God is absolutely perfect, eternally self-fulfilled, He never needs renewal, He never gets tired, He never gets weary, He doesn’t have to sleep, He doesn’t get worn out. God’s glory never gets tarnished.
Alright, thank you very much. And hello again radio friends. How in the world are you? Doing Alright today? This is your good friend, Bob Cook, and you and I are back together again. The miles drop away when we’re together. You may just be waking up or you’re maybe making breakfast or you’re maybe packing lunches or you may be driving to work or school or you’re maybe doing house work or maybe because you hear the broadcast late in the day, you may be just about to fall asleep. Don’t worry I’ve preached in many people’s sleep. (Laughs) Wherever you are and whatever you’re doing, God bless you, and touch you with His precious grace and love, fill your heart with His peace and let you know the power of His indwelling Holy Spirit. That’s my prayer for you, beloved, today.
You and I are looking Ephesians, the first chapter. We’ve gone through verse 9, 10 and part of 11, I guess. And we talked about some of these things, redemption you know is liberation after the paying of a price, and the price that God paid for your soul and for mine was the precious blood of the Lord Jesus Christ.
And He’s abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence. Wisdom has to do with knowing what to do, and prudence has to do with the way you do it. God is right on both scores. I listened to Wilber Nelson on the Morning Chapel Hour just today – and, of course, you’ll be hearing this a month from now – so, it isn’t the same date. But in any case he was explaining how that we receive the blessings from God when things get a little tough we tend to look up and say “Where is God now when I need him?” Well, He’s right there. He didn’t move and what is coming to us is part of His prudence, His wisdom, He knows what He’s doing, He’s made His plans from before the foundation of the world and He’s doing it the right way.
Prudence is the efficient right way to do things. And “He’s abounded it,” says toward us. See, God doesn’t just skimp on you, He doesn’t get by, He doesn’t give you a de minimis treatment, but instead He abounds towards you, overflowing, spilling over kind of treatment of you so far as His wisdom and His prudence toward us is concerned.
And then he said, “He made known to us the mystery of His will.” You and I ran down some of those mystery verses the last time we got together, do you recall? And in this case, the mystery of His will is that, “in the dispensation of the fullness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him.”
Now that all things include people, in chapter 2 verse 14, “he is our peace, who hath made both” (Jew and Gentile that is), “one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; having abolished in his own flesh, the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to to make in himself of the two, one new man, so making peace. Reconciled both unto God in one body by the cross.” Now you Gentiles, said Paul, “are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the household of God.
Built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief cornerstone; in whom all the building fitly framed together.” That includes you and me and everybody else who trust the Lord Jesus. “Fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord,” the body of Christ, “an habitation of God through the Spirit.” That is the mystery of God’s will that throughout all of the mess that sin has made in this old world. God is going to bring together folk who shine for Him and who prove the goodness of His plan and the greatness of His grace.
Now he said, “in Him,” and this is verse 11, “We’ve obtained an inheritance being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will.” Right at this point I began to be interested and intrigued by the repetition of possessive phrases referring to our Lord. Notice what it says, verse 4, “Chosen us in him that we should be holy and without blame before him, predestinated us to the adoption of children to himself. The good pleasure of his will; to the praise and the glory of his grace; we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins according to the riches of his grace.”
So–glory of His grace, the riches of His grace, the mystery of His will, His good pleasure, the council of His own will; be to the praise of His glory; know the hope of His calling and the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and then the greatness of His power to us who believe. Hey that’s something, isn’t it? (Laughs) The church is His body. Everything heads up in our blessed Lord, everything belongs to Him and you and I are part of that everything.
We referred momentarily, didn’t we, to the passage in 1 Corinthians where Paul said, “All things are yours, and ye are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s.” Remember that? “The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise that they’re vain; therefore, let no man glory in men. For all things are yours, whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas or the world or life or death or things present or things to come things, all are yours.” Then he adds, “And ye are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s” We’re wrapped in the eternal purpose of God and part of all that He is doing.
The Bible is all about the Lord Jesus. If you find this as the key to your searching of the scriptures, the Bible will come alive to you. Everything in the Word of God, old and new testaments points to the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ. In the Old Testament, there is of course direct truth and prophecy. There’s also much of allegory and the type and picture that is given, that is kind of a word picture of various parts of the ministry of our Lord.
Everything in the Bible points to the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ. “He is before all things and by Him all things hold together,” Paul said to the people at Colossae. So we’ve obtained an inheritance being predestinated; there again God’s plans are already been made for you, from before the foundation of the world. Now how? “According to the purpose of Him who worketh all things after the counsel of His own will”. What is his will? He wants that we should be to the praise of His glory. We who trust in Christ.
Now the inheritance is part of God’s plan. The purpose is outworking, is the formulation of God’s plan. He works all things after the counsel of His own will. That’s the implementation of God’s plan and then the overriding purpose of it all is we should be to the praise of His glory. Let’s stop and think. Had you ever imagined that anything that you could do or be, could add to the radiance of God’s glory? He’s perfect, isn’t he? God is absolutely perfect, eternally self-fulfilled, He never needs renewal, He never gets tired, He never gets weary, He doesn’t have to sleep, He doesn’t get worn out.
God’s glory never gets tarnished. How can you add to perfection? Well, He said we should be to the praise of His glory. You need not add to it, but you can praise it. You can admire it, Alright? (Laughs). You can admire it. You can stand there along with millions of others who’ve been bought with the precious blood of Christ and say, “Hallelujah, worthy is the lamb to receive praise and honor and glory and majesty and power.”
The praise of His glory, you don’t add to it. It’s perfect but you can praise Him. And that my dear friend you can start now. You don’t have to wait until you get to heaven. “Who so offereth praise, glorifieth me,” the Bible says. “By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God, even the fruit of our lips giving thanks unto his name,” says the writer to the Hebrews, “for with such sacrifices God is well pleased. “The sacrifice of praise that we should be the praise of His glory.
I find that I am oftentimes consumed with my own laundry list of needs. Things have way of falling in you in life, don’t they? Now, and again, it seems as though there’s more than you can really handle. I’ve had to tell the Lord many times in the past several years, “Lord, I can’t handle this. You handle it for me.” And he does. And so it would seem as I surveyed my own prayer life that much of the time I’ve come and said, “Lord, I’ve got this and this and this problem now, help me handle it.” (Laughs). And thank God for answered prayer, He does.
He hasn’t forsaken any of us yet. But we need to be reminded that what God is looking for is not only supplication but praise. And so that’s the logic of Philippians 4:6-7. Paul writing to the people of Philippi said in that fourth chapter, “Don’t worry about anything. Be care filled for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving,” see, there’s praise, “let you requests be made known unto God.”
How much do we have to be thankful for? How much do we have to be thankful for? I look back over my life before I can remember anything they tell me that my mother prayed together with two other godly ladies, prayed at 10 o’clock every day for the baby she carried under her heart that God would bless that little life. And godly father and a devoted godly sister after my mother died, that helped to start me on the things of the Lord. Faithful teachers that taught me in the Word at Moody Bible Institute, at Wheaton College, and the Eastern Seminary, and then in the school of hard knocks as well, the lessons that God has taught me and the way that He’s guided me, a happy Christian home and the blessing of God and the ministry all through the years. Hey, I’ve got so much to be thankful for, who am I to complain? That’s the way I feel when I get through the list like that.
Well, God knows all about us. He knows the burden we bear and He also knows the problems that we face. Some of you are up against some very real ones this minute, aren’t you? Try praising the Lord today, would you, beloved? Praise Him for who He is and what He is and then for what He has done and what He is doing in your life. Try praise and worship and thanksgiving. And you’ll see what God does to change your mood. Your whole mood will change when you start praising the Lord.
In the old days when the children of Israel were up against an enemy they couldn’t overcome, it’s said they set singers to praise the beauty of holiness, and when they began to sing and praise, the Lord won the battle. Look it up for yourself there in your old testament. God won the battle when people began to praise the beauty of holiness. Oh may God make us praise-filled people that we should be to the praise of His glory. You can’t add anything to the glory of God but you certainly can praise Him. You can be among the millions who say “Hallelujah, worthy is the Lamb.” Let that be the watchword of our conduct and our whole attitude today, to praise our blessed Lord and to give Him the glory. Amen?
Father God, today help us to praise Thee all the way, 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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