Words Of Life
Say words of comfort, say words of encouragement, say words of appreciation, and say words of courage rather than saying “Well, we better give up”.
Alright, thank you very much and hello again dear radio friend, how in the world are you? You doing alright today? Well, I know that some of you have some very tough assignments, I know that. But I know too, that our blessed Lord will never fail you for He hath said, “I will never leave thee nor forsake thee” so that you, my dear friend, can look up this very moment and say “Lord, see me through today,” and He will. Not just somehow, you don’t have to grin and bear it necessarily, you can be triumphant because Jesus is Lord, and He is our victor, and if you know the victor, as O.J. Smith used to say, then you have the victory.
Well, God bless you, I’m glad to be back with you this is your friend, Dr. Cook, and we’ve been looking at Colossians. We’re in Chapter 4, going through the list of some of the people who were Paul’s co-workers and helpers whom he mentions kindly in his letter to the people who live at Colossi.
We came to verse 11, here’s this man, Justus. He was one of those who was converted to the Lord Jesus Christ as a Jewish person, his following of the Jewish faith. They call him Justus people who are of the circumcision. This is a way of saying they had followed the Jewish faith. Now he has found his true Messiah, you might say, and he is working with the Lord Jesus and serving the Lord Jesus. He said, “These are my fellow workers unto the kingdom of God which have been a comfort unto me”
This fellow, Justus, he was a fellow worker, a co-laborer, and “sunergeo” that means, work with. He was a “work with” kind of a person. And that’s one of the best kinds of friends to have, isn’t it? You’re changing a tire and the thing is going poorly and someone comes along and he says, “Hey, let me help you”. Oh boy, that’s so great, somebody who works with you, now that was Justus.
A small thought here, give some thought to helping people, working with them without being asked. I took a course years ago when I was at Scripture Press, called “Human Engineering.” It lasted several months and was certainly valuable to me in a lot of ways, it was worth everything that Vic Corey paid for it for me (Laughs). But the thing I remember is that every session, every that is, session, the teacher of that class would pound away on one theme–variations of it surely, but one main theme which was this–go cheerfully out of your way to help others without being asked. Now this was a business course. This was a course planned actually, to help you manage other folk, frankly. And the way he said to be a good manager was to go cheerfully out of your way to help others without being asked. Interesting isn’t it?
Management, of course today, is quite a science and you have “manage it by objective” where you lay out the results and then work backward from them. I have book that I got back in 1940 that had that all worked out before “management by objective” ever became popular. You start with the end result that you want and work back toward it and schedule it and cost it out and there you are.
Well, anyhow it’s an exact science now, and often times I regret to say management sometimes is a synonym for manipulation. We’ll do this and they’ll do that and then we’ll get the other result and that’s how it will work out, manipulation. Problem is, people find out that you’re manipulating them and you’ve lost your credibility. So don’t take that road, will you?
Anyhow, the principle that the Bible lays out before us in so many different places is that you’re to be helpful. You see somebody who needs help, help them, work with them – work with them.
A number of the automobile manufacturers have taken up this theme, haven’t they, as well as other corporations. Bringing management and labor, so called, in to conference together: working with–the plans that are laid, are plans that are shared by everyone. I learned from Dr. Sam Barkat, the phrase “ownership of the idea.” If people don’t feel an idea is their own they’re not going to follow it. So, that’s how things are in the business world and we’re thankful that some of those improvements have taken place, aren’t we? But here you have the concept 2000 years ago, somebody who works with you to help.
Give some thought to working with people today, will you? Now don’t make a federal case of it and come up and say, “I’m going to help you my brother”, oh no don’t do that, people will stay away from you by the thousands! Just spontaneously, and happily, and lovingly, work with people. You’d be surprised how much and how quickly they appreciate it and how deeply they will value you.
Well, he was not only a co-worker, but Paul says that “Justus was a comfort”. Now the New Testament word for “comfort” ordinarily is, comforter is, “parakletos” and the verb “to comfort” is “parakaleo,” someone called alongside to help. He used a different word here. Interesting. He said, “He has been a comfort unto me” and the word that’s translated comfort. In the King James Version is a Greek word “paragoria” and that comes from a verb in turn, “paragorio” and now you say, come on you’re talking Greek. Yes, I am and for a reason, hold on, just hold your horses. It comes from a word comfort, comes from a verb that means, “to address or to exhort or to talk to.” Then, it develops, it also has taken on the meaning of comfort, or solace, or relief, or alleviation, or consolation that’s a rich – rich word isn’t it?
But it starts with the idea of talking to people. Has it ever occurred to you that what you say to people does make a difference? See, Justus was a co-worker. He was helping. But when Paul was discouraged I’m sure that he was one of those who said, “Come on cheer up Paul, we’re with you, and God is still on the throne.” He talked to him, he addressed him, he said something to him that made a difference. Now if you allow this to, it, it can get to be a kind of bondage to you where you’re wondering, “Oh did I say the right thing?” and you’re sort of walking on eggshells as we say, worrying about your words.
Turn your words and your thoughts, the thoughts that trigger the words, turn them over to the blessed Lord Jesus Christ and to the indwelling Holy Spirit. Our Savior said to His disciples, “It is not ye that speak but the Spirit of your Father that speaketh in you”. Read the book of Acts and find the expression again, and again. “Peter full of the Holy Ghost said”, “Saul full of the Holy Ghost said.” The point being, that the Holy Spirit of God who indwells you beloved, if you’ve been born from above through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit of God who indwells you can also cause you to say something that is valuable in any given situation. Whisper a prayer before you open your mouth.
I saw a sign the other day on someone’s desk that read something like this, “Be sure brain is engaged before putting mouth in gear.” Pretty good idea wouldn’t you say? Well, you could add to that, “Be sure heart is under the control of the Holy Spirit before putting mouth in operation”.
“Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh”, the Bible says. “As a man thinketh in his heart so is he.” “Guard thy heart with all diligence for out of it are the issues of life,” said Solomon. So what you say can really be a comfort – it can make a difference. Say words of comfort, and say words of encouragement, and say words of appreciation, and say words of courage rather than saying “well, we better give up”.
In any organization there are those who seemed to have been born in the accusative case, as we say. They simply are always looking on the dark side. I suppose you have to have that. I read a book once that said every committee ought to have at least one pessimist on it, so that you can evaluate the ideas as they come up. Well, perhaps that is so, but it’s a pity isn’t it, always to be looking on the dark side and say when things go rough, well I guess we’ve had it, I guess it’s all over, I guess we better quit.
When I was president of Youth for Christ International years ago, the month of May seemed to be what I called vulture month because all of evangelical vultures would come to pick my bones, so to speak. They would say, come in in the office in the month May, and they say, “well, Bob it’s too bad Youth for Christ is dead. It’s too bad”, you know and I’d sit there and look at them and I’d say to them, “Well if it’s dead it’s a pretty lively corpse and God must have sent you into this office for some reason. Let’s have a prayer meeting”, and I’d get them down on their knees and pray with them and send them on their way.
Oh, I used to – well, humanly I sort of dreaded the month of May because I knew somebody would be coming my way day after day saying, “It’s too bad, things are bad, and you better quit and it’s all over”. Ah, well the world is like that. There’s always people who can tell you to quit. When I first started, 1962, I had a man who was very highly placed in the foundation world look at me when I was asking for money and he said, “Cook, you’ll never make it, quit while you’re ahead”, said, “Your college will be dead and you’ll be a failure. You’ll never make it, you better quit while you’re ahead.” Well, I didn’t, thank God, take his advice. There are always people who are willing to quit. Don’t be that kind of a person, what you say can be a comfort. It can be an encouragement. It can bring solace, It can bring relief. It can lift the burden. It can bring consolation. Oh, Justus, was that kind of a person.
How do you accomplish this? Number one, be full of the Word of God. The background of the Word of God will give you the right concept to verbalize in any given situation, did you know that? If your heart and mind is filled with the Word of God, the Holy Spirit will bring to your remembrance Jesus said, “What things soever He has said unto you,” and you’ll find yourself saying things that are apt, that fit, because God is guiding you.
Second, whisper a prayer before you open your mouth. Whisper a prayer before you open your mouth. It doesn’t take long down in your own spirit to say, “Lord, guide me now.” And then trust Him to give you the words to say, they may be quite different from what you would ordinarily say, but trust God.
And the third, shut up when you have nothing to say. The people who are disasters are those who have nothing to say, and say it at great length. So know when to keep still, and speak when you do speak under the guidance of the Holy Spirit of God, good idea?
Dear Father today, grant to us as we live, to say words that count for Jesus. We 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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