What Are You Really Thinking About?
What you really think about, that which is on your mind all the time, becomes the basis on which you are willing to risk your life and your well-being
And hello, radio friends. How in the world are you? Yes, this is your friend, Dr. Cook, and I’m glad to be back with you. I look forward to the time I can spend with you. So glad that God allows me this unspeakably precious privilege of fellowshipping with you over the Word of God.
Well, come with me to Mark chapter 14. The story of Mary and her perfume offering at this special dinner that they had at the house of Simon the leper, the former leprosy person. I’m sure the Lord Jesus had healed him. “Martha served,” it said. Oh, by the way, let me take a little detour here. “Martha served.” You find that in another of the Gospel records. Now, it’s interesting that the last time Martha was serving, she was complaining. “Lord, does thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone, bid her therefore that she help me.” Period, bang. Oh, she was upset. Well, as every lady who’s ever had company knows, there are a lot of things have to be done at the last moment. Have to turn out the biscuits, have to mash the potatoes, have to make the gravy, have to turn out the Jell-o salad. Everything has to be done the last minute, doesn’t it? You need help. That’s right. [chuckle]
So Martha was quite within her rights in asking for help but she was mistaken in being upset because Mary was sitting at the feet of Jesus, and our Savior told her so. Said, “Mary hath chosen that good part. You’re care-filled and troubled about many things, but Mary hath chosen that good part which will not be taken away from her.” If there’s ever a choice, beloved, if there is ever a choice… Nothing wrong with housework, nothing wrong with hospitality, and nothing wrong with doing the things that simply won’t do themselves. Somebody has to do it. Nothing wrong with that. But if there’s ever a choice between spending a minute with Jesus or doing something else, you better choose Jesus.
So anyway, Martha was really complaining there. Now, the next time that we’re in touch with her, lo and behold, she’s serving but not complaining. Now, things are different. Lazarus has been raised, her own heart has been touched, and she is in a different mood. They made him a supper, and Martha served. And Lazarus was one of them that sat at the table with him, and Mary took this pound of ointment of spikenard and anointed him. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. Martha got over her grumbling when she witnessed what Jesus could do.
I think the cure for grumbling, and self-pity, and criticism has to rest right there, beloved. Am I talking to somebody who feels that everybody else is getting the sunshine and you’re stuck with the job? I’ve felt that way sometimes. [chuckle] Haven’t you? Everybody else is getting the applause, and the sunshine, and they’re taking it easy, and I’m stuck with the job, I gotta do it. [chuckle] Oh, you can feel so sorry for yourself in circumstances such as that. But the cure for self-pity, and discouragement, and grumbling is just to take a look at what the Lord Jesus can do. Lazarus, once dead, in the grave four days, now, seated at the table there with the rest of them. Every time she looked at him, she remembered that day when she said, “Lord, I believe.” And her heart, and her attitude, and her whole outlook on life was changed by the Lord of the resurrection. And she ran and said, “Mary, you better go see him, too.”
Anybody in the audience today that has been working awfully hard without much recognition, and you think, “Yeah, everybody else has it good, but I’m stuck with all this work?” Somebody like that, listen, friend, look to Jesus, see what He’s doing. See how precious He is. See how wonderful his work has been even in your own life. Be encouraged in your Lord and take a new look at the job He’s given you. Nobody gave Martha any applause in John 12 at the supper in the house of Simon the leper, either. Nobody was saying thank you then, either, but she was a different person because she had been to the resurrection. She had met the Lord who said, “I am the resurrection and the life. He that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live, and whosoever liveth and believeth in in me shall never die. Believest thou this?” She said, “Yea, Lord, I believeth thou art the Christ.” She went on her way. Her point of view on things was changed when she saw truly the beauty of our blessed Lord. And the same thing can be true of you. Look to Jesus today, and that job won’t seem nearly so threatening as He holds your hand and you walk with him through the work-a-day world. Well, that was a detour of several minutes, wasn’t it? But then, I’m glad.
Well, there was some that had indignations and say, “Why was this waste?” And I pointed out to you that you never waste a sacrifice when it’s made for the Lord Jesus Christ, because he that doeth the will of God, 1 John 2:15, “He that doeth the will of God abideth forever.” And I also pointed out to you that the criticism that came from Judas came not because anything wrong was being done, but because his own heart had some problems. John, the beloved apostle, says rather sharply for this loving person. And he said this, he said… Not because he cared for the poor but because he was a thief and treasurer of the disciples. He carried the common purse, and he helped himself from what was in there. He was stealing. Isn’t that something? Long before Judas ever betrayed the Lord Jesus, he was stealing from him. And our Lord Jesus knew all things, so the Savior knew that Judas was stealing from him, but He didn’t say a word. Isn’t that something?
Oh. Small thought here. Any great collapse in somebody’s life does not come suddenly but is the result of smaller compromises. Judas thought, “Oh, I’ll just take a shekel or two out now, I’ll pay it back later.” But he never did. Small compromises at that point. And then he went, because of his love of money, he went and promised the chief priest that he would betray our blessed Lord. 30 pieces of silver, that was a lot for him. Your love of money will lead you from one compromise to another, but the truth that strikes me as we think about Judas Iscariot is that a collapse, a moral breakdown such as the betrayal of Christ, didn’t happen suddenly, drastically. It was the result of a number of other compromises, as John points out. He was a thief and carried the common purse, and helped himself. And that is said in the kind of grammar that means not just once but as a matter of habit. He had been stealing from the Lord and from the disciples all along.
Now, in these past months, we’ve had political candidates and religious leaders, all of them overtaken in different kinds of scandal. And the unbelieving world has had a field day. The Philistines have been laughing at God’s people. But when you study the situation, you have to recognize that whether it be the political leader or the religious leader, it makes no difference. The collapse that came seemingly suddenly, unannounced, was merely the result of a long series of other things. Compromises. Would you watch that in your own life, beloved, even as I watch it in mine? “Take us the little foxes,” Solomon says. “The little foxes that steal the vines, spoil the vines.” It’s the little compromises, a little bit of dishonesty here, a little temper there, a little jealousy someplace else, a little moral compromise someplace else. And you say to yourself, “It doesn’t matter.” Oh, yes it does. Because what I’m doing with a series of compromises and deviations from that which is really right, what I’m doing is building the structure from which ultimately one could fall in a great collapse. “He that being often reproved, hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be cut off and that without remedy,” said Solomon.
Judas had made a habit of stealing from Jesus and the disciples. And that habit of loving money and doing anything he could to get it became the determining factor in his decision to betray his master. What you think about becomes the basis on which you’re willing to risk the whole bundle. I said that to you some days ago, didn’t I, as I was meditating, myself upon Isaiah 26:3? “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is staid on Thee, because he trusteth in Thee.” “He trusteth in Thee” means I trust God so much that I’m willing to risk anything on His will. To trust God means to risk the situation on Him, doesn’t it? What leads to that? He said, “Whose mind is staid on Thee.” You think about God, you’ll be willing to risk the situation on Him.
And the truth that I drew out of that, which really shook up my own heart as I thought about it, it was, what you really think about, that which is on your mind all the time, becomes the basis on which you are willing to risk your life and your well-being. He trusteth in Thee. To trust means to risk the situation on God. And what you have your mind on, what you think about, that which consumes your time and your desires, ultimately becomes the basis on which you are willing to risk the whole bundle of life, reputation, friends, family, and all. You wanna think about that in your own heart and life?
Learn a lesson from Judas Iscariot, and grant, oh, God, grant to each one of us that our minds might be staid on God and on His Word. You know there’s only one way to modify human behavior, and that is to fill your heart and mind full of the Word of God. “Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed thereto according to Thy Word.” The more of the Bible that you have in mind and memory and heart, the more you will obey God as the Holy Spirit of God brings those truths to your remembrance.
Now there’s just one other truth in this story and we get at it the next time we get together. It is this: Sacrifice is calculated not on the basis of how much, but for Whom. The Lord Jesus said, “She hath wrought a good work on me.” That’s what really counts.
Dear Father today, may our hearts and minds be stayed on Thee. May we be found lavishing our best on our Savior, in Jesus name I pray. Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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