As the darkness in a dark room is gone when you turn on the lights, so the Glory of the Lord Jesus in your life keeps you safe from the darkness around you.
Alright, thank you very much. And hello again, radio friends. How in the world are you? Doing alright, today? Oh, I trust so. Bless your heart. This is your good friend, Bob Cook. We’re back again with a few precious moments from the Word of God.
Looking now at John Chapter 17 and seeing what it was that our Lord Jesus had in mind, as He prayed for His disciples. He said, “I pray for them, not for the world, but for them, which Thou hast given Me. They are Thine.” And then He says in verse 20, “I pray for those also, who shall believe on Me through their word.” And that, of course, includes you and me. “The promise of the indwelling Holy Spirit,” we read in Acts Chapter 2, “Is unto all of the folk there on that Day of Pentecost and unto them who are far off, even as many as will believe on the Lord Jesus.”
So the plans of God stretch across the centuries, unchanging in His mercy, and unfathomable in His grace, and His love-always the same, reaching to you, and to me. Jesus said, “I pray for them.” And in that word ‘them,’ you and I may include ourselves. Jesus has you in mind today. Peter says, “Casting all your care upon Him, for He careth for you.” That means you are His concern. Blessed truth, isn’t it?
You’re not alone. Some of you live alone, and the loneliness sweeps over you, now and again, like a wave. Well, in those moments, just look up and say, “Lord Jesus, I know You’re here.” He hath said, “I will never leave thee nor forsake thee.” And let God wrap His arms of love around you, and guide you through the lonely hours, and make you useful. “The purpose of being comforted,” we read in Second Corinthians Chapter 1, verses 3 and 4, “The purpose of being comforted by God, is that you and I might reach out and comfort others. He comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we also may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we, ourselves, are comforted of God.”
And so God lets me get down, and He lets me get discouraged, because these things come to all of us human beings. He lets me get lonely. He lets me get hurt sometimes. All of the different things that happen in life, He allows them to come our way, just like it comes to everyone else, and then He reaches down in an infinite tenderness, and gives us His love, and His comfort. Why? Not just to make us feel better, but in order that we might be of help to someone else. So today, let God touch your life, and then look for someone else, whom you may touch with God’s love and comfort.
Well, He said, “I prayed for them, for they are Thine and I am glorified in them.” This is all review. You remember, I mentioned to you that the Glory of Christ is found in His reflection, in your life and in mine. “I’m glorified in them.” Then He said, “I pray, keep through Thine own name, those which Thou hast given Me, that they may be one.” The reason for being kept, is that you and I believers might enjoy the same closeness of loving relationship, as obtains in the Trinity itself. “That they may be one, even as We are one,” said our Lord.
Now, that’s a truth that is far too deep for you and for me to fathom, until we get to the other side. And I surmise, that throughout all eternity, we shall constantly be amazed at the depth of God’s love, and the wonder of His Glory, and His Presence, as manifested there in the very Godhead Presence, where we shall be dwelling through all eternity. Never get over being amazed, and delighted in the Presence, and the Person, of our God.
At the same time, here we are, here on Earth, mortal human beings with all of our shortcomings, and failings, and needs, and longings. And Jesus said, “I want Myself to be reflected in your life, and the result will be that there’ll be a oneness between you and other people who are reflecting Me as well.”
The reason Christians get together is not that we like each other so much. Of course, we do, but that isn’t the basic reason. The reasons Christians get together for fellowship is that they share the Presence of our living Lord. “Our fellowship,” says the Apostle John, “Is with the Father and with His Son, Jesus Christ.” It’s you, and I, and God. Blessed triangle of relationship.
Now, in verse 15, He’s still praying. In verse 15, He says, “I pray not that Thou shouldst take them out of the world, but that Thou shouldst keep them from the evil.” And your revised version, American Standard Version, and some of the other versions translate it rightly, “The evil one, Satan. Keep them from Satan.” Not taken out of the world, but kept living holy in a dirty world, the system of which, the world system of which is dominated by Satan himself.
Paul the Apostle calls it, “The spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience, among whom we all had our conversation in times past.” “The battle that we face,” he told the people at Ephesus, Ephesians Chapter Six, “We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. So take the armor of God, that you may be able to stand. Keep them from the evil one, not taken out of the world.”
Now, what does that mean, practically, for you and for me? Well, the first part of it was, He didn’t intend that you and I should withdraw from reality. Certainly, if you withdraw from life and become a hermit, your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ will now allow you to see it safe home to Heaven. But you will not, meanwhile, be fulfilling Christ’s purpose for you. He said, “As my Father hath sent Me, even so send I you, go ye into all the world.” It’s into the world, not out of the world. “I pray not that Thou shouldst take them out of the world, not that,” said Jesus, “But that Thou shouldst keep them from the evil one.”
What is the essence of the so-called separated life? Is it withdrawing from relationships with people? Many years ago, this would be, I suppose 40 years ago now, a missionary in a certain country said to me, “I’m sorry. I can’t come to your meeting, because, you see, we can’t associate with you.” “Oh,” I said, “That’s too bad. Why not?” “Well,” he said, “Our denomination is set up as a protest against some of the people that you’re fellowshipping with.” I was younger then and probably more brash. I looked at him and said to him with a smile, “I thought you were out here to win souls?” [chuckle] There was a small silence, and then we went on. Oh, dear. To withdraw from life and from people on the basis of, “Well, I have to keep my life unsullied and untouched by any kind of contact with people who don’t believe as I do.” No, that isn’t what God has in mind.
They criticized our Lord Jesus. One day, they said “This man eateth with sinners.” He sat down at dinner with a house full of people, whose reputations were certainly seamy, to put it kindly. And yet, there He was, the precious Son of God, in the midst of people whose reputations were bad. When they criticized Him, He said, “I came not to call the righteous to repentance, but sinners. They that are well have no need of a physician, but they that are sick. I came to seek and to save the lost.” He said, “As My Father has sent Me, even so send I you.”
What is our job? Seek and save the lost. How are you gonna get to them? Go where they are. And that means then, that you will interact, won’t you, with people on a day-to-day level? Now, that doesn’t mean that you’re gonna frequent places of crime and ill repute all the time. I don’t mean that. There’s some places you ought not to be seen, because you have no business there. But there are people all around you, including some of them who run that kind of a business, with whom you may interact, and upon whom the very light of the Glory of Jesus may shine through your life.
Think about this matter. Jesus said, “I don’t want them out of the world.” He doesn’t want you to try, somehow, to tread carefully amid the various experiences of life, so as to keep yourself untouched by the reality of other people’s wrongdoing and need. He wants you to be in the world, “But kept,” said He, “From the evil one.” “You, who are kept,” says Peter, “By the power of God, through faith unto salvation.”
What is my part? Faith, believing God. What is God’s part? Exerting His power to keep me. And I have to tell you, as I look back across the years, that God has, again and again, kept yours truly, in very precarious situations, when I was trusting the Lord Jesus, to see me through. God will keep you. He’ll keep you unspoiled, and unsullied, and undirtied by a dirty world. “And the secret is, you, who are kept by the power of God, through faith unto salvation, you keep your eyes on Jesus, looking unto Jesus, the Author, and finisher of our faith,” says the writer to the Hebrews.
That’s the way to run the race of life. Keep your eyes on Jesus, not on people. They’ll disappoint you always. Your dearest friend will disappoint you sometime, because of the fact that he or she is a human being. But Jesus never fails. And so you look to Jesus, you trust Him. You allow Him to fill your life with His Glory, and that very fact, the shining of His Glory, dispels the darkness around you. Oh, hallelujah for that.
As the darkness in a dark room is gone when you turn on the lights, so the Glory of the Lord Jesus in your life, keeps you safe from the darkness around you. Specialize in shining and you will be kept, not out of the world, but kept from the evil one.
Going a step farther in this matter, our Lord Jesus had to face Satan in specific temptations. “The great threefold approach of temptation to do wrong, was leveled against Him: The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life,” says John the Apostle. He said, “You’re hungry, make yourself something to eat.” That’s the desires of His body. He said, “Throw yourself down from the temple, that everybody will see You.” That’s the desire of the eyes. The pride of life, he said, “I’ll give you all this, if You’ll worship me. You can be ruler.” The threefold temptation. Jesus met it with Scripture. You and I may indeed do the same thing. I’ll talk about that the next time we get together.
Father God, today, keep us through faith in Jesus, Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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