What is it that occupies your leisure thoughts? What is it that occupies your real concern?
Alright, thank you very much, and hello again, radio friends. How in the world are you? Yes, that little corny greeting reminds us that we can be in the world but not of it. You don’t have to be tarred with the world’s brush. You don’t have to be smeared with the things that soil the rest of the people in the world. You can be kept by the power of God through faith. And so we’re in the world but not of it and I trust that things are going well at your house, beloved. Oh, I pray every day before I start these broadcasts that the wisdom and love and blessing and power of God may somehow come through my voice.
And if it does now and then, well then, that’s an answer to prayer. If you ever think of us, you pray, would you, that God would do that in these broadcasts that the people might really be ministered to through the Word of God. That’s why we’re on the air. We want to put a handle on God’s Word so people can get hold of it for themselves. Come with me please to Romans 15 verse 29, about halfway through, I guess, that verse. The last time we got together, we remarked there are some things you can be sure of.
You can be sure of the inerrancy of the Word of God. You can be sure of the fact that God answers prayer. You can be sure that God has a plan for your life. You can be sure that God will use you if you will let Him fill you with His Holy Spirit so that all your words and actions are under His control. You can be sure that Jesus is the victor and because He is, He is going to make a winner out of you, and you can be sure that when all the dust has settled on the battlefields of life you will still be a winner because Christ Jesus has made you the victor where they overcame Satan by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony. You can be sure of all these things.
Now Paul said, “I’m sure that when I come to you, I’ll come in the fullness of the blessing of the gospel of Christ.” The last time we got together, we were sort of walking around in the idea of being a blessing. God is the one who does the blessing and so if you want to be a blessing, you have to be full of God–it’s that simple. And the way to be full of God is to open every room in your heart house to the blessed Holy Spirit. I got this concept from Dr. O. J. Smith of Toronto many years ago as he was speaking to a group of our young leaders in Youth for Christ.
And he used the illustration of the rooms in a house. And he said, “If by faith, you will open every room in your heart house to the Holy Spirit of God, then you will be able to pray in faith, “I thank thee that thou hast filled me with Thy Holy Spirit.” And then to help us understand further, he said, and I’ve shared this with you once or twice before but I’ll do it again now for somebody who may need it today. He shared with us the idea that if you’ll take some 3 x 5 cards and cut them in two or just take the 3 x 5 card by itself, it doesn’t make any difference depending on what’s convenient for you”.
“And write down on a separate card all of the different items and areas in your life – money, car, loved ones, clothes, job, education, your past, your talents, your failures, the places in your life where you’re guilty, where you feel guilty, your hopes, your ambitions, your friends, your sweetheart if you’re dating somebody, your wife or husband and children if you’re married and have a family but a separate card for each entity, okay?” “Then,” said he, “Take each of these cards one at a time, hold the card out before you and as you pray, say, ‘Lord, just as I trusted Jesus to save me by faith, so now I trust the blessed Holy Spirit to fill this area of my life with Himself. And I do this by faith. And I ask in Jesus’ name that it be so and I thank you for it.’”
And you take then by faith the fullness of the Holy Spirit of God in every one of the areas of your life, let Him in. And when you have finished that list and every last card has been laid before the presence of God, and every last area of your life has been opened by faith to the Spirit of God, then you can look up and say, ‘God, I thank Thee that thou hast filled me with Thy Holy Spirit.’ Then my friend, you’ll be a blessing. Why? Because God is in control of all of the different areas of your life.
You see, if we miss helping others, we do it in terms of everyday living, isn’t that true? It turns out that we don’t help other people near so much or hinder them as the contrary might be true. We don’t help or hinder people near so much in times when we are officially trying to represent God. As for example, I’m a preacher. When I’m preaching, I don’t end up helping people or hindering them near so effectively as perhaps I might in a day-to-day situation where I’m enabled to bring somebody into the presence of God.
We’ve been discussing something that has to do with a thorny issue, let us say, whether it be in management or finance or personal feelings or whatever it may be. And when the discussion draws to its close or even in the middle of it, if we seem to have struck a snag, sometimes involuntarily, without planning to do so, I’ll say, “Hey, let’s pray about this.” And sometimes, dear friend, I have to tell you, the Holy Spirit of God helps us get further when we pray than in all of the discussing that we did. Have you had that experience, too?
So if your life is full of the Spirit of God, He makes you a blessing in the ordinaries of life. You ought to be just as much of a blessing at the sink as you are at the sanctuary, in other words. “The fullness of the blessing of God,” it comes, I say, from the presence of the Holy Spirit. Now, another way that people are blessed has to do with the Word of God. “Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom;Â teachingÂ andÂ admonishingÂ one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord,” says Paul.
The blessing of God oftentimes comes through the Word of God. I can recall an occasion when I, after having travelled all day long, I was just bone-weary I couldn’t wait to get to bed. I was bunking, as it happened, with five other ministers. We were the guests of some folk out in Colorado and they put us in this huge room, plenty of room, we weren’t cramped, that’s for sure. Each of us had a space the equivalent to a full-sized bedroom to himself; we were in this huge room. And so I said a very brief prayer, I assure you, it sounded something like “Dear Lord, please take care of the world until daylight, Amen,” or something of that nature.
And I was between the sheets and preparing to sleep because I was so tired. And then I heard the voice of Hubert Mitchell, my good friend and co-worker at that time saying, “Fellows, L-W-H-W.” Now, I had been with him long enough to know what that meant. That means “The last word, His Word.” If you want to have a good night’s sleep, Hubert believed, you ought to be full of the Word of God before you drifted off to sleep. He said, “I just happen to have the book of Ephesians here on tape.”
And so he produced this old Dictaphone. This was in the days before the micro cassettes and all of that had been developed and he had his Scripture portions on these plastic belts that Dictaphone used to use, you remember them? And so he turned it on and then we heard this voice starting the book of Ephesians. And I recognized the first chapter and then, started into the second chapter, “And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience,” and on through the second chapter.
And then I recognized the beginning of the third chapter, “For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ, if ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me for you,” and so on. And then I recognized the beginning of the fourth chapter, “I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called.” And then I heard him say “Be followers of God as dear children,” I knew that the fifth chapter had arrived. And then pretty soon, the sixth chapter was there, “Children, obey your parents in the Lord,” and so on, “Put on the whole armor of God that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.”
And before I knew it, we’d had the whole book of Ephesians as a night cap just before falling asleep. Now, I want to tell you something. When I entered that huge room where the six of us were bunking, my one thought was “I’m going to say a quick prayer and get some sleep. I am weary.” But lying there in the quiet, listening to the voice of someone who is quoting Ephesians from that old Dictaphone, my heart was warmed, my mind was quickened and relaxed, my body began to relax, and I must say when I finally did drift off to sleep, it was one of the best night’s sleep I ever had.
I had been blessed by the Word of God. Now, of course, I’m not saying that you should take a tape recorder along with you and every time there’s a pause in a conversation, you turn the tape recorder on and have Ephesians or Philippians or Acts or Romans or something coming out of the machine. That isn’t my point. There are times when you have the right to choose the subject of conversation. There are times when you have the opportunity of sharing the Word of God. And when that happens, you and I need to be so full of God’s Word that it can spill over automatically.
“Out of the abundance of the heart,” that means what your heart is full of, “Out of the abundance of heart,” what your heart is full of comes out in the speech from your lips. You give a boy a new motorbike, and I can guarantee you that if you say “Good morning,” within 10 seconds, he’d be telling you about that new motorbike. A little later on, you’ll let him fall in love with the blond down the block and if you say “Good morning,” within a few seconds, he’d be telling you about his new love, isn’t it true?
Whatever the heart is full of, that’s what we say. And so, he says, “Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly.” Oh, the blessed spillover of the Word of God is what we’re after. “I shall come,” said he, “in the fullness of the blessing of the gospel of Christ.” Could you say, my dear friend, could you say that you’re life is full of God’s Word? “Well,” immediately, there’s the answer. “Listen, Brother Cook, we’ve got other things we’ve got to think about all day. I have to work for a living. I have to think about marketing these products and I have to think about watching fixed costs and I have to look for the bottom line to make sure we’re making a profit and I have to hire and I have to transfer and I sometimes I have to fire and layoff people and the maintenance of the plant is on me and all of that.”
Hey, I’m vaguely familiar with all of that. I know that you have these things to think about. So then what? I also know that back in the recesses of every person’s mind, there is that area that is called “the fullness area.” That is to say what’s really on your mind and on your heart? What are you really thinking about when you have a chance? What is it that occupies your leisure thoughts? What is it that occupies your real concern? These are the things that count. Oh, let the Word of God dwell in you so that you can spill over the blessing of God when you have opportunity.
Dear Father, today, make us people who spill over the blessings of God, 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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