What do you do to prove you love Him? Commit yourself to Him in His ownership of you. Let the Lord own you in terms of being Lord of all.
Alright, thank you very much, and hello again dear radio friends. How in the world are you? Doing alright today? Well, you know I wait for you to answer, why not? My father used to say, “Boy, when you ask a question, give people a chance to answer”. Oh, how he pounded that into me. He believed in the scripture, laying on hands, if it was low enough and hard enough.
Well, you and I’ve been looking at the Psalm 116, “What shall I render to the Lord for all His benefits toward me? I’ll take the cup of salvation, call upon the name of the Lord, and pay my vows unto the Lord now, unto the presence of all these people”. We were talking about that the last time we got together. Take the cup of salvation means, taking all that Christ has for you by faith. Call on the name of the Lord means, active faith in Him, as you face life’s challenges. I just finished answering a letter from a young man, who says, “How do you take all these verses about abiding in Christ, and living in Christ, and setting your affection on things above and all of that, how do you translate that into daily life?” A good question, and maybe they’ll stop right there, they don’t really go any farther than asking the question and then going on blundering their way through life, and trying somehow to act like a Christian. A miserable business to be sure.
How do you live the Christian life? Active faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; call on the name of the Lord, means risk the situation on Him and on God’s will, and ask Him to take control. Colossians 2:6 says, “As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus as Lord, so walk ye in Him”, so the same faith that you used as you came to the Lord Jesus and ask Him to save you, is the faith you use in every moment’s confrontation with the situations of life. You turn them by faith over to the Lord Jesus, and you let Him handle them. Call on the name of the Lord, means active, aggressive faith in Christ, as you face life’s challenges and crises. Then he says, “I’ll pay my vows unto the Lord now”, and the vows mean real obedience. There is no substitute for obedience, just as there’s no substitute for paying a debt. It’s there, and either you have to pay it or somebody else does. Even the person to whom you owe it, if he wipes the debt out, he’s paying it in effect. No substitute for it, he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities, the chastisement of our peace was upon Him and by His stripes we are healed. He paid the debt, which is why we can sing, “Jesus paid it all”.
At the same time, God expects you and me to keep our commitments, first of all to Him, and second of people. What promises have you made to God, including that first one when you came for salvation and said, “Lord, I want to live for you and I will if you’ll come into my heart and save and forgive me”. Other promises had to do with your relationships with people. Your handling of money, your choice of a life’s work, your choice of a life companion, your choice of a lifestyle, how you’re going to live, all of that. You’ve talked to God, from time to time, about these things, now let me ask you, have you kept your vows? It’s a pretty sober question, isn’t it? It stirs up a good deal of thought, not all of it enjoyable, for in each of our lives we have certain graveyards of thoughts, that we buried away there, and we don’t like to think about them, but there it is. We need to get things right with our Blessed Lord. I’ll pay my vows now, don’t wait, don’t wait.
There was revival some years ago, that spread across college campuses, and one of the things that people noticed as a byproduct of that blessed moving of the spirit of God, was that the telephone lines were busy on the very evening of the day when the spirit of God happened to move on that particular campus. People were phoning home to apologize for things they’ve said and done, and the mail was full of airmail letters to people, apologizing and getting things right and paying debts and acknowledging an error of one sort and another. Get it done now, while God speaks to your heart. Then he says in the presence of all these people, “Are you supposed to confess all your sins publicly?” No.
Dr. O.J. Smith was now with the Lord, a precious man of God great stalwart missionary statesman and Bible teacher, taught me many things. One of the things I remember hearing him say was, “A private sin should be confessed to God alone. A sin with an individual, confessed before the individual, a sin that involves a family confessed before the family, and a sin that involves the whole church, should be confessed to the whole church. Pretty good idea.
There are some things you will carry with you to your grave, without ever saying a word to any other human being, but knowing that you have confessed that flaw or falter, shortcoming, to your Heavenly Father. No, it’s not necessary for you to hang all of the wash out on the public line. No, no. It is necessary, for you to keep your promise to God, and in so far as it involves other people, they should know that you are obeying God in a matter. Now, he says, “In the presence of all his people”. In David’s case, some of his shortcomings and sins, were known to everyone, and those needed to be set straight before everyone. For instance, the matter that involved a sort of a lifting up of himself, and in pride, he said he numbered the people. Now, I don’t know really why God said you shouldn’t do this. I only know that it was forbidden. I think it was perhaps the God wanted people to depend on Him not on the census, that they had so many hundred thousand folks who could bear arms. Number Israel and Judah, and Joab even said, “Now, God will add unto the people how many soever they be a hundredfold, but why does my lord, the king, delight in this thing notwithstanding”, the King’s word prevailed against Joab, and against the captains of the host, and they numbered the people.
Now, it says, “David’s heart smote him after he had numbered the people”. David said unto the Lord, “I’ve sinned greatly in that I have done and now I beseech Thee Lord, take away the iniquity of thy servant, for I’ve done very foolishly”. The prophet Gad came up to see him and said, “I’ll give you seven years of famine, or three months while you run from your enemies, or three days pestilence in your land”, and David said, “Let me fall into the hands of the Lord for His mercies are great, let me not fall into the hand of man”. So, there came the pestilence. Now, David had to make things right. “David spake unto the Lord when he saw the angel that smote the people”, he said, “Lo, I’ve sinned, I’ve have done wickedly with these four sheep, what if they don’t let thy hand be against me and against my father’s house”. Gad came that day to David and said, “Go, rear an altar unto the Lord, in the threshing floor or around of the Jebusites”, and David according to the saying of God went up as the Lord commanded and around he looked, and saw the King coming, and he went on bowed before the King, and you know the rest of the story. David bought that whole property and the oxen and the instruments of plowing, and he offered a sacrifice there and God removed the guilt of his sin. Now, this thing was public you see, so he had to get it right in public, that’s the point I’m making. I’ll pay my vows unto the Lord now, in the presence of all his people.
The Holy Spirit of God will guide you and what you are to say about yourself, and what you are to do, as the rule I gave you, that I got from Dr. O.J. Smith, is a good one there, are some things between you and God alone, there are some things that are between you and an individual, or to there are some things that are between you and your family, there are some things that are known to the general public. When they are known to the general public, you better get them right, before the public. When they are known only to you and God, keep them between you and God. That will make you a discrete, while forgiven, Christian. Well, we go on and he says, “Precious, in the sight of the Lord, is the death of His saints”, is he changing the subject? Not at all. What shall I render unto the Lord for all His benefits toward me? Take the cup of salvation, that means taking all Christ has for you, call on the name of the Lord, aggressive faith and meeting life’s challenges, pay my vows unto the Lord, obey and keep your promises to God, real obedience, prompt obedience, public obedience, then what? Realize that at some point or other this physical life is going to cease, and realize that you are in the hands of a person who thinks your precious. Now, that’s something that’s pretty hard to wrap up and hold onto as a concept. How can God feel that I’m precious when I’m going through such troubles? Why doesn’t He take me out of these troubles? How can God treat me as something precious, when I’m sick and I’m about to die? Well, if any of you have set beside the bedside of it of a child, that was very, very ill, and who was about to pass away, can you remember how your heart was just breaking with longing and love? That’s the meaning of that word precious. God looks at you and His heart just breaks for you, with love and longing. He reaches out to you, and He wants you to know that He loves you. He wants you to know that He’s got a hold your hand as you walk through the chilly waters of death, into that bright land of His presence. Precious, in the sight of the Lord, is the death of His saints. Now, this is under the heading of, what shall I render to the Lord? What does that mean? That means, I going to live my life with the knowledge that I am indeed precious in God’s sight, and that right straight down to the river Jordan, and the cross over into the glory, He loves me enough to say, I’m precious. “What shall I render unto the Lord”, verse 16, “Lord”, he said, “truly, I am Thy servant, I am Thy servant and the son of thine handmaid. Thou hast loosed my bonds”. What do you do to prove your love Him? Commit yourself to Him in His ownership of you. Let the Lord own you in terms of being Lord of all. Our Lord Jesus has that title, that He should be Lord of all. “God hath highly exalted Him and given Him a name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus, every knee should bow, and every tongue should confess, that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father”, Paul wrote to the people in Philippi. He is Lord. Now, if you want to prove that you love Him, make Him Lord of your life, and all that’s in it we’ll take that up the next time that we get together.
Dear Father God today, in Jesus’ name we ask that we may be committing all of our life to Thee, that the Lord Jesus Christ may indeed be Lord of all with us, in His 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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