Refreshed And Renewed
What God wants to do for you is to make you more like Jesus -- today, and every day of your life. Wait on Him until you have that fresh touch, beloved, before you go out to meet the world.
You and I have been looking at the book of Colossians in a kind of a wrap up procedure, just sort of reviewing some of the high points.
I remember when I was a boy in High School I’d be telling my father at night; he would come home from work, I was chief cook and bottle washer, just he and I in a rented room in Toledo, Ohio.
And I was going to Morrison R. Wade High School, playing in the school orchestra, and trying hard to keep my grades above C level as we say. And then I would come home and make supper for him and he’d come home from work along about five fifteen or five thirty.
And I would be telling him, uh, a lot of things that had happened. He’d look at me over the top of his glasses and he’d say, “Just hit the high spots boy! Just hit the high spots.” (Hearty laugh)
‘Course he was hungry, you know. (laughing) you can’t give a lecture to a hungry man.
What we’re doing is hitting the high spots, my friend, in our second wrap up look, so to speak, at the book of Colossians.
We got into the third chapter of, uh, that book and we looked at some of those beautiful verbs.
“Seek,” verse one, “Seek those things which are above.” And then ‘set’ your affections. Work at getting a, getting a heavenly dimension to your life. “Things above, not on things on the earth.”
‘Mortify’. Face some items in your life, and character, and lifestyle that are definitely against the will of God and by faith put them on the cross.
I remember a speaker at the college many years ago, who had been on the mission field as a missionary. Constantly irritated and plagued by another brother who was supercilious and always critical. And it just got to him, you know some things get under your skin and then they get in your heart and become a real problem.
This is what had happened to the dear missionary brother, because of the arrogant, and critical, and always superior attitude of this brother who also was a Christian and a missionary but he just had that particular trait about him and so it, it, it just got to our brother.
Well, he said he prayed about it and prayed about it and then one day he realized that he could, by faith, take his feeling of irritation–almost hatred–and he could give it to the Lord Jesus Christ to handle. He had never quite realized that before.
Well, the test soon came. And so, the troublesome brother approached him on a given day and said, “You’re not gonna like this but I’ve got to tell it to you for your own good.” And then, then came a stream of criticism about something that should’ve been done differently.
And our missionary friend, as he spoke there he told us, he said, “I looked at him and smiled and said, ‘Dear brother, I’m sorry I’ve got something I simply have to do this minute. Please, excuse me?”
And he said he just ran to his room in the compound, missionary compound there in Africa, ran to his room, got down beside his bed and said, “Lord Jesus, I just want to thank You that I can hand this feeling over to You. It’s on the cross by faith!”
And then, he said, in that moment God gave him a vision of, of the cross. And there as he prayed he saw, in his mind’s eye guided certainly by the blessed indwelling Holy Spirit, he saw in his mind’s eye the picture of the cross of Jesus with our blessed Saviour hanging upon it. But then he saw, also, someone on the other side of that cross. And that someone, as he looked in his moment of vision, was himself.
To realize that he, with his shortcomings, and his failings, and all of the things that he was battling against was on…already by faith…on the cross with the Lord Jesus, so that, as Paul said, “I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live.” And oh, how he prayed in thanksgiving then. “Thank you Lord that it’s taken care of!!”
He got up from his knees, went on out, greeted the troublesome brother lovingly, without a trace of irritation, and the battle-so far, at least as the missionary was concerned, was over.
Have you learned to do that? Mortify. Put to the death. Put it on the cross in other words. Then put off, he said, those comfortable sins with which we live. Anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth, lying. He says “Put them off.” Take ‘em off, like you do an overcoat, by faith again.
The Lord Jesus is great enough to master any one or all of these traits with which many people live comfortably, like somebody living on top of a garbage heap. “Put it off,” said he. And then put on, by faith. Put on, by faith …”the new man; (the new nature) which is renewed in knowledge after the image of Him that created him.”
I want to stop there, momentarily. This is all review, but, but it’s so good and juicy and tastes so good to my soul that I just want to stop here and there and share with you.
He says, “Put on the new man.” Now, that’s done by faith isn’t it? You trusted the Lord Jesus to save you, and Paul says, in Colossians two verse six, “…as you received Him as your Lord even so walk in..,” that means every minute of every day in Him.
So now, you come to this matter of adding to your life those good things. Peter says, in his letter, “…beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue and to virtue, knowledge and to knowledge, temperance and to temperance, brotherly kindness and to brotherly kindness (Calvary) love.”
Add to your personality, by faith, the things that really please the Lord. So, that’s the process.
You have “put on the new man”, the new nature. By faith you trust the Lord Jesus to do it. He does the, the changing when you do the trusting.
Now, he says, it’s renewed in knowledge after the image of Him that created him. Renewed in knowledge.
The word ‘knowledge’ means a personal awareness of, a personal experience of, something.
When you really know in the sense of this kind of knowledge, beloved, you really, personally experience it. That’s what he’s saying. Oh man, how wonderful that is. How wonderful that is. Renewed in knowledge after the image of Him that created him.
A personal experience of Christ that keeps on coming, that’s what I mean, it keeps on occurring. It keeps on being experienced. It doesn’t get stale. You don’t have to refer back to twenty years ago. This very morning, or this very evening, you may have a fresh meeting with the Lord.
Oh, never be satisfied. I want to say this to those of you who are in business; men and women who go out to the office, or the shop, or who are on the road selling, or whatever it may be. Let me talk with you for a moment.
Never be satisfied to go out to meet the world on your job unless you have had something fresh from the Lord, from His Word, and by His Holy Spirit that very day. The secret of success on the job is a new touch from God, on your knees. Would you remember that, beloved? The secret of success on the job is a new touch from God, on your knees.
Remember Elijah the prophet? He had had such a tremendous revival meeting there on top of Mount Carmel. The whole nation, or at least their official representatives were there. And the priests of that false idol whose name was Baal, B…A…A…L. Incredibly wicked practices in the name of religion.
You know, when religion goes wrong it becomes the worst practice of all.
Incredibly wicked practices under the name of religion. Those representative priests were there, but God was there! You remember? And the fire from heaven fell and consumed the sacrifice that had been uh, untouched throughout all the day of their crying out and praying to their idol.
Now God answers from heaven. And there’s a tremendous national turning to God. Well, when Elijah got back to town he heard from the queen, Jezebel, who said, “I’m gonna cut off his head. That’s gonna be the end of him.”
And when he heard that, it said, he went for his life. He ran. Now, he’d already been in a tremendous meeting. He’d already run twenty-seven miles in front of the king’s chariot, from the top of Mount Carmel down to Jezreel. And, uh, there was pretty good likelihood that the man was tired.
And because he was exhausted, this threat seemed greater and, uh, more ominous than perhaps it might have otherwise.
So he ran for his life, went out in the wilderness, sat down under a juniper tree and requested for himself that he might die. He said, “Lord, it’s enough now. I’ve done my best. Everybody hates me and now they’re trying to kill me.” he said, “You’d better kill me first. Take me now.”
Well, God didn’t have any intention of killing His prophet. Instead, He rested him, and He fed him, and then He revealed Himself to him in a new commission.
This, my friend, is the way of personal revival. Rest, and some nutrition; vitamins or whatever, and a new touch from God. Many people are discouraged and want to quit the Lord’s work simply because they’re exhausted. They’ve been racing their motor. And some are, uh, spiritually affected because their health is not what it ought to be.
So this is the three cornered approach to personal revival. Let the Lord rest you, let Him strengthen you physically, and then let Him give you a new vision and a new touch. That is what happened with Elijah. He went back and had a tremendous ministry again, and then turned things over to Elisha, who did even more.
Now back, he [Paul] says, “Renewed in knowledge.” God wants to touch you afresh every day. And if I’m talking with someone who is particularly discouraged and you say, “I quit. I’ve had it. I can’t stand this anymore,” and I know how you feel, and you say, “I can’t stand this anymore.” Maybe it’s been pain. Maybe it’s been illness of some sort, or maybe it’s been conditions on the job, or maybe it’s a domestic problem that just won’t give. And you say, “I give up!”
Listen, don’t quit. Wait on the Lord. “Be of good courage. He shall strengthen thine heart,” the Bible says. And let God give you a new, fresh touch, so that today, as you go out to meet the world you’ll do so, not in your own strength, but in a renewed strength!
“Renewed in knowledge, after the image of Him that created him.” What God wants to do for you is to make you more like Jesus, today and every day of your life. Wait on Him until you have that fresh touch, beloved, before you go out to meet the world.
Dear Father, today, renew our knowledge of Thee. Refresh us so that we can meet the world in Thy strength. 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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