Your Best For God
What He wants is that you be holy like Him and without blame in terms of your relationships with other people, helpful and inspiring and full of love before Him.
Alright, thank you very much. And hello again radio friends. How in the world are you? Doing Alright? Oh I trust so. Bless your heart. I feel fine. Nice of you to ask. (Laughs). I’m great, praise God.
And we’re looking now at Ephesians 1:4, “God chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love.” We’re talking about the word holy, and holy is the number one attribute of almighty God and that attribute is reduplicated in your life and mind by the Holy spirit. I remember Torrey Johnson, my brother in-law, with whom I worked with in the early years and also through the years of Youth for Christ. I remember him preaching one time back in the 1930s, I guess it would have been, about the Spirit of God. He had a message on the Holy Spirit and I remember he said, “When you allow the Holy Spirit to take charge of your life, He will live up to His name. He is the Holy Spirit and He’ll make you holy and He’ll make you spiritual.”
Well, that isn’t far from the truth, is it? He’ll make you holy. He’ll you make spiritual that we should be holy and without blame before him in love. Now, holy has to do with your relationship with God, your inner life and your relationship with God, which is implemented by and monitored by the blessed indwelling Holy Spirit. Blameless has to do with your relationship with people. Without blame means your relationship with people, see? And that’s another matter oftentimes, isn’t it? Some people are willing to be spiritual but they have difficulty getting along with the people around them.
“To live above, with saints we love, oh, that will sure be glory. To live below with saints we know is quite a different story”, some wag has written. Without blame. Now, a little while ago we were talking about this very same word. Simon Peter used it in his Second Epistle and the idea being not that you walk around carefully looking for a chance to escape being blamed for anything – don’t blame me you know. Garrison Keillor says that when the first day of spring when he and the other children went out without their heavy clothing, mother would call after them and say, “You’ll catch cold and get pneumonia” and then she called after them again, “If you get sick and die, don’t blame me.” (Laughs)
Well, that’s generally the way human beings work. You know, we look for a way to escape blame. That is not, in my opinion, what he’s talking about here. Rather, he says in Romans, “Judge this rather that no man place a stumbling block or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way.” This matter of being blameless has to do with your concern about the other person’s spiritual well-being. My relationship with you and with everyone needs to be predicated on the fact that I’m responsible for your spiritual well-being and what I say needs to edify build up and inspire and help you. And believe me, I pray that way every time I approach this microphone. Before I ever turn on the power on and begin to speak, I pray that God will take the words and fit them together and put his love into my voice and have something especially for you so that you’ll feel as though this was just for you. That’s what I pray each time before I broadcast.
And it seems to me that the main concern of the believer is not to escape being blamed for something but rather to make sure that what you are seeing and doing instead of causing any kind of stumbling on the part of others would help and encourage and build them up. Paul said, “Let all things be done to the use of edifying,” and he said another place, “speak in love and in ways whereby one may edify another.” Build up. The job you have and the job I have is to build up in the faith those with whom we deal.
Well, put it this way. After somebody has listened to you, after someone has talked with you, they ought to feel more like living for Jesus. They ought to feel more encouraged to face up to the challenge of life in faith in the Lord. They ought to feel as though it’s worthwhile to be a Christian, even though it may be costly. After someone has talked with you, they ought to feel more like doing their best.
Ben Weiss, was a friend of mine while he lived. He’s been with the Lord now for some years. A dear man of God, a great educator. For years, principle of a large high school in Los Angeles and then the founder of the Christian Educators Association, a nationwide group of Christian public school teachers. Good, godly wise man and I always used to look him up when I went to Los Angeles. We’d have breakfast together and I bring my notebook and a fountain pen filled with ink and I’d just write down all the good ideas I could. The net effect he had on me, I told him one time, I said, “You know, Ben, every time I’ve been with you I feel more like doing my best for God.” Well, that sort of blessed him and he was glad, but it’s true. There are a few people in life who encourage you and make you want to do your best for the Lord no matter what the cost, isn’t it true?
Well, see, you and I have privilege of being that kind of people. This word blameless doesn’t mean, “Hey, watch out so nobody can pin anything on you.” Somebody, some jokester said, “A successful man is one who is not allowed woman to pin anything on him since he was a baby.” (Laughs). Well, some people go around trying to dodge responsibility. That is not the scriptural truth here, as I see it. But rather, when people talk with you, instead of being weakened, instead of being stumbled, instead of being hindered, they feel encouraged, they feel blessed, they feel as though it’s worthwhile to serve the Lord Jesus. Amen?
Now, holy and without blame before him in love. The key point that motivates Christian living is that God has his eye on you. God has his eye on you. I used to work with a group of people one of whom was related to the bosses’ boss, and he was the son of the man who was over our boss in authority, and he was a little arrogant sometimes. He felt, you know, that he was the most fireproof object in the place, and probably he was. And he would “goldbrick” now and then. He would, as they say, you know, he would goof off and give less than a full day’s labor. And even when our boss came around, he really wasn’t all that responsive in jumping at commands because he knew he didn’t have to. But I noticed that one day his father showed up and do you know there was an entirely different reaction. I didn’t know that the young man could move that fast.
As it happened, he was down on the floor almost reclining and panting a portion of baseboard in a room that we were painting. And not really working very hard, just going through the motions and waiting for quitting time. And then in the doorway he saw his father. He was up on his feet and working hard all of a sudden. A lot depends on who has his eye on you, doesn’t it? (Laughs) Oh, yes (Laughs). Well, thou God seest me, that is true of every one of us. “The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth beholding the evil and the good.”
God has his eye on you, holy and without blame, not just people, not just people, not just what folk are going to say about you, not your reputation, is he or she a good Christian. No, no, that isn’t it. Holy and without blame before Him, God is looking your way this minute. Well, since that is so, you want to be your best for Him all the time, don’t you?
Now what motivates that? What motivates that? Fear? No. Love motivates it, holy and without blame before him in love. Paul said in 2 Corinthians 5, “The love of Christ constraineth us.” I mean, it makes us do what we do, the love of Christ makes us do what we do. Paul said, “But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, I count all these but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all these things, and do count them but refuse that I may win Christ, and be found in him, to know him, the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death.”
The Lord Jesus Christ says the love of your life will produce holiness and produce thoughtful, blessed Christian relationships. You want to think about that a little and pray about it yourself? It’s not that Bob Cook says we ought to do this and that. I need the advice I give more than any of you do. You and I are not going to be different because somebody tells us to be different. It will only be different if in our hearts there is that love commitment to the Lord Jesus that refuses to let Him down, refuses to betray Him for something lesser than divine love. Holy and without blame before Him in love.
And you see that it goes both ways. You read in the Bible, he says, “I’ve loved you with that everlasting love, therefore, with the loving kindness have I drawn thee.” Paul said, “The goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance.” And John wrote, “God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son.” “Herein is love”, wrote John, in his epistle, “not that we loved God but that he loved us and gave his son to be the propitiation for our sins.”
And so it works both ways. God loves us and we respond back again with that heart of love and affection for Him. Now, oftentimes, I feel spiritually dry and I don’t feel as though I love God the way I could or should. Do you ever feel that way? And to have some preacher tell me, “You ought to love God,” that just irritates me. And that’s the point at which we are right now. Here’s Bob Cook talking to you about we ought to love God and if we do that will make a difference in our relationship to him and our relationship to people. And we’ll admit the truth of that. See, what I’ve been telling you is absolutely true. But if it finds me at a time when I’m spiritually dry and I don’t feel very much like a heart full of love to God, then having somebody tell me just irritates me. Isn’t that true?
Alright, what do you do about it? Well, number one, you better face up to the fact that is true. In other words God picked you out and what he wants is that you be holy like Him and without blame in terms of your relationships with other people, helpful and inspiring and full of love before Him. He’s got his eye on you in love as the motivating power. Now you’re dry and fruitless. What are you going to do? Well, wait on God until He does the outpouring of his love. Romans 5:5, “The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost who is given unto us.” Wait on your blessed Lord, in prayer and in the Word and He will fill your heart with love for Him.” I’ll come back to this the next time we get together.
Dear Father, today, fill our lives with your love and help us to be like Jesus. I ask 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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