Strange And Wonderful
There is a strange and wonderful relationship between the committed heart and the Word of God.
Alright, thank you very much. And hello again, radio friends, how in the world are you? Yes, that little greeting establishes the fact that this is your good friend Bob Cook, and I am interested in how you are, believe me. Some days are good and some are not so good, and some are yucky, huh? Well, whichever kind of a day you’ve struck, remember the Lord Jesus Christ is still your available savior, and you can trust Him for every step, every moment, every contact, every mile of the way.
Now, I’m doing a little recap of some of the chapters in the Gospel of John, and I want just to look briefly at Chapter 8 with you. Chapter 8 has the story of the lady who had been caught in sin and was dragged to before our Lord Jesus, poor pitiful spectacle of misery and shame. And they said, “Now, Moses said in his law that this type of person should be stoned.” Our Lord Jesus didn’t remind these people that Moses said both of the guilty parties in immorality should be stoned. He simply said, “Let him that is without sin among you cast the first stone.” And He stooped down and wrote on the ground, “They heard it convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last.” Well, He saw this lady and He said, “Has no man condemned thee?” She said, “No man, Lord.” He said, “Neither do I condemn thee, go and sin no more.” And then He said, “I am the light of the world.”
There’s a connection between forgiveness and commitment to the person who keeps you in the light. It is so simple that most of us miss it. He said, “Go and sin no more. I am the light of the world. He that followeth me shall not walk in darkness but shall have the light of life.” Now, she’d been walking in darkness. It’s another way of saying she’d been living in sin. You can transpose those thoughts and say, “He that followeth me shall not live in sin but shall have the light of life.” He said, “You follow me, you commit yourself to me and you’ll stay in the light.”
Such a blessed, wonderful operating principle for your life and for mine today, beloved. Commitment to the Lord Jesus Christ keeps you in the light. Do you wanna try that in the everyday things of life today? Or if you’re listening late at night, as some of you do just before you fall asleep, we’ll say tomorrow. Try committing yourself to the Lord Jesus in the everyday things of life. Before you start the car, whisper a prayer, “Lord, make me a Christian driver. Keep me, guide me.” You know, before you answer the phone, “Lord, whoever it is, make me a blessing.” Before you open a letter, “Lord, whatever it is, prepare me.” Before you make a decision, “Lord, what’s your will in this?” Before you start a conversation, a whispered prayer, “Lord, let me say the right things or keep silent at the right times.” Before you go on a date, before you sign a contract, before you try to wrestle with the temptation on your own, most of us make that mistake and we fail and then we come shamefacedly back to God and say, “Lord, I blew it, please forgive me.”
But before you start to try to handle a temptation, whisper a prayer, say, “Lord Jesus, handle this for me.” See, “He that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, not live in sin.” You don’t have to fall if He is holding your hand. Ah, yes, he says, “Though he fall he shall not be utterly cast down, for the Lord upholdeth him with His hand.” This is a picture of you taking a little three-year-old toddler across Fifth Avenue and his little steps may stumble, he may trip over the edge of a manhole cover that sticks up a little bit out of the pavement, but you hang right on, don’t you? You say, “Come on, don’t you wanna grow up and have troubles? Get going!” [chuckle] You hang on. “The Lord upholdeth him with His hand.” Philippians 1:6, “Being confident of this very thing that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.”
There’s a connection between commitment to Christ and being kept moment by moment. Learn it and practice it. Well, he says in Verse 31 and 32 something else that I want to comment on. “Jesus said to those who believed on Him,” now, this is for believers. If you’ve never committed yourself to Christ as Lord and as Savior, then that’s your first job. But if you have done that, then he says, “If ye continue in my Word, then are ye my disciples indeed. And ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.”
John McArthur has a new book that emphasizes the lordship of Christ as being the very stuff of which the Gospel is made, and I tend to agree with him. He says, “If ye continue in my Word,” that’s the proof of being a disciple, if you continue. The parable of the good seed and the various kinds of soil, the parable that our Lord Jesus gave, recorded, I believe, in Matthew 13, talks about seed by the wayside that had no effect at all, the fowls of the air ate it up, talked about the seed in shallow ground that sprang up and had no depth and withered away. Talked about seed in thorny ground, the thorns which are the cares of this life and the deceitfulness of riches and other things entering in, Jesus explained. “They choked the Word and it didn’t bear fruit. But then, the good ground, he that receives seed on the good ground, is he that heareth the Word and understandeth it and beareth fruit brings forth, some 100, some 60, some 30.”
Our Lord taught that there’s a difference between profession and reality. Matthew 7 says, “Many shall say unto me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Thy name and in Thy name cast out demons and in Thy name done many wonderful works?’ Then will I profess unto them, ‘I never knew you. Depart from me, ye that work iniquity.'” See, they weren’t really saved. It’s possible to profess to be a Christian and not really be saved.
Now, don’t write to me or call me and tell me, “Oh, you upset me. You said maybe I’m not saved.” No, you’ll know, my dear friend. You don’t have to have me to tell you. You’ll know because the “Spirit Himself witnesses with our spirit that we are the children of God and of children then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ.” If you’ve really committed yourself to Christ, you know, don’t you, that you’re His? Oh, yes. And as a result, you’re continuing in His Word. You don’t wanna go away from God. You don’t wanna sin against God. You don’t wanna fail and fall under temptation. You don’t wanna disappoint the heart of God by human fallibility. You wanna be His obedient child, don’t you? Yes, you do. Because of that, Jesus said, “Well, that’s the proof you’re my disciple indeed. If you continue in my Word”, not just a brief profession, not just a brief profession.
We used to smile sometimes at the folks to whom we would minister in the missions. I did a lot of mission work years ago, gospel preaching and rescue missions. And sometimes, they would respond to your invitation to trust Christ the Savior and they would go through a prayer of salvation, get up and look you in the eye and smile and say, “Now, can I eat?” [chuckle] What were they doing? Well, they were making a profession so as to fulfill what they thought were the requirements for getting a free meal. No, that isn’t it, is it? Salvation is not a great heavenly welfare society, beloved. Salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ involves commitment and a lifelong regime of following Him. Dr. Wayne Frair is one of our distinguished professors at the college, and he and his good wife, Betty, are dear friends. Well, he had some very serious heart problems that resulted in a huge bypass operation and a change in his lifestyle as a result.
After all that was over, I saw him one day eating lunch and he had his plate piled high with all sorts of leafy vegetables and other vegetables. And he was piling into that vegetarian lunch. He had a piece of bread without any butter on it and a glass of water, no coffee. I looked at him, I said, “Wayne, why do you do that?” “Well,” he said, “My doctor said I better if I wanna keep on living.” [laughter] If I wanna keep on living, that is commitment. There, you have it. If you transfer that concept over into your life and your relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, I better obey God. I better stay with His Word. I better commit myself absolutely to the Lord Jesus, if I want to keep on living this miracle Christian life. If you continue in my Word, then, He said, that’s the test. Are you my disciples indeed?
Now, what’s the result? “Well,” He says, “You’ll know the truth. You’ll know the truth.” There is a strange and wonderful relationship between the committed heart and the Word of God. The Word of God, as we have it in God’s infallible Word, the Bible, actually speaks to your heart as you read it and meditate upon it. God’s blessed man has said, “To love the Word of God and meditate in it, in His Word doth he meditate all day long.” God said to Joshua, “This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth but thou shalt meditate therein and observe to do all that is written therein for so shalt thou make thy way prosperous and so shalt thou have good success. The Word of God, you’ll know the truth.
No other mental and intellectual anchor really holds, aside from the eternal Word of God. When we moved to Philadelphia, shortly after… I was in Philadelphia as a single young man for a few months as pastor of Weston Memorial Baptist Church, which later merged with Spruce Street, which later moved out to Newtown Square in Philadelphia area. But, at that time, we were at 58th and Thompson and I had a little rented house and Coreen and I were starting out in life. Well, we didn’t make much. I think my beginning salary was $28 a week. That’s something, isn’t it? [chuckle] I’ll tell you, I took every funeral I could. “Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord for their honoraria do follow them.” [chuckle] I was trying my best to scrape up every dollar I could because I wanted to go to seminary and did, finished it, and got my degree.
But I said to her one day, I said, “I got all these books from high school and college that I’ve dragged along, why don’t I take ’em down to Barnes & Noble and sell ’em.” “Oh, that’s a good idea.” So I filled a huge carton full of these second-hand books, lugged it over to Barnes & Noble, brought it up to the counter and said, “I’d like to sell these second-hand books.” Well, the man looked at ’em, he picked out one, he said, “We’ll keep that.” He threw away 15, said, “We don’t want them.” I said, “Why don’t you want them?” He said, “They’re out of date. We don’t believe that anymore.” Only the Word of God stays true. Ye shall know the truth. Good idea, wouldn’t you say?
Dear Father, help us to keep on obeying Thy Word, so that we can really be Christ’s disciples. I ask in His name, Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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