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Prone To Wander - Part 2 of 2

Baptist Bible Hour / Lasserre Bradley, Jr.
The Truth Network Radio
March 12, 2023 12:00 am

Prone To Wander - Part 2 of 2

Baptist Bible Hour / Lasserre Bradley, Jr.

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March 12, 2023 12:00 am

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord” (Colossians 3:16).


O for a thousand tongues to sing, my great Redeemer's praise, the praise of my God and King, the triumphs of his grace.

This is LeSaire Bradley, Jr. inviting you to stay tuned for another message of God's sovereign grace. Abide with me, as falls deep and time. The darkness deepens, warm with me, abide. When other helpers fail and comfort me, Help of the helpless, abide with me.

Swim through its closest of life's middle name. First joys grow near, these glories pass away. Change and decay, in all around I see. O thou who changest not, abide with me. All I need thy presence, every passing hour. One what thy praise can, for what enders now. Through like thyself, my guidance they can be. Through cloud and sunshine, abide with me. O thou I most be for my closing eyes. Shine through the blue, and point me to the skies.

As morning breaks, embers make shadows gleam. In life, in death, O Lord, abide with me. I'm glad to have you with us for the broadcast today, and if the message is a blessing to you, tell others that they can hear the preaching from God's Word on this station at this same time each week. We do need to hear from our listeners on a consistent basis, so I hope that you will take time to write and help us with the support of the broadcast. The address is Baptist Bible Hour, Box 17037, Cincinnati, Ohio 45217. We also encourage you to visit our website at

There you can hear both the Sunday and daily programs, and also see our publication, The Baptist Witness. Praise God from whom all blessings flow. Praise Him all creatures here below. Praise Him above the enemy host. Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

Amen. We continue our message, Prone to Wonder. The text is Hebrews chapter 3, beginning with the 12th verse. Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God. But exhort one another daily, while it is called today, lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. We've made reference to the hymn, Come Thou Fount, which contains the line, prone to wander, Lord, I feel it.

In this hymn, there is an acknowledgment of need. And we have pointed out that when there is a tendency to give in to sinful desires, this is evidence that one is near to wandering. When you compromise your convictions for acceptance or for monetary advantage, you're prone to wander. And then the point that we have concluded with last time and now began today is when you become intrigued with false teaching, some new idea, some new concept, something that would lead you away from the fundamental faith of God's Word.

You're prone to wander. Acts chapter 20, verse 29, For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock, also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch and remember that by the space of three years I cease not to warn every one night and day with tears. He said there are going to be those that will arise right in the midst of this church.

He's speaking to the elders of Ephesus. He says after my departure, this you can expect, there's not going to just be something out here at a distance, there's not going to be somebody coming and invading from the outside, but right among you there will be those arise that will speak these things that are erroneous. You need to be alert. You need to be aware of it.

Just because somebody claims that they are a solid conservative believer in the Word of God doesn't mean that that's always borne out. You need to be testing every idea of God's Word. You know that you're prone to wander when your heart is growing cold, when your zeal is declining. You become critical. You become critical instead of thankful.

You criticize other people. Instead of coming to church and having your heart warmed and going away with joy, you find some fault with it. The singing wasn't quite to your liking or the preaching just missed something.

It wasn't quite what I would like for it to have been. You begin to find fault with other people, your heart's growing cold. Love covers a multitude of sins.

It doesn't mean that any sin is defended or excused, but the little nitpicking things, the little foxes that destroy the vines can be dealt with by love. What's the condition of your heart? Is your heart warm toward the things of God? Are you filled with joy when you hear the gospel preached? Are you full of zeal? Are you so busy with other things that you have little time to zealously pursue the things that really pertain to growing in grace, knowing more about Jesus Christ, ministering to His people, serving in His church?

What's the condition of your heart? William Cooper, who wrote so many beautiful hymns, including God Moves in a Mysterious Way, also penned these words during one of his dark and difficult times. Where is the blessedness I knew when first I saw the Lord?

Where is the soul refreshing view of Jesus and His word? What peaceful hours I once enjoyed, how sweet their memory still, but they have left an aching void the world can never fill. Is it a time like that in your life when you can think back to some brighter, happier days when your heart was warm?

Now you have to say, I recall those days and wish that I might return to them. After having seen here an acknowledgment of need, we think about a prayer for help. If you are made to say, prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, prone to leave the God I love, being aware of your own weaknesses and your own frailties, obviously you need help, and there is help to be found in the Lord. We find the psalmist David so often calling upon God for that help and confidence that the help that he needed was indeed available to him. Psalm 119 verse 35, Make me to go in the path of Thy commandments, for therein do I delight.

In other words, my interest is where it ought to be. I delight in Thy commandments, but I know I'm prone to wander, so I'm praying, Lord, make me to go in the right path. Incline my heart unto Thy testimonies and not to covetousness. Turn away mine eyes from beholding vanity and quicken Thou me in Thy way. Establish Thy word unto Thy servant who is devoted to Thy fear. David knew he needed help, and he called on God to give it to him.

What about your condition? Has there been a reluctance even to acknowledge the need, to acknowledge that maybe you've already drifted, that there is a great tendency at the moment that you're treading on dangerous ground, ready to move away from the things that you have professed to love? How often we hear of it, where one over a period of time gave every outward sign of loving God, loving His truth, loving His people, and then there's a turn in the wrong direction, prone to wander.

Lord, I feel it. The hymn writer says, in acknowledging his need, he interposed his precious blood. That indicates that if the blood of Jesus Christ is applied to us in a very special way when we confess our sins, confession is in order. Psalm 32, verse 5, I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. And I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord, and thou forgaveth the iniquity of my sin, Selah. I acknowledge my sin. Have you acknowledged it? Do you go to the Lord and confess? My heart is cold.

I feel a barrenness, an emptiness. I feel a great need of a closer walk with thee. I'm acknowledging it. Specifically, whatever sins may have marred my fellowship with my God. I'm confessing. And as that blood is interposed, we do have the promise that when we confess our sins, He's going to forgive us. 1 John, chapter 1, verse 9, If we confess our sins, He's faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Chapter 2, verse 12, I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven for His name's sake.

That's a wonderful truth to keep in mind. You go to the Lord and you may even feel reluctant to ask for forgiveness. You think, how could God forgive me? I've stumbled so many times.

I've failed so often. I couldn't complain if God said no when I confessed my sin. Why would He forgive me? But here's the promise, He forgives us for His name's sake. On the basis of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, the promise is, if we confess our sin, He's faithful and just to forgive us.

And then the hymn says, Here's my heart, O take and seal it. Here's the thought of surrender. I'm surrendering to the Lord. I'm admitting that my greed and my lust and my desires have taken their toll and I've been prone to wander, but Lord, I come back to Thee. I want to come with a humble heart. I come submitting to Thee, surrendering to Thee.

James, chapter 4, verse 7 says, Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners, and purify your hearts, ye double-minded. Be afflicted and mourn and weep and let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy into heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord and he shall lift you up. Submit yourselves therefore unto God. So there's not only an acknowledgement of need, there's not only a confession of sin, but there is submission. I'm coming to Thee, Lord. Not with an agenda. Not asking that you cause all of my plans to be enacted and my goals to be reached. I've often been on the wrong track. I'm coming now in submission.

Lord, Thy will be done in my life. You know, time is a precious commodity. How quickly it moves by. Periodically, you'll hear somebody say, I just can't believe these little kids are growing up right before our eyes. Sometimes that's a good barometer to kind of test how quickly time is passing.

You look at some of these teenagers and think it seems only yesterday they were a baby in arms. Time is racing by. Oh, that we might use it to the glory of God. Do you have a list of things? Well, here's what I'd like to do. I'd like to accomplish this before my race is done. Have you submitted that to the Lord? Lord, I can't spend a lot of time thinking about how I'd like to retrace my steps and have charted things differently. I've just got to use what I have left. I want to be surrendered to Thy will. And even as you think of surrender, you think of the challenge. My old stubborn will is not always like it should be. I may feel today that I want to be surrendered to the Lord and I want to come before Him humbly and by tomorrow I may be cantankerous and self-willed and determined I'm going to have my way or else. That means you need help.

And the good news is help is available. Hebrews chapter 4 verse 14, Seeing then that we have a great high priest that is passed into the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. Now the text we read in chapter 3 says that we're to be exhorting one another daily while it is called today lest we be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. And here He's telling us, hold fast our profession. Don't give up. Hold on the way. Continue on course.

And here's the encouragement to do it. We have a great high priest who's passed into the heavens. We've got access to one who can help us. He's able to do it for we have not a high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities but was in all points tempted like as we are yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly under the throne of grace.

Boldly. Not because you're coming in your own name, not because you're coming feeling like you're worthy and entitled to something, but you come confidently because you're coming in Jesus' name. You come boldly to the throne of grace that you may obtain what? Mercy!

Isn't that what you need? Somebody says to me, I don't think I need mercy, I just want to get what I deserve. We'll pray for you because we know that you're in a state of darkness, unable to see yourself as you really are. If you know your failings, you know your weakness, you know your sin and your shortcoming, you're coming to find mercy. And secondly, He says grace to help in the time of need. Grace is not just something that was arranged for you in the covenant before the world began. Grace is not just something that was displayed on your behalf at Calvary. Grace is not just something that was wrought in you when you were born of the Holy Spirit and called effectually. But grace is something that you need every day, in every battle that you fight, in every work that you perform, in every duty that you fulfill. You need grace, and here's the promise for it. He gives us grace to help in time of need.

How quickly we forget it. Here's a prayer for help. And then the hymn writer brings before us what we would call a word of thanksgiving. So we've seen an acknowledgement of need, a prayer for help, and finally a word of thanksgiving. Oh to grace, how great a debtor daily I'm constrained to be. Grace.

We're indebted to grace. Look at the things that you enjoy in life today. What must you say about it? Oh yes, in the weakness of your flesh there may have been a few complaints along the way that things weren't a little better and you didn't have more. But when you really look at it like it is, are you not amazed at the grace of God that it's as well with you as it is? Suppose God had dealt with you according to your sin and rewarded you according to your iniquity.

Where would you be today? But the fact that you have health sufficient to make the trip here, to listen to the Word preached, the fact that you had a place to rest last night, the fact that you have food to eat, clothes to wear, that you live in a nation, that with whatever faults you may observe in it, whatever circumstances may frustrate you at the moment, it's still the best place to live on this earth. And to thank God for that privilege and that opportunity that you enjoy from day to day.

To thank God that you can come here to this place of worship, sing these songs of praise, listen to the Word preached, have fellowship and not expect to be arrested when you walk out the door. We can't say that will be the case forever. Our forefathers were persecuted right here on American soil.

It could happen again. But while we have this blessing, should we not be thankful for it? Oh to grace how great a debtor that you as a vile fallen sinner, a rebel against God, can now by grace be called his friend, his child, that you have an inheritance that is reserved for you in heaven that fadeth not away.

You're indebted to grace. And then he says, here I raise my Ebeneezer. The word Ebeneezer means a stone of help. And setting up this stone as a memorial, you recall the story, Israel had been terribly defeated. Thousands of their men had died, four thousand in one day. They'd met with terrible disaster. They were looking to the ark instead of the God of the ark. They were not truly confessing their sin and coming humbly before God and dependence upon Him.

But the time came that they saw the error. They repented. They sought God's help. They came not in their own strength and confidence, but knowing the battle is the Lord's.

And now, said we're going to set up this stone as a memorial. Here's a reminder that victory is because of Him, because of our God. And oh how we need from time to time to go back to the Ebeneezer that we may have set up in our own life, reminding ourselves that every victory that's been ours has not been because of our strength, our ability, our ingenuity, our scheming, our planning, but by His power, by His mercy and His grace and to thank Him for it every day.

Every day that you live. Here I raise my Ebeneezer. Tune my heart to sing thy praise. Sing, come thou fount of every blessing. He's the source of it. He's the fountain of it. Every good and perfect gift cometh down from the Father of lights.

Every one of them. Yes, you have worked, but God gave you the strength and the ability and the opportunity to work. Yes, you have fulfilled some of your obligations, but God gave you the mind and wisdom and heart to do it in everything.

You have to give Him thanks. Come thou fount of every blessing. Tune my heart to sing thy praise.

Lord, I want to give thee the glory for it. Streams of mercy are continuing to come to me in so many ways, in every area and avenue of life. We think about the words of Jeremiah in Lamentations chapter 3 verse 22, it is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed because His compassion fails not.

They are new every morning. Great is thy faithfulness. Can't you say that with the prophet? Oh Lord, it is of thy mercies that we're not consumed. If it were not for your mercy, I would have been consumed a long time ago. It wouldn't have had to be an enemy that would have destroyed me.

I would have handled that all on my own, my own weakness and failure. But Lord, you have sought me out and you have called me and you have drawn me back to thee. And I want to praise thee for it.

These mercies are new every morning. Robert Robinson wrote this beautiful hymn when he was 23 years of age. He was a pastor of a church. He loved the truth contained in these wonderful words. But later in life, he wandered. He wandered into sin.

He was overtaken with the error of universalism. He was riding on a stagecoach one day. A lady sat across from him, humming a tune. She noticed the dejected look on his face. And she said, would you like to know about this song that I'm humming?

He burst into tears. He said, I know all about it. I'm the man that wrote the words.

And I would give 10,000 words if I could roll back the clock and have the feeling and experience I had in the days that I wrote it. Now the story goes on that that was a turning point in his life. And that he did come back to God. And he confessed his sin. And he was restored to a place of fellowship. Prone to wander.

Lord, I feel it. Prone to leave the God I love. If you find just a little tendency in your heart to wander, go to him today and pray, Lord, hear me. I need help.

I need help. Tune my heart to sing thy praise. In tongues above. Praise the mount, oh, fixed beyond it.

Mount of God's unchanging law. Although we must all admit that in the weakness of our fallen nature, we have to say, prone to wander, prone to leave the God I love. But another thought in that hymn is most encouraging.

Yet streams of mercy. How great is the mercy of our God. And if indeed I speak to one today who has wandered, there is yet hope.

His word to his people long ago through the prophet Jeremiah when they had strayed and wandered was, return, return. There is abundant mercy. I hope you will write to us and until next week at the same time, may the Lord richly bless you all. Here I raise my ever-mesmer, bither by thy help I come.

And I hope by thy good pleasure, safely to our right at home. Jesus sought me when a stranger wandering through the hall. 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. O to grace thou great a debtor, daily I'm come, slain to thee. Let thy grace, Lord, like a fetter, bind my wandering heart to thee. Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it. Prone to be the God I love. Here's my heart, Lord, take and seal it. Seal it for thy courts above.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-12 05:50:07 / 2023-03-12 05:59:27 / 9

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