Results Of A Right Relationship With God
Peace will flow out of giving God our worries and feelings.
Alright. Thank you very much and hello again, my dear radio friend. How in the world are you? Well, I trust everything is all right with you. This is your good friend, Bob Cook and we’re back together again looking at the Word of God.
I decided to move along into II Peter when we finished up Peter’s first letter. And so we walked around in verse 1 the last time we got together. He is writing to people who have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Savior Jesus Christ. Your faith depends not on how you feel or what you are or what you do, but upon the righteousness of God, He promised that you accept it and that settles it.
You don’t have to do anything or be anything or pay anything or deserve anything because any of those categories will land you in hell apart, that is, from the saving grace of God. By grace you’re saved through faith; and that not of yourselves. It is the gift of God, not of works lest any man should boast. But we are His workmanship. God does something in us and to us and then through us. We are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus unto good works. You don’t do good things in order to be saved. You do good things because you are saved. There’s the difference.
Now, we come to verse 2 in II Peter Chapter 1. Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. According as His divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain into life and godliness through the knowledge of Him that hath called us to glory and virtue. Now, he says in his verse 2, “through the knowledge of God,” in verse 3, “through the knowledge of Him,” and then going on to verse 4, he says, “whereby were given unto us exceeding great and precious promises that by these, you might be partakers of the divine nature.” Now, that’s in parallel with the phrase “knowledge of Him.” When you get to know God, you partake of His divine nature through faith in the Lord Jesus and through the application of God’s inherent infallible Word to your heart.
Well, let’s look at this a little bit, shall we? Grace and peace be multiplied unto you. God’s grace, G-R-A-C-E, an acronym that could stand for God’s riches at Christ’s expense. He paid the penalty for your sin on Calvary. He died and rose again to be your living Savior. And today, as you trust in Him and commit yourself to Him, the bible says, “He ever liveth to make intercession for them that come unto God by Him.” You and I have a representative before the Holy Throne of God. Paul says in writing to Timothy, “There’s one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” He Himself said, our Savior said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No man cometh unto the Father but by me.” And so we started with God’s grace given to us through the Lord Jesus Christ.
We then moved on to the experience of peace. A small thought here. You don’t seek an experience first. You seek a relationship first. Joy, happiness, peace, any of these things that we crave so much are not ends in themselves but results and byproducts of right relationships. Take a verse like Romans 15:13. “Now, the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing that you may abound in hope through the power of the Holy Ghost.” What produces the joy and peace? The believing, the commitment, that casting of yourself upon the grace and mercy of God, then you have the experience. First is God’s grace. Second is the experience of His peace. A right relationship first; the results of that relationship second.
Now, you can find this anywhere you look in scripture. Take for example Philippians 4:6 and 7. “Don’t worry about anything. Be careful for nothing.” But in everything, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your request be made known unto God. Now, that’s the relationship. Don’t worry. Worry is the absence of an organized plan. Worry is unbelief with binoculars trying to look into the future. He says, “Don’t worry but instead take care of the relationship. Bring your request to God, everything, by prayer.” That’s God’s leverage verse. Prayer is God’s way of getting things done. So you take care of the relationship first. Let your request be known to God. Then what? Well as a result, then the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
I you don’t pray for peace. Peace is a result of a right relationship with God. He is called the God of Peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd to the sheep. He is the God of Peace. He is the one who gives you peace. Jesus, our Blessed Lord, said, “Peace I leave with you. My peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” Do you follow that?
Now, how do you apply that in your own life? I tend to bring my feelings to God and that’s all right. You’re supposed to. The psalmist said, “What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee. I will both lay me down in peace and sleep for Thou, oh, Lord only maketh me to dwell in safety.” His fears and his worries, he brought them to the Lord.
I tend to focus on my feelings, but if I do the right thing, if I do the smart thing, if I do the biblical thing, I will seek the presence and power and blessing and touch it by the blessed Lord, and my feelings will be changed as a result. Can you follow that?
Now, what do you have as your own particular difficulty today even as we’re talking with each other? Do you have something that has to do with fear or some deep hurt or some envy or jealousy or some desire that’s overwhelming? I don’t know what it may be. You know because you live inside your skin. You know. Now, we tend to worry about how we feel about things. We tend to worry about how we feel when we’re tempted or how we feel when we’re hurt or how we feel when we’re disappointed. Instead, you start with God. You start with your relationship with Him. You start by committing yourself and all that you are to Him. You start by surrendering the right to try again on your own, surrendering to Him.
What happens then? Well then, He will fill you with all joy and peace as you commit yourself to Him. Then he says you’re going to abound in hope through the power of the Holy Ghost. Hope is not just wishful thinking. I could say idly I wish somebody would give me a million dollars. That’s wishful thinking. Nobody is going to, not today or tomorrow that I know about. But if you’ll hope for something, oh, then you have a basis for it. Peter said in his first letter, “God has begotten us again unto a living hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. How do I hope for immortality in the resurrection of my own body?” Because Jesus is alive. He said, “Because I live, you shall live also.”
See, He is a living hope. Hope has a basis in fact and it has a basis in a relationship. And so you and I established a relationship first. Get right with God, we often say, and those few words sum up the process by which you and I can make a difference in the feelings that we have and the reactions that we have toward circumstances and people around us — grace and peace.
Now, how do you go about this? Well, I think it drives me to my knees. There’s only one place where I can start and that is down on my knees before God, pouring out my heart before Him, confessing my sins, asking for forgiveness, turning my back upon those things that have grieved the Holy Spirit, and starting to obey God. That’s the starting place. I can guarantee you that every time I have sought God that way and it’s been many, many times through these years as you know. You’ve done the same thing, haven’t you, beloved? Well, every time we’ve sought God in sincerity and poured out our hearts before Him, when we came from that place of prayer, our relationships with other people seemed strangely to have been improved. Even folk who are our critics or our adversaries didn’t seem to bother as quite so much and we got along better with folk around this in these circumstances around us. Wouldn’t that be a safe statement? So it’s grace and peace.
Now he says, “Let them be multiplied. Grace and peace be multiplied unto you.” The simple fact is that unbelief feeds on itself and faith multiplies itself. You start out by saying “I can’t do this” or “I can’t do that” or doubting whether God will answer your prayer on something or rather, and you’ll find that like an epidemic it spreads to every other part of your spiritual life. Unbelief feeds on itself. Envy and malice and criticism feed on themselves. That’s a fact. Judas criticized Mary when she brought the expensive perfume and lavished it upon the Lord Jesus, and everybody else joined in the criticism.
Criticism is contagious. Unbelief is contagious. Malice and envy and all the rest of the things that surface from fallen human nature are contagious. They spread. But thank God, faith spreads too. Grace and peace be multiplied. So I can promise you this, beloved. You obey God on one thing, you’ll find blessing in doing other things by His grace. You follow God’s will in one thing and believe Him and trust Him and commit yourself absolutely to Him and you’ll find yourself enriched in other areas of your life and trusting God there as well.
It’s the simple fact that human nature does reckon on what has happened in the past. Read the Old Testament and hear them pray, “Oh, God, You took care of our fathers. You took them across the Red Sea. You delivered them from Pharaoh. You took them through the wilderness. You helped them conquer the Promise Land. Now Lord, do it again.” Read the prayers of people as recorded in the Old Testament and find them harking back to what God did before in answering their prayer.
All of which brings me to this. Take a moment with your Lord and review with your Lord in prayer all of the wonderful things He has done for you. Have you ever done that? Review with your Lord all of the wonderful things He has done for you. Maybe you’ve had an unfortunate or painful life. Maybe you’ve been abused. Maybe you’ve been deeply hurt. Maybe today you’re very lonely or maybe you’re ill or maybe your circumstances are threatening. I don’t know what they may be. There are all sorts of this and all sorts of circumstances even as I speak with you. But take just a moment, my beloved friend. Take just a moment to review with your Lord what is done for you and then start trusting Him for some other things as well. Faith multiplies. Grace multiplies. Peace multiplies itself and you can make it so by just starting to trust God.
Dear Father, have your way with us. Oh, help us to trust Thee and thus to enjoy Thy grace and Thy peace. In Jesus’ name, I pray this. Amen.
Until I meet you once again by way of radio, Walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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