The name of Jesus begins to shine when the Holy Spirit reduplicates in your life the characteristics of the Savior whom you love.
Alright. Thank you very much. And hello again dear, radio friends. How in the world are you? You doing alright today? Well, I trust so, bless your heart. This is your good friend, Bob Cook, and I’m back with you for a few moments; precious moments, aren’t they? Where we share from the Word of God, and I’ve just been praying that the Lord might put His wisdom and His love and His truth and His grace and His comfort into everything that’s said.
Well, we’re looking at John 17, and we’ve come now to verse 9. Jesus our Lord says, “I pray for them. Not for the world, but for those thou hast given me, for they are thine.” The essence of being a Christian is that you belong to Jesus and that, in that relationship, you then belong to Almighty God. “There is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,” said the Apostle Paul, and our Savior said, “No man cometh unto the Father but by me”. So the essence of the Christian faith is belonging to Almighty God. The apostles said the very same thing in the hours and days just after Pentecost. “We are His,” they said, “We are His witnesses of these things. And so is also the Holy Ghost whom God hath given unto them that obey Him. I pray for them for they are thine.” Does that make any difference to you and to me in a workaday world?
The business of living can be so consuming. Get up, get dressed. If you’re orderly and organized, you make a… You’ve already made a list of the things you have to do and prioritized it, as we say, “What should I do first?” The way to have an efficient day anywhere is to do the most important things first. Have a priority list of things. So you get up and you get dressed and you start on the day, and there are some things that are not religious in nature at all. Cleaning the garage and scrubbing the kitchen floor and doing the wash and the ironing and the shopping and the million and one things that you must do if you go out to business, to the office, or the shop, or the factory. Not religious in nature. And we tend to get lost in the routines oftentimes, at least I think I have many a time. And then, with a start, it may come to us, “I belong to God. I represent God in this framework.” It may well be, beloved, that you are the only point of contact that Almighty God has in the place where you work or live. Had you thought about that? You may be the only point of contact that God has in that given situation. You belong to Him, that’s the essence of the Christian faith. Belonging to God through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. “Now ye are no more aliens,” said Paul, “But fellow citizens with the saints and of the household of God.”
The writer to the Hebrews says, “Jesus is not ashamed to call you His brother, His sister. He’s not ashamed to call them brethren. The Savior is glad to own up to the fact that you belong to Him.” He says, “I’m praying for them because we belong.” Beloved, would you wait in the presence of God long enough to accentuate that sense of belonging? So often I’ve come to God with my laundry list of things, “God, please do this and that and the other,” but now and again I’ve had the good sense to wait on God until the indwelling Holy Spirit had a chance to pierce through the outer shell, you may say, of my soul and get in where I really lived, convict me of my sins and shortcomings, and then as my eyes wet with tears and I cried out to God and poured out my adoration and worship as well, there came that unspeakable sense of belonging. And it was as though the Heavenly Father wrapped His eternal arms around me and held me to His heart. He says, “They’re mine. You’re mine.” Beloved, you belong to God. Number one: Realize it. Number two: Enjoy it. Number three: Don’t spoil it. Oh, our willfulness and our stubbornness, and our thoughtlessness oftentimes mars that sense of fellowship, doesn’t it? John says, “The only way to keep that sense of fellowship with God shining is to walk in the light,” 1 John 1:7, “If we walk in the light”.
And so God teaches us His lessons as we go along, and He tries to train us so that we’ll maintain that un-solid, shining relationship with Him. He says, “You’re mine. Realize it, enjoy it, and don’t mar it by disobedience,” that’s what God is saying to my heart today, and I trust also, beloved friend, to yours. “I pray for them.” Then He says, “I pray not for them also, but for… I pray not for them only, but for those also who shall believe on thee through their word. For those also who shall believe on me through their word.” And so when our Lord Jesus was offering that high priestly prayer, He was actually praying for you and for me. What a high, and holy, and awesome concept that is, that this wonderful person, God in the flesh, would look across the centuries and see that you and I were coming and that we would be trusting Him as Savior. He says, “I pray for them too.” Can it be, Savior, that you looked across the centuries and said, “There’s somebody coming whose name is Bob Cook and I wanna pray for him?”
There in the shadow of the cross with all the agony of Gethsemane and the trial and the flogging, the scourging, and the cross, and the hours of darkness when the Heavenly Father turned His holy face away from a Son who was now bearing all the sins of the world, all of that facing thee, Blessed Savior, and you thought across the centuries of somebody who’d come toddling along the road of life and give his heart to you. Thank you, Jesus. Has it ever come over you that Jesus prays for you? Hubert Mitchell said to me one day, he said, “You know, Bob, do you know what the main job of Jesus is now?” And I really wasn’t all that sure. I said, “Well, what is it?” “Why,” he said, “He ever liveth to make intercession for them that come unto God by Him. His main task is praying, Bob Cook, for you.” Well, I hadn’t heard it quite that way, but He’s still praying for us, that’s the point. Two millennia ago, He prayed for us. Today, as we face another century, going into the 21st century, He’s praying for us.
Oh, thank you, Lord, for a Savior who not only died and rose again and ascended into the heavens to be our high priest and our advocate, but who mentions our names before thee, Holy Father, in prayer. A tremendous concept, isn’t it? “I pray for them for they are thine,” we talked about that a moment, then He says, “I’m glorified,” verse 10, “I’m glorified in them. I am glorified in them.” Walk down any street, I’m not all that far from large cities, New York or Philadelphia or Washington, I live out here in the Pocono Mountains with the critters. [chuckle] Beautiful country. But I’m not that far from the big cities, and of course I was reared in a city. I’m sort of a city boy, except for the two or three years I spent on the farm. You walk down a city street and you’ll hear the name of Jesus used in profanity and cursing. I was riding in a cab with Alex Dunlap, who is now with the Lord a good many years, we were in a cab in New York and the cab driver used the name of the Lord Jesus in profanity and Alex said, “Do you know Him?” [chuckle] The man pretty near ran off the road in surprise. He said, “What?” Alex said, “Why, you just mentioned the name of a good friend of mine,” and he gave him the gospel.
But you know, you’ll hear that name bandied about in profanity and cursing, careless usage. And if you dare to bring it up in some circles, you will immediately sense hostility, what Paul called, “The reproach of the cross.” Now, our Lord Jesus said in contra-distinction to all of that, He said, “I’m glorified in them.” The name of Jesus begins to shine when you live His life by faith. The name of Jesus begins to shine when the Holy Spirit reduplicates in your life the characteristics of the Savior whom you love. “I am glorified in them.” The obverse side of that coin, sadly, is true; the name of Jesus is dragged down when you and I fail and fall short and disobey. He said, “I’m glorified in them.”
What is it then that my soul desires, O Father? It is that the shining of the Savior might be clear, unhindered, transparent glory of God shining through a light that’s surrendered to the will of God. “I’m glorified,” said He, “In them.” You want to ask yourself that question? It’s none of my business, surely, just yours and God’s. Is the Lord Jesus glorified, shining, that is, in you? Well, the way to do it is to yield to the Blessed Spirit of God. Jesus said, “It is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father that speaketh in you.” And you know, don’t you, that the Holy Spirit comes to dwell in the heart of everyone who is a true believer on the Lord Jesus, who’s been born again. So we yield to God’s Blessed Holy Spirit and we obey what God says to us from His Word. We repent of our shortcomings and sins and failures. We trust positively in the Lord Jesus not only to forgive and to cleanse, but to keep and to use these lives. And with it all, He shines, shines through our lives. He said “I’m glorified in them.” It’s a great concept, isn’t it?
Father God, today, oh, may Jesus shine through each of our lives. I pray 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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