To humble yourself before God means you acknowledge you can't do or think anything without God's help. Be obedient and God will take care of the recognition.
Alright, thank you very much. And hello again radio friends. How in the world are you? Youdoin’ all right today? Well, I trust so, bless your heart. Yes, I wait for you to answer because I know some people do. We don’t have two way television radio yet; that’ll come I suppose in the next decade or century. (Laughs) Maybe it’s a good thing. But you can, in your mind’s eye you can see yours truly; and in my mind’s eye, I can see you – those of you whom I know and visualize what you may be doing at this hour, bless you. I trust things are going well. If you’ve struck a rough day, as I often tell you, if you’ve struck a rough day just look up and say, “Lord Jesus see me through this one.” And He will. Oh, yes He will; Jesus will see you through, Hallelujah. No question about that, He’ll see you through.
Well, you and I are in 1 Peter; we’re coming down to the end of the last Chapter. I hate to see this book finished because it’s been so rich. We, the last time we were got together we were in verse 6 on chapter 5, “Humble yourselves therefore, under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time.” You do the humbling, God does the exalting. You be faithful, God gives you the sunshine. You do what He tells you, He’ll give you the recognition. Now this is a principle that some people never learn throughout their whole lifetimes. They seem to go through life looking for recognition and appreciation – which is a perfectly normal human trait I’m sure. Everyone likes to be appreciated.
They did a study years ago, across which I came in my research study, based on the attitudes of employees in large corporations such as for instance General Motors and some of the other big ones. And this study attempted to put in order of priority the things that employees thought were important, and the things that, that employers and management thought were important. Management put money first, and then working conditions, and then productivity, and then down the list, recognition. Employees put recognition for a job well done in number one, and then came working conditions. And in third or fourth place actually was money.
Now that was 25 years ago. I don’t know whether the mindset of management and labor may have changed in two-and-a-half decades. Perhaps it has. But I suspect that human nature is still pretty much the same. And you and I like to be appreciated. Now learn this lesson, God will take care of the appreciation if you take care of the obedience. God will take care of the sunshine, if you take care of the faithfulness. To humble myself under the mighty hand of God means I get down and acknowledge that I can’t do anything without Him; nor can I think anything without Him. Paul says, “Not that we are sufficient of our selves that we can think anything as or ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God who hath made us able ministers of the new covenant.”
You can’t do anything, you can’t think anything, you can’t become anything. “By the grace of God,” said Paul, “I am what I am. This grace that was bestowed upon me was not in vain.” So, to be, to think, to become, to do. You can do nothing by yourself, but Paul said, “I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.” True humility acknowledges that you need God every split-second of the time, in every effort, every thought, every relationship. All of your life you need God. “I need Thee every hour; stay Thou nearby. Temptations lose their power when Thou art nigh. I need Thee, Oh, I need Thee. Oh bless me now my Savior, I come to Thee.” That’s the song writer’s cry, and you and I may echo it across the years, and across the miles, we need God.
Well, when you come to Him you won’t be disappointed. Jesus our Lord said, “Him that cometh unto me I will in no wise cast out.” How many despairing souls have been brought to faith and hope and salvation, simply by looking at that wonderful promise, “Him that cometh unto me, I will in no wise cast out.” Never too much of a failure, never too big a sinner, never too hopeless in your own case or in the eyes of others. Come to Jesus. He won’t throw you out; He’ll take you in. “There’s always hope with Christ. We’ve been born again unto a living hope,” says Peter, “by the resurrection of Christ from the dead.”
Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God. You take care of the humbling; God takes care of the recognition. You don’t have to seek the spotlight. God takes, He’s operating the spotlight. He takes care of, of giving you all the sunshine you can stand. Will you remember that, preacher? Will you remember that, Christian worker? And all the rest of us garden variety Christians, who may not be famous where the buses won’t stop when I die; they, they’ll keep on running, you know. (Laughs)
Garden variety Christians I call us. Shall we just remember that God takes care of the recognition, if we’ll take care of being faithful to Him? The word in the book of the Revelations says, “Be thou faithful unto death and thy will, I’ll give you a crown of life that fades, not a way.” All right, Lord help us to learn that lesson, huh?
Now verse 7, “What do I do about the cares, and burdens, and worries, and the heartbreaks of life?” See, this is the difference between Christians and non-Christians. Everybody has cares, and burdens, and worries, and heartaches. They come to us all, don’t they? Don’t bother saying to yourself when something happens in your life, “Why should this happen to me, I’m a Christian.” Listen, everybody has troubles – that’s the kind of a world we live in; a world that’s touched by sin, and heartache, and tears, and sorrow, and death. But, there’s hope in, and victory in Christ. “Thanks be unto God who always causeth us to triumph, that we may be the fragrance of God in every place.” That’s what Paul says in, in 2 Corinthians 2: “Thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest by us, the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.”
God’s perfume is what He wants you to be. And you don’t have to be beaten down by life. The term the psychologists use nowadays is burnout, when life is just beatin’ you to a pulp and you can’t take it any longer, and you have to get away. Now the theory, and the practice actually of periodic times of rest and relaxation is a good one. The Lord Jesus said to the disciples, “Come ye, yourselves apart and rest awhile.” “For there were many coming and going, and there was no leisure, even so much as to eat,” the Bible says. They were busy, busy, busy. And the Lord Jesus said, “Let’s get out of here for a while.”
So, periodic times of rest is a good thing. Now I’m not talking about that. You ought to have time, structure some time away from the grind, for yourself. Of course I hear some young mother that has two or three toddlers around saying bitterly, “I wish I had a minute to myself.” I know, I know. But still, you do have a moment now and again when you could be alone. When the children are asleep, don’t they look like little angels, when they’re asleep? They can be full of the old nature (Laughs) when they’re awake; pulling each other’s hair, and fighting, and complaining, and crying, and messing things up. But you put them to sleep finally, and they’ll, they’re just little angels lying there. (Laughs)
Well, you do have a moment or two, don’t you, busy as you are, when you can get alone with your Lord? And it is those moments of solitude with your Lord, that renew your spirit. “Wait on the Lord,” the Bible says, “and He shall strengthen thine heart.” What do you think that means? It means, get alone with God, and He’ll refresh you, and strengthen you. Ah, yes.
So, periods of, of quiet before God are very important. On the other hand you don’t have to be beaten down by life to the place where you say, “I give up, I’ve had it; I can’t stand this any more; I’m going to get away from it.” And so someone gets fed up with a certain career, and ends up doing something entirely different. May be not as productive, or as profitable; but just burnt out.
Well, I’m not, I’m not here to expound on, on human burnout and what to do about it. I simply want to say that everybody has pressures and troubles and problems, and there is something that you as a Christian can do about them. Here we have it in verse 7: “Casting all your care upon Him; for He careth for you.” Now ordinarily, so far as my experience goes, it isn’t the pressure of the work that gets me down, it’s the worry; the sense of responsibility and the ‘what if’ factor – ‘what if things don’t work the way they should?’
You forecast a certain amount of income for your organization – what if it doesn’t come in, and you go broke? If you’re in sales, you forecast a certain amount of sales, and then you think, “What if it doesn’t work?” (Laughs) I remember, I remember what happened shortly after I started with Scripture Press. They had, and still do I presume, in those days, meetings they called ‘Press Run’ meetings. Now, you had to estimate how many of various publications you were going to print. And you had to do 18 months ahead of time because the paper had to be bought and all that sort of a thing; you know how that goes, you people in business.
Well here I was fresh out of the pastorate 18 years, and ‘Youth for Christ’ for 9 years or so. And I knew how to promote and preach; and reasonably well knew how to manage people – at least up to a point. But I didn’t know anything about publishing, nor indeed I must admit did I know very much about sales forecasting. So here I come to this meeting and Vic Cory, the founder and president of Scripture Press in those days, turned to me and said, “Well brother Bob, what, how much of this,” and he named one of the publications, “do you think you can do? What, what percent of increase do you think you can depend on?” And I said, “Well, let’s look at the graphs.”
Lloyd Siegfried in those days was the master of the sales graphs. He would, he called them grafts, ‘g-r-a-f-t’ – grafts. (Laughs) I, I said, “Let’s, let’s look at the graphs and see.” And so we saw what, what the, the sales had been doing. And there was a steady climb, a steady increase. And the year before it had been 6%, which is pretty hefty in terms of, of numbers of copies sold. “Oh,” I said, “we ought to do it 10%, we ought to be able to do 10%.” He said, “All right.” You see, there was a kind of a twinkle in his eyes. But he said, “All right, we’ll count on that.”
Well afterwards he drew me aside; he said, “You know what you, what you said now 10% means you have to sell this and this many thousand copies more than the year before.” And all of a sudden that hit me, and I felt a sinking feeling in my stomach, ‘what if it doesn’t work?’ Oh boy! You see, it’s the ‘what if’ factor that gets you down oftentimes. Now I want to tell you, I did pray about it as a matter of fact. And happily we made our quota. And I was very, very grateful to God. You can take the ‘what if’ factor beloved, and turn it over to Jesus. Let me talk with you about that a little more the next time we get together.
Dear heaven Father today, help us to be faithful and obeying so that You can do Your part in recognizing the blessing of God in us. 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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