Yield yourself to Christ and let the Holy Spirit of God guide you. You’ll find that you too, have the thrill and the joy of winning somebody to the Lord Jesus.
Alright thank you very much, and hello again dear radio friends. How in the world are you? Yes, that little greeting establishes the fact that this is indeed your good friend, Dr. Cook, and I’m glad to be back with you. I look forward to these times of being with you by way of radio. It blesses my own heart for some reason, as I look into the word and share it with you, I feel better. I feel refreshed when I’ve been with you for a while and shared from the Lord of God. How good the Lord is to give us to each other, isn’t He?
Well, we’re looking into Mark 1, and our Lord Jesus has had this incident in the synagogue at Capernaum.
And so that when they came out of the synagogue it said,
“They entered into the house of Simon and Andrew with James and John. And Simon Peter’s mother-in-law was sick of a fever and a non, (that means by-and-by they tell Him about her). He came and took her by the hand and lifted her up and immediately the fever left her and she ministered unto them. And at evening when the sun was setting, they brought unto Him all the were diseased and those who were possessed with demons, and all the city was gathered at the door and He healed many that were sick of different kinds of diseases, and cast out many demons, but suffered not the demons to speak, because they knew Him. In the morning, rising up a great while before day, He went out and departed into a solitary place in there prayed, and Simon, they that were with Him followed after Him, and when they found Him they said, “All men are looking for You, seek for Thee”, and He said, “Let’s go into the next town”.
Now, there’s a number of verses. I read them all, because they all hold together. w=We’ll just see how far we get in this as we go on from verse to verse.
Out of church, into service. Always make that your order of progression.
“They came out of the synagogue and went into the home of Simon and Andrew, James and John came along, Simon’s mother-in-law, wife’s mother, lay sick with a fever, and they told Him about her.”
He went lifted her up, healed her, and she immediately went out into the kitchen and started making the biscuits and getting ready to make the gravy and all that. Oh, grandmas aren’t happy when they have to be laid aside. I guess some of you know how that feels, don’t you? You used to be so busy in the kitchen and around the house taking care of things, and then arthritis slowed you down, or some other ailment felled you and laid you aside for a while, and you felt so frustrated, because are so many things you wanted to get in and help with. Couldn’t do it.
Well, that’s how Peter’s mother-in-law felt, I’m sure. The Lord Jesus came in and healed her, “Came and took her by the hand lifted her up and immediately the fever left her and she ministered unto them”.
Out of church, into service.
When you go to church, pray not only that you may be able to stay awake throughout the meeting — that’s quite the compass, but in some churches isn’t it. But pray that God will lead you as a result of the teaching you’ve gotten and the blessing you’ve received. That God will lead you to serve Him better as you go out of church.
Most people go out of church with a feeling of vast relief. You can see their facial set change when they’re going into church. Their face goes “into neutral” so to speak, and they begin to look more sober, and they hope, religious. And then after the doxology and after they’ve gone out the door and greeted the minister, watch them. On the steps of the church and on their way home, you can see their facial set begin to change and become more relaxed. And then they think, now church is over and we’re on our way home for dinner and so on. I guess that’s human after all. I think I probably do it just as well as anyone else.
The fact is however, that coming from the house of God, very frequently, God has for you when you come from the house of God, He has for you an opportunity to be of service to someone who is in need or who is hurting or who is laid aside and frustrated. And you need — you and I need — to look for opportunities to serve with more effectiveness because we’ve been in the house of the Lord.
You want to sort of mark that down in your sort of metal notebook? Not just to get out of church and go, and go back into so-called normal living, but to leave the house of God and the place of worship to serve and to help meet the needs of others.
That, I think, is what God would have you and me to do.
Then, the evening time came, the sun was setting, and it said, “They brought unto Him all that were diseased”.
Now this is a throwback you see to verse 27, “With authority commandeth He even the unclean spirits and they do obey Him”.
The word got around — didn’t take long — and so there they were at the door, all the city was gathered together. My, what a crowd. And He healed many that were sick from different kinds of diseases and cast out many demons, but He would let the demon speak. He didn’t want that kind of free advertising.
What’s the point of it? Service tends to grow. Worship, worship and the power of God in the worship, second service for an individual, third service for a city.
Young man come to me and say, “How can I become a great evangelist?” And I tell him, “Start winning souls, one by one”.
A preacher friend of mine was so discouraged, he was about to quit. In the city in the heartland of our country. And it was a struggling work — and he was struggling and nothing seem to be going on. He tried, and he preached, and he prayed — nothing seem to be happening. And finally, he just told his wife; he said, “I’m going to quit”. But God was dealing with him — and the way God dealt with him was to burden him to go out and see whether he couldn’t win some souls himself.
And so he began — just to go out and talk to people on the street: in their homes. And God used him in a remarkable matter to win a lot of people to Christ. And as he did, he invited them to his church and then when they came, he discipled them and sent them out in the same way: to visit and to share Christ, and to win souls. And as the years went by his pastorate developed into a large, substantial, and significant church work. From being willing to quit to starting one by one, to win souls.
Now, most of us would like to start at the top somewhere, but that isn’t the way it works is it? Today, my dear friends, I may be talking to someone who has never, in all of your life, shared your faith in Christ with anyone. And you get embarrassed and afraid even at the thought of it. You think, “how could I do that?” Well, the Lord Jesus said, “Ye shall be witnesses unto Me” — He said, “The Holy Spirit of God would make you a witness”. And so you can yield your life, including your ability to speak to other people, to the blessed Holy Spirit. And He can guide you to someone who was just ready for you to speak to him or her about the Lord Jesus Christ.
You pray about that. Yield yourself to Christ and let the Holy Spirit of God guide you. You’ll find that you too have the thrill and the joy of winning somebody to the Lord Jesus. And then you take time with that somebody to teach him or her how to go on and grow in the Christian life, and how to share their faith with somebody else, and so the multiplication process has begun.
Oh, it’s from worship, to serving one person, to serving the whole city — that was the progression there with our Lord Jesus. And it will be so, beloved, with you as well. Always works that way.
Now it says, “In the morning, rising up a great while before day, He went out and departed into a solitary place in there prayed”.
I spoke the other day with a man who was going from city to city — challenging men particularly — to be out of bed by four at prayer by five. That’s his theme, and if that seems a little rigorous, just remember the Lord Jesus did that and sometimes prayed all night, in prayer to God.
“Rising up a great while before day, He went out”.
In that part of the country, the sun rises around six, and so He was praying long before then. You want to give some thought about early morning prayer? The reason the church in Korea, for example, is so strong is that they believe in early morning prayer. In many of the churches in Korea, you’ll find that the church is packed with people praying at 5 A.M. They got there before that, and they are praying at five, waiting on God.
Oh, you and I, I think, fall behind in this matter. Our praying, often times, is done on a crisis basis, or purely routine, where we say a few words and ask God to guide us. But our Lord Jesus renewed the power. Yes, He’s God. He’s just as much God as God the Father, God the Spirit. But He humbled Himself — He limited, voluntarily limited Himself, to the confines of a human body, didn’t he? Took on Him, the form of a servant and was made obedient unto death. The death of the cross.
Jesus, our blessed Lord, was and is perfectly human while being perfectly divine. And in those days, He renewed the strength of the divine within Him by praying. Now, you can’t do this all at once, I presume. But you can set the alarm for a few minutes early, just a few minutes earlier, and spend those minutes with the Lord.
Lawrence Sanim, my good friend of the Navigators work a good many years ago, gave out a little booklet that had to do with having a devotional time — a successful devotional time, in 7 ½ minutes. For busy people who think they don’t have time to pray, he challenged them and us, to spend 7 ½ minutes with God before you get going in the day. You can start with that. Anybody can get up a few minutes earlier and get on your knees and read scripture and confess your sins and layout the day before God, then ask Him to guide and protect and keep you.
You can do that. Start there, and then as God blesses you, perhaps you might want to spend some more time in the beginning of the day, with your blessed Lord. I asked Frau Dr. Basusugan in Edinburg, Switzerland, years ago — this would’ve been in 1948, nearly 40 years ago. I ask her Frau Dr., “How is it you’re so calm and so at peace, even in the midst of all the many details that you have in managing a large conference such as this one”? She had at least 500 guests to take care of during that particular week.
She smiled and walked away but Mrs. Neighbor who was standing there said, “Bob, I’m her roommate during these days. I gave up my room so you Americans would have a place to sleep”, and she said, “I’m her roommate, and I can tell you that by 5 o’clock this morning, the good Frau Dr. had prayed through the whole day and was ready”.
There’s the secret isn’t it? Ah, yes. Rising up a great while before day, “He went out into a solitary place and there prayed”. Now, you can always find a solitary place, even in busy times. I’ve prayed in coal cellars, I’ve prayed in attics, I’ve prayed in cars, I’ve prayed in all sorts of places. You can find a place if you want to, to be alone with God and He, I can guarantee you, beloved, will not fail to meet you. He’ll be there, “Seek ye Me, and you shall find Me. You shall search for me, find me when you shall seek me with all your heart”. “Drawn nigh to God”, the Bible says, “and He will draw nigh to you”.
Be a person of prayer today, will you? Carve out some extra time to be alone with your Lord, and see for yourself the increase in spiritual power that is there.
God bless you my dear friend.
Father God, today, may we be victorious in the power of the Lord Jesus Christ, I pray 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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