The Net Results
God is glorified when you and I reach out and take somebody else into our hearts just as Jesus reached out for us.
Alright, thank you very much and hello again, dear radio friend. How in the world are you? Are you doing all right? Bless your heart. Well, I know some of you have some rough days to go through. I had a letter not long ago from someone who had just lost her husband and life has fallen apart because of the great big gaping hole in everyday’s existence that was created by the snatching away of one whom she loved so dearly. Someone else is out of work and someone else has a prodigal son or a wayward daughter and someone else has situations that are of a different kind that just break the heart.
I know. Well, life is that way. God never told us we’d have all roses but He said He’d go with us through it. He said “I will never leave thee nor forsake thee.” My precious friend, look up whatever your situation may be just now, look up and trust your blessed Lord. I find such great comfort to just in looking up sometimes and saying “Lord, I’m yours. I’m your boy. You control my life now.” Give yourself to God many times each day in commitment of faith. Real faith is risking any given situation on God.
Real Biblical faith is risking the situation on God. The essence of faith at Jericho was to walk around the town once each day for 6 days and then the 7th day, walk around it 7 times, not fighting, not doing anything just obeying God. That was the essence of faith. They were risking the situation on God. He took care of it, didn’t He? The essence of faith on the part of the man who had been born blind was found in his willingness to trudge across town to the Pool of Siloam and wash off that homemade clay that had been placed on his eyelids.
Jesus anointed his blind eyes with the homemade clay made of saliva and dust and said, “Go wash it off in the Pool of Siloam.” Our Savior could have healed that person with a word, with a thought, you know that. But he gave the man something to do and the essence of faith, the real heart and backbone of faith was the fact that he walked and went to the Pool of Siloam and did wash off the clay and then was healed. And so God gives us always the chance to look up and risk the situation on Him as well.
Whenever you pray about any situation, God will whisper to your heart something to do. Always look for the dynamic after the devotional. There’s something to put down in a notebook of your mind. Always look for the dynamic after the devotional. In other words, after you’ve bowed in prayer, then look for God’s guidance as to what you do next. God will never leave you in helplessness and hopelessness just to flounder in the quagmire of doubt and despair. Always and always, when you commit a situation to God, the faithful Spirit of God will whisper to your heart one step of obedience that you can take.
And having taken that, it defuses the worry and the fret and the care because you’re busy obeying God. So after you’ve prayed about a matter, always look for the dynamic next step, okay? Well, 3 and a half minutes talking with you about something that’s very important but which is not really related to the text that we’re studying which is Romans 15. He says “May the God of patience and comfort grant you to be likeminded one toward another”, the basis for receiving another person is Jesus Christ as Lord and the same mindset toward Him.
That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Wherefore,” said he, “receive ye one another as Christ also received us to the glory of God.” Now, the same verb is used there twice – receive and Christ received – same Greek verb “proslambano,” “reach out and take in.” And so you have here the divine pattern for your attitude toward and your interaction with other people who may at times differ with you. He says God will reveal himself to you in the Scriptures, verse 4, “that we through patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.
Now the God of patience and comfort, see, you get to know your blessed Lord in the Word, “Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.” Don’t expect to know God simply by listening to sermons and going through religious devotional exercises. You get to know the Lord through His Word — that’s the importance, that highlights the importance of your devotional time with God in the Word every day.
You ought to get something fresh from the Bible for yourself every day. That’s how you get to know God, the God of patience and comfort, so verse 4, the Scriptures; verse 5, the God of the Scriptures. Then, as a result, a change, a modification in my attitude toward the God of the Scriptures, “likeminded according to Christ Jesus.” As I read and apply the Word of God to my own life, Christ becomes Lord of the various areas of my life and I find myself changed in that regard.
Paul says in 2 Corinthians 3, “We all, with open face beholding as in a glass,” that’s a figurative reference to the Bible, the Scriptures. The Scriptures are the mirror; “We all, with open face beholding as in a glass,” a mirror, “the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord,” okay. So first, it’s the Scriptures, “get into the Scriptures; second, God reveals himself to you through the Scriptures and makes a difference in your attitude so that the Lordship of Christ modifies your mindset. You think other things are important as a result.
It’s amazing how some things that we thought were important turn out not to be, isn’t that true? Howard Unser was a dear friend of mine. He’s now with the Lord a good many years, but he worked with me and reported to me in the corporate pecking order when I was Vice President of Scripture Press years ago. A fine advertising man he was and a precious friend in the Lord and a perfect gentleman, a real example of what a Born-Again Christian ought to be. I just thought he was great.
And I hated to leave his fellowship when I came out here 20 years ago but we kept in touch. I must say that having visited his father some years before as his father lay dying of cancer, the thought had crossed my mind, “Well, those things sometimes that, at least the tendency to them, sometimes run in families. I wonder how it’s going to be with Howard as the years go by. Sure enough he began to sense some pain and discomfort, went to the doctor, and was diagnosed as having the same type of cancer that had struck his father years before.
Well, the news came to me and I hurried to call him up and when the call went through, I said, “Howard, how are you doing?” “Oh,” he said, “I’m feeling pretty well.” “Well,” I said, “I just heard that you got some problems in your body and I just wanted to tell you I’m praying for you, buddy.” And he sort of chuckled and he said, “Well, he said, “Bob, I’ll tell you.” He said, “Five minutes after the doctor told me that I had terminal cancer,” he said, “all the things that seemed so important before now didn’t seem important at all.”
Well, you can understand that, can’t you? Yes, he went on, lived for quite some time triumphantly serving his Lord and slipped on into the glory with a real testimony of faith in our Savior. And that’s the way God does things. He takes us through these experiences, doesn’t He? But what struck me was my dear friend saying, “Five minutes after I heard the news, a lot of the things that were important before now weren’t important at all. As a matter of fact,” he said, “I didn’t have any troubles in the world. All the things I thought were troubles seemed to have lost their importance.”
Yeah. This I think is what we’re talking about. Everything depends upon the focus of your mind. You see, if I focus upon the fact that I am disagreeing with somebody, I’m going to be disagreeable. But if both you and I are focusing upon the fact that we love the Lord Jesus with all our hearts and we want to glorify Him, then our question is not going to be “How can I win this argument?” Our question’s going to be “What’s going to glorify our Lord the most?” And we’ll get down, we’ll pray and we’ll seek God’ face and He will reveal to us, in answer to prayer, what He wants us to do next.
Remember what I told you earlier in this broadcast, always look for the dynamic after the devotional. Always look for the step of obedience after you have stopped to pray. And so he says, “That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God. Wherefore,” said he, “receive ye one another, as Christ also received us for the glory of God.” He said the same process that was involved in the Savior reaching out and taking you in so that God the Father might be glorified is the process you now use in reaching out and taking another person into your heart that God the Father might be glorified.
In some way that you and I cannot explain, our heavenly Father receives glory when you and I open our hearts to each other because of Jesus. I surmise that this is so because the net result of sin is hatred. Paul says in Titus, he said, “We ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, slaves to different desires and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hate filled, and hating one another. But after the kindness and love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy He saved us.”
The essence, the net result of sin is hatefulness. And so when God has a victory, so to speak, in somebody’s heart, and as a result you and I open our hearts to each other so that we can glorify God, he receives the glory because another victory has been won over sin and Satan. Beloved, look at your interpersonal relationships from that point of view today, would you? Some of you work in offices where the situation sometimes is just impossible and you’re pushed around and harassed and the jungle politics of the office gets to you every now and again, look at your situation with the point of view of glorifying God.
You’d be surprised at the difference it will make. Some of you have impossible family situations. An unsaved husband or wife or prodigal children or you’re living with your in-laws and the weather gets a little stormy now and again, look at that impossible situation not from the point of view of “How am I going to get through this,” but from the point of view of “How can I glorify my Lord?” To glorify God is the objective. And God is glorified when you and I reach out and take somebody else into our hearts just as Jesus reached out for us. Well, it’s a great truth, isn’t it?
Dear Father today, keep us in Your will and help us to glorify thee, in Jesus’ 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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