The Truth Will Show
The proof that God is running your life is not in what you do to be officially religious but it is rather what God does through your life manifesting His righteousness .
Alright, thank you very much. And hello again, dear radio friend. How in the world are you? Are you doing all right? Well, I trust so. I pray every day that those to whom I minister by way of radio may find some help and some lift for the burden, some direction for their footsteps, somehow feeling the presence of the dear Lord as we get together around his wonderful Word. Look with me then at Romans chapter 14. “The kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.”
“The fruit of the Spirit,” says Paul in Galatians 5:22, “is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance.” The second one in the list is joy. Now, joy is something more than happiness as you know so well. Happiness is dependent upon circumstances. There used to be a little chorus that they sang in Great Britain years ago. The words of which went “I’m happy when everything happens to please, but happiness comes and goes, while the heart that is stayed on Jesus the Savior ever with joy o’rflows. Happiness happens but joy abides in the heart that is stayed on Jesus.”
Joy is that ineffable sense of well-being that comes when you’re rightly related to God. And I can no more describe it to you that I can describe the taste of an orange. That’s the reason that the Psalmist says, “O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in Him.” Joy is the overflow of an ineffable, indescribable sense of rightness and well-being that is way beyond circumstances, way beyond circumstances. When Daws Trotman was snatched away from us back in the 50’s through a drowning accident, people from all over the world came to the memorial service that was held out there in Glen Erie, Colorado at the headquarters of the Navigators Ministry.
I was among them. I was assigned to cover the press as a matter of fact and spoke in that connection, then, with a number of newspaper reporters. Throughout the service, there was a note of triumph as you know if you’ve gone through these experiences with Jesus. Paul says, “We sorrow not as others who have no hope. For we believe that if Jesus died and rose again, them also them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him. The dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in clouds to meet the Lord in the air and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”
We’re going to meet again and resurrection is a fact because Jesus proved it. And He said, “I want you to be with Me.” And so there’s hope, isn’t there? Even though my tears are falling and I feel the cutting, the keen cutting edge of sorrow and bereavement, yet there’s hope. Oh, thank God there’s hope.
Well, that was the note that was being struck in this memorial service attended by so many people and with some of the press there. Mrs. Trotman herself, stately beautiful lady standing to greet people as they came, pleasant, gracious, and helping others all the time — a remarkable display of the sustaining grace of God. Only once as I watched her closely did I see a hint of what she was feeling humanly when they took the casket and wheeled it out of the big auditorium where the memorial service had been held. She turned and took one last look at that casket as they were wheeling it out of the room and I was sitting where I could see her eyes and I saw just for a moment what she was feeling humanly.
Yes, sorrow is real. The Christian life does not include a total release from being human. You still bleed when you’re stuck and you cry when you’re hurt. But the fact is that there is joy that goes beyond that. There is a right relationship with the God who sustains you. Hallelujah for that. Ooh, I’m so glad that’s so, aren’t you? Well, I said I was in charge of talking with people, some people from the press and so I did. And after the meeting was over, some of the reporters were gathered around. And one of them asked this naive question. You’ll chuckle at it. But he asked it in all sincerity. He said, “Mr. Cook,” he said, “this is a most unusual group. Does your group always believe in happy funerals? Does your group always believe in happy funerals?”
He had caught the note of assurance and of courage and of peace and of hope that there is for every believer on the Lord Jesus Christ. They couldn’t fail to sense that it was there. The despair and devastation that is so often evident among unbelievers when they come to face the last Grim Reaper was not there. No despair, no devastation, no cynicism, no bitterness, no “why did this have to happen to me” kind of a syndrome, but hope and faith and acceptance and love and, as I’ve said a moment ago, joy.
And so, this man who didn’t know very much about church language, he asked it in the only way he knew “Does your group always believe in happy funerals?” “Yes,” I told him. “If that’s the way you want to characterize it, yes, we do,” because we have hope. Jesus rose again and he said that we, as well, would live again. “Because I live, ye shall live also.” Now is Christ risen from the dead and become the first fruits of them that slept. What is the first fruits? It’s the first evidence that you’re going to have a harvest.
And so Christ is the first evidence of what God is going to do with the bodies and souls and spirits of every one of those who have trusted the Lord Jesus Christ. Oh, resurrection is coming. Resurrection day is coming. Hallelujah. Aren’t you glad that’s so? Joy in the Holy Ghost. Now, where does the presence of the Holy Spirit enter in to this matter of joy? Well, you see, you can only have joy when you’re released from the tyranny of things and situations. And so it is that the one reaction that you and I can catalogue and classify, so to speak, when the Holy Spirit of God takes charge of our lives is joy.
Very frequently, although some people when the Spirit of God fills their lives will burst into tears and others will have other emotional reactions, but very frequently, one may say, when the spirit of the living God fills your life, fills as I often say, every room in your heart house, you have that glad sense of release from the pressures of things and situations and you feel so joyful, not necessarily happy because life is still to be lived and burdens are still to be lifted and things are still the same and yet they’re not the same because you’re no longer the victim of them. Joy.
A friend of mine says that when he first started as a young Christian, to try to help in his church work, he was so upset by the prospect of having to go knock on doors and invite people to church and talk to them about the Lord. Yes, he was a Christian; yes, he loved Jesus; yes, he wanted to serve the Lord; but he was just upset at the idea of having to talk with anybody about it. He was afraid. And it became a kind of a bondage to him and he said that whenever he would go and ring a doorbell, he would fervently hope that no one was home. You, old-timers, that used to listen to radio many years ago, you can remember a character named Elmer Blurt. Remember him? He was a door-to-door salesman and he would knock and he knock and he knock, knock, knock, knock, and then he would mumble to himself, “Well, I’m afraid there’s nobody home here. I hope, I hope, I hope, I hope.”
That was how my friend was. He just hoped that nobody would be home so he wouldn’t have to talk with them. And then one day, he was led to open his entire life by faith to the Holy Spirit of God. See, the Spirit of God comes in to dwell in your life the minute you trust Christ. But it is up to you, my dear friend, to open by faith, the areas of your life to Him. Much as you would open the rooms in a house to a visitor, by faith you open the room that has your love and the room that has your money and the room that has your hopes and the room that has your failures and the room that has your family and so on. By faith, you open all the rooms in your heart house to the Holy Spirit of God.
When you trust the Lord Jesus as savior, the Holy Ghost comes in. Romans 8:9, “If any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his,” and I Corinthians 6:19, “Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price.” And the moment you trust Christ as savior, the Holy Spirit comes in. But Ephesians 5:18 says to people who already were experiencing the presence of the Holy Spirit, said, “be filled with the spirit.” And so you can open every room in your heart house to the Holy Spirit of God.
Well, when my friend did this, then he experienced the joy of the Lord and he was no longer embarrassed about his savior. He was free from his own embarrassment and fears. I’ve seen this happen so often. A person who has given his life to the control of the Spirit of God is free from embarrassment and his voice doesn’t take on a pious whine when he starts to talk about Jesus. He’s normal, he’s happy, he’s not any longer officially religious but he is joyfully Christian. Oh, what a difference.
And then as I’ve remarked to you, in the pressures and heartaches of life, you don’t become the victim of them. Yes, you hurt when you’re hurt and you cry when you’re sorrowful. You’re human but at the same time you’re not a victim of that situation. You can live by God’s grace in peace and in joy because of the ministry of the Holy Spirit of God in your life. Righteousness – God doing things right in you and through you. Peace – God in control of the situation so you needn’t worry. Joy – God’s presence keeping you from being a victim and making you instead a victor over the circumstances. Joy and the blessed sustaining, filling, transforming presence of the Holy Spirit of God in and through and above and around it all. Hallelujah. Great truth, isn’t it?
Now he says, “The kingdom of God,” the proof that God is running your life is not what you do to be officially religious. These religious observances about which they were speaking in verses preceding this: should you eat at a certain time? Should you have a certain religious observance? Should you keep a certain religious rule?
He says that “the kingdom,” the proof that God is running your life is not in what you do to be officially religious but it is rather what God does through your life manifesting His righteousness and giving you His perfect peace that passes understanding and spilling over out of the cup of life His wonderful joy. This will prove to other people that God is king of your life. Well, may it be so for every one of us, beloved. That’s my prayer today.
Dear Father today, may righteousness and peace and joy be living proof that Jesus is real, Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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