You have to work at this matter of making sure that the Lord Jesus Christ is honored in your lifestyle.
Alright thank you very much, and hello again dear radio friends. How in the world are you? Yes, this your friend Dr. Cook. I trust things are going alright in your house, bless your heart. You know it means so much to walk with God, day by day, because then whatever circumstances you face, He’s with you and He sees you through. That’s why when we go off the air we say, walk with the King, because that kind of a walk means blessing and success.
Look with me at Mark chapter 8. We’re still in this classic passage that began with our Lord Jesus saying, “Whosoever will come after Me, let him deny himself, take up his cross and follow Me”. What does it mean, really, to follow the Lord Jesus? You’ll recall now, that it mentioned in verse 35 it involves the goals of your life, in verses 36 and 37 it involves your value system, and verse in 38 it involves the question of your basic loyalties. Now we’ve come to verse 38 in our thinking together, “Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of Me and of My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him also shall the son of man be ashamed when He cometh in the glory of His father with the holy angels”. You see, “The adulterous and sinful generation”, is in contrast to the phrase, “The glory of His father with the holy angels”. You want Him to recognize you in a holy environment, you better recognize Him in this sinful environment, that’s what He’s saying. A correlate passage of course, just saying it little different way is in Matthew 10:32-33, “Whosoever therefore shall confess Me before men, him will I confess also before my father which is in heaven, but whosoever shall deny Me before men, him will I also deny before my father which is in heaven”.
This is the idea that our Lord Jesus wants you to be proud of Him, to own up, so to speak, to the fact that you are His. This, I think, is what he meant when He said in the passage we quoted earlier from Mark 8, “Take up his cross”. You see, a person carrying a cross was a public, a public announcement, so to speak, a public announcement of the fact that something had happened in his life and that as a result. he was carrying this cross. Right? “Whosoever shall confess me?”, that’s a Greek verb homologeówhich means to say the same thing, to agree with the Lord Jesus publicly. Isn’t that an interesting the concept? To agree with the Lord Jesus, word confess means to say the same thing, to agree with Him, “Whosoever shall deny Me”, in other words He says, “him will I also deny before my father in heaven”.
Well, what do we make of all this? Your loyalties. Now, I’ve often said loyalty follows paycheck. When a person the changes a job, he may have been your good friend, but now his paycheck is coming from someplace else, and friendship sometimes is strained a little thin as a result. You’ve had that occur, I’m sure, many of you in your lifetime. Loyalty follows the realities of life. What is necessary for my life, my survival, my success, and the achievement of my goals and dreams and hopes? The realities of life, loyalty follows the realities of life, and loyalty is based not on actions primarily, but upon a heart relationship. You’re loyal to a person because you’re loyal, not because you are doing something or getting something. Although, these other things is I’ve just told you are involved. Now, with all of that in mind, what is it that our Lord is asking? He says, “I want you to agree with Me, I who am the holy, spotless Son of God”, He said, “I want you to agree with Me publicly in a sinful environment”. See He put it in a negative, “Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of Me and of My words in this adulterous and sinful generation”. When you take out the negative and you can say, “Whosoever therefore shall be proud of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation”? How you go about this? What do you really do about it? Well first of all, make sure that you’re following the right message. Paul said in Romans 1:16, “I’m not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth to the Jew first and also to the Greek”.
Be sure that you are following God’s blessed, eternal, inerrant, infallible truth as found in the Bible, because if you’re using the wrong road map, you’re going to get to the wrong destination, aren’t you? So, be sure of that. How do you stand beloved, in this matter of your relationship to the gospel? Do you really believe it? Have you really risked your life and your success on the truth of the gospel encapsulated, for example, in First Corinthians 15, “I deliver unto the Gospel which I received and where ye stand that Christ died for our sins, according to the Scriptures that He was buried that He rose again the third day, according to the Scriptures, that He was seen by all these different people and last of all me too”. Paul’s capsuled version of the gospel. Does it ring a bell in your own heart? I’m sure does for many of you and you’re saying either a silent or an audible yes, praise God, I do believe. Well that’s the starter, isn’t it?
Now then, there is this matter of deciding that the Lord Jesus Christ is to be honored in your life. Philippians 1:20, “According to my earnest expectation my hope that if nothing, I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether be by life or by death, for to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain”. To honor the Lord Jesus Christ in your life, in your lifestyle, in your body, and in all that you are, and all that you do. Now, this matter being ashamed of course comes from personal failure, personal guilt, or personal inferiority, and you have of course the delight of seeing that the Lord Jesus Christ meets every one of these problems head-on, and solves them by His glorious grace. Well hallelujah for that!
Now, you have to work at it. My earnest expectation and my hope. You have to work at this matter of making sure that the Lord Jesus Christ is honored in your lifestyle, in your personality, in your words, and your deeds. This is not something into which you can drift. You never drift into holiness, you to work at it. “Exercise thyself rather unto godliness”, Paul said to Timothy. So, there you have that side of it.
Then He said it to Timothy, “Be not thou ashamed of the reproach of Christ”. Don’t be ashamed of what I am going through and what you to may very well go through. “Don’t be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord nor of Me, His prisoner”, second Timothy 1:8. “Don’t be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of Me His prisoner, nor be partaker”.
If you’re going to be loyal to the Lord Jesus Christ, you have to be sure that you are, as the businessman would say, sold enough, on the message to be proud of it, no matter what the pressures may be, and don’t wince at the fact that there is a price to be paid, in terms for instance Paul says, “Nor of me His prisoner”. Paul the apostle was in jail because of preaching the Gospel and he said to Timothy, now don’t be ashamed of me, I’m here because of the gospel, and you hold the gospel high and don’t flinch at it. Well there is that the side of loyalty. It’s quite a point here isn’t it, so he says, don’t be ashamed of the, I’m not ashamed of myself because I’m in Christ, I’m not ashamed of the Savior because He is my whole life, and I am not ashamed of the gospel because it is the power of God unto salvation. Don’t be ashamed. “If any man suffer as a Christian let him not be ashamed, but let Him glorify God on His behalf”, that’s first Peter four verse 16, at which I’m looking now. Don’t be ashamed in terms of the trials that may come to you, because of the Lord Jesus Christ, because you are His and you are a child of the King, and you’ve got royal blood flowing in your veins. So, you don’t have to be ashamed, and then you have, I’ve turned now to first John chapter 2 verse 28 and it says, “Little children abide in Him that when He”, our Lord Jesus that is, “shall appear, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming”, and that of course is the matter of living every moment of every day, close to your Lord Jesus Christ. Well, there’s a little rundown of this matter of being ashamed and not being ashamed, and so the whole area of loyalty to the Lord Jesus Christ is wrapped up number one, in your conviction that the gospel is true, that Jesus is your Savior, that you belong to Him, that no matter what the price that must be paid for a public confession of Christ, you’re willing to pay that price, and that you are living in a way that keeps you ready to meet Him whenever He shall come again.
Well it’s quite a mouthful isn’t it, and yet there you have the whole package of truth, loyalty to the Lord Jesus. Where does it start? It starts in personal commitment. “I’m not ashamed”, he said, “for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed up to Him against that day”. No matter what the circumstances in your life and in my life may be, we know that we love the Lord Jesus, that we’ve committed ourselves to Him, that the Holy Spirit of God dwells within us, and that we’re in the center of the purpose of God and so things are going to go alright. It’s a great truth isn’t it? Be loyal to the Lord Jesus. Following Him does affect your loyalties.
Dear Father today, may we be loyal to our Lord Jesus and all that He stands for, in His name I pray, Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today!
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