God wants you to come to the place where there isn't anything held back.
Alright, thank you very much. And hello again radio friends, how in the world are you? Doing all right today? Well, I trust so, bless your heart. Nice to be back with you. And you and I are looking at First Timothy 4:15, “Meditate upon these things, give thyself wholly to them, that thy profiting may appear to all.” “Meditate” means to think, it means to ponder. It means to think deeply enough that it affects your purpose, and it also means to care deeply about something. When you meditate on the Word of God, you start to begin, to commence, to care about God and about His Will.
People ask me, “How can I develop a love for God? And how can I develop a willingness to do His will?” My answer has to be, “Spend time with Him in His Word.” “Thy Word have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against Thee.” “Wherewithal shall a young man change his ways?” the Psalmist asks.
Modified behavior is the most difficult assignment in the world. People tend to regress back into their original, psychological shapes, don’t they? You wanna be changed permanently, God-ward? Where with also a young man changes ways by taking heed there to according to Thy Word. Beloved, you spend time with God in His Word and it will change the thing about which you care, I promise you.
You see, the Christian life is not a process of trying to make yourself feel different. The Christian life is a continuing miracle whereby Christ by His indwelling Holy Spirit makes you feel different, think different, and act different. The word “repent” in the New Testament comes from three… English word “repent” is a translation of three different Greek words. One means “to change the way you think”, “metanoeo.” Another word, means “to change the way you feel,” ” metamelomai.” And the third word means “to turn around and go in a different direction,” “strepho.” Three different words translated “repent” and there, my dear friend, you have in a nutshell, the way God’s work, and God’s Word, and God’s Truth, comes home to your own life.
You get into the Bible, do you think about it? Do you pray about it? Do you ponder it? You ask, “What does this mean to me, Lord?” and the blessed Spirit of God is going to apply it to your life and you’re gonna start to care about God’s Will in a way that you never did before. Meditate. Now, in the Old Testament verb, it actually has the background of the concept of “chewing the cud.” Cows and sheep and other animals have a second stomach, don’t they? And after they’ve ingested a certain amount of food, then they’ll lie down and they’ll cough up what’s in that first stomach and they’ll chew it over and swallow down and then it’s digested in their system. “Chewing the cud.”
What does that do to you and to me as we think about it? The first impact the Word of God makes on your conscious mind and memory need not be the only one. That’s what He’s saying. The first impact that the Word of God makes on your mind and memory need not be the only one. As the day goes by, you can bring it up into focus once again in your mind and you can chew it over. The idea of taking a precious promise of some sort.
I remember, I was doing a series, memorizing a series of verses years ago, and I used this technique of bringing the verse up to my attention during the day. This happened to be the verse that said, “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” And now there were certain things going on at that time that were really distressing to me. This would be back, way back in the 40s, and the circumstances really are of no particular interest so I’m not going to retell them to you, bore you with them.
But something was going on that was a great, great problem to me in the community and with my own people and with people in the community, and I was upset about it. So much so that I had wandering, vague thoughts of maybe looking for a different place to be a pastor. And so it was that it was on a very, very, hot, hot day and I had been making calls. I came home tired and sweaty and dusty and I thought, “Oh, I’m gonna cool off, I’m gonna take a shower.” And so I shed my clothes and stepped into the shower and I thought, “Well, while I’m showering, I might just well go over this Scripture.” And so I went over this particular Scripture from Timothy, “For God hath not given us,” Second Timothy 1:7, “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” Second Timothy 1:7. I was saying it over and thinking about it.
And as I did, all of a sudden, it hit me. “What am I afraid of? What am I upset about? God has not given me the spirit of fear, this isn’t of God. It’s power, and love, and good sense, wisdom, sound mind.” Oh, what a difference in my attitude in that very moment. Now, that’s nearly 50 years ago, and I remember it as though it was yesterday. Why? Because the Word of God, as you bring it into focus during the day, it isn’t just that one time contact with it when you’re reading your Bible. But as you bring the Word of God into focus in your mind and memory during the day, it will make a difference in your attitude and your outlook, I promise you.
Get a hold of some good Scriptures. The Navigators, out there in Glen Eyrie, Colorado, published a little Scripture memory packet that will start you out. They have what they call the topical memory system, it’s some hundreds of verses, all of them arranged in topics and you can get started. But take one verse, write it out on a card and put the reference on it, and then you say that verse over and make the card small enough so you can put it in your wallet or in your handbag, ladies. And whenever there’s a spare moment, you go over that verse.
Now, we have received… Here’s another one from Corinthians that I remember saying over, “We have received not the spirit which is of the world, but the Spirit which is of God, that we may know the things that are freely given to us of God.” What is the purpose of the indwelling Holy Spirit who comes to dwell in your life when you become a Christian? That you might have a personal experience of what God has already given you. That we may know Greek verb, “ginosko” which means “to have a personal experience of.” That we may have a personal experience of the things that God has already given us.
Oh, if you’ll just get serious about the Word of God, meditate on these things. Chew them over. Think about them. Ponder them. Think deeply enough until they become part of your… The driving purpose of your life.
Think and pray until you start really to care about what God is saying. And then as the day wears on, bring the verse or verses back up into focus in your mind and go over them so that God can use that repetitive contact in your life with His purpose and His Will. Now, anything I tell you, I’ve been there, I know that this works and I advise you, urge you earnestly, lovingly, to try it for yourself.
Now, He goes a step farther, He says, “Give thyself wholly to them.” The fact is that interest feeds on itself. You get interested in something and you want more. The person who goes to the X-rated movies, and stops in at the adult book and film store and feeds on the garbage and rot of the world, finds himself or herself hooked, and wants more, and more, and more. Pornography becomes eventually a disease where the person is absolutely hooked on it as though it were a narcotic.
That to which you give your interest becomes a compelling and growing force in your life. Now, and not all of that is bad. Not all of that is bad. Here’s a person who takes up… Well, he’s interested in aeronautics and as a young person, he takes up model airplane flying. And so, he gets the thrill of operating that electronic control on the ground and seeing his model airplane flying high above him, doing all sorts of aerobatic maneuvers. And finally, he brings it gently back to earth, and he makes a perfect landing as it skims along the grass and then slows to a stop. What a thrill that is for a young boy, young man, and some grown men who are still boys at heart have that as their hobby, don’t they?
But he’s interested in flying. And so, the next thing he does when he gets to be 18 or 19, he says, “I wanna learn to fly.” Well, he may join the Air Force or he may arrange to take some flying lessons but he has the thrill now of sitting in an aircraft with an instructor and feeling the controls in his own hands and noticing how the airplane will respond to the slightest movement. He has to learn not to over-control with this, one of the great problems of the beginner, isn’t it? Has to learn not to over-control but very gently to pilot this craft through the pathless skies. And finally, the day arrives when he can solo. And then he learns how to navigate and then he goes on to more complex navigational matters, so that he can use the radar and all of the various directional electronic beams that help you to keep from getting lost. And then he learns twin engine and then he wants to go a little farther.
Well, that’s the story of many a life, isn’t it? Yes, it is. What? Interest begets interest. Interest begets interest. Now, He says, “Give thyself wholly to these truths.” What does that mean? Get interested enough to them, in them. Get interested enough in them, so that you are absolutely committed to it, and it’s part of the way you live and part of the horizon of your life. “Give thyself wholly to them.” Now, we have to stop here to remind ourselves that God’s Word will never allow you to fudge on the Will of God.
See, the problem with many a person is that he or she gets to the point where they say, “No. I can’t do that” and they back off. God wants you to come to the place where there isn’t anything held back. Billy Graham said one time, as Stuart Hamblen told the story, Stuart and Suzy, his wife, looked up Billy Graham in the middle of the night back in the 1940s, it would’ve been. And at the Los Angeles Crusade, Stuart was not yet a Christian, but he was under conviction and finally couldn’t stand it, and he got up in the middle of the night and drove with Suzy Hamblen, his wife, across the miles to where Billy and Cliff Barrows were staying. Woke them up, and as they came down into a sitting room there, he said, “Billy, pray for me.”
Now, Brother Graham, who has considerable steel in his backbone, looked Stuart Hamblen right in the eye. He said, “I’m not gonna pray for you. I’m not gonna give you another chance to lie to me or to God. You’re not gonna get anywhere until you tell God the truth.” Oh, that’s rough, isn’t it? But that’s precisely what the man needed and as he told the story in my hearing, he said, “I got down on my knees, I told God about my racehorses, and my poker playing, and my dirty stories, and my drinking, and my smoking, and everything else, and when I got through with the list,” he said, “I heard the heavenly switchboard click in the skies.” He knew that God had saved him when he got through giving himself wholly to God. Will you do the same today? I trust that you will.
Dear Father today, help us to give ourselves entirely to Thee and to Thy Will, through Jesus Christ, our Lord, 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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