With His Help
You can face all things, even impossible things, with God's help. Not what you can do, but what He can do with what you have!
Alright, thank you very much. And hello again, dear radio friends. How in the world are you? Well, that little greeting establishes the fact that this is your friend, Bob Cook, and I’m glad to be back with you. I love these times together with the Word of God. Talk about addiction. I think if one can be addicted to anything that’s good [chuckle].. I am just tied tightly, emotionally and spiritually and every other way to the process of opening up the Word of God and sharing it with you. Hallelujah for the privilege. Thank God I could live in the 20th century when we had radio and TV and all the rest of the means of communication, and we can share the Word of God with many people. It’s great isn’t it?
I’m just sort of walking through the book of Mark with a little summation of some of the truths that we thought about in our verse-by-verse study of it. Look at chapter 8 and you find the Lord Jesus pinning the responsibility for meeting human need, pinning the responsibility on the disciples themselves. The question they said, “Whence can a man satisfy all these people with bread here in the wilderness?” Jesus said, “Have compassion on the multitude. They’ve been three days here. There’s nothing to eat. If I send them away fainting, fasting, to their own homes, they will faint by the way.” Now the disciples asked the natural question. “Look, there’s no delicatessen within 50 miles. We haven’t got any money anyway. How can we do anything here in the wilderness?”
Well, He said, “What have you got, boys? How many loaves have ye?” “Seven.” Then it said they had also a few small fishes. So seven loaves and a few small fishes. This is another account of feeding people. Jesus fed the 5,000 with loaves and fishes, as recorded in another place. Huh? What do you think of this? He fed 5,000, there were 12 baskets of fragments, and he fed 4,000 people with seven loaves and there was seven baskets of fragments. There’s always something left over when God provides. Had you thought about that? The point that strikes me as I look at this is that inevitably the meeting of human need is pinned on me as a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ, not for what I can do but for what he can do.
Is somebody listening to me, just now, that’s facing an impossible situation and you’re saying to yourself, “For goodness sake, what can I do? I can’t do anything. Why do people expect me to do anything? I can’t do anything.”? You see, the question is not how much you can do, it’s what the Lord Jesus can do in and through you. He took what the disciples had and He Himself blessed and multiplied it and made it available to thousands. Now, I can’t translate that truth into your particular situation because I don’t live inside your skin, you do. But there is inevitably, in the lives of each of us… The lives of all of us I suppose I should say because each is a singular noun isn’t it, school teachers? [chuckle] Inevitably, there’s a sense where you face an impossible situation and you have your choice either of giving up, caving in, being completely devastated by it because you’re facing it in your own strength. That’s on one hand. On the other hand, you have the opportunity of facing that impossible situation with the God who is the God of the impossible. “Is there anything too hard for the Lord?” The Bible says. “With God,” our Savior said, “all things are possible.”
Can you apply that logic, that divine logic, to your own situation today? Have you got a wayward daughter or a prodigal son that just refuses even to listen to you let alone obey you? Have you got a job situation that simply won’t budge, it’s so hard, and every day you just sorta hate to go to work because things are so difficult? Do you have a physical handicap, an illness, or some handicap that just keeps you from being at what you consider to be your best? Do you have an in-law problem? Or is your marriage rocky and in danger of falling apart? Whatever it is, I don’t know what the impossible situation may be. There’s lots of them, aren’t there? Oh, yes. God knows there’s lots of heartache in the world. But whatever it is, Beloved, Jesus has the answer, through you. He wants what you have so that He can do the miracle. Every day, turn yourself over to the Lord for His working in your life. God can use a chance remark to change a life. I’ve found that happening to my amazement and sometimes a sense of awe, have found that happening in my own life through the years. Something I said without half-thinking about it changed the course of another person’s life.
Someone said to me, “I chose the ministry because I came to see you one day as a high-school boy, and you said something that turned me toward the ministry.” Well, I can’t remember for the life of me. Friends, I cannot remember talking to that young man at that time. What I said, I don’t know. But there it is. He remembers, and he was changed because the Spirit of God used some remark about which I hadn’t done very much meditating, evidently. It hadn’t stuck in my mind. God used whatever was said in those moments to change the course of a precious life for His glory. Hey, have you given thought to the seven loaves that you might be able to offer to your Lord so that He could meet a big need in other lives? Oh, that’s such a tremendous truth. God pins the responsibility right straight on you and me. It’s not what we can do. The question is so plaintive and so real. “Whence can a man satisfy these, all these people, with bread here in the… Where we gonna get… We haven’t got anything, Lord.” He said, “You got something. What do you have?” “Seven loaves and few small fishes.”
When the Bible says small it means small. [chuckle] Little stuff. Not much, but you gotta big God. You got a big God. All He wants is what you give Him. Turn it over to Him. What do you have to turn over to your Lord today, Beloved? Some of you are such fine administrators. Somebody else is a great salesman. Somebody else is wonderful homemaker. Someone else can sing. Somebody else can write. Somebody else has a compassionate heart, and all you have to do is smile at people and encourage them and they feel better. Well, whatever you have to give, let the Lord Jesus use it today to meet the hunger of peoples’ hearts. Good idea? Now, we’re just hitting some of the high spots in some of these chapters of Mark pursuant to our verse-by-verse study of it. I just wanted to just recap some of the great thoughts that come to us. You come to the end of the eighth chapter of Mark and you find our Lord Jesus giving this tremendous formula for discipleship. “Whosever will come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross, and follow Me.” And the logic of discipleship is you lose it to gain it. Whosoever will save his life shall lose it, but whosoever will lose his life for My sake,” and the Gospel’s the same, “shall save it.”
And the second truth that the Lord Jesus gave is that your soul, your spiritual life is the most valuable thing in all the universe to you. What to the profit of man if he gained the whole world, lose his own soul. And after you’ve lost it what’ll he give in exchange for it to buy it back? So what’s the formula for discipleship? “Whosoever will,” make up your mind. “Let him deny himself.” Give up yourself, and “take up his cross and follow me.” Take up your cross and start obeying God. Discipleship. Make up your mind whether or not the Lord Jesus Christ is worth what He costs. Salvation is free, but it’s not cheap. And there is a cost associated with following the Lord Jesus, which, at some times, may become awesome and very great. You have to make up your mind, Beloved. Is your Savior worth what He costs? Is He worth the effort? Is He worth the sacrifice? Is He worth being identified as a Christian and in some cases discriminated against because of that fact? Is Jesus our blessed Lord, your Savior and mine, is He worth what it costs? Make up your mind.
Second, give up yourself. Real faith is the willingness to give up the right to try again on your own. The alcoholic, the addict says, “Give me one more chance. I’ll make it,” but he never does. You have to give up the right to try again on your own. Any future successes are going to be in dependence upon your blessed Lord. Let him deny himself. Someone said in my hearing years ago, “You don’t really begin to pray effectively until the I, me, and mine gets worked out of your praying.” Pretty good idea. Then he says, “Take up His cross and follow me.” That is, identify yourself with your blessed Lord and start obeying Him. Identify yourself with your Lord and start obeying Him. A person who was carrying a cross had no future plans. He had no future plans of his own. He wasn’t coming back. He had no rights left. They were all gone. He was facing the extinction of his own self-entity.
Jesus said, “Take up your cross. Give up the right to try again on your own. Give up the right to have for yourself, in a proprietary sense, anything.” Let the Lord Jesus Christ have it all so that He can use you for His glory. That doesn’t mean that you can’t have things. It does mean that things won’t have you. There’s the difference. Then the last thought, in just these few seconds, the last verse of Mark 8 said, “Whosoever should be ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him also shall the Son of Man be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.” Jesus wants you to be proud of him. He wants you, proudly, to confess that you belong to Him. And your confession of Christ here forms at least part of the basis of his confession of you there, yonder in the glory. Think about it the next time you’re tempted to try to be anonymous and unnoticed as a believer. Let your faith in Christ shine out because that’s what Jesus wants.
Dear Father, today, help us to be proud of Jesus as we shine for Him. In His name I pray 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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