What Do You Depend On?
You and I don’t have to depend on good and bad luck. Good luck is the quality of being in God’s will at the right place and the right times so He can bless you.
Alright thank you very much, and hello again dear radio friends. How in the world are you? Doing Alright? Well, I trust so. I’m back again, this is your good friend Dr. Cook, and I’m here at the Otari tape recorder with the timer and the comfortable collection of junk, about which I’ve told you from time to time, and most importantly, the Word of God in the concordance in the Greek New Testament, and the two or three other commentaries around me, so that I can refer to them from time to time as we look at God’s Word. We’re in the 23rd Psalm, we’ve come down to this last verse in the 23rd Psalm, “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life”. Goodness. God’s goodness. We talked about that just a little bit the last time we got together. Starts with the goodness of God, “Leadeth thee to repentance”, order steps and stops, and stumbles for the servant of God. God is good, ready to forgive thee. He’s more ready than you are, to be reconciled to you when you’ve strayed from the path. He’s good also, in relation to the opinions and criticisms of other people, “Thy judgments are good, so I’ll have something to deal with Him”, says the psalmist, “that reproaches me”. Now, we all get criticized. The only person who doesn’t get criticized is someone who is either dead or not doing anything and so looks dead. If you never do anything you won’t get criticized, but if you do something you’ll receive some kind of criticism for somebody. I often tell our friends, not everybody knows that you and I are is nice and smart as we really are, so because they don’t know they criticize us! By the way, let me say a word to some of the younger people in the audience. Don’t bristle and get upset when people question you or criticize you because that means you’re worth something to them. When mother and dad say, where are you going or where have you been, or what have you done, don’t get upset and say, “listen I’m a grown up now, don’t ask me about these things,” now don’t do that. You thank God that your mother and father care about you, because you’re very precious to them. The reason they ask you questions and the reason they give you, now and then, some directions, is because you are so very, very precious to them. The same thing is true, in that ordinary everyday life. If the boss gives you criticism, be grateful because that means he thinks you are worth improving.
Henry Ford stopped beside a young man working on a piece of machinery, in the old days when Mr. Ford, the senior Mr. Ford, used to walk through the factories and see for himself what was going on. He stopped beside this young man and said, “Son, you’re doing that awkwardly. Let me show you how”, and he took over the operation and did it with those skilled, practiced hands of the expert engineer and mechanic that he was, and then stepped back said, “That’s the way it needs to go, son”. And he saw that the young man was upset and a thin line of red embarrassment was going up the back of his neck: he was embarrassed and he was upset and probably a little angry. And Mr. Ford said, “Son, don’t be upset because I talked with you. If I didn’t think you were worth it, I wouldn’t have stopped”, Oh, criticism comes because you are worth something and because you are doing something, so don’t bristle and get upset and blowup when people ask you questions or when they criticize or offer comments. That means you’re worth something! Thank your lucky stars that you’ve got something worth talking about, right? I just used a heathen expression there, did you notice that? I talked about lucky stars, aren’t any such things, are there? The Christian doesn’t depend on luck, thank God, “Steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord and He delighteth in His way”. No, you and I don’t have to depend on good and bad luck. Good luck is the quality of being in God’s will at the right place and the right times so He can bless you. That’s a far cry from what the world calls luck.
Well anyhow, we’ve come now to a continued discussion of this concept of goodness, and I looked for my own soul, at a whole passage in Luke Chapter 12 that talks about God’s goodness. Right in the middle of it, it says, quoting our Lord Jesus, “It is your Father’s good pleasure, fear not little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure, to give you the Kingdom”. That’s right in the middle of that passage. I want you to see with you how it ties together. What about the goodness of God? First of all, you don’t have to worry because God cares about you, Luke 12:22 and the verses 22 to 28 or nine, “Your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things. Take no thought”, (that means don’t worry), “for your life, what you shall eat neither from the body what you shall put on-the life is more than meat and the body’s more than raiment. Look at the ravens-they neither sow nor reap, and God feeds them. How much more are ye better than the fowls”. You birds are worth more than those birds, He might have said, “And which of you was taking thought”, don’t worry in other words, taking thought means worrying, “which of you by worrying can add to his stature one cubit”. A cubit was the length of the space between the end of the oh, what was it, the end of the little finger and the end of the thumb, something like that. A cubit was something less than a foot anyway, and if you worry you can’t make yourself grow that much. I guess some short people wish they could. but other tall people wish that it would work the other way, and neither can do anything about their condition by worrying. So, if you’re not able to do that which is least why take thought for the rest? Why do you worry about these things if you can’t change some things? Can’t change how you are, what you are, the kind of person you are, the body in which you were born, and the circumstances around you. He said, “Don’t worry, God cares about you. The lilies, they toil not nor spin and yet Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these if then God so clothed the grass, how much more shall the clothe you? Seek not what ye shall eat or drink, neither be of doubtful mind, for all these things do the nations of the world seek after”. What He said, rather, “Your Father knoweth that you have need of these things, rather seeking the Kingdom of God and all these things shall be added unto you”. Now, that passage there that I’ve read and paraphrased in spots, is what leads up to the verse, “Fear not, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the Kingdom”. Part of God’s goodness, then, is His constant care for me and His provision for me.
Now, somebody is saying ‘Well Brother Cook, I know it’s alright for you to say that, I’m trying to do God’s will and I’m having an awful time. I just lost my job and I haven’t any money and the rent is due, and the babies got the chickenpox, and so on and so on.’ I know, bless your heart. There is a bitter something that comes into your heart and mind when some cheerful persons says, ‘cheer up, it could be worse!’ You think of that well, I cheered up and sure enough it got worse. What is the connection between my rough circumstances and promises like this? Number one, by faith you take the fact that God cares about you. You don’t look at circumstances to prove anything about God, “He that cometh to God must believe that He is and that He is rewarder of them that diligently seek Him, without faith it is impossible to please God .”You take God by faith, not by circumstances or reason, that’s the first thing. You may be in a very rough shape today, and I’ve only begun to describe the troubles that some of you are facing, I know it. I know it, I’ve been there myself and I know that it’s tough to live, from day-to-day, when you don’t have enough to live with, and the responsibilities and cares of life are crowding in upon you, and all that some people can give you is advice, they don’t give you a helping hand. I know. So then what? You have to start somewhere with God, and you start by knowing that He’s still on the job, and He still cares about you. Would you take that step now, dear friend, dear troubled friend? Take that step, say, “Lord I know you’re there. I know you care, you said so in your Word, and although my circumstances are rough, yet I know that you do care”. And then the second thing is to realize that you are different from the unsaved people around you. You have the privilege of not worrying. He said, “Don’t worry about all these things, for all of these things do the nations of the world seek after”, and your Father knoweth that you need of these things. You have the privilege of not worrying, like unsaved people do, about food and clothing and shelter, and that sort of a thing.
You can trust your blessed Heavenly Father to see you through. Let me give you a little scripture illustration. There was a lady one day, who was about to starve to death. She only had a little bit of cornmeal left in the a container, and she had a little olive oil, and she went out to pick up some dried sticks somewhere so that she could light a fire and bake some pancakes, we’d call them I guess. She called them loaves, out of this flour and oil and whatever else you put it. Then she said, “That’s all, we haven’t got anything left. There is no money, so my son and I are going to starve to death”. Well, just at that point showed up the prophet of God, Elijah, and he said, “Do as Thou has said, but bring me first a little cake and some water. You put God first”, he said, “and we’ll see what happens”. Well, you know the rest of the story. That cruise of oil and that container of the cornmeal or whatever it was, some kind of flour, miraculously was kept full throughout an entire year, while Elijah lived at her house. She thought she was going to starve to death, but God’s representative came along and said, “Put God first”, and when she did, the supply for a whole year until a harvest came and her circumstances changed. The supply for a whole year came. Do you dare today, I know it doesn’t sound practical, some practical soul will say ‘Oh brother Cook you’re such a dreamer. Whoever heard of putting God first when you haven’t got the rent money? Well that’s precisely what the Bible’s teaching us, beloved, that is precisely what the Bible’s teaching us.If you dare to put God first, He dares to trust you with His blessing, “Bring you all the tithes into the storehouse and prove me now herewith”, saith the Lord, “if I will not pour you out a blessing that there shall not be room enough to receive it”, Malachi3:10, “is the promise”, and it’s never been rescinded. God still promises to bless the person who put Him first. Would you take by think number one take by faith in God hasn’t forgotten you, reach up by faith and thank Him right now for taking care of you even if you can see the evidence of it. Hebrews 11 says, “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen”. You haven’t seen the rent money yet, you haven’t seen the groceries yet, but reach up and believe God for it, and see to your delight, how He supplies the need. Take God by faith, take the supply by faith, after, after that is you have put God first.
Dear Father today, may we depend upon Thee, Thou gracious, wonderful, good God, 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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