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How Tedious and Tasteless the Hours - Part 2

Baptist Bible Hour / Lasserre Bradley, Jr.
The Truth Network Radio
July 30, 2022 8:00 pm

How Tedious and Tasteless the Hours - Part 2

Baptist Bible Hour / Lasserre Bradley, Jr.

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July 30, 2022 8:00 pm

How tedious and tasteless the hours when Jesus no longer I see!

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The Baptist Bible Hour now comes to you under the direction of Elder Lacerre Bradley, Jr. This is Lacerre Bradley, Jr. inviting you to stay tuned for another message of God's sovereign grace. Since we're bringing a message entitled, How Tedious and Tasteless the Hours, taken from a hymn written by John Newton, we're going to again introduce the program with his most famous hymn, Amazing Grace. Was once, was lost, but now am found. Was blind, but now I see. Was grace that taught my heart to fear, and grace my fears relieved. How precious did that grace appear, beyond all I first believed.

When we've been there ten thousand years, bright shining as the sun, We've no less days to sing God's praise than when we first begun. I'm indeed thankful for the privilege of coming at the same time each week on this station to bring a message from God's Word. It is my prayer that the message will be a blessing to you today. If it is, tell a friend or a neighbor that they can hear this broadcast at the same time each week on this station. We do depend on our listeners for support, and so we need your help at present time. This is a five Sunday month, and we're right in the middle of the summertime, which is often the slowest time as far as response. So we hope you can help us now.

Our address is Baptist Bible Hour, Box 17037, Cincinnati, Ohio 45217. Thus far in the message, we have noted that we should enjoy what is given us. John Newton refers to sweet prospects, sweet birds, and sweet flowers. We've talked about these abundant mercies that the Lord gives his people. But we've also noted that sometimes joy is lost because the Lord's face is hidden. It is because of sin on certain occasions, at other times when we have been negligent of our duties and forgotten his mercies.

The hymn writer says, Why do I languish in pine? There's a reason for these things. And we come today to point out that sometimes it is to teach us a lesson that we could learn no other way. And then sometimes his face is hidden because he would teach us a lesson. It's not because of sin.

It's not because we really have forgotten his mercies. There's some things we can only learn when the Lord withdraws his comforts and hides his face, and we become keenly aware of our own weakness and of our desperate need of Him. Isaiah chapter 50 verse 10, Who is among you that feareth the Lord? Now get this, that obeyeth the voice of his servant that walketh in darkness and hath no light. Let him trust in the name of the Lord and stay upon his God. Now some would suggest to you that if you are obeying Him, you'll never be in darkness.

This text says that's not the case. Here's a description of one who obeys the Lord but is walking in darkness. What's he to do? Lord, this doesn't seem fair. I'm trying to serve you.

I'm trying to walk obediently and I don't have any comfort. It seems that you've withdrawn. I'm in the dark. Shall I throw up my hands in despair? Shall I give up? So I say, What's the use?

No. Here's what you're to do. Let him stay upon his God. Let him trust in the name of the Lord. You continue to trust. You continue to walk by faith. You continue to depend upon Him, knowing that God is sovereign and He has a purpose in the adversity that you're encountering. And that ultimately, according to His timetable, you will come through it with dross consumed and shine brilliantly as gold. The Apostle Paul dealt with the same issue.

2 Corinthians 1 verse 8, For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, inasmuch that we despaired even of life. Now somebody might say, Well, I would have thought that a man like the Apostle Paul would have been protected from that kind of an experience. What a unique man he was. God had a special purpose for him. God spoke to him, called him by name when he transformed his life on the road to Damascus. Blessed him uniquely and powerfully and yet Paul says we had trouble that brought us to the point we despaired even of life. Why was that? Because we had the sentence of death in ourselves that we should not trust in ourselves but in God which raiseth the dead, who delivered us from so great a death and doth deliver in whom we trust that He will yet deliver us.

What was the reason? God's purpose was to bring this great servant to the point that he could clearly understand he must not trust in himself. That was the same situation when he was given the thorn in the flesh and he prayed three times, Lord, remove it, and God's answer was, My grace is sufficient for thee.

We shall often get impatient. We say, I'm calling on the Lord, I want things to be better, I want a difference to occur, I want it to happen now. And there are some situations God is not going to change, but He is going to give us grace to get through it. My grace is sufficient for thee. Our third consideration, Jesus is the source of joy. John Newton says in this hymn, His name yields the richest perfume, His presence disperses my gloom.

When I'm with Him, what a difference. Everything here is subject to change. You find a pleasant situation, you find something that you are particularly enjoying, and we've already said, God gives you things to enjoy, but nothing here is permanent. Everything that you have is subject to change and to failure if you're leaning on the arm of the flesh.

Job's testimony, Job chapter 7 verse 6, My days are swifter than a weaver's shuttle. That speaks of how rapidly time is moving on. And as time moves rapidly on, everything around us in this world is changing.

You're changing, other people are changing, material things are changing, governments are changing, all kinds of changes. So if your joy was totally dependent upon something materialistic or depending upon circumstances and situations in this life, you would soon be disappointed. Jeremiah chapter 17 verse 5, Thus saith the Lord, Curse be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh the flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord.

The arm of flesh will fail you. If you're depending on an individual for your joy, whether it's your husband, your wife, a friend, a neighbor, you young people depend on your parents or whatever else, ultimately you'll be disappointed because the arm of flesh will fail you. Jesus Christ is the source of our joy. So while everything here is changing, Jesus Christ is not. Hebrews chapter 13 verse 8 says, Jesus Christ the same yesterday and today and forever.

Isn't that good to know? Whatever you have learned about Jesus Christ, whatever you have experienced with Jesus Christ, while everything else is changing, He remains the same. His love is the same, His grace is the same, His mercy is the same, His power is the same, He does not change. So we are to enjoy His blessings, but at the same time recognize that He is the source of our joy. In 2 Corinthians chapter 7, Paul says in the 5th verse, For when we were coming to Macedonia, our flesh had no rest, but we were troubled on every side.

Without were fightings, within were fears. Nevertheless, God that comforted those that are cast down, comforted us by the coming of Titus. Notice he says that God is the God of comfort, He is the source of it. The God that comforts those that cast down comforted us on this occasion by the coming of Titus. But you see, if the apostle had gotten his focus on Titus and got the idea that every time I'm in trouble, every time I'm in darkness, every time I'm struggling, I've got to have Titus with me, he would have been disappointed.

But on this occasion, God blessed Titus to arrive and evidently gave him the right things to say and it was a great comfort to Paul. So enjoy what God gives us, but remember the joy must be in the Lord. Philippians 4 says, Rejoice all the way in the Lord.

And again I say rejoice, not in circumstances, not in your feelings, not in your emotions, not dependent upon others, but in the Lord. Jesus then is to be our focus, certainly is to be our focus in our preaching. Anything that we preach, if we're preaching on practical things, Jesus must still be the focus of it. Preach a lot about marriage, but you can't read what a Christian marriage is to be like without going to Ephesians chapter 5 and learning that that's related to Jesus Christ. When Charles Spurgeon was preaching to great crowds in London years ago, they determined that they needed to build a tabernacle large enough to accommodate the crowds and 6,000 people would gather to hear him. On the first day that he spoke in that tabernacle, he delivered these words, I would purpose that the subject of the ministry in this house, as long as this platform shall stand, shall be the person of Jesus Christ. I am never ashamed to avow myself a Calvinist.

I do not hesitate to take the name Baptist, but if I am asked what is my creed, I reply it is Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ must be the focus of our preaching. On another occasion, Spurgeon said, Paul's harp had only one string, but he brought such music out of it as never came from any other. He found such infinite variety in Christ that he never exhausted his theme. With him, it was Christ first, Christ last, Christ mixed, Christ everywhere, so he could never have his pen in his hand without writing something in praise of his glorious Lord and Savior. He is to be the focus of our preaching. He is to be the subject of our songs. As we sing another of Mr. Newton's hymns, how sweet the name of Jesus sounds in a believer's ear, it soothes his sorrows, heals his wounds and drives away his fear.

It reminds us of the source of our comfort, the source of our help. It is focusing on Jesus. If we get sidetracked for not focusing on Jesus, it can have a very negative impact. Christians lose the strength they need in their daily battle against sin and against the world.

Doctrinal orthodoxy can crumble if there is not the proper focus on Jesus Christ. He is to be the subject of our songs. He is to be the center of our life. The apostle, in spite of all of the amazing blessings and unique circumstances that he had enjoyed in his walk with God, still said in Philippians 3.14, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. He said, I want to make it clear, I haven't attained that level that I want to reach. I'm still pressing.

What about you today? And you say, I'm pressing toward the mark. I want to know more about Jesus Christ. I want to have a closer walk with him. I want to have daily communion with him. I want to have a sweetness of fellowship with him, pressing toward the mark. And then our fourth observation, communion with Jesus brings contentment. As Mr. Newton says in our hymn, prisons would palaces prove if Jesus would dwell with me there. And we see examples of that in the scripture.

Paul and Silas were in the jail at Philippi. But my, how that dark scene was turned around as they sang praises to God at the midnight hour. The Lord sends the earthquake and the jailer comes in, in fear, sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they say, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved. And in Acts chapter 16 verse 34 it says, And when he had brought them into his house, he set meat before them and rejoiced, believing in God with all of his house.

What a remarkable thing. They imprisoned these men because they had cast an evil spirit out of the young woman. And by morning the jailer had been converted and baptized. Prisons would palaces prove.

Paul was in prison more than once in his lifetime, but he didn't complain. He didn't say, why me, Lord? Looks like I ought to have it a little easier. I've dedicated my whole life to you. I've given up a lot. I've made great sacrifices.

Looks like some day it would be my turn to have a smooth course. Lord, why? People ask those questions a lot.

Maybe you've asked it some. Lord, when's my turn to be on top? When do I get a little recognition? When does somebody say thank you to me?

When do all of my aches and pains get over? But here's Paul in prison. And he writes, Philippians chapter 1 verse 12, But I would ye should understand, brethren, that the things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel.

By what faith? Here's a man that wanted to be traveling and preaching the gospel everywhere, but is in prison. But he said, all this has happened for the furtherance of the gospel, so that my bonds in Christ are manifest in all of the palace and in all other places. Paul felt called to preach the gospel. So the soldier is chained to Paul.

The soldier's not going anywhere because he's on duty and he has to stay there for a period of time. So while he's there, Paul has a captive audience, so he preaches Jesus. Next shift comes on, got a new audience, preaches Jesus. Next shift, he preaches Jesus.

Finally, the gospel has been circulated throughout the Praetorian Guard. It's being talked about in the palace. Somebody said, have you had a shift yet to be chained to that preacher down there in prison?

He'll talk your arm off. I mean, he doesn't let up. And he got the same subject every time, just talking about Jesus, talking about Jesus. And some of those men were converted and Paul says, things are going great. The Lord has turned this thing around and it's been a joy to have this experience. Content to be where he wants me to be, if it be in a prison. Are you content that way? Oh, so often somebody will say, this is not where I want to be in life.

And there's nothing wrong with having godly goals if there are things out there still to attain. But if there's constant complaining, I'm not happy with my station in life. I don't like this situation. I can't do anything worthwhile at the moment. Maybe sometime in the future.

No. We're to be content with where he wants us to be and content with what he wants us to have. Millions of dollars are spent in television ads every year to make you unhappy. To make you discontent with what you have so you will go out and buy their product. And many people don't wait until they have the funds. They got a credit card so they go out and buy it with a credit card. And then at the end of the month they can't pay the bill and so 18% interest kicks in.

And they do that next month and after a while they're sinking in debt. Hadn't brought them all the great pleasure they thought they were going to have with it. Learn to be content. Paul himself had to learn that.

He wasn't born contented. He learned it. Philippians chapter 4 verse 11. Now that I speak in respect of want for I have learned in whatsoever state I am there with to be content. I know both how to be abased. I know how to abound everywhere and in all things. I'm instructed both to be full and to be hungry both to abound and to suffer need.

I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me. Content to have what he wants you to have. Content with beholding his face as the hymn suggests. We need to be looking unto him. Hebrews chapter 12 so admonishes us in the second verse. Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross despising the shame and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. He's talking about running this race with patience.

How are you going to do that? By looking unto Jesus. You spend all your time looking at the other runners and criticizing them and making suggestions about how they ought to do it differently.

You'll become discouraged and frustrated. But if you're looking unto Jesus, oh what a difference. Song expresses it so well. Turn your eyes upon Jesus. Look full in his wonderful face. And the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of his glory and grace. Turn your eyes upon Jesus. And finally we consider that we are to anticipate a cloudless day. Mr. Newton finally said, Lord if I can't be rescued from these dark days, Lord I do pray drive these dark clouds from the sky.

Thy soul-cheering presence restore. Or if that can't happen, take me unto the on high where winter and clouds are no more. Certainly we are to pray that God will bless us to use whatever time we have in our life to his glory while we're here. But ultimately we do anticipate that happy time when there will be no more clouds. No more tedious tasteless hours in heaven. No more cold wintry seasons.

No more clouds to block the sun. It will be an eternity of joy and happiness in the presence of Jesus. Revelation chapter 21 verse 3. I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes, and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain for the former things are passed away. That's a cloudless day.

That's a happy glorious time to be enjoyed forever. Verse 22. And I saw no temple therein, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it, and the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. No more cloudy days. No more dark nights. No more heavy burdens. No more trouble. Joy with him forever. Thomas Brooks writing about Psalm 16 11 which says, In thy presence is fullness of joy at thy right hand. There are pleasures forevermore. He says, Mark the quality. There are pleasures.

Mark the quantity. There is fullness, and for their dignity there at God's right hand, and for eternity there forevermore. In heaven there shall be no sin to take away your joy, nor no devil to take away your joy, nor no man to take away your joy. Your joy no man taketh from you, said Jesus in John 16 22. The joy of saints in heaven is never ebbing but always flowing to all contentment. The joy in heaven is never fade, never wither, never die, nor never are lessened or interrupted. The joy of the saints in heaven is a constant joy, an everlasting joy.

To look to that time to ultimately be at home with the Lord. I'll teach us and tasteless the hours when Jesus no longer I see. May you by faith see Him today. Jesus, the only hope for fallen sinners. You can say, Jesus, you are my joy.

As the circumstances of life continually change, you are the same forever. Jesus, you are my Savior. In you I have wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption. Jesus, you are my intercessor, pleading my case before the Father. Jesus, you are my shepherd.

I'm prone to wander. I'm a sheep that's weak in itself, but you are my shepherd. Jesus, you're my friend, a friend that sticketh closer than a brother. Jesus, you're my bread upon which I feed. Jesus, you are my light as I travel in this dark world.

Jesus, you are my hope. As I look to that day when I'm at last home with you, see you face to face, rejoice in your presence and live with you forever. And the song of triumph there will be one of victory of praise to His name.

Thou art worthy for Thou was slain and that's redeemedest to God by Thy own precious blood. May you look unto Jesus today. I hope this message has proved to be a blessing to you as we've been referring to John Newton's hymn, How Teagous and Tasteless the Hours. Pointing out that the Scriptures teach us the real source of our joy is in the Lord our God.

As we rejoice in our Savior Jesus Christ and in His sovereign saving grace, we have a peace and delight that nothing else can give. I urge you to write us this week and let us know that you have listened to the program. Till next week at this same time, may the Lord richly bless you all. The Baptist Bible Hour has come to you under the direction of Elder LeSaire Bradley, Jr. Address all mail to the Baptist Bible Hour, Cincinnati, Ohio 45217. That's the Baptist Bible Hour, Cincinnati, Ohio 45217. That's the Baptist Bible Hour, Cincinnati, Ohio 45117.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-18 07:15:24 / 2023-03-18 07:24:43 / 9

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