Seek To Please (Him)

It’s more important for God to accept you than for people to approve you.

Scripture: Romans 14:13-17, John 3:16


And hello radio friends. How in the world are you? Are you doing all right today? I hope you’re doing well and that your heart is happy and that Christ is Lord of your life this minute. Always remember, if you strike a day that’s a rough one and all of us have that kind of day now and then, if you strike a day that’s a rough one, look up and say, “Lord, I’m yours. See me through.” The key word is “through.” “When thou passest through the waters, they shall not overflow thee. God brings you through. Yes, He does. For he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”

Be encouraged in God today, beloved. He’s not going to fail you. He hasn’t brought you this far to drop you now. Hallelujah for that. You and I are in Romans chapter 14. Paul has just been saying you may be free from the ceremonial laws that characterize the culture of God’s ancient people before Calvary. Christ has now fulfilled them. Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone that believeth, says the apostle Paul and it’s no longer necessary for us to bring a bullock or a goat or a lamb or a turtledove and have the priest sacrifice it for us because all of those things were pictures and types of the work that the Lord Jesus Christ would do on the cross when He died for you and for me so that Paul the apostle could write later, Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us.

Oh, dear friend, if you have never committed yourself to this wonderful crucified and risen living Lord, I wish you’d do that this very minute. The payoff really for me is to receive a card or a letter from people now and then saying “Brother Cook, I trusted Christ as Savior when you were talking on such and such a broadcast. That, my friend, is what it’s all about. If you’ve never bowed to receive Christ, do it now even before the end of the broadcast. If you’re driving in your car, pull off to the side of the road if you can and just bow and say, “Lord Jesus, come in to my heart and be my savior. I trust You now as my Lord.”

You talk to Him and He’ll answer. “Call unto me,” the Bible says, “and I will answer thee.” Our savior says, “Behold, I stand at thee door and knock,” that’s the door of your life. “If any man hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to him.” And so if you’ll just ask the Lord Jesus to come in and be Lord of your life and be your Savior, He will. And then you will know the freedom and the joy of living in the sunlight of a perfect sacrifice for sin offered by your savior and a perfect provision for victorious living because He’s alive today and by His Holy Spirit, He can fill your life with Himself. Oh, that’s great, isn’t it?

That’s what we call the gospel. Good news for burdened hearts. If you’ve never trusted Christ, do so this minute, will you? You don’t have to listen to the rest of my broadcast. It’s far more important that you talk to Jesus and hear from Him. Well, Paul the apostle says, “There is nothing unclean of itself but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, it is unclean. If thy brother is grieved with what you’re eating, now you’re not walking in Calvary love. Destroy not with your food him for whom Christ died. Let not your good,”- you’re free, all right? And it’s good- “Let not your good be evil spoken of.”

Somebody else offended because of what you may have done. That’s a profound truth and you can live it without treading, as we say on eggs. You can live it without being enslaved by the fear of what will people think. Everything depends upon your point of view. If you are planning for the good of another person, your conduct automatically lines itself up. Isn’t that true?

All of us have had this experience. It developed that there was an extra person for dinner one evening and you were seated around the table. And we hadn’t known that the extra person was coming so there wasn’t anything extra in the pot, so to speak. It was a meal that had been prepared for the family of our size. And now here is an extra person who unfortunately has a good appetite. All right. There are two things that happened. First of all, the word has passed around. FHB, Family Hold Back. When I was a little boy they had two codes. One once MIK More In the Kitchen and if that weren’t true it was FHB, Family Hold Back.

And so you’re told, “Now, don’t gobble up everything because we got company.” However, the food was used up and now it came mother’s turn to help herself. And she only put a little bit of meat on her plate and a little bit of potatoes and vegetables on her plate and then passed it along and someone was sure to say, “Hey, Mom. Aren’t you hungry tonight?” And she’d smile and say, “Well, I guess not, dear.” Now, what was she doing? She was adjusting her conduct for the good of somebody else who was hungry. And she wasn’t doing it because she was afraid. She wasn’t doing it because somebody told her she must do it. She was adjusting her conduct out of love, for the sake of somebody else.

As I said we’ve gone through that, haven’t we? And maybe some of you mothers and dads have done that very thing and nobody told you, you had to. We just adjusted our conduct for the good of the other person, right? Well, now, you take that simple little illustration of adjusting your conduct in the light of your love for someone else. And then turn to a passage such as we have, for instance, in Galatians where Paul says, “brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not your liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve.”

That verve “serve” in Greek New Testament is “douleuete” which means “serve like a slave.” “Ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty as an occasion to the flesh,” that is to satisfy your own desires, “but by love,” agape love, John 3:16 love, by Calvary love in your heart, “serve one another.” I guess it all depends on how much I love the other person, doesn’t it, huh? I tell the girls, if your boyfriend, your date, says “Come on, come on, everybody’s doing it. Put up or shut up,” you know, “I love you so let’s go all the way,” he doesn’t really love you.

The person who really loves you is going to think of your best, not his own. You always need to learn to suspect the motives of a person who says “Do this or that or the other for me because I love you.” Always suspect the motives of anyone who says “Do this or that for me because I love you.” Always respect the motives of a person who says “I want to do this for you because I love you.” That’s different, isn’t it? “By love,” says Paul, “serve one another.” Oh! He wants to go beyond the limits of consideration and decency. He wants to have more than he or she should of time or money or love or sex and taking for one’s self is the rule of the hour. And then it is rationalized by the statement, “Yes, I love you.” Oh, no. Always suspect, always suspect the motives of somebody who takes and then says “I love you.” Always respect the motives of one who says “I want to do this for you because I love you,” all right?

It’s quite a lesson to learn and you and I of course are so naively self-centered for the most part that if you’re anything like me, I have to relearn that lesson again and again and again. But, oh, it’s worth dwelling upon; it’s worth learning.

“Judge this rather, that no one put a stumbling block or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way.” Destroy not him with your liberty the person for whom Christ died. If you do that, he says, you’re not walking in love. The real question is how much do you love — John 3:16 love — how much do you really love the other person? It’s a big lesson, isn’t it? And I for one have to relearn it and I want to saturate it with the love of Christ. He says, “The kingdom of God is not meat and drink,” anyway. It’s not the things that you put into your body and the things that you do, but, said he, “it’s righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men.”

You want God to be pleased and you want people to approve you? There is a way to do it. Here, dear friend, is God’s formula for success. “For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.  For he that in these things,” now, in what things? In righteousness- “he that in righteousness serveth Christ;” “in these things,” what things? Peace- “He that in peace serveth Christ; “he that in these things,” what things? In joy, “serveth Christ, is acceptable to God and approved by people.”

Oh, by the way, it’s more important for God to accept you than for people to approve you. The approval of God’s people will always follow the approval of God. You want to think about that a while? The approval of God’s people will always follow the approval of God. Through the years when I was responsible for Youth for Christ, now and again you’d find a person who seemed to be having a rough time of it. I remember visiting in one certain city where it was is of no consequence now. But I’ve visited in this city and I found that the young man was having difficulty.

The ministers in town weren’t very happy with him. The business people in town weren’t very happy with him. He didn’t very much have a following among the young people he was trying to win. He was really sort of upset about everything and he complained it to me that nobody was willing to cooperate with him, nobody was willing to work with him. I listened. I didn’t say much at that time. And we got then into a meeting where I was speaking with 50 or 75 ministers at a breakfast meeting. And the Lord, as we say, came to the meeting. We had a great time of prayer and I actually gave a little appeal while we were on our knees and we had some folk that got right with God even though they were in the ministry, they weren’t really in the will of God. And so we had a very precious and wonderful time and incidentally, my young man got all broken up. Oh! He was just completely devastated and broken before God. Well, that’s good when God gets to you, He does a work in your heart.

And the meeting finished and the people left. After it was all over, the young man and I were straightening up the room there in the hotel before we left, putting the chairs back in place and trying to leave it the way we found it. And he said to me, “You know, Brother Bob, if I had done more praying in private and gotten right with God sooner, I wouldn’t have had to do so much crying in public.” Well, that was a good lesson to learn, wasn’t it? Incidentally, his work began to prosper immediately. The broken spirit and the cleansed heart had to come before the prosperity of his work. It always is that way. Approval of people always follows acceptable with God.

Dear father, today, help us to help other people, 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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