Sold-Out

Hand yourself over to God — no questions asked and no fine print in the contract.


Scripture: 1 Timothy 4, 1 Timothy 4:15, Joshua 1:8

Transcript

Alright, thank you very much. And hello again, radio friends, how in the world are you? Sure, I wait for you to answer, ’cause some of you do, I know. [chuckle] One person told me, “When you ask, ‘How in the world are you?’ sometimes I’d say, ‘Don’t ask. Shouldn’t have asked.'” [chuckle] Well, I care how you are, because I’m going through life with you, and I know that some days are good and others are not so good, and some days you say to yourself, “It didn’t pay to get up this morning.” I know how that is.

Well, whatever kind of a day you’ve struck, beloved, turn it over to the Lord Jesus Christ and let Him handle it. He’ll lead you. “The Lord shall guide thee continually,” the Bible says, “In all thy ways acknowledge Him. He shall direct thy paths.” You can trust Him. Trust Him. Trust Him this day. Well, this is your friend Bob Cook and I’m opening up with you to the Word of God as we go through a book of the Bible, and now in the last day or two we’ve been recapping some of the precious truths that we’ve found in the book of 1 Timothy.

I’m looking now at 1 Timothy 4:15 where Paul said, “Meditate on these things. Give thyself wholly to them that thy profiting may appear to all.” What does it mean to meditate? Have you ever thought about that? I am suspicious of the meditation that comes from the Eastern cults. The looking inward into one’s inner being, and contemplating one’s spiritual navel, you may say. I’m suspicious of that. There may indeed be some value in carving out a period of silence and contemplation for yourself. Every success book I ever read had in it somewhere in the book, a statement that you ought to schedule some solitude for yourself every day. That of course is one of the secrets of growing a strong personality.

But meditation for its own sake turns you inward upon yourself, and which, as I say, may have some value in giving you an insight into the kind of person you are, does not necessarily provide the dynamic that will transform your life.

You see, what we’re after is not to make the pig comfortable in the pig pen. What we’re after is something that will transform a sinner into a saint, and that, my friend, takes the power of the Word of God. “Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way by taking heed thereto according to Thy Word.” The only way to modify character is to apply the Word of God to your life. That’s what Paul is saying here, “Mediate on these things.” The Word of God is something about which you think.

Now, how do you meditate on God’s Word? Well, first you read it and then you ask yourself, “What is this actually saying to me? What is this passage saying to me?” You see, it’s not simply being able to outline it so that you could get a grade of A on your Bible course, there’s more than that. See, don’t be satisfied with the mechanics of Bible study. A lot of people never go any farther than that. Don’t be satisfied with that.

What does this passage actually mean to me? Then you roll that over in your heart and mind and you pray about it, you think about it, and you pray about it, and you begin to say, “What am I going to do about it?” You begin to relate the information and the insights that you have gained from God’s Word. You begin to relate that to the business of living. What am I going to do about that today? You follow me? Meditate. Read it, ask what it says, put down on paper what it’s actually saying to you. Pray about that. Think strongly about it, and then relate it to action in your own life. “He should be like a tree planted by the rivers of water.” What kind of a person is God’s fruitful person as described there in the first Psalm? “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.”

God said to Joshua, “This book of the law shall not depart out of their mouth, but thou shalt meditate therein that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein. For then shalt thou make thy way prosperous and then shalt thou have good success.”

What you think about determines what you become. “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he,” the Bible says. And so, this whole matter of meditation, he says, “Meditate on these things.” What does that mean? Well, I think it means read it, think about it, write down what it says to you, pray about it, roll it over in your mind until your whole mind has become suffused with the Truth that God is trying to give you, and then put it into action that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein.

We find there in that Joshua 1:8 passage, or you can go over to James chapter 1, “Be ye doers of the Word and not hearers only, deceiving your own self. For if any man be a hearer of the Word and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass for he beholdeth himself and straightway goeth and forgeteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, he being not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.” That’s James 1, which I just quoted for you. Now, I think the slippage comes, beloved, at the point where we apply it. The slippage comes at the point where we apply it.

I remember, this would be back now in 1935 or 6, a long time ago, huh? [chuckle] A young preacher, my wife and I were on a series of one-night stands here and there across Pennsylvania. We were sent out by what was then known as Philadelphia School of The Bible, later merged with Pennsylvania Bible Institute, and still later became the prestigious Philadelphia Bible College, which we know today. Great school, great people. But in those days, as a young pastor, they would send some of us out on a round robin Bible conference sort of thing and you’d go from one town to another and preach. And you’ll have a week of meetings that way, a different place each night.

So it was that Coreen and I landed in a town, I won’t name it, but I remember it. And I immediately went to the church to look up the people who were in charge. It happened that they were without a pastor at the time and the chairman of the board was there to greet me, and he came in about mid afternoon, I guess. He said, “Now, my brother,” he said, “We don’t want to have you preach for revival or salvation. We’re good enough. We’re all right. What I want you to do,” said he, “Is to take a prophetic theme of some sort and give us a little more information on fulfilled prophecy. See, we don’t want to have a sermon on revival or all of that, we don’t need that,” he said. [chuckle]

Well, prophetic preaching, I understand prophecy, I’ve studied it. I’m not an expert in it, however, and I don’t preach as often as others may on prophetic themes. And I don’t think, as I recall across the years, I don’t think I preached on fulfilled prophecy that night. I think I preached on something having a little more to do with dynamic Christian living. But I remember the man’s attitude across the years. “We don’t need that. All we want is a little more information.”

It seems to me that the point of slippage, beloved, oftentimes in our lives, I know it’s been true of me many times, is that we’ll read it, and we’ll think about it, we’ll agree with it, but we’re awfully slow in applying God’s Truth to our lives. And you wanna remember the “so what” factor. “So what am I going to do about this? What is God asking me to do? What step of obedience ought I to take as a result of having read God’s Word?” Meditate on these things.

Then, of course, in this verse-we’re just hitting the high spots on some of these things in 1 Timothy. Do you understand what we’re doing? In this verse, 1 Timothy 4:15, he says, “Give thyself wholly, W-H-O-L-L-Y, entirely, to them that thy profiting may appear to all.” Now, you never get anywhere in God’s Word and in God’s work until you have passed that point of absolute commitment of yourself to Him.

There is no such thing as halfway surrender to God. You remember the one who said, “Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian.” Well, almost will not avail. Almost is but to fail. “Sad, sad, that bitter wail, almost but lost,” the hymn writer said. There’s no such thing as halfway commitment to God. Anymore than you can be half married, you know? I ask you, are you married? “Well, I think I’m about halfway there.” Well, no. You either are or you aren’t. [chuckle] So it is with the Truth of God. He says, “Give thyself wholly, absolutely, hand yourself over to God, no questions asked, no fine print in the contract. No mental reservations. Here, Lord, I give myself away. It is all that I can do.” There you have it.

Now, don’t ask me how you do this. You know what it is to agree with God’s Will and to say, “No matter what the consequences are I’m going to obey you.” You know. That’s what he means here when he says, “Give thyself wholly to these truths.” Don’t hold back. You see, it’s the point at which we say, “Lord, I can’t do it.” That is the point at which we experience defeat and our Christian life begins to disintegrate. “Demas hath forsaken me having loved this present world.” There was a point at which he said, “It’s too much, I can’t take this prison business with the Apostle Paul. I want to see the bright lights of the city, and I want to enjoy as a young man things that will never come my way again.”

Ananias and Sapphira said, “Lord, it’s too much to give everything. We’ll keep part for ourselves.” Too much. Too much. John Mark, going with Paul and Barnabas on a missionary journey said, “Lord, it’s too far. I can’t go any farther.” I don’t know whether there was a pair of brown eyes waiting for him back in Jerusalem, or whether he was just plain scared, or maybe a little of both. But he said, “It’s too far.” And he went to his uncle Barnabas, who always was a soft touch anyway, and said, “Uncle, could you spare me the price of a ticket back to Jerusalem? My ulcers are kicking up something fierce.” [chuckle] So Barnabas let him go back. Too much, too far, too narrow. Well, the point at which you back off is the point at which you’re defeated.

So as we leave this passage, we remember, we remind ourselves, meditate on the Word of God and then turn yourself absolutely over to His blessed Will without any reservations. That’s the way of victory.

Father God today, help us to take Thy Word seriously, and to apply it and to give ourselves to Thee, in Jesus’ name, I pray this. Amen.

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



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