real discouragement to try to do your best, and then have nobody notice you, just ignore you. Here I’m breaking my head trying to do this, and nobody cares, and nobody appreciates it, and so on. Do you ever feel that way? Well, I’m sure you have. But there are people all around you that would be immensely encouraged, if when you see them doing a good job, you’d say so. If you see somebody that looks nice, tell him or her so. If you see that someone has put extra effort into a job… I remember one report that was given to me, it was extremely dull, but it was so detailed that I could tell that the individual had spent hours on it.

And so after the report was given, I said, “I want us all to realize that this report took hours of work.” Well, you should have seen the look on the person’s face, like sunshine. It just brightened up. You build people up by noticing them, and loving them. You build people up by complimenting them on a job well done. You build people up by helping them when they’re in a tough spot. [chuckle] We had a little professor, a good many years ago now at the college, a Korean brother… Very smart, brilliant, who was with us for a year teaching economics. And then he decided to go back and teach at another university.

But after the decision was made, and he was about to leave, he made the usual exit visit to the President’s Office. He came in, and I sat him down, and we chatted a while. And I told him, ” I’m sorry to lose your doctor, because you have such a brilliant mind, and such a grasp of all these things.” “Well, yes” he said, “I’m sorry too, but… ” he said, “I feel that I’ll be better off teaching in such and such university.” And of course he would be immensely better off, ’cause they paid about twice as much as we did, so I didn’t blame him for leaving.

But then he said, “I want to tell you before I leave, I want to tell you thank you.” “Well,” I said “For what?” “Well… ” he said, “Last winter when my car was stuck in the snow out here, you stopped and you helped get me out of the snow… Old man like you,” he said [chuckle] Well, I chuckled a little bit. What he was doing, he was paying me a compliment, because in the Orient if you’re old, they respect you. Well, bless his heart. I didn’t think anything of it, I just… That morning, I remembered it snowed heavily, and some of the sides of the road had high snow banks. And this dear brother was caught in one of them in his little Volkswagen, and so I stopped and helped him get out.

And so he never forgot that, and when he was leaving he had to say thank you. You build people up by helping them if they’re in a jam. Don’t think about it, don’t meditate about it, just jump in and do it. I used to go around with my good friend, Hank Kaufman who for some years was chief of the Fire Department in Briarcliff Manor, and also served as the head detective for the police force. So, we were good friends, and sometimes I’d ride with him. ‘Cause I wore a badge 106, as a special patrolman, that was part of what I did in those days. And so I was talking shop with him one time, and I said, “You go through these fires, and you amaze me at the quickness with which you act.”

Because I’d been with him one time when there was… An alarm came through. A man had been making candles in his basement, and the wax caught fire. And it was such a hot fire, that it had affected the gas pipe which had ruptured. And there was a hot fire going in his garage, which happened to be under his house. So, it was a serious situation. [chuckle] Well, when we heard the alarm… I was riding with Hank at the time and he spun the car around and within a very short few seconds, we were at the place. He leaped out of the car, had a fire extinguisher under his arm, and was in the process of putting the flames out when the fire engines came a few minutes later.

And I was commenting on all of this. “Well,” he said, “You know Doc… ” He said, “If there’s a fire, you don’t stand there and talk about it, you get in and put it out. You get in and put it out.” Well, that’s the philosophy of a person who knows that you need to take some action. Sometimes you can’t… You can’t philosophize about it, you have to get into action. All of this grew out of my little reminder, that you see somebody that’s in a position of need, somebody that’s in a jam, you get in there and help. You can help build them up that way. Let all things be done to build people up. Notice them, love them, encourage them. If they’re in a jam, help them.

What else? By your example, point out what really matters. By your example, point out what really matters. People will observe that to which you pay priority attention. People will observe that to which you pay priority attention, and they will reflect it in their own attitudes as a result. By your example, teach people what really counts, and you will find that they’re growing as a result. Now, this can be applied then in the matter of prayer. Help people to learn to pray, help them to understand the Bible. You read the Bible, and to many people it seems like a closed book, so far as meaning is concerned. To many of us, those of you who listened through the years, and certainly to me the Bible just talks out loud to me. It speaks to me, and I can share that with other people.

You can build people up by encouraging them to pray, and to understand God’s Word, and apply it to their lives. Do you understand me? You don’t do this by forcing them, you do it by the enthusiasm of your example. If you know that prayer works, you can share that with someone else. If you know that the Word of God does speak to you through the indwelling Holy Spirit applying it, then you can share that with someone else. Share with other people the joy of regular giving. Share with other people the joy of witnessing, concerning your Savior. It’s not a duty, it’s a spill-over, where the joy of the Lord spills out, and you share your faith in Christ with others.

Let all things be done, to building up the other person. You follow that? Make that a rule of life, look for ways to build other people up. You’ll be rewarded with their appreciation and love, far beyond any effort that you may have put out. Notice them, love them, help them, encourage them, help them where they’re in a jam. Do the things that will build them up in their own lives. Amen. Take it to heart and put it into your own lifestyle, will you? I hope you will.

Now, he says… There’s another verse that I wanna refer to before we go off the air, and that’s in 2nd Corinthians 9:8, that ye always… Well, let’s take the whole verse. “But God is able to make all grace abound toward you. That ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work. Now, what’s the object? You want to be constantly just spilling over with good works. You want your life to be an abundance, a spill over of good things being done, by you. How does that work out? It starts with His grace. God is able to make all grace abound toward you.

Now, you don’t get to appreciate the grace of God, until after you realized your need, and your lost condition, and your weakness, and bankruptcy before a holy God. But he’ll give you all of his grace, so that your need will be filled with His supply. And your weakness would be counteracted by his strength, and your spiritual and moral bankruptcy will be overcome by His riches. All of God’s grace abounding… That means just silly over, running over towards you. Now as the result in your life? That He always takes in the time, there isn’t any time when you can’t have a spill over of God’s grace.

Always, having all sufficiency. That’s the measure, there’s always enough… All sufficiency in all things. And that’s the the matrix in which you’re operating. Then he says, you’ll abound to every good works of all things… All sufficiency in all things.” There is no area of your life, but that God can satisfy. We’ll come back to this the next time we get together.

Dear Heavenly Father, oh may all of our life be characterized by the abundant grace, in Jesus name, Amen.

Till I meet you once again by way radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!

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