The Wisdom Of Commitment
When you give yourself to Jesus, you begin to learn.
Alright thank you very much, and hello dear friends. How in the world are you? Doing all right? I trust everything’s alright at your house. I’ve just been praying that God would make the message a blessing to someone, and oh if it fits your need then that prayer will have been answered.
We’re looking at Mark chapter 8. We began with verse 14, where the disciples only had with the one small, flat barley loaf of bread, nothing else to eat. The Lord Jesus said seemingly out of nowhere, “Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, and the leaven of Herod”. I spent the last broadcast trying to explain what the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod is. The word leaven is our word yeast and in the Bible, it’s a symbol of impurity, so the thing about the Pharisees that you’re to avoid is hypocrisy. The idea that you can put on a good face on the matter and get away with it and still be spiritual. The leaven of Herod is the idea that God’s Word and God’s message isn’t enough, you have tohave politics as well in order to achieve God’s purpose, and the last time we got together, we were just saying that if you get people to be right with God, politics will follow because if people are right in their hearts, their relationships with government will also be right. Having said that, I have to say also, don’t forget to vote. You can’t sit back and grumble about the liberals and the Communists and people with whom you may disagree, one way or another, while you’re sitting at home and not voting. So don’t forget to vote when it’s election time.
Well now, the disciples heard Him say this, and they reasoned among themselves saying, what is He saying that for? Why it’s because we don’t have anything to eat, we haven’t any bread with us. Now from the distance of two thousand years, we smile and say, how stupid. Remember these people were up against the daily fact, the hard fact that they didn’t have any income, they didn’t have any sure source of sustenance, and therefore uppermost in their minds was, where are we going to have anything to eat, and so immediately they said, well He’s talking about leaven because we haven’t got anything to eat. Now He, when Jesus knew it He said, “Why reason ye? Because ye have no bread? Perceive ye not yet, neither understand your hearts yet hardened? Having eyes see not, having ears hear ye not, do you not remember when I broke the five loaves among the five thousand? How many baskets full of fragments took ye up?” they said, “Twelve”, “and the seven among four thousand, how many baskets full of fragments took ye up?”, and they said, “Seven”. He said, “How is it that you do not understand”? Now, you see, they still didn’t realize that when you are working with the Lord Jesus Christ, He is the key to the supply of need, not what you have, but what He has and what He is. They had one small barley loaf. It wasn’t any harder for the Lord Jesus Christ to feed them with one loaf of bread then it would and would of been for Him to feed a crowd of five thousand with five loaves. Was it? They didn’t realize that. He said, “How is it that you don’t
Small thought here; you know you can encourage yourself greatly in the Lord by remembering what He has done for you. Read your Bible. You’ll find the biblical prayers are full of this kind of harking back to what God has done before. Lord, you did this and this and this and this, you took care of your people in the wilderness, you fed them, you brought water to them, you took care of them, you fought their battles for them, now Lord do it again. It will strengthen your faith, if now and again, you’ll look back and just thank God for what He has done. “Whoso offereth praise, glorifieth Me”, the Bible says. God looks for people to stay thankful. Thank you. His quarrel with the heathen is not that they are heathen, but that they didn’t giving Him His place as God and they weren’t thankful. Romans chapter 1 says, “Because when they knew God they glorified Him not as God neither were thankful”. Thanklessness is one of the trademarks of the sinful nature and thankfulness is one of the trademarks of the new nature, “In everything give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you”, says Paul.
And so, it will help you beloved, and some of you need this right now, I don’t know who it is obviously, but somebody needs to be reminded that although you’re down in the dumps now, and you feel so distressed and depressed and discouraged and there doesn’t seem to be any way out, just take a moment or two and look back and see how God has answered prayer before. See how merciful He’s been to you, see how He spared you in different situations, see how He has led you when you were asking for guidance, see how He’s answered different prayers and then thank Him for all of that. You’ll find your faith is reaching up and you are enabled to believe God for help in this present situation.
Anything I tell you I’ve been there, I’ve done this, what I’ve just told you to do. I know it works. Start praising God and you open the door to faith. Well it says, “You don’t remember”. They had forgotten already what He had done before, and that then led to their distress in the present set of circumstances. If you forget what God has done for you before, it will lead you to distress under pressure, but if you remember what God has done for you before and praise Him for it, you can begin to trust Him for His help in the present situation.
Reasoning. Well, you’re always wrong when you try to figure God out on a human basis. Mark chapter 2, “They reasoned in their heart how can this man say your sins are forgiven. Who can forgive sins but God only”? They were reasoning on the wrong basis. Who was there in their midst? The Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, God in the flesh, the creator, “All things were made by Him”, says John, “and without Him was not anything made that was made”. The word, the living word of God right there their midst, but they were reasoning on the wrong basis. In Luke, Mark is 11:31, “They reasoned in their hearts. How shall we answer this question about authority”? Why? Because again they were questioning the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ to teach and to do miracles and all that. By what authority are you doing this? Who are you? We don’t believe you’re anything at all, you have to prove it to us. He asked them a question and it says, “They reasoned in their hearts. How shall we answer”? He’s given us the horns of a dilemma, we can’t answer either way. Human reasoning failed again in dealing with the divine. Then in Luke 9, there is a passage, line 9:46,”There was a reasoning among them, who should be the greatest”? See the reasoning about spiritual and pecking order priorities, always wrong when you start out that way. When you start out to be greater, you end up being lesser.
I remember hearing many years ago somebody saying to me, “Now we’re going to be in this basketball game fellas, and whenever you get the ball pass it to me because I got to look good”. I winced at the moment and I still do, bless his heart. I wonder if he ever learned you don’t have to look good, you just have to be good. Well, all right, anyhow the reasoning there about who should be greatest, again human reasoning always falls short when you try to reason your way through spiritual priorities, and then of course in Luke 20 verse 14, the story that the Lord Jesus told about the husband, men who didn’t want to give up the owner’s share of the harvest, and they killed the messengers and finally he sent his son. This of course was an obvious reference to the Lord Jesus Christ. Finally he sent his son and they said, let’s kill him and we’ll have the inheritance for ourselves.
Reasoning, when you’re trying to reason your way out of conviction and you’re religious and spiritual obligations, the only thing the reason leads you to do, is to say let’s get rid of God altogether. See unbelief, I learned this from David Morkan my dear friend of many years, he said to me one day, “Unbelief cannot rest until it is organized in opposition to God”. “Unbelief cannot rest until it is organized in opposition to God”, and that certainly is true every time. So they reasoned.
Reasoning when you’re trying to figure out God’s ways is wrong. Do your praying and your believing first and then God will explain it to you. “If any man will do His will”, John 7:17 is the verse, “If any man will do His will, he shall know of the doctrine”. First you commit yourself to God. Second, He shows you Himself and His way. Thy way, oh God is in the sanctuary. The secret of the Lord is with them that fear Him. First you commit yourself to God. First you yield to His will as you understand it. First you believe His Word. First you accept His saving mercy, then He begins to enlighten your mind and your heart so that you can understand the things of eternity. “The natural man”, that’s the unsaved person, “or the old nature, receive not the things of the Spirit of God, for it is foolishness unto him, neither can he know them because they are spiritually discerned”. Don’t be surprised because the unsaved person doesn’t understand your commitment to the Lord. He can’t until he meets the Savior and says as Saul of Tarsus did, “Lord what will Thou have me to do”. So reasoning always leads you to a dead end street. It’s commitment first, then use your brains.
See faith is not illogical and faith is not anti-intellectual and faith is not blind credulity, as some people would have you believe, faith is a commitment to a person. “He that cometh to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him”, and as you’re facing something impossible, many of you are, I know you’re going through it right now, and is you’re facing some impossible burden or need or trial or heartache or whatever it may be, don’t try to think your way through it. First, commit yourself to your blessed Lord absolutely, and then as you wait before Him, let Him whisper to you what He wants you to do next. Good idea?
Oh, somebody needs this so badly just now. You’ve been trying to think and trying to reason, your brain is weary and you’re bitter about what’s happening to you, and you wonder if you should deserve all this, and of course the answer is no, you don’t deserve it. You deserve much worse. All of us, if we got our just desserts, would already be in hell. So, let’s not think in terms of, do I deserve it, let’s think in terms of what does God have for me, out of all this. Let’s begin to commit ourselves to our loving, heavenly Father through faith in the Lord Jesus. Even though we may not understand the circumstances, let’s commit ourselves to Him.
Faith is not credulity, it’s not fooling yourself, it’s not kidding yourself. Faith is commitment to a person, the Lord Jesus Christ, your Lord and Savior, and when you do that then you begin to understand. He said, “Paul prayed for the people at Colossae”, said, “I pray for you that you might be filled with the knowledge of His will knowledge of His Will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding”. When you give yourself to Jesus, you begin to learn. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. When you commit yourself to the Lord, you begin to learn God’s ways.
Dear Father today, wilt Thou make us the kind of people who commit themselves to Thee, so that Thou can teach us Thy ways, in Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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