Time Well Spent
Start spending a little extra time with your Lord. Get to know Him.
Alright thank you very much, and hello again radio friends. How in the world are you? You doing all right today? If you have struck a rough day, some of you, or been through a rough day as the case may be, you look up and say, Lord I’m yours see me through this one, and He will, for He hath said, “I will never leave thee nor forsake thee”. Hallelujah for that promise.
What we’ve been doing the last couple of days is to hit the high spots in the book of Philippians, just a couple of precious looks at this wonderful little book. We took Philippians 1:6, “Being confident of this very thing that he which hath begun a good work in you, will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ”. He’s going to keep on working in your life because it’s His name and His purpose and His reputation and His love frankly, that are involved with you, and then we came over to chapter 2 verse 13, “It is God which worketh in you, both to will and to do”. “If”, Philippians 1:6 says, “He which hath begun a good work, will continue”, what kind of work does He do?Well 2:13 says, “It is God which worketh in you, both to will and to do of His good pleasure”.
Now, what happens when that occurs? Well, your value system changes and your entire outlook on life changes because of your relationship to the Lord Jesus Christ. I’m looking now ay Philippians 3 where Paul says, “What things were gain to me”, you know that’s His lineage, the stock of Israel, the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews. “What things were gain to me,” He was a Pharisee as touching the law of Pharisee, concerning zeal persecuting the church and touching the righteousness, which is in the law blameless. This was a good man. He said, “What things were gain to me, those I counted lost for Christ. Ye, doubtless I count all things just loss, for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus, my Lord”. You give up something to get up something much, much better.
There was a young lady that sang for us in 1944 in the Youth for Christ rallies, and she had a gorgeous voice. She was a winner in the talent search that was carried out of those days by some secular organization, a beautiful soprano voice, and she continued taking lessons and developing it and sang all over this country and abroad, as well, for the Lord, for a number of years. I haven’t seen her or heard from her for more than 20 years. I don’t know where she is today, but I spoke to her one day, called her by name. I said, “Do you ever date? I don’t see you with the fellas at all”. “Oh”, she said, “maybe I will, maybe I will, but right now”, she said, “if you’re going to sing and develop your voice, you don’t have time for social life”. She said, “I gave my voice to the Lord and I’m using it for Him and that’s all I can do. There isn’t time for anything else”.
Well, I don’t know whether she ever did start to date or ever did get married. I will find that out when I get to heaven, but I remember that statement. You give up one thing, to do something else better. Now, a lot of people think of the Christian life in terms of being deprived of what they would enjoy doing otherwise. Paul looks at a differently. If God is working in your heart you begin to know that He’s the best possible relationship you could sustain, and His work is the best possible activity you could enjoy. “It is God that worketh in you to will”, that takes care of the want to, “and to do”, that takes care the performance of His good pleasure.
Paul said, “I had it made I was born in the right family of the right nation and trained in the right way and my character was developed properly and my reputation was spotless, and I was fanatically zealous for the things of Jehovah God”. He said, “I had made, but I gave it all up. I counted exactly just only merely loss”. He said, “I’ve suffered the loss for Him, for the Lord Jesus Christ I’ve suffered the loss of all these things, and I look upon them as so much refuse”, garbage, “in order that I may win Christ”. He said, there’s a new value system taking over. What I used to prize, I now look upon as so much junk, refuse. I don’t, I don’t prize it any longer.
Do you, do you follow that in your own life? Now, you see where I’m where I’m driving at. There are areas in our lives that we need to look at. We need to look at them and say now, do I prize this more than I do my Lord Jesus Christ? “Those I count loss for Christ”. Where is it in your life, that area that needs to have a tag put on it, labeled junk? Oh, that makes us wince, doesn’t it because there are some things we hang onto so tenaciously, we just won’t let them go. We’re like the tiny little monkey that was captured in the jungles because the trapper took a narrow neck vase, a vase with a make just wide enough for the little monkey to put his hand through it, opened that is, an opened hand through it, to get at the food the was down in the bottom of the vase, but then when he had it tightly in his grasp, in his little fist was clenched, he was caught because he didn’t have sense enough to let go and open his hand in order to get free. That’s how it is with many of us, I think. We have our hands tightly clenched in the vase of life and we’ve got something in that hand and we won’t give it up, not that, oh not that Lord, don’t take that away from me. The question is I guess who is worth more? Paul said, “I count all things just so much garbage in order that I may win Christ and be found in Him”.
I think the problem is that the things of this world, my old philosophy prof Dr. Weir, back in the 1930’s, boy that’s a long time ago, isn’t it, when I was in college at Wheaton, my prof used to talk about mountains, cups and saucers, and model T Fords, when he was talking about things. Mountains, cups and saucers, and model T Fords, things. The problem is that those things are far more real, often times than our concept of and our awareness of our Lord Jesus Christ. How then, do you make Him real enough to outweigh the things in this life, which you might otherwise be hanging onto? How do you go about that?
Well, number one, you don’t get to know a person until you spend little time with him. In private conversation with Dr. Ben Armstrong, who’s Executive Director of the National Religious Broadcasters, I said to him, “You know”, I said, “this seems to be a very fine group who we’re traveling with”. “Yes”, he said, “and it’s is a great deal, it’s a great deal better than some I’ve known”. “Oh”, I said, “what are you driving at”? “Well”, he said, “you know some people they’re fine to be acquainted with, but to travel with them, it gets a little difficult”, he said smiling.
Well, I’ll tell you, the way for you to come to a proper evaluation of the things in your life, vis-à-vis the Lord Jesus Christ, in terms of their value, the way to do that is to spend some time in His presence so you get to know Him. Honest now, you don’t have to tell anybody, just between you and the Lord, honest how much time do you spend in prayer every day, and how much time do you spend listening to His voice in the Word the Bible, God’s inerrant, inspired Word? How much time do you spend listening to Him? Most of us are so incredibly preoccupied with the life we live and the schedule we must maintain that prayer and Bible study, if we dutifully observe it at all, many people don’t do much either praying or Bible reading, they pray and when they’re in a jam, hope to get through the side door of heaven successfully someday, but if we do observe prayer and Bible study, we do it dutifully and we’re, we heave a sigh of relief when it’s done.
Now, spend a little extra time. I used to say to the fellas and Youth for Christ, it’s the extra few minutes you pray after your mind has said, “Amen, let’s get out of here” that counts. Spend little extra time with your Lord. Be quiet before Him, worship Him, let the Holy Spirit of God fill you with the love for Jesus, the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost who has given unto us. Spend some time with your Lord and begin to realize how wonderful He is. That’s His name, “His name shall be called wonderful”, said Isaiah, and oh, I think of the very first step that many of us need to take, my beloved friends, is to start spending a little extra time with your Lord so you can get to know Him. How can you evaluate His worth if you don’t really know Him?
So, Paul says, “Oh, that I may know Him”, see verse 10 of Philippians 3, “and the power of His resurrection, the fellowship of His sufferings be made conformable unto His death”. Time will run out before we finish this little passage and I’ll come back to it the next time we get together, God willing. For you my beloved friends, let this be the challenge of today, decide concerning things and relationships of this life, whether Jesus is worth more than all of them, and the way to come to that decision is by spending some extra time with your lovely Lord, in worship and in prayer.
Dear Father today, give us the good sense to wait before Thee long enough to get to know Thee, to walk with Thee, and thus to make the right choices, 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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