Who Deserves Glory?
When the Holy Spirit of God touches your life, He comes to dwell in the believer's heart. It's your job to open all the rooms in your heart house to Him.
Alright, thank you very much. And hello again, radio friends. How in the world are you? Well, of course I always wait for you to answer cause I know some people do. [chuckle] It’s kind of a two-way conversation there, isn’t it? Some people tell me, “When you ask, ‘How in the world are you?’ I say, ‘Don’t ask.'” Somebody else said, “One day I just said, ‘Yuck.'” [chuckle] Well, you do strike a day now and again that everything seems to be wrong and nothing goes right, and you feel bad, and you just say to yourself, “I should have stayed in bed.” I know that. Not every day can come up roses. But I wanna tell you something. Jesus, your blessed Lord, is still the same, and He said, “I’ll never leave you, nor forsake you.” And you can trust Him. So if you’ve struck a rough day, look up and trust your blessed Lord to see you through, not just somehow, but with triumph. God makes us winners, always causeth us to triumph. “Triumph” is the word, “in Christ, and makes manifest the fragrance of his knowledge by us in every place.” So trust your blessed Lord even today.
Well, this is your good friend, Bob Cook, and we’re back again, looking at the gospel of John, Chapter 7. 7:18 is an interesting verse. Now, we dwelt a little while on 7:17, “If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God or whether I speak of myself.” Growing out of that last phrase, “speak of myself,” is this next verse, “He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory, but he that seeketh his glory that sent him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him.” Years ago, when Youth for Christ was just beginning, back in the 1940’s, it attracted a number of, shall we say, flamboyant personalities, people who were thoroughly saved, but whose personality was such that they were… I guess flamboyant is as good a word as any, they just like to shine. They got together from time to time in council meetings and various types of gatherings, and you could see that there were some folk who just instinctively sought the spotlight, and who, when they spoke, had considerable reference to themselves. The perpendicular pronoun “I” was quite prominent. And I remember on one such occasion, my good friend, David Morkin, a great statesman, missionary statesman, and a true prophet of God; dear, dear brother, full of the Word of God. He stood up and he said, “I’d like to leave a verse with you, brethren. ‘He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory.'” And he went on to explain that the important thing is to seek the glory of God.
You don’t have to shine, all you have to do is make a difference. Salt doesn’t make any noise, neither does light, but it does make a difference, and that’s all that you have to do. I met a member of our brother Billy Graham’s team some years ago, shortly after they had had a team meeting. It was held someplace down in the Southland, I forget where it was, doesn’t matter, but I met this member of the team, and I said, “Well, how did things go?” “Oh,” he said, “We had a tremendous time.” “Well,” I said, “What was the highlight of the meeting? What happened?” Well, he said, “The one thing all of us will remember is that Billy stood up, and he said, ‘There’s one thing I want you always to remember, and that is, never, never, never touch the glory. You don’t have to talk about yourself, just give God the glory. If anybody starts to touch the glory, and I know about it, I’m gonna see that he’s fired. Don’t touch the glory.'” That was a good many years ago, and that admonition still holds. I suppose, and I’ve met most of the outstanding servants of God through the years, by His gracious provision. I suppose, as I look back over all of the outstanding servants of God and all of the evangelistic teams and missionary teams with which I have been privileged to work, I think I can safely say that the most humble and God glorifying bunch, over the years, has been those men and women who were working together with our brother Graham. And that’s quite a statement, isn’t it?
“Don’t touch the glory.” “He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory.” Now it’s impossible to avoid some personal reference. Look at Paul’s epistles, and you’ll find him talking about himself from time to time. But he always emphasized, “God forbid that I should glory save in the cross of Christ.” There’s the… And in 2 Corinthians 12, he says, “Most gladly, rather, will I glory in my infirmity that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For when I am weak, then, by God’s grace, I’m strong. By the grace of God, I am what I am.” So, while it’s impossible to avoid any reference to yourself, the underlying thought is, “Give God the glory.” Give Him the glory. Let Him shine. “If I be lifted up,” Jesus said, “will draw all men unto me.” When people meet you, what they should remember is Jesus, not you. It’s a big order, isn’t it? Yes, it is. But I’ll tell you something, when the Holy Spirit of God touches your life, He comes to dwell in the believer’s heart, but it’s your job to open all the rooms in your heart house to Him. You have to do the opening. He comes to dwell in your life, but you have to open the rooms. That’s what Ephesians 5:18 really means, “Be filled with the spirit.” So, as you open the rooms in your heart house to the blessed indwelling Spirit of God, something happens that transfers the emphasis from you to God.
Back in 1953, we had a world congress in Tokyo, Japan. And we had some 5,000 people there in all, many national believers from the main islands of Japan and delegates from all of the different third-world countries, and many people coming from Europe and North America and quite a few also from South America. It was quite a gathering. Two things happened that remain in my ministry… In my memory, I should say. Now I wanna tell you about them just by way of illustrating the point we’re making here. “He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory.” When God touches you, there’ll be a change.
Early in the week, we had a whole week in Tokyo before we broke up into preaching teams and spread out through all the main islands of Japan to come back again then for a massive rally at the end of the month of August in 1953; August 28 was the date, I remember it very clearly. But early on in the week that we had gathered together, we had rented the Tokyo Kaikan building and all five floors of it, a huge, huge building were open to us. One floor was for catering and eating, and another floor was for meetings, and another floor was for prayer, and all of that. So early on in the week, I heard people giving testimonies and being translated into Japanese. And I’m interested in different languages, I always try to learn a few words of the language of any country, which I visit.
So, typically, I was interested in the different words that were being used in these translated testimonies. And I heard one word that occurred again, and again, and again, and I ask my friend who was serving as my interpreter, a highly educated Japanese gentleman, who had an earned doctor’s degree from the US; very intelligent and a wonderful, wonderful brother. He and I were very close. And I ask him, I said, “There’s one word that I hear,” and I tried to pronounce it the best I could. And he looked a little embarrassed, and he said, “You don’t wanna know about that.” And he turned away, and I grabbed him. [chuckle] I said, “Now listen, I want to know. What is that word that keeps recurring in these testimonies?” And so, very embarrassed, he said, “Why, it’s the personal pronoun ‘I’.” The personal pronoun, the perpendicular pronoun, “I.”
That was early in the week, and, by the end of the week, Thursday, for example, things began to happen, and what people said was entirely different in its emphasis. One gentleman was very much upset that we had allowed delegates from other countries. He was from America, and he had considerable racial bias, it must be said, and he was very much upset over the fact that people of different nations and different colors were all mixed together there. He just didn’t like that. But Thursday morning, he was there at breakfast, and at breakfast, we always had a devotional time right after the food was finished at breakfast. And this morning, Armin Gesswein, I believe, was speaking. You people on the west coast know him. He’s the patron saint of prevailing prayer, isn’t he? Armin Gesswein was speaking, and all of a sudden, this man about whom I’ve been speaking, who was upset because people of different colors and races were mixed together there, he just ran out of the room and went down one floor to the level where it was reserved for prayer. And as he went into the room, he said aloud, “Would somebody pray for me?” And he knelt down and began to pour out his heart to God.
You know who God sent to pray for him? He sent Mr. Kaladi from India. This man was a railroad official, highly trained, and highly educated, a wonderful man. But his color was as close to black as you’ve ever seen; from India, Mr. Kaladi. And God sent Mr. Kaladi to pray with this man who was upset about color. [chuckle] Isn’t that poetic justice? But wait, do you know what Mr. Kaladi prayed when he got down on his knees beside this gentleman from America who was concerned about color? Do you know what Mr. Kaladi prayed? Well, of course you don’t, but I’ll tell you. He said, “Oh, God, forgive me that I have felt superior to this white man.” [chuckle]
When God gets you, He turns things around, and the emphasis is changed in your life, isn’t it? Would you let Him do that for you today? “He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory.” How can you get over that? Try somehow to manipulate your own vocabulary so that you don’t appear to be proud or self-seeking? No, it has to go deeper than that, beloved. Get into the presence of your blessed Lord, and let Him touch the very roots of your nature and your motivation, to where you really want God to be supreme in your life and in the lives of others, and where you truly wish to give Him all of the glory. I can tell you that does make a difference, and it’s an involuntary difference. You won’t have to be treading carefully as though on eggs, trying somehow to avoid seeming to be self-centered. You will be Christ-centered, beloved, when the Holy Spirit of God takes possession of your life and your motivations and your intentions, as well, then, as your vocabulary.
Father God, today, we give ourselves to Thee, and we pray that the emphasis in our lives may be Jesus. 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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