Use Me Now
Sometimes you can just keep your mouth shut and let God take care of it.
Alright, thank you very much, and hello again, dear radio friends. How in the world are you? Are you doing all right? Well, I’m fine, thank you, happy in the Lord. Praise God from whom blessings flow. Nice to be back with you. I cherish these times with you, look forward to them like a missionary looks forward to furlough, as they say. Oh, it’s great to be together in the Word of God. Come with me then to the 15th chapter of the book of Romans. Paul is saying as he’s writing to these people of Rome, he’s been telling them he wants to come to see them in connection with the journey to Spain.
After he has delivered the love offering to the people at Jerusalem to help the poor saints, then said he, “I’m going to Spain and on the way I want to come and visit you folk at Rome.” Remember, it’s not wrong to make plans as long as you’re making them under the sovereign guidance of God. Yes, look ahead. Yes, make your plans. Yes, be frank about what it is you would like to do and be and become. You’re not required to drift through life in order to be spiritual. God does not require you to be a dedicated clod or a clam on God’s beach waiting for the tide to roll in.
You can think and use your brains and make your plans and express your wishes but all of it, if you please, under the sovereign direction of Jesus Christ your Lord and in-line with the eternal plans of God. Our prayer always has to be “Not my will but Thine be done.” So Paul said, “This is what I want to do. I want to come see you.” “Now,” he says, “I’m sure that when I come unto to you, I shall come in the fullness of the blessing of the gospel of Christ.” The fullness of the blessing of the gospel of Christ.
Actually, if you translate your Greek New Testament literally, he says, “I know, however, that coming to you in the fullness of blessing of Christ I shall come.” The word “gospel” is interpolated in there and it makes sense because we’re talking now about the message of the Lord Jesus and what He means and the blessing of Christ- actually, benediction and blessing – it comes in terms of the gospel. So what he’s saying is, “I know that coming to you in the overflowing,” “plêrômati” means full to overflowing, “in the overflowing blessing of Christ and His gospel, I shall come to you.” That’s about how you read it.
Now, you can be sure of some things. You can be sure of God’s Word. “For ever, O Lord, Thy Word is settled in heaven.” You can be sure that God answers prayer. “He that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.” You can be sure that God’s plans are forever and that they are established and that God has a plan for your life. “Known unto God,” the Bible says, “Known unto God are all His works,” all that is, “His works from the beginning of the world.”
You can be sure that God is going to win the battle. “Thanks be to God which always causeth us to triumph in Christ and maketh manifest the Savior,” that’s the word fragrance, “makes manifest the fragrance of His knowledge by us,” we’re God’s perfume, in other words, “in every place.” God is a winner and He’s going to help you win. You can be sure of that. You can be sure that the final outcome will be a victory over Satan. Revelation 12:11 says, “They overcame him,” that is Satan, “by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.”
You can be sure of all these things. You can be sure that every trouble works for you, not against you. “Our light affliction, which is but for a moment,” the Bible says, “Worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.” Take out all the modifying phrases and words in that statement and you’ve got this remarkable assertion “trouble works for us.” That’s precisely what God makes it do as you’re living in His will and in His program— “trouble works for us.” Now, you can be sure of all that.
You can be sure that the Word of God is without error. You can be sure that God answers prayer. You can be sure that there is a place for you in heaven. Jesus said, “I’d go to prepare a place for you and if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to myself that were I am, there ye may be also.” So you can be sure there’s a place for you in heaven. You can be sure that trouble works for you. You can be sure that Satan is a defeated foe. You can be sure that God will give you strength enough to do what he asks you to do.
Paul says, “I can do all things through Christ who strengtheneth me.” And you can be sure that when all the dust has settled in the celestial battlefield, Jesus will be the winner and you will be the winner with Him. Well, hallelujah for that! Oh, I’m glad that’s all so. Now then, he said, “I’m sure that when I come unto you, I shall come in the fullness of the blessing of the gospel of Christ.” You can be sure of being a blessing. Isn’t that a great concept? How often have you come into a situation very warily and carefully as though you were treading, as we say, on eggs?
You were very wary. You were careful. You wondered how people were receiving you. You were afraid of giving offence by something you might say or do. You know the feeling, don’t you? Not a very comfortable feeling, is it? But isn’t it great to know that when you’re walking with your Lord and you’re obeying His Word and you’re depending upon His Spirit, you can be just your own self, you can be just as natural and relaxed and human as you really are, and God uses you to be a blessing; “The fullness of the blessing of the gospel of Christ”.”
How does this happen? First of all, be sure you’re in God’s directive will. When you’re obeying God, you’re unsinkable. Jesus said, “Go ye therefore and make disciples of all nations teaching them, etc, and lo, I am with you all the way.” When you’re obeying God’s direct command when you’re engaged in spreading the gospel, when you are giving your life and efforts in service for your Lord, you my friend are unsinkable and unstoppable and you will be, incidentally, you’ll be a blessing to the people whom your life touches.
You can be sure that when you’re engaged in obeying God, He’s going to make you a blessing. You see, oftentimes, we think that some special effort on our part, some special tone of voice perhaps, some special approach to religion will make us a blessing. I find myself falling into that snare now and again. Some one of our people here at the college may be ill or have had surgery or something and so I take my Bible and I go over to make a hospital call. Well now, I was in the pastor at 18 years, full-time. I know how to make a hospital call and that sort of a thing.
And so I go up to the desk and I say, “I’m Dr. Cook and I’m here to see so and so. And I like to go up just to visit.” And so I go on up to the room and I come on in and I sit down and smile and we talk about “how are you and how are you feeling” and so on and so on. And then I open the Word of God and I pray earnestly for the patient. And I get on out before his fever goes up. I always remember a hospital visit doesn’t have to be eternal in order to be immortal. (Laughs). Hospital visits and speeches should be noted for their sincerity and their shortness, right?
Well, anyhow, I have found myself as I talked with my friend, adapting a kind of a ministerial attitude. I came in as a good friend. I somewhere changed gears and sounded like a minister ought to sound. Well now, that’s not wrong. There’s nothing wrong with sounding like a preacher. “I is one”. You remember the old Swede that said, “You just think of it. When I came to this country I couldn’t even spell engineer. Now I are one.” Well, now I are one. I’m a minister and I suppose there’s nothing wrong with sounding ministerial, whatever that is.
But I have found that people appreciate you if you just be real, just be yourself. You don’t have to take on any special tone of voice to be a blessing. That’s the point I’ve been making. I went all around Robin Hood’s barn to make it. You don’t have to take on a special tone of voice to be a blessing. You don’t have to have a certain stance, a certain demeanor, a certain attitude in order to be a blessing. You don’t have to be officially religious even to be a blessing. You can just be yourself, full of the Holy Spirit. Isn’t that a nice thought?
You don’t have to try to be religious enough to help other people. Just be yourself, full of the Holy Spirit. Just invite Jesus into everyday living. Many a person loses his testimony because he growls around the house. He hasn’t asked God to fill him or her with the Spirit of God in terms of family relationships and where one might be very careful of his words and responses in terms of dealing with people outside the home. There at home, we reserve the right to grumble and complain and talk back and say things that are cutting or critical or mean or sarcastic and we lose all possibility then of being spiritually useful of being, as we say, a blessing, isn’t it true?
You can see how important it is to yield yourself to the blessed Spirit of God at the beginning of every day so that in your interaction with your own family – loved ones – you can be a blessing. “Hereunto were ye called,” said Simon Peter, “that ye should inherit a blessing.” God has, as part of His plans, that you should be blessed and that you should bless others. But you see, the secret is let the “blesser” – let the one who does the blessing — that is God himself by means of the dear Spirit of God – let the “blesser”, the Holy Spirit of God, fill your life so that casual words and reactions and conversations — all of them, are under His control. Good idea?
Pray your way through the day. You won’t speak out of turn if you’ve been praying, “Lord, help me now.” You won’t answer back with a caustic reply if you’ve just whispered a prayer and said, “Lord, keep the door of my mouth. Keep me. Help me to say the right thing.” Sometimes God will help you keep silent rather than help you say something. It’s not necessary, have you found out that it’s not necessary to answer everything? Simon Peter didn’t learn that for a long time. The gospels are full of phrases “Peter answered and said,” nobody ever asked him anything but he answered and said.
He always had to be a vocal, didn’t he? You don’t have to answer everything. You don’t have to answer every criticism that you receive either in conversation or in a letter or whatever. Sometimes you can just keep your mouth shut and let God take care of it. The secret is, however, be praying your way through the day so that every turning of life’s corner—every phone call, every letter, every conversation, every encounter with other human beings, you’re whispering a prayer as you turn the corner on life’s road and you say, “Now, Lord, keep me now. Use me now. Make me a blessing now.” Pray your way through the day. That’s what I tell our young people here and it works very well, I assure you.
Dear Father, today, help us to pray our way through the day so that we can be a blessing, in Jesus’ name I ask this, Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing.
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