The reason many a person has no testimony to speak of is that there isn’t any deep commitment and conviction down deep in his or her heart.
Thank you very much, and hello again dear radio friends. How in the world are you? Well, that little question establishes the fact that this is indeed your friend Dr. Cook, and I’m delighted to be back with you to explore together the precious truths in God’s inerrant, infallible word the Bible. You and I have been looking at Psalm 116, the reasons why we love God and the reactions that we ought to have, to that love, and our experience of it.
The last time we got together we just began to speak about this matter of our testimony as a reaction to God’s love. Verse nine in Psalm 116 says, “I’ll walk before the Lord in the land of the living”, that means I’ll live every minute with the knowledge that God has His eye on me. Divine surveillance is a fact of life. Verse 10 then continues, “I believe therefore have I spoken”. This verse is quoted by the apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 4, where he points out that the divine life of the Lord Jesus Christ is the overriding factor in the believers’ experience, so he says, “We have this treasure in earthen vessels. We’re troubled on every side yet not distressed.” It is possible to be to be in the midst of trouble and yet not be shaken up by it. Trouble is what comes to you, distress is what you feel as a result of it, and he says, “We are perplexed but not in despair”, perplexity is the experience of not knowing which step to take next, despair is the human nature reaction to perplexity which says, I don’t know what to do so I’m just going to give up or blow up. You don’t have to do it that way because Jesus lives within you; persecuted but not forsaken, and the fact of animosity toward you from other people because you belong to Jesus is indeed a fact of life and it happens to us all in various situations and with various degrees of intensity. In some places indeed, people are asked to give up their lives because they belong to Jesus Christ. In our culture, nobody’s going to shoot you at sunrise for being a Christian, but you may very well be snubbed, or passed over for a promotion, or lied about, or whatever because you know the Lord Jesus Christ. Persecuted, but what? Not forsaken! Paul said at my first hearing, “No man stood with me but the Lord stood with me and strengthened me, for He hath said we read in another place I will never leave thee nor forsake thee”. God’s faithfulness is always a fact. “Great is thy faithfulness”, said Jeremiah. Perplexed, but not in despair, persecuted but not for forsaken, cast down but not destroyed and as I said to the last time we got together I like to read that, “knocked down but never knocked out”. Oh, God enables you to pick yourself up and dust yourself off and start again.
By the grace of God, you may today, I may today be speaking with someone who’s had some rough experiences. You’ve been battered and bruised and cast down so to speak, and the only way you can look is up. Well, do look up and say Lord, “Start me again”. There’s always a fresh start with God if you trust Him. You may say, well I’ve blown it, there’s no more hope for me. Oh yes, there is. As long as you’re alive and as long as God is alive, the two of you can get together and blessing can result. Knocked down but never knocked out. Then he says, “Always bearing about in our body the dying of the Lord Jesus that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body”, what does he mean by that? The fact of Christ’s death identifies you as a sinner whose penalty has been paid. You and I are identified with the Lord Jesus who died on the cross. God commendeth His love toward us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us. “God has made Him to be sin for us, He who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him”, Paul says in 2 Corinthians. So, when he says bearing about the dying of the Lord Jesus, what he means to say, I believe is, we never forget that we died with Christ on the cross. Paul said in Galatians 2, “I am crucified with Christ”, that’s what he means. We are identified with this crucified Christ. Why? Because when He died on the cross He was paying our penalty for sin, all of it; all of the sins you ever have or ever will commit were paid for when the Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, suffered infinitely for infinite sin. Okay, now why? He says that the life also of Jesus, he didn’t stay dead, He rose from the grave the third day, He’s alive today. There’s a man in the glory. We have, there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus says Paul to Timothy, and John says, “We have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ, the righteous and the writer to the Hebrews says, “He ever liveth to make intersession for them that come unto God by Him”. He’s alive today and his life is mediated to you, and implemented through you, by the blessed indwelling Holy Spirit of God. Bearing about the dying of the Lord Jesus at the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. “Delivered to death for Jesus’ sake”, verse 11, “that the life of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh”, so verse 13 of 2 Corinthians 4, you come to that now he said, “We, having the same spirit of faith, according it is written I believed and therefore have I spoken”, that’s a quote from Psalm 116, you know, “we also believe and therefore speak”. What’s he saying? The reality of the crucified Christ and the risen Christ living within us, and the faith we have in this Almighty Savior makes what we have to say mean something. We also believe and therefore speak.
Now, let me ask you this simple and yet rather probing question, how much impact is there in what you have to say to other people? If it would be possible to rehearse, let us say, one million years from now, in that other brighter world, if it would be possible to rehearse your words on a given day, today for instance, how many of them could be said to have an impact for God? Well immediately someone’s going to say, you know Brother Cook, I have to, I’m in business I can’t go around preaching sermons to people. I know that. You find somebody who’s always pious, you have to watch him, he’s apt to lie about other things too. I have never been cheated by a good, straightforward, ordinary, vegetable garden variety, Christians but, I have been cheated by people who were so pious that you believe them while they were lying to you. Did that ever happen to you? No, you are not required beloved, to go around preaching sermons all the time. If you’re a vice president in charge of sales, you have to tend the sales. I had that post at Scripter Press for five years, and my good boss Vic Corey would sometimes look at me over the top of his spectacles and say, “Bob there’s nothing wrong with this business that more sales wouldn’t help, now get going.” Oh, he didn’t mince words. So, I know you have to work, I know that you can’t be officially religious all the time. Well then Brother Cook, you say, what are you driving at? I’m simply saying this when your life is completely yielded to Jesus even the ordinary things that you say have a connotation that unbelievers cannot fail to identify. Your conduct of business is in itself a testimony. The way you deal with people, the way you answer your mail, the way you confront problems, the way you deal with complaints, the way you face up to the finagling that goes on around you in the office jungle, all of what you say and do all the time is a testimony to whether or not Jesus is real in your life, and if He is real, there will be an impact made upon other people no matter whether your vocabulary is religious or not. Isn’t that a tremendous truth? I’ll tell you, when I start to think about that it shakes me up because, like all the rest of us, I tend to forget sometimes, that ordinary everyday living has its part in one’s ministry probably, equally important or sometimes more importantly, then the times when we are officially religious or when we’re preaching, if like me you’re a preacher. Oh, let’s be sure that Jesus Christ is Lord of our lives and that His resurrection life is being relived through us, every moment of every day so that what we say has an impact. I believed, therefore have I spoken. Small thought here, the reason many a person has no testimony to speak of, is that there isn’t any deep commitment and conviction down deep in his or her heart. I believe, therefore, have I spoken.
Do you know that we inevitably talk about the things that have our interest, most keenly? I remember a boy who never would say hello to me. He just wouldn’t, he wouldn’t talk to me, wouldn’t give me the time of day. This would have been back in the early ‘60s, when it was fashionable to be surly, you know and don’t trust anybody over 30, and I was well over 30, I was 50 when I started. But this boy wouldn’t say hello to me. One day, I noticed that he was working on a 450 Honda, it’d seen some miles, but he had just acquired it and was proud as punch about it, so I came over and said “Hey, you’ve got a 450. It’s new to you, isn’t it?” He said, “Yeah I just got it”. That’s the first words he ever spoke to me, “yeah I just got it”, well I proceeded to spin off what I knew, I’m a nut about things mechanical, and I knew little something about that model, and so I proceeded to talk to him about I said now that’s got good valves there, sodium filled so they don’t overheat and that is only one thing about it vibrates it at about 50 to 52 miles an hour. You ride for one hour and vibrate for 24, and I laughed and he laughed with me, and we were friends from then on because he had started to talk with somebody about that which he was really interested in. I believe therefore, have I spoken. So, let me ask you beloved, fasten your seatbelt now, this may shake you little, are you interested enough in Jesus, your Blessed Lord, to speak enthusiastically about Him without a pious tremor in your voice, without getting preachy, are you interested enough so that word about Him will spill out of your life just like talking about a Honda 450’s spilled out of that boy’s mouth when he got talking about something he was interested in. How deeply interested are you in Jesus? That’s the question to think about as the day or the evening goes by. I believed therefore, have I spoken.
Now the way to get excited about the Lord Jesus is to start in the word. Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. So as you read God’s Word, pray over it say, “Lord reveal yourself to me. I want my heart to be filled with love and devotion to the Lord Jesus Christ. Reveal yourself to me in your work”. He will, I promise you. That’s where to start.
Dear Father today, make us so taken up with the Lord Jesus, that we will speak enthusiastically about our wonderful Lord, in His name 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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