Don't limit your life by saying, "Well, this is the way everybody has done it; therefore, I must." God may want to do an entirely new thing through you.
Alright, thank you very much. And hello again, radio friends. How in the world are you? Yes, this is your friend, Bob Cook, and I’m back with you once again, thank God, to chat a little bit together, share together over the Word of God, the inerrant, infallible, eternal Word of God, the Bible. Well, parenthetically, we’re looking at these chapters in John, just recapping them, as my father used to say, “Just hit the high spots, boy.” Recapping them with the idea that John wrote the book to turn us to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. There is something to be said for the faith that believes God even when you can’t see the answer.
And I wanted to stop momentarily on the story that’s found in the closing verses of John chapter 4, the nobleman whose son was sick. They lived at Capernaum, and when he heard that Jesus had come out of Judea and to Galilee, he went and just begged Him that he would come down and heal his son, for he was at the point of death. And the nobleman said, “Sir, come down before my child dies.” Jesus said, “Go your way, your son is living.” And the man believed the word that Jesus had spoken unto him. He went his way and as he was now going down, his servants met him and said, “Your son is living.” And he inquired the hour that he began to amend and they said, “Yesterday at the seventh hour.” The father knew that it was at the same hour in which Jesus said unto him, “Thy son lives.” And he himself believed and his whole household.
What’s the point of all that for you and for me? It is that when God says it, you can trust it, even though you can’t see the results at the time. One of the great secrets of effective Christian living is active dependence upon the promises of God. Active obedience to the commands of God and active dependence upon the promises of God. Jesus said, “Go… ” Actually, what He was saying is, “Go on home, your son is living.” Not a very long conversation there. He says, “Your son is living.” And the man believed the Word and he went. He believed the Word and he went. There is always something to do by way of obedience when God speaks to you from His Word. Have you learned that? Never be satisfied with a cursory examination of the Word of God that is merely academic and merely considers the language itself. Always insist for your own sake. Always insist upon action, your action, that is, of obedience, following any experience of the promises of God as you read them, and as you think about them, and pray over them.
“Go thy way, thy son liveth.” The man believed and went his way, his servants met him a day later, they said, “Yesterday at the seventh hour.” So a day later, his servants met him and said, “The boy’s getting well.” The seventh hour, that’s when Jesus said the Word. You can depend upon God to keep His Word even though you don’t see the answer at the time. People say, “I’m from Missouri, show me.” Well, God’s rule is, “You believe me and I’ll show you.” There’s the difference. Alright?
Now, we come to chapter 5 and we’re looking at these chapters, recapping them, as I told you, with a view to reflecting upon John’s statement that the whole Book of John was written that you and I might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God and that believing we might have life through His name. Chapter 5, what does it say? It tells us a story of a person who had reached the end of the rope and there wasn’t anybody to help him. Here was a man whose friends had come and laid him, along with a great multitude of other people, impotent folk, blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water. There was a tradition that when the water began to bubble up that was because an angel had stirred it up and if you jumped in first you’d be healed. That was what they believed about it at that time.
Well, a certain man was there, which had an infirmity 38 years. Can you imagine being paralyzed for 38 years? I can’t imagine that. God has given me such good health through the years, and so I can’t begin to place myself in that kind of a situation, not able to move a muscle. Jesus saw him and knew that he’d been now a long time in that condition. He said, “You wanna be well? Wilt thou be made whole?” We’d say it, “You wanna get well?” Well, I’ll tell you that’s not a question that you ask when you make a hospital call. As a pastor, I’ve made a thousand calls a year when I was in the pastorate, three times a day, go tell somebody about Jesus and in that connection oftentimes you’ll stop by a hospital and stand by the sick bed and seek to give comfort and assurance and lift a prayer that will refresh the patient and then get on out before his fever rises. [chuckle]
A hospital call has to be blessing, and brief if it’s going to be effective. Anyhow, then He says, “You wanna get well?” Well, the man said, “There’s nobody to help me. I have no man. Nobody is here to help me. I don’t have anybody. And when the water is troubled, that while I’m coming, another steppeth down before me. I don’t have anybody.” Now, if you haven’t gotten there already, you will sometime or other. You’ll be in a position where there isn’t anybody that seems able to help you. Your friends may give you sympathy or advice or both, but that doesn’t help. There isn’t anybody that can help you. At that point, you’ll find that the Lord Jesus is the answer when you’re at the end of your resources. He said, “I don’t have anybody.” Jesus said, “You got me.”
My sister sent me years ago a little card, which I carry in my wallet to this day. It’s about a half inch wide and maybe an inch and a half long and on it are printed these words, “When you are down to nothing at all, then for the first time you may realize that God is enough.” When you are down to nothing at all, then for the first time you may realize that God is enough. He said to Paul, “My grace is sufficient for thee.” Three times, Paul had engaged in extended prayer, he said, “I sought the Lord thrice.” Now, that’s more than just a word of prayer as we say it. He engaged in extended prayer about this matter. God said, “I’m not gonna heal you, I’m gonna give you grace instead. My grace is sufficient for thee. For my strength,” God says, “Is made perfect in weakness.” So Paul says, “Well, if that’s true, then I’ll glory in the infirmity, because when I’m weak then by God’s grace I’m strong. I can do all that Christ asks me to do because He strengthens me.”
So here you have this dear man, 38 years sick and the stranger of Galilee stands looking down at him and says, “You wanna get well?” And he gives the expected human response, “Get well? Oh,” he says, “If I could.” He said, “But nobody’s here to help me.” Now, a small thought here, the man was reasoning on the basis of the circumstances he knew. He had seen some people helped, let us say, by stepping into the Pool of Bethesda. This man had seen some people helped by stepping into the water of this pool and so he figured, “The only way I can get help is by doing what everybody else is doing.” You follow that? Jesus said, “You wanna get well?” He says, “I don’t have anybody to help me do what is traditionally done to help people.” See, God likes to go outside of tradition. He likes to go outside of what you can figure out. He likes to move independent of human routines and so, don’t limit your life, beloved. I don’t know who needs this but somebody does. I feel so strongly I must say it. Don’t limit your life by saying, “Well, this is the way everybody has done it; therefore, I must.” God may want to do an entirely new thing through you.
Al Metsker has been the director of Youth for Christ in Kansas City for 40 years and he started as a very young fellow just off the farm and has grown up with it, and is a very wonderful leader and a cherished friend. His daughter went with him to the National Religious Broadcasters convention two or three years ago and while there, she encountered someone who planted in her mind the idea of establishing a haven for young women who had become pregnant and to offer them care during their pregnancy as an alternative to abortion. The idea got hold of her and she gathered some of the other folk from the Kansas City area who were present at the convention in Washington, they began to pray. They had come in a bus that I believe was owned by the Youth for Christ organization in Kansas City. And so on the way back on the bus they held a prayer meeting that lasted through the hours of that trip and came back with a plan. They were going somehow to raise enough money to buy a place, wherever it might be, that could be used as a hospital, a haven, a home, for young women who chose to bear a child rather than to kill it by abortion.
When they got back to Kansas City, they found that there was a property already built that was quite suitable, including an infirmary for their their needs, but the price was way out of line. Not daunted at all, they began to pray and they went on the television and the radio and they raised the required amount within, I think, less than a month and purchased the property, began operations, providing hope and a haven for those who were in that desperate, needy situation. Today, I think as I recall Al’s comment just a few weeks ago, it’s over 200 now, precious babies that have been born in that facility. There’s a doctor in residence, there are teachers to teach teenage mothers who are not yet out of school. All of the things that are necessary are there because somebody decided to obey God in a way that was outside of routine. You wanna think about that for yourself? Jesus wants to do a specially wonderful thing through you.
Dear Heavenly Father, today, help us to fit in to Thy unusual plans for the salvation of others. 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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