The Right Way
Don't look for the easy way, look for the right way.
Alright, thank you very much. And hello again, radio friends. How in the world are you? [chuckle] This is your friend, Dr. Cook. I’m glad to be back with you; I have a mental picture of a lot of the different ones of you that I’m acquainted with. I suppose there’s thousands of others that we’ll only meet when we get to glory. But it’s wonderful just to sit here and visualize sitting with you either across the table, or in the front seat of your car, or wherever you may be, and just talking with you about the Word of God. You get enough people yelling at you in life; I try to talk in friendly fashion. I pray every day that God may put His love in my voice and His blessing and His truth and His power. And to talk with you on that basis concerning the Word of God, and try to put a handle on it, so that you can get hold of it for yourself. That’s my purpose in these broadcasts day after day.
Well, we’re looking at Mark chapter 14, and we’ve come to the somber, saddening record that Judas went to the chief priests and said, “I’ll arrange to reveal Jesus to you in a setting where there isn’t any chance of crowd uproar.” That’s what they were looking for. “They sought how they might take Him by craft, but not on the feast day lest there be an uproar of the people.” See, they wanted to avoid any kind of a scene, but they did want to take Him prisoner and put Him to death. Religion is quite capable of murder. If all you have is religion, my friend, you’re quite capable of doing some very serious things, because you have your old sinful human nature that is controlling you. What you need is a meeting with the Lord Jesus Christ, so that you have more than religion, you have faith, and power, and eternal life. Jesus said, “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God.”
Religion by itself is quite capable of murder, and so they were planning that, and Judas now is part of that nefarious, devilish plan. “He went unto the chief priests to betray Jesus unto them. And when they heard it, they were glad and promised to give him money. And he sought how he might conveniently betray Him.” He sought how he might conveniently betray Him; he sought, he looked for a chance. Your main interest is going to determine what you look for. Well, my father-in-law, Harold Nilsen, lived… He’s been gone now a good many years. I think he died in 1942, that’s a long time, isn’t it? But I had some wonderful times with him in those years, just after Coreen and I were married and we’d come on home for a vacation with the folks.
Now, he was an awning maker and repairman. He had a little red Chevrolet pickup truck that had been fixed up with a set of shelves on either side of the truck body, and doors on the shelves to hold his tools and materials. And he would drive that little red truck around, and I would go with him sometimes. And driving down the street I would be more or less daydreaming, not really thinking about anything, because after all I was on vacation, and I was just having a good time. Suddenly he would put on the brake and he would say, “That man over there needs an awning.” He never said ‘awning,’ he said ‘orning.’ [chuckle] “That man over there needs an orning.” And he would hop out of the truck, his order book and sample book in his hands and go across the street. And I’d sit there waiting, by-and-by he’d come out, smiling broadly, and he’d say, “I sold him an orning.” [chuckle] He was happy. Now, I wasn’t looking; I was just riding. He was looking because he was interested in his particular line of business. You look for that which lines up with your main interest. You look for that which lines up with your main desire. Judas sought how he might conveniently betray Him; he was looking for an opportunity.
Now, the obverse side of that, obviously, is that a person filled with the Spirit of God is looking for opportunities to do the will of God. “I delight to do thy will, O my God; yea, thy law is within my heart.” Jesus our Lord said, “Nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.” Paul said, “According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death.” He said, “I say the truth in Christ, I lie not…” He said, “My earnest desire is that my kinsmen after the flesh, might be saved.” It’s over in Romans, I’ll turn to it so I can quote it right. Paul said, “I have continual heaviness and sorrow in my heart. My heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they might be saved.” See, the main interest is that which determines your main attention.
Now, then, let me ask you, beloved, what is it that is your main interest in life? And let’s not try to kid each other. The standard answer, of course, would be, “Oh, Brother Cook, my desire is to do the Will of God.” Okay, but now, what really consumes your thoughts? What really takes precedence in the programming of your thought life and of your desires, day after day? That, my friend, is the essence of the real you, that is the essence of your spiritual life. For Judas, it was money. For somebody else, it may well be something else. And for you, I don’t know what it is, because I don’t know you all that well, but God knows you and you know you. And so I think it helps us just to back off now and then and say, “What is it that I think about when I don’t have to think about anything else?” I use that as an index to measure my own thought life.
What do I think about when I don’t have to think about anything? When my mind is just running, as my father used to say, “Loose pulley,” that’s an expression from a machine shop, as you mechanics know. Your mind is just running on and you don’t have to monitor it, you don’t have to think about anything, there’s no deadline to meet. Then, what do you think about? I often say to an audience, especially of men, monitor your day dreams, what is it you day dream about? What is it you fantasize and think about when you don’t really have to think about anything? That, beloved, is what drives your life; it’s that simple.
So we learn from Judas. He looked for an opportunity to do wrong; you and I can look for an opportunity to do right. As Paul the apostle says, “Be circumspectly, walk, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time,” and that means buying up the opportunity, that’s what that means, because the days are evil. Look for an opportunity to do God’s will. Look for an opportunity to obey God. Look for an opportunity to share the Lord Jesus Christ, your Savior, with somebody. You’ll be amazed and delighted at how God works with you on that. Every day pray, say, “Lord, you know whom I’m gonna meet today? You know what we’ll say to each other? You know what the circumstances will be? I just pray that you’ll put me with people to whom I can be a blessing, and people with whom I can share you, blessed Savior.” You pray that prayer at the beginning of the day, I can guarantee you that there’ll be folk all day long whom you’ll meet that will be ready and eager to hear a word concerning your Savior. God will put you with people who are ready for you to share Christ with them. He gives you the opportunities to share Him.
Look for opportunities to serve God. Look for opportunities to share Christ with people. Look for opportunities to pray with meaning and with power concerning burdens that need to be lifted, battles that need to be won. Judas looked for an opportunity to sin, do wrong; wrecked his life thereby. Let’s you and I look for an opportunity to serve our God. “He sought how he might conveniently betray Him.” That is to say, without any fuss, without any inconvenience. Small thought here before we leave this. The effort to do things the easy way is almost always wrong. Now, I’m all for efficiency. I’ve been accused of being too much interested in that through the years. And there is a smart way to do any necessary job. I used to have a sign on my desk, “Work smarter not harder.” There’s a smart, wise, efficient way to do any necessary form of work. But if you’re looking for the easy way, like the young man who always used to say, “I’ll do the baseboard, fellas,” when we were painting a room in my student days, and he would say, “I’ll do the baseboard,” and he would lie down on the floor and prop his head up on one hand and then proceed very slowly to paint the baseboard.
Looking for the easy way to do anything is almost always wrong. Now, that’s not to say that if something is hard, it’s right. I recall saying in Germany to somebody who was working, I said, “Aren’t you doing that the hard way?” He looked up at me and he said in German, “If it isn’t hard, it isn’t right.” Well, that’s scarcely true, at least not always. To do a thing right may involve difficulty, you understand me? To do a thing right may involve difficulty. And if you do a thing efficiently, it may make it a little easier to perform, but if your main motivation is to get by with no work, you’re probably going at it the wrong way. You follow me in that? Don’t look for convenience, look for right; what’s the right thing to do? What’s the right way to do it? What’s the right result that will accrue from this? Don’t look for the easy way, look for the right way.
You teenagers, you small fry in grade school and junior high and high school, and young people in college, you need to hear this. It’s not just to get by, not just to keep your grades above C level, not just to do it the easiest way with a smattering of study so that you can fake your way through the class. That isn’t it. You could get by today perhaps with that, but 20 years from now you’ll say to yourself regretfully, “Ooh, I wish I had studied that subject, so that I would have mastered it.” See the difference? The easy way, the convenient way, is almost always the wrong way. Always look for the right way.
Dear Father today, help us to do the right thing, God’s will, not the easy thing, but God’s will. I ask 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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