Step By Step

What you say to God specifically has meaning -- not only to Him but, more importantly, to your own heart.

Scripture: Psalm 116:1-2


Alright, thank you very much. Always nice to be put on the air with a friendly voice. I appreciate you fellas and gals at the transmitters. You have to listen to all of us, don’t you?

Well, if there’s any blessing that comes your way as you turn the dials God bless you; I’m glad.
And hello radio friends! How in the world are you? Oh, I’m happy in the Lord today, happy to know Him, glad to be alive, glad to be on the way to glory, and glad to be with you my dear friends. Thanks for being there on the listening end.

We’re looking, today, at Psalm a hundred and sixteen. We finished our discussion of Colossians, and did a little wrap up series of thoughts by way of review. And now, just for a break, before we start another book of the Bible, I want just to discuss some of the precious truths that are found in one or two of the Psalms. Things that have been of great help and blessing to me. Alright?

I’m looking at Psalm a hundred sixteen where the psalmist begins by saying, “I love the Lord because…” This whole Psalm can be laid out in terms of reasons why we love God. Now, John the Apostle says, “We love Him because He first loved us.” “Herein is love,” says he, “not that we loved God but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”

“God commendeth His love toward us…” Paul says in Romans five, “God commendeth His love toward us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us…” And Paul says, in Galatians, two-twenty, “The life which I now live I live by the faith of the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me.”

And John thirteen says, “Having loved His own which were in the world He loved them unto the end.” Oh, how God has loved you and me. Malachi, this book that speaks of judgment and the burning, fiery, uh, judgment of God upon those who deserve it, starts out by saying, “I have loved you,” saith the Lord.

All through the Bible you find a God who is seeking the love of His straying creature, mankind. Now, when we realize that and when we turn to Him, and yield ourselves to Him, then we are enabled to return that love. Paul says, in Romans 5:5, “The love of God is shed abroad, in our hearts, by the Holy Ghost, which is given unto us.”

He says, in second Corinthians, “The love of Christ constraineth us…” See, that’s Godly love in your life making you do what you do as a Christian. So, uh, to live in the very love of God is part of the wonderful result of knowing the Lord Jesus Christ. We are to walk in love, Paul says in, Ephesians four. “Walk in love.” That word ‘walk’ means live every minute of every day. You can paraphrase it that way.

Live every minute of every day in the love of God. When you tell the truth, he says; manifesting the truth in love. These are just some of the scriptures that come to my mind as I think about the love of God, the way He loved us and the reason He, then, through His matchless grace in Christ that we could begin to return that love. He puts His love in our hearts.

Bill Bright mentioned to me, years ago as we were chatting, that he discovered, one day, that you could take love for other people by faith just as you took salvation by faith in trusting the Lord Jesus Christ. God’s love can pour out of your life to other people as you accept it, from Him by faith. “Christ is made unto us wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption…” in other words, everything you will ever need is found in your living Saviour, the Lord Jesus.

Well, with that kind of a background, we come, then, to Psalm one hundred sixteen; “I love the Lord.” Now, why? Interestingly enough, answered prayer heads the list. “Because He hath heard my voice and my supplications, because He inclined His ear unto me, therefore will I call upon Him as long as I live.”

Why, he said, “…the sorrows of death compassed me and the pains of hell gat hold on me {and} I found trouble and sorrow. Then called I upon the name of the Lord. Oh Lord! I beseech Thee, deliver my soul. Gracious is the Lord, and righteous; yea, our God is merciful.”
Answered prayer.

Does it sometimes seem to you that this whole matter of your Christian faith is somewhat remote and academic? Removed from reality and it doesn’t really charge up your, your imagination or stir your soul? Does it ever seem that way to you? Let me give you a simple suggestion. If you want to love God more pray more.

Peter Deyneka (we used to call him Peter Dynamite) Peter Deyneka used to lead our all-night prayer meetings when I was president of Youth for Christ years ago and he would start his leadership of that all-night prayer meeting by saying, “Much prayer; much power, little prayer; little power. No prayer; no power.” So, that’s true as well, but if you want more love for God try praying more.

Now, what’s the basis of your prayer? First of all, he said …”heard my voice.” Pray out loud. People write to me now and again saying, “Brother Cook, I have difficulty praying out loud so I just think my prayers.” Well, that’s good, God knows your thoughts. Psalm a 139 says, “Thou art acquainted with all my thoughts.”

So God knows your thoughts and He can hear a prayer that is not audible, as proved by the case of Hannah who stood praying in the temple asking God for a child. Only her lips moved but her voice wasn’t heard. Old Eli thought she had had too much to drink. That’s an example of his lack of perception and appreciation for things spiritual.

But, anyhow, it is true that God knows your thoughts and God will hear the cry of your heart. Yes, He will. But, if you want a real relationship with your heavenly Father, learn to talk with Him. Words are considered, by God, to be of great importance.

The wise man said, “How forcible are right words.” That’s in Job. Good words are “Like apples of gold in pictures of silver…,” Solomon said. “By men’s words, they shall be justified and by their words they shall be condemned,” said the Lord Jesus.

“Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.” Paul [said] in Colossians. We just studied that, didn’t we?

Your words are important. And they are, let us face it, not only an index of what you think but they have an impact upon you. When you say something, it has an impact upon you as well as upon the hearers. Have you ever realized that?

You get up in the morning, look in the mirror and say, “Oh, I feel terrible.” Well, I can guarantee you you’ll keep on feeling terrible. Your mind believes what you tell it. So, if you want to love God more pray more and learn to pray audibly. Talk to your heavenly Father.
“…that, if thou shalt confess, with thy mouth, Jesus as Lord,” Paul says in Romans 10:9, “and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”

So, learn to talk with your Heavenly Father. He’s a wonderful, loving person. More wonderful than any human relationship you, or I, will ever sustain.

He [the psalmist] said, “You heard my voice.” When, when the eh, bondwoman, Haggar, was thrown out of, eh, Abraham’s house; “Cast out the bondwoman and her son.” Remember, that was the command that God gave. When she was evicted from Abraham’s household she wandered in the desert and it said, “God heard the voice of the lad.”

Do you know that God listens to what you say? I have a little Cook-ism that I’ve used from time to time and I believe it with all my heart: ‘God listens to hear what you’ll say so that He can tie Himself, in His almightiness, to fulfilling what you say.’

The “word of faith”, it’s called. “The word of faith is nigh, even in thy mouth and in thy heart.” “That is the word of faith which we preach,” says Paul. The statements that you make are listened to by God and they are of extreme importance. “My voice.”

What have you been saying to God? I find it more easy to pray in generalities than to pray specifically. What you say to God specifically has meaning, not only to Him but, more importantly, to your own heart.

So we come, then, to the second part of that first verse. He says, “I love the Lord because He hath heard my voice and my supplications.” What is a supplication? It’s something for which you are asking. Supplication means that you are asking for something specific from your heavenly Father.

Do you have a prayer list? Now, some people distain this because they think it’s too artificial. And yet, that same person who disdains the idea of having a prayer list will make out a grocery list when he or she goes shopping for the, the groceries for the family. Why do you make a grocery list? You say, “Because I don’t want to forget anything.” Precisely.

Well why do you make out a prayer list? Because you and I need to be reminded of the things that are important concerning which we want to talk with our heavenly Father. “My supplications.”

Now, let me ask you a question beloved. What have you really been asking God about recently, huh? What have you specifically brought to God by way of a request? Well you know, of course, if you’ll think back, that those specific requests have often been gloriously answered, haven’t they?

Some of them which have not yet been answered may be under the heading of God’s answer: Wait. Someone has said God has three kinds of answers to our prayers. “Yes” or “No” or “Wait.”

Well, however it may be, you know, if you’ve done this, that it is a glorious procedure and does something for your own heart. “My voice.” Learn to talk with God. Now, you’ll be a little embarrassed at the sound of your own voice, at first, if you’ve never done this before, but don’t, don’t share this with any other human being, necessarily.

Get alone, wherever…I’ve prayed in, in coal cellars, and in attics, and in bathrooms, and in airplanes, and in rickshaws…get alone someplace where just you and God can be and then you talk to Him, audibly that is to say. You don’t have to shout but let your voice be heard by your Heavenly Father and ask Him for those things that are important to you.

We’ll go on with this the next time we get together.

Dear Father, today, make us people who have learned to talk with Thee and to walk with Thee step by step. Through Jesus our Lord 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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