Sharing, Growing

When you share what God has given you, it reinforces the Truth in your own soul.


Scripture: 1 Timothy 4:6, Jeremiah 3:15, 1 Peter 2:2, Psalm 119:103, Isaiah 55:2

Transcript

Alright, thank you very much. And hello again, radio friends. How in the world are you? Doing all right? I trust so, bless your heart. Hope everything’s all right at your house. And if some of you who are listening have struck a rough day, remember, our Lord says, “I will never leave thee nor forsake thee.” He’s with you. He hasn’t brought you this far to dump you now. So look up and trust Him. Say, “Lord, see me through this one.” He will. Hallelujah for that. Our God is faithful. “Great is thy faithfulness,” is what they say of our God, and we can say amen to that.

Last time we got together, we got into the subject of feeding on the Word of God. As newborn babes desire the sincere milk of the Word that she may grow thereby. Now, you can’t grow in God’s Word until you’re alive. That may be self-evident, and some of you may say, “Come on, Brother Cook. Get going. We know that.”

Well, some who are listening may never have realized this. I know that I’m speaking to people who are quite sincere, in that you take the time to listen to a religious broadcast, but you have never yet committed yourself absolutely to Jesus Christ as your Lord and thus as your Savior. And that has to happen before you can do much growing in the Word of God. It has been my sad experience to meet with people through the years who were versed well in the Bible, but who were spiritually dead. And great, gaping flaws in their character, and oftentimes in their morals, gave evidence of the fact that while they knew about the Bible, and they were well versed in the words of it, they had never really been made alive through the work of the Holy Spirit of God and what the Bible calls, “The New Birth.”

Would you give thought to that? Are you sure, beloved, that you know the Lord Jesus and that you’re alive in Him? If so, you can indeed start thinking about growing through feeding on the Word of God. “How sweet are Thy words to my mouth. Yea, sweeter than honey in the honeycomb.” The Word of God. God says so sadly, “Wherefore do you spend money for that which is not bread and your labor for that which satisfieth not? Hearken diligently unto me and eat you that which is good and let your soul delight itself in fatness.”

God says through Jeremiah, “I will give you pastors according to my heart which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding.” Ezekiel says, “I will feed them in a good pasture and upon the high mountains of Israel shall their fold be. There shall they be in a good fold, in a good pasture shall they feed upon the mountains of Israel.” Jesus said, “I am the living bread which came down from Heaven. If any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever and the bread that I will give is my flesh which I will give for the life of the world.”

Feeding on the Word of God. How do you get at this? Number one, make sure you’re spiritually alive. Number two, read God’s Word. Dr. Walter L. Wilson, who was my dear friend through the years-I owe him a great deal because while I was still in college, I invited him to speak at a college function where I was the master of ceremonies and had the opportunity to choose the speaker. So I invited the good doctor to come and speak to us, which he did. And I happened to have with me my date, a little Norwegian girl whose first name was Coreen. I introduced him to her and later on, on an aside, I said, “Well, what do you think of Coreen?” He said, “You better marry that girl. She will be good for you.” [chuckle] So I did. And we’ve had 52 years together. Great. When I get to Heaven, I’ll have to look up the good doctor and thank him for that good advice.

But one of the things I remember that he said oftentimes concerning the Word of God, he would say in his whimsical fashion, “Why,” he said, “Do you know the purpose of the Bible? Do you know what you are supposed to do with it?” And then he would stop for effect. And then he would say, “Look in the flyleaf of your Bible, and you’ll find that it says, ‘Appointed to be read.'” He would say, “You are supposed to read the Bible.” Well, of course. Everybody would know that, but they would all chuckle at this obvious reference from a source that they didn’t expect. Read your Bible.

Now, it’s amazing to me how many people don’t read the Word of God regularly. It’s so easy to neglect, of course. God isn’t bothering you about it. He doesn’t come and tap you on the shoulder and say, “Hey, you forgot to read your Bible today.” But your relationship with your Lord really needs to be in the nature of a love affair. You know, when you’re in love you can’t wait to get a letter from the one whom you love if you’re separated. And you open it eagerly and devour every word.

Oh, I think our relationship with the Bible must be proportional to whether or not we love our Lord and have Him on our minds, as well as in our hearts. God is not in all his thoughts. The Psalmist says of the foolish atheist, “God is not in all his thoughts.” Thoughtlessness about God and His Word leads to emptiness of soul.

So you need to read God’s Word. Start in on a book that is fairly easy. If you’re a new Christian, start in with the Gospel of John or the Gospel of Mark. Start in with maybe the Book of Romans, or whatever. Leave Leviticus and Deuteronomy for a little later on. Read sometimes from the Psalms, because they are the prayers of people who walk close with God. And I find great blessing for my own self in praying the Psalms back to God. Talking to God in the language of the Psalmist, it begins to open my own heart as I do that. Read God’s Word and pray over it. That’s the next thing.

Now, what else? Meditate on the Word of God. The first Psalm said, “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the way of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law doth he meditate day and night.” His delight is in the law of the Lord. And in His law doth he meditate day and night. The word “meditate” in the Bible is related to our English word “ruminate” or “chew the cud.” You chew it over. After you’ve read it, you say, “What does this say to me? What does this say to me? What really is God saying to my own heart?”

And you think it over, and you pray about it. Say, “Lord, teach me something from this passage so that it gets to my own heart and life.” Meditate. Chew it over. Think it over. Pray over it. And then it’s helpful to me. I got this idea from Stephen Olford many years ago, dear man of God who still delights our souls with his tremendous biblical preaching. For many years, the distinguished pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in New York City. Many of you remember him in that context, I know.

I first met him back in the early 1940s on his first visit to the United States, brought him over to preach around here and there in Youth for Christ rallies, and I got to be good friends with our brother Olford at that time. I remember asking him then, “How do you maintain your own soul? You’re on the road a lot. You’re busy. How do you maintain your own soul? How do you feed on the Word of God?”

And he gave me a little formula which I later included in the things I wrote. For example, in the book that Moody Press puts out now that I believe that’s gone over a million copies now, by God’s grace. I put it in there, but I’ve applied it to my own life, more importantly. He said, “Read a passage, whether it’s a few verses or a chapter. Stick with any given passage until it says something to you.”

And he added a caveat there for preachers: “Don’t just outline it for a sermon, but let it say something to your own heart.” Stick with any given passage until it says something to you. Second, write it down, for if you can’t write it, you haven’t got it. Any school teacher knows that. Second, write it down. Third, pray it back to God until your heart is warm and tender with the truth that God has given you. Third, pray it back to God until your heart is warm and tender with the truth. Fourth, share it with someone that very day, as soon you can. Share it with someone as soon as you can. Those are the four things that Dr. Stephen Olford told me back in the 1940s, and I’ve found that they work very well, beloved.

You and I must feed on the Word of God or we’ll starve our souls, and the way to do it is to read it, meditate on it, pray over it, write it down, pray it back to God, and then share it with someone else. Why share with someone else? Why do you put that in, preacher? Because when you share what God has given you, it reinforces the truth in your own soul. It reinforces the truth in your own soul when you share it. Incidentally, the best kind of communication is sharing something fresh from God, don’t you agree? The best kind of communication between one human being and another is sharing something fresh from God. I have found that people appreciate that more than anything else that I could do.

During the years that I served as president of the college, people would come into the office for one reason or another, and then when we had taken care of the business at hand, I’d say, “Let me share with you something God gave me today.” And oftentimes, their eyes would fill with tears, and there would be just a surge of appreciation and spiritual enjoyment over something God had dropped into their lives. Make a habit of doing that, would you, beloved? You can be such a blessing to other people, and at the same time, it will reinforce, the process will reinforce God’s Truth in your own life.

And for those of you who are busy and on the road, there’s no better way to keep fresh in your ministry. I can remember days when I would have seven, eight, ten meetings, just running from one meeting to another, and the only thing that would keep me going would be that early in the morning I had gotten something from God that I could share all day long.

And it was fresh in each situation, and God blessed it by His Holy Spirit. Dear Pastor, you’re busy. Evangelist, missionary, Christian leader, principals of high schools and grade schools, and executives, chief executive officers of corporations, and all the rest of us ordinary people on down the pecking order, we’re all busy. I know that, but don’t be too busy to feed on the Word of God. Get something fresh from God and then share it with other people as the time goes by. Is that helpful to you at all? “Nourished up,” he said. You’ll grow if you feed on the Word of God. As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the Word that you may grow thereby. And in your growing, you’ll help other people so very, very much.

Father God, today make us people of the Word, filled with the Word of God, sharing in the power of the Spirit. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!



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