The Total Package
Our gifts and talents have been given to us by God. Give God all your abilities and where you're weakest for God to use. How to meditate on God's word: think it over, memorize it.
Alright, thank you very much. And hello again radio friends. How in the world are you? Doin’ all right? Well I trust so, bless your heart. Nice to be back with you.
I want to finish up then our discussion about this matter ‘being an example’. What I did when we got to that passage in 1 Peter 5 where he said, “Not as being lords over God’s heritage, but as being examples to the flock,” remember that? Then we went over to 1 Timothy 4, where Paul said, “Be thou an example of the believers.” Then we walked however slowly through verse 12: “Be thou an example to the believers in what you say and the way you live, quality of Calvary love in your life, in the atmosphere that surrounds you — the spirit of you, in faith — your willingness to risk everything on God’s will in purity — a holy life.
And then the last time we got together, we talked about the attention-, the, the importance of keeping your mind growing, give attention to reading; the importance of sharpening your communicative skills; exhortation — that means ‘loving persuasion’; and the importance of deciding what it is you really believe, what it is you’d be willing to die for — and that’s doctrine. Now that’s as far as we got. And I want to continue, if I may, in that same passage just for a little while because it’s part of your example.
You’re to be an example. More things are caught, ‘c-a-u-g-h-t’ than taught, ‘t-a-u-g-h-t’. “Things taught as though we taught them not, and things remembered as things forgot.” — ‘Oh by the way,’ you know. I learnt that from Ben Weiss who’s now with the Lord several years. But he was my good friend through the years. I specially sought him out when I was starting out at the college. I said, “Ben you’re, you’re an, you’re an academe; you, you know all about academics. Give me some pointers.” “Well,” he said, “one thing is you’re going to have to learn to get your ideas across in time and a way so that other people can get ownership of them. You have to say, ‘Oh by the way, have you ever thought of this?’ and then let the person take the idea as his own.” Good counsel, I used it often and often.
So anyhow, he says, “Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by a prophecy, with the laying on of the hands and the presbytery.” You want be an example? Learn to develop and to use your God-given abilities. It is a fact that many, many a person has never really given solid, serious thought to answering the question, “What are my gifts?” I remember the night in a long meeting, all-night prayer meeting when Rudy Atwood who in those days was playing piano for Dr. Charles E. Fuller on their broadcast — I brought him to some meetings I had in Sioux City to see if we could swell the crowd a little.
And we, all I knew when I was up against difficulty was to pray. So we had an all-night prayer meeting of the staff and other people who gathered with us. Came Rudy’s time to pray, and he prayed earnestly. Finally got around to praying for me. And he prayed in something of the following manner. He said, “O Lord, bless Bob Cook. Here’s this man, got this great executive gift and he thinks he wants to preach! Bless him Lord.” (Laughs) Well I hadn’t really thought of myself as an executive, but that’s what he thought. (Laughs)
Well, have you ever asked yourself, “What really are the gifts that God has given me?” Now whatever you have, it’s not yours in a proprietary sense to hold and to brag about. He said, “The gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy and the laying on of hands, God’s Holy Spirit bestowed those gifts upon your life.” That’s what Paul is saying to Timothy. Anything that you have is not yours to own in the proprietary sense; it’s yours to… loaned to you to use. Don’t neglect it; use it for God.
Now, not everything in life can be religious — you know that. You can’t go to work in morning singing, “Holy, holy, holy,” at the top of your voice. If you do, the men in white coats will have you and you’ll be in the personnel office by 10:00 and in your own padded cell by 12:00. You don’t, you don’t find that everything in life is religious. And so some of the gifts that God has given us do not necessarily result in our being more religious — you understand me? But at the same time you can use everything you are, and all that you can do, for the glory of God. “Whatsoever you do, do it all,” says Paul, “to the glory of God, giving thanks to God and the Father through Jesus Christ.” — Colossians 3:17.
“And whatever you do, do it heartily as unto the Lord and not unto men; knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance; for ye serve the Lord Christ.” Now there’s the truth of it. You use the gift even though it may not be religious in nature; you use it to glorify your blessed Lord. “Neglect not the gift that is in…” Sit down, beloved, and ask yourself this question: “What really are my gifts that God has loaned to me? What are my gifts?” And, and do a little personal inventory; you’ll be surprised what results.
And then when you have that, go back on your knees to pray and say, “Lord, I want to give this all to You to control.” Can you sing?; Can you write?; Can you promote?; Can you preach?; Can you sell?; Can you manage; Can you construct things?; Are you good with your, your hands in terms of manual dexterity and skills?; Can you perform in some way or other? What are your gifts?
Hand them back in prayer to your blessed Lord. Say, “Lord, I just give this to you by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.” Now that’s what Paul I think means in Romans 12:1, “I beseech you that ye present your bodies, a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God which is your reasonable service. Take what you are; think about it; and then bring that whole basket of abilities — or lack of same — to your blessed Lord.
Small thought here: Have you ever thought of giving your deficiencies to Christ by faith? When the Lord saves you, He saves the whole person, does He not? Have you ever thought of giving your deficiencies to Christ by faith? Are there certain things in life where you routinely expect to fall short, or to fail? Are there certain activities where you say, “I just can’t do that?” You’d be surprised if you hand your deficiencies over to the Lord, what He will do with them. You think about that, will you?
You know where I got that idea? 2 Corinthians, “He said unto me, ‘My grace is sufficient for thee, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.’” “Most gladly,” says Paul, “will therefore, will I rather therefore glory in my infirmity,” — weakness, that is — “I’ll glory in my infirmity that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” See, the contrast is between human weakness and God’s power. And Paul says in Ephesians 3:20, “God is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think according to the power that worketh in us.”
The index of success is not what you bring to the business of living, but what God’s power can do with what you give Him. Loaves and fishes — 5 loaves and 2 small fishes said the Bible, were the stuff of which Almighty power made a banquet for more than 5000 people. The index of success — may I say it for you again — the index of success is not what you bring to the business of living, but what God can do with what you give Him.
“Yield yourselves unto God as those that are alive from the dead, and the members of your body as instruments of righteousness unto God,” that’s what Paul says in Romans 6. Are you getting hold of this? Do a personal inventory of your strengths, and then even also of your weaknesses. And then turn it all over to your blessed Lord, by faith. Colossians 2:6, “As you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in Him.” How did you get saved? By faith. How do you go on with your Lord in situations such as I have laid out for you in these moments? By faith.
You give yourself to Him. You give your, your talents, your gifts to Him. You give your deficiencies to Him by faith. And He takes you and makes something of you for His glory. Hallelujah! It’s a great thought, isn’t it? “Neglect not the gift that is in thee.” Now he says, “Meditate upon these things. Give thyself wholly to them. What you think about is what you become. Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.” You think about a thing long enough and you’ll do it. What you think about is what you become.
Now, he says, “Meditate on these things.” What things? The truth of God, the Gospel, the truths concerning the Christian life, the importance of being a good example, the Scriptures themselves give a tendency, he said, to reading, exhortation and doctrine. Meditate on the Scriptures.
Small thought here before we go on: How do you meditate, huh? Well, first of all you read the passage. Then you re-read it. Then you seek to memorize the heart of it — maybe a verse or two or three. Memorize. And always use the reference — I learnt that from the Navigators; there’s a wonderful group having their headquarters out there at Glen Eyrie, Colorado. Yeah, at Colorado Springs. Say the reference with the verse — they call it ‘fore’ and ‘aft’. John 1:12, “But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God even to them that believe on His name.” — John 1:12.
See, you say the reference before and afterwards, and that fastens it somehow or other, in your mind. So you read a passage; and then you seek to memorize it; and then, once having put it in your memory, you just, you just turn it over and think about it at that moment as well as on through the day. I’ve found it a very good practice to have some passage of Scripture to which I turned in the odd moments of the day when I didn’t have to think about anything.
You know, even busiest people have small bites of time where they’re not really required to do anything. It may be 30 seconds, it… or it may be a minute, or it may be 5 minutes, or whatever. You know, even when you’re making a phone call they put you on hold; you’re apt to sit there and do nothing for 10-15-20 seconds. Use the extra little bites of time to meditate on a Scripture that you have selected for that day. Meditate, think about it.
The Hebrew word ‘meditate’ they tell me, is related to our expression of ‘chewing the cud’. Now the cow meditates when she chews her cud. Chew it over. And think about it. “Meditate on these things,” he said. As a result, what you think about all the time is that to which you will entrust your entire destiny. “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Thee, because he trusteth in Thee.” What your mind is stayed upon is that which you end up trusting fully. That which you think about all the time becomes that on which you are willing to risk the whole bundle.
So he says, “Meditate on these things. Give thyself wholly to them.” As a result, people will see the difference. Deacon said to me one time years ago, he said, “Preacher, you’re preaching different. What happened?” Well I didn’t know until I began to think about the fact that I had just embarked a few weeks previous, on a system of Bible memorization and meditation. And it was showing up, believe it or not, in my preaching. Well, that’s good. Give yourself to the Word of God. Chew it over, think it over. It will show up in the way you live.
Dear heavenly Father today, may we think about Thy Word and Thy will and thus reflect Thy presence in our life. 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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