The Real You

When what you look like becomes the essence of your religious commitment, then my friend, you are a phony

Scripture: Mark 12:39, John 1:12, Matthew 1:21


And hello radio friends, how in the world are you? You doing alright today? Well I know some of you struck a rough day, that’s the way life is. Not all our days are coming up roses unfortunately. So if you struck a rough day, look up and say Lord Jesus, I don’t like it but see me through this one for your glory. You trust Him to see you through and He will. When thou passest through the waters they shall not overflow thee. Fear thou not for I am with thee. Be not dismayed for I am thy God. I will strengthen thee. I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. God says I am going to hang on to you and with that knowledge you can tackle anything. Hallelujah.

Well let’s look at the 12th chapter of Mark. We’re going through the book of Mark verse by verse. We’ve just finished chatting with this scribe who asked about the first and great commandment and concerning whom our Lord Jesus said thou art not far from the Kingdom of God. He asked them a question then, in response. He answered and said while He taught in the Temple. “How say the scribes that Christ is the son of David?” He then pointed out that in one of the Psalms David himself spoke of the Messiah as his Lord. David himself, Jesus said, “David himself said by the Holy Ghost, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool. David therefore himself calleth him Lord; and whence is he then his son? And the common people heard Him gladly.”

You see, every now and again you find our Lord Jesus pointing inerrantly, unwaveringly to the fact that He was and is God in the flesh. Anyone who says that the Lord Jesus Christ is not God in the flesh is missing deliberately the truth of the words that He spoke again and again and again. “Why callest thou me good? There is none good but the one that is God”. “Art thou, he said the Son of God? Thou has said”. “The voice from Heaven, this is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him.” All these different things.

Now here you have it again. He’s pointing for those that have ears to hear it, He’s pointing at the fact of His deity, isn’t He? Well it says here as kind of an afterthought, the common people heard Him gladly. Now why is that? There is something about the human mind that the more educated you are, the more difficult it is for you to accept simple concepts. I asked one of my friends one day, I said how is it that every time any decision is raised, you have a different idea? Oh he said, I have an active mind and I’ve been educated to think about every side of things. Well now that’s true ha haha I think you ought to look at every side of things but at the same time, there is a simplicity about the faith that God demands which you ought never never never to lose.
“Jesus said, except you become as little children, ye can in noways enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.” The simple uncomplicated surrender of one’s self to God just as a little child reaches up his arms to be picked up. Do you know about that my friend? I think I am talking to somebody who has been highly educated and you are so trained that you just find it almost impossible to grasp the truth of something like this. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved. You tend to make it complicated. As a matter of fact, it is as simple as saying yes. It is as simple as saying please come in. John 1:12 said, “as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the Sons of God even to them that believe on His name.”

Two things that you and I are supposed to do as pointed out in that verse. What are they? One, receive a person. Two, trust Him to do what his name means. If you believe on a person’s name, you trust him to do what his name means. Isn’t that true? My name is Mr. Cook. If you trust me to do what my name means, what would you allow me to do? You would trust me to do the cooking wouldn’t you. And we have other names that denote our occupations; there is Mr. Carpenter and Mr. Banker and Mr. Baker and Mr. Shoemaker and so on. Even today we have names that denote occupations, do we not? Now His name is Jesus. Do you know what that name means? Matthew 1:21 says, “ she shall call His name Jesus, for He shall save His people from their sins.” His name means Savior so if you trust Him to do what His name means; you’ll trust Him to save you from your sins and to make you a child of God.

Simple commitment to Christ is what God asks of you and of me. Not the complicated wanderings of a mind that wants to go here and there seeking some special kind of an experience. No no, the simple childlike faith that says Jesus I receive you, Jesus I trust you to save me from my sins. That’s what He wants of you and when you come in that spirit and with that open heartedness, I can guarantee you; you too will know the joy of sins forgiven and the Holy Spirit of God entering in to dwell in your life and make Christ real to you. Somebody needed that and that’s why I said it.

The common people heard Him gladly. Why? Because a real experience with God, while it does not preclude a lot of learning and a lot of training, get all the education you can I tell people, get all the education you can. You’re going to need it but preserve at all costs that simple uncomplicated faith that welcomes the Lord Jesus into your life.
Now He said in verse 38 of Mark chapter 12, “He said unto them in His doctrine, Beware of the scribes, which love to go in long clothing, and love salutations in the market places, and love the chief seats in the synagogues, and the uppermost rooms at feasts; Which devour widows’ houses,” (they love money), “and for a pretence make long prayers.” They love recognition. He said these shall receive greater condemnation.

That’s quite a mouthful, isn’t it. It hurts because it comes pretty close to where some of us live. You want to look at it? Do you dare to look at it with me? Alright, come on. He said “Beware of the scribes which love to go in long clothing.” Now what is that? The clothing that they wore in those days denoted something of their religious commitment. If you had on a long robe of some sort with the proper number of tassels on the prayer shawl and all that, then you were considered quite religious. Now is there anything wrong with a special kind of garb that you wear in religious services? No, not at all. When I attend a college or university function I wear a robe and I have an academic hood that I put on and I have an academic hat that I put on and that is as it should be. From time to time when I have occupied people’s pulpits they have said we wear a robe in the pulpit so they would give me a robe to wear and I would come out and be properly robed as I preached in that pulpit and that’s alright.

Members of religious orders have their particular kind of clothing and I don’t find anything in the Scripture that says that’s wrong. And then there are great segments of society who hold to the view that certain kinds of clothing that you wear are to be for instance plain. We have in different sections of the country what we call the “Plain People” and they don’t even believe in wearing a necktie or any kind of ornamentation and they take their belief from Scriptures that said whose adorning let it be not of putting on apparel and wearing gold and so on but the inner man of the heart. Alright, is there anything wrong with that? No. Don’t you pick on someone because he looks different from you. Man looketh on the outward appearance but God looketh on the heart. So make room in your thinking for people who look different and who like to look different because of their particular religious persuasion. Nothing in the Bible that says that’s wrong.

Well you say Brother Cook, what are you getting at? What’s wrong about it is when you love it, when that becomes what the Germans call the ding an sich, the thing in itself. When what you look like becomes the essence of your religious commitment, then my friend, you are a phony and God rejects you and people ultimately will reject you also. That’s pretty tough, isn’t it?

But that’s what He is saying, they love to go in long clothing. Why? Because the way I look has now become the reality of my religious commitment. Oh beloved, you can wear what you please but make sure that your heart is right with God. Then He says they love salutations in the market place and chief seats in the synagogues and the upper most rooms at feasts, public recognition. Public recognition.

Many years ago I lost a prominent church member who withdrew from the little church I was serving as a college student because I failed to recognize something that he had done. He left, well I missed his giving. He used to give ten dollars a week I remember and he always gave it in the Sunday school birthday offering, that was his thing. Haha! They had a birthday offering in those days and you would come up and drop in as many pennies as you were old and all the little kids would come up and drop in their pennies and their nickels and what not and then he would march up and put in a ten dollar bill every Sunday. That was his thing. Well I was glad for the ten dollars in the till because it helped to keep the Sunday school going but I missed it you know, because he left and his weekly ten dollars left with him. Pity, ha ha.

You know why? I didn’t recognize him on a certain occasion when he had worked hard to do something. Young people make their mistakes and I made it. I omitted recognizing him and he left. Well I was at fault wasn’t I? Of course I was. You ought to say thank you. If somebody arranged the flowers, thank them. If somebody provided the program, thank them. If somebody made the chop suey, thank them. Yes of course be thankful, that’s part of the way God works and I was at fault but the point is, if being recognized determines your spiritual life, you’re a phony. Oh above all, keep your heart open and warm to God. That’s what really counts. We’ll get at the rest of this verse the next time we get together ok?

Dear Father today, oh make us real. May we not love the way we look and the way people recognize us but may we love Thee instead. In Jesus name, Amen.

Until I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!

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