Walking closely with God allows us to see and hear with His eyes and ears. Miracles can happen when we're walking with Him.
Alright, thank you very much, and hello again radio friends. How in the world are you? Are you doing alright today? I’m so glad that we can be in the world but not of it. That’s the background, of course, of that little corny greeting that tells you, of course, that this is your good friend Bob Cook, and we’re back together for a few precious moments around the Word of God.
Psalm 37, of course, is the area that we’re looking at. We’ve gone down to verse 19, where I was remarking that there’s no loss of face with God. Even if you live in an evil time, God can keep you shining and keep you clear and clean, and you don’t have to be ashamed. None that wait on Him shall be ashamed, the Bible says. Now, of course, it’s up to you and to me to live close to God. John, the Beloved Apostle, says, “Now, little children, abide in Him that when He shall appear, we may have confidence before Him at His coming and not be ashamed.” So, there’s a sense in which it’s up to you and to me to live the kind of life that we don’t have to explain and find an alibi for, or of which we would be ashamed if our Lord Jesus came back to Earth as He will unexpectedly some day. It may be soon.
Live close to God. Live so that you can say as did Paul the Apostle, “Nevertheless, I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed in. I am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day.” “I am not ashamed,” said Paul, “because I have given myself to the Lord Jesus Christ, and I know He’s not going to fail me. No loss of face. If you’re living in bad times or, as it says, in days of famine, they shall be satisfied.
Now, many of my listeners are too young to remember the Great Depression. I can remember it because I went through it. I graduated from high school, believe it or not, in 1928. I was just turning sixteen, and from there, I went to the Moody Bible Institute for a Bible and Music course. And from there, on into the early 1930’s, I went to Wheaton College. These were the days when jobs were very scarce, and I didn’t have any money. But somehow, the Lord saw me through.
Some of you who know me know this story, but I’ll tell it once again, just to illustrate a point. I rented a room in Wheaton from, I think her name is Mrs. Dodds, if I don’t make a mistake about it. That’s what I recall. She charged me two dollars a week for that room. I had a kerosene stove which I had purchased at Montgomery Ward’s, and a coffee pot and a frying pan and a plate, and a spoon and knife and fork, and a pancake turner and a can opener–something to make coffee with and something to drink it out of. And there I was; I did my own cooking.
Well, in those days, I was working in the garage for Russell Wright, the younger brother of Dr. Paul Wright, a distinguished professor at Wheaton. Russell had a garage, and I had gotten a job as mechanic with him. He made an arrangement with me that he had every day what he called a “break-even point.” That is, the point at which he had made enough money to make his pro-rated share of the rent and overhead for that day. And so he said, “You bring in enough business so that we pass the break-even point, and after that, I’ll give you so-and-so much percent.” Well, it was the best thing I could do, and so I said, “Alright, I’ll do it.”
Well, now, there were some times in which there wasn’t much business and so there wasn’t much pay. And I can remember walking past the butcher shop (there was one on Main Street in those days) and, looking in the window where they had a refrigerated showcase looking out the front window of the butcher shop, I was looking at some pork chops. They broke down to seven cents apiece. Can you imagine buying a pork chop for seven cents today? You couldn’t even get the pig to squeal for seven cents, I don’t think. But I remember walking by and thinking, “Oh, I wish I had enough to buy a pork chop.” Well, I didn’t.
What I did was, I remembered what my boss Russ Wright had told me: that stone-ground whole-wheat flour is very nutritious, and it’ll make a good mush for breakfast. Then, if you let it cool, you can slice it and fry it. That’s precisely what I did. I would cook it up in the morning for some hot mush, and then I would put what was left over in a pan and let it cool and solidify. Then I’d slice it and fry it for another meal.
To this day, I have a little difficulty looking at whole-wheat hot cereal. I don’t know why. Do you? But do you know something? I was fed. I got by, and how many times I would go to the college post office and find a note from somebody saying, “Dear Robert, I don’t really know whether you need this or not, but I feel, strangely, that I should send you something.” There would be a dollar bill from somebody. Well, thank God. He does supply needs, yes He does.
Now he doesn’t always supply my wants. I can remember praying for things I never got, and it was a good thing. God is a wise God. “If ye, being evil,” Jesus said, “know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your Heavenly Father give good things to them that ask Him.” So, God hasn’t given me all I ask for, or all I wanted, but He certainly has met my needs. I am sure, beloved, that many of you can say the same thing; many of you can say a hearty “amen” to that.
All of this I’ve told you just to remind all of us that we need more and yet more to trust our Heavenly Father, because He will see you through. I got a letter from someone a while back, I suppose it’s been a couple of years now, just a heartbreaking letter of all the troubles that had happened. And now hubby has lost his job and what are we going to do? Well, after awhile there came another letter and said, “We want you to know that God gave a new job and we’re on our feet again, praise the Lord.”
A man came to see me many years ago, almost in tears, and he said, “My company has been bought by another company and I’m on the outside looking in, after all these years.” Well, I said, “God has plans for you. He hasn’t forgotten you. This is the beginning of something else. Let’s pray about it,” and so we did. Not too long afterwards, I got a letter from him that said, “Dear Brother Cook, I want you to know that I’ve gotten this and this and this position, and it’s much better than anything I’ve ever had.”
God, having prepared some better thing for them, the Bible says. Do you want to trust God today for those impossible situations, and for the needs that you have, about which you almost despair of ever having them filled? You know what they are; I can’t tick them off, but you know so deeply what your needs are. Jesus is able to supply them.
Paul the Apostle said, “But my God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” He didn’t say according to His leftovers, he said “according to His riches.” How rich is God, and how much of those riches are available to us? Well, he says, “We are children of God, if children, then heirs, joint heirs with Christ.” What is a joint heir? If you and I are joint heirs to two dollars, would you own the two dollars? Yes you would. But would I also? Oh, yes. Could you spend the two dollars? Yes, but not without me. And could I spend the two dollars? Yes, but not without you. Everything is owned by both of us. Joint heirs with Christ. His riches, in glory, by Christ Jesus.
God has enough today, beloved, to meet your need. Oh yes, He’s got enough. So wait on Him, and trust Him, and believe Him, and let Him see you through. All right?
Now, he says, “The wicked borroweth and payeth not again, but the righteous show mercy and giveth.” Why does he bring that up? Because one of the evidences of trusting God is generosity. One of the evidences of true faith that trusts God is generosity. Paul the Apostle was writing to the folk in Corinth, and he said, I want you to remember something about the churches of Macedonia. Because, he said, they actually were broke. They were broke. But, he said, in a great trial of affliction, the abundance of their joy in their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality, for to their power, I bear record. Yea, and beyond their power, they were willing of themselves, praying us with much entreaty that we would receive the gift and take upon us the fellowship of ministering to the saints. And this they did, not as we hope, but first gave their own selves to the Lord and unto us by the Will of God. Out of the deep, great trial of affliction, an abundance of joy in deep poverty. That’s the people of Macedonia.
My dear friend, Dr. David Morkin, told a story years ago that has fastened itself in my memory. I just review it for you here. The scene is Korea. After the close of what many people blithely call “The Korean Incident,” (it was a real war, believe me) there were buildings and particularly churches that needed to be rebuilt. In particular, there was one large church in Seoul that had nearly been destroyed, and they wanted to rebuild it. It was a big one; their membership was up into the thousands, but of course everybody was poor and they were all doing the best they could.
Dave Morkin said that one day there came a representative to one of the officials of that church, carrying with him a bundle which later turned out to have cash in it. And he said, “We represent the refugees that came down from the north, and we know that you want to rebuild this church. And so, we’ve taken up an offering, and I’m here to present it on behalf of these folk, homeless people, refugees from up north.
When the money was counted, our brother Morkin said, it amounted to the equivalent of $8,000 US dollars: a monumental amount from people who had nothing. And so, the official asked the obvious question: “How could you get this much money together? You don’t have anything!” And the man who had brought the gift said, “Well, when we came here we had nothing but the clothes on our backs. And some of us have been able to start up life again and we’ve had a little blessing. And so, we got together and we thought, “Well, we started once with nothing. It won’t hurt to start all over again with nothing, and so here it is.” Out of their deep poverty, they abounded to the riches of liberality. An index of whether you know the Lord and are walking close to Him is whether or not you’re willing to give Him your best.
Dear Father, today, O may we walk close enough to Thee so that our lives are right and our hearts are open, and our approach to other people’s needs is generous. Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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