God wants to send you to be a blessing — He'll always start on the basis of things and people that you know.
Alright, thank you very much. And hello again, friends. How in the world are you? Are you doing alright? Yes, this is your friend, Bob Cook, and I’m glad to be back with you. We’re looking at the Gospel of John for a while now, and we’ve gotten into the First Chapter, we got as far as the Fifth Verse, I believe, “The light shineth in darkness and the darkness comprehended it not.” A number of Bible scholars have said that, you can translate that Greek verb ‘katalambano,’ which is in your King James Version: Translated and Comprehended. It actually can mean “was not able to extinguish it, put it out, put it out of business.” “The light shines in darkness and the darkness has never been able to put it out,” one could say, with perfect accuracy, and that makes a lot of sense, doesn’t it? Yes, of course, the unsaved vine does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, according to that passage in First Corinthians Two, “The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him. Neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” When an unsaved person says, “I don’t get it,” he or she is simply fulfilling scripture, and that’s exactly what the Bible says about our unsaved minds, “We don’t get it.” But when the Holy Spirit of God convicts you, and converts you, and enlightens you, then you can understand the things of God. “He that is spiritual discerneth all things, yea, the deep things of God,” Paul says.
So, yes, it’s true that an unsaved mind doesn’t understand, doesn’t comprehend the things of God. But in this particular passage, you have the glorious statement, that no amount of opposition has been able to put out the light. And that, of course, is true all over the world. There have been decades, when in various parts of our world, it was a crime to be a Christian. You know that. And missionaries were thrown out, or killed, and those who were identified as believers were tortured, or killed, or shipped to some concentration camp. This has happened in more than one country now. This isn’t news to you, I know that. But what may be news to you, is that during all of those terribly, dark days, the church prospered, and people met in little groups in their homes, and people were being brought to Christ, and converted to faith in Him, all during the dark days, when it was a crime to be a Christian. See, the darkness isn’t able to put the light out. Hallelujah for that. And the same thing is true in your own life, beloved. You may not have very much light shining. It may be just a little flickering candle of a light. You may not think you amount to much, but you keep on trusting your Lord, and you’ll find out that he’s using that light, and nothing in the world can put it out, because God has His hand upon you.
Jesus said, “Ye are the light. Ye, that is, are the light of the world. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father, which is in heaven.” The devil can never put your light out. You just keep on obeying God. That’s been a great comfort to me through the years, I have to tell you. You could spend all your time trying to answer your critics. And people may lie about you, or criticize you, or attack you, whatever it may be. You could spend all of your time, just trying to answer your critics and going around putting out little fires. You don’t have to do that. God isn’t gonna let the light be put out. You keep your light shining. You keep on doing God’s will. You keep on doing good works. Jesus said, “That they may see your good works and glorify your Father, which is in heaven.” Do something good for Jesus’ sake, so your light will shine. That’s spiritual logistics. That’s how to get the light turned on and keep it shining. The devil can never put it out. Don’t despair, God is still on the throne, and no matter how bad things look, and how dark the world seems, at any given time. God isn’t through with us yet. He hasn’t gone off the throne and He hasn’t forgotten us. And He knows, He says, “I know the thoughts I think toward you, thoughts of good, not of evil, to give you a desired end.” God knows what He’s doing. Hallelujah.
“The light shineth in darkness and the darkness has never been able to put it out.” I’m so glad that’s true, aren’t you? Now, we come to Verse Six. He says, “There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.” You know the story of the birth of John the Baptist. The couple, who were childless, and an angel appeared to Zacharias, as he ministered in the temple, and said, “You’re going to have a child.” He doubted about it, as you recall. And the angel said, “Alright, because you’ve doubted, what’s gonna happen, is that you’re not gonna be able to speak, until this promise has been fulfilled in your life.” Interestingly enough, that’s exactly what happened, and when the baby was born, they wanted to name him after his father. But he asked for a writing tablet and wrote down, “His name is John.” And immediately, he was able, then again, to speak, and glorified God. And John the Baptist was brought up, and became a mighty preacher of righteousness.
He was the forerunner of the Lord, Jesus Christ. It says, “There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came for witness, to bear witness of the light.” I want to stop here, just for a moment, to think with you about the fact that God sends people. I don’t know whether that’s ever struck you, as being a subject upon which we might profitably meditate or not. But to me, it’s a subject that never fails to stir my heart. Did you know that God actually sends people? That he does send people on errands, on ministries, to do things that God specially wants them to do. Have you thought about that at all? Well, it’s true. God sends people to do His will. You remember the story of Isaiah? Isaiah says, “When King Uzziah died, I saw also the Lord high, and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. Above it stood the seraphims, and each one had six wings. With two of them, He covered His face, with two, He covered His feet, and with two of them, He did fly. And they called unto another, and said, ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Hosts. The whole Earth is full of His Glory.’ Then said I, ‘Woe is me, for I am undone, for I am a man of unclean lips and I dwell in amongst a people of unclean lips.’ ” Paraphrase that to say, “I’m a sinner and I’ve created the same kind of neighbors around me, sinners.”
Then it says, “Flew one of the Seraphim, having in his hands a live coal, which he had taken with the tongue from off the altar, and he laid it upon my mouth, and said, ‘Lo, this hath cleansed thy sin and thine iniquity is purged.’ ” “Also then,” Isaiah, I’m quoting from Isaiah Six, “Also then, I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send and who will go for us?’ And then said I, ‘Lord, here am I, send me.’ ” God does send people to do His will. Yeah? Now, if that’s true, and it is, then you and I, very well may give thought to the idea of, “How does God send me? Where and to whom would God send me today?” You always start with what you know to be the facts. God starts with us on the basis of where we are. And when I’m considering in my own life… This is Bob Cook talking now… When I’m considering in my own life, “What ought I to do? To whom should I go today? To whom should I be speaking today? What special thing should I do today?” These are questions that we all ask of ourselves. When these things come to me, I start, obviously, with praying, but I start, so far as the facts are concerned, with things I know about. Do I know about somebody who’s sick on whom I should call? Do I know about somebody who’s discouraged, whom I should try to encourage with a note or a telephone call?
Do I know about some ministry that is hurting, that I ought to try to support with a generous gift, see? These are things where you start, where you are. What do you know about? Are there people about whom you know? Are the situations, into which you have been given some insight, start there. God wants to send you to be a blessing, and He’ll always start on the basis of things and people that you know. Then look into His Word. What is it that God really wants to accomplish? God, who is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance, who will have all men to be saved, and to come to the knowledge of the truth, what is the passion of God’s heart? To see people saved. He doesn’t want anybody to be lost. God, in His creation, built into human nature the capacity to say, “No,” to divine grace, but He wants everyone to be saved. The redemption the Lord Jesus Christ accomplished on the Cross was sufficient for the whole human race. He died for all. It says, “That they which live, should not henceforth live unto themselves, but for Him, who loved them and gave Himself for them.” The death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus is sufficient to pay the price for all the sins of all the people who ever did live, are now living, or ever will live. But it’s efficient, it’s sufficient for all, but it’s efficient.
That means it works only in the lives of those who commit themselves to Him in faith. And so, if you’re thinking, in terms of, “Well, where does God send me?” You immediately have to go to the question, “What does God really want to accomplish in this world?” And the passion of God’s heart is the salvation of the lost. Jesus wailed over Jerusalem and said, “Oh, Jerusalem, how often would I have gathered thy children, as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, but she would not. Henceforth, your house is left unto you, desolate.” How God longs to bring people to Himself and He sends, therefore, He sends you and me to do that work. Our Lord Jesus said to his disciples one day, as recorded in John Chapter Four… We’ll get to that story, by and by, in our study of this book… He said to His disciples, “I sent you to reap, you came home with groceries, but you never said a word about the Savior. I sent you to reap, that on which He bestowed no laborer.” Look at the harvest, and that, of course, was people tumbling out of the town, to see this man, who had told on them. Oh, the passion of God’s heart is salvation. I wanna take up a little more of this the next time we get together. Let God send you to be a blessing to somebody today.
Father God, today, send us to somebody who needs you. In Jesus’ name, Amen. ‘Til I meet you, once again, by way of radio, Walk With the King today and be a blessing.
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