Robert Doecke - Tanama - Sunday Evening, 2014

In a city in Australia, they had wise sayings on the backs of bus tickets. Everyone would look at the back of their tickets, and there was even a book written about them, "Talking Tickets."

But I want to tell you about two that aren’t in the book. When I was 18, I had a lot of plans that required money, and I wasn’t earning money as fast as I wanted. So I took my money out of the bank and got on the bus to invest it. My bus ticket said, “Take time for God. It’s life’s only lasting investment.” I felt as if I had a voice on one side saying, “Maybe you shouldn’t be so selfish with your money,” but another voice said, “Go for it!” so I went for it. I bought Selected Securities for 53 cents (each). When I sold them to go into the work, they were worth 39 cents.

When you invest, you let go of what you have into the hands of another, to spend as they like, but there is a reward later. We are investing our lives, and the dividends are eternal.

Another bus ticket said, “Whatever awaits you around the corner, God is already there.” He’s there with provision, and the way prepared for you.

Genesis 24. Abraham’s servant prayed (verse 12-14) His master had told him (verse 7), “The Lord God of heaven, which took me from my father's house, and from the land of my kindred, and which spake unto me, and that sware unto me, saying, 'Unto thy seed will I give this land; He shall send His angel before thee, and thou shalt take a wife unto my son from thence.'” God goes ahead.

The servant prayed, “And he said, 'O Lord God of my master Abraham, I pray thee, send me good speed this day, and shew kindness unto my master Abraham. Behold, I stand here by the well of water; and the daughters of the men of the city come out to draw water and let it come to pass, that the damsel to whom I shall say, "Let down thy pitcher, I pray thee, that I may drink," and she shall say, "Drink, and I will give thy camels drink also," let the same be she that thou hast appointed for thy servant Isaac; and thereby shall I know that thou hast shewed kindness unto my master.'”

That’s what we pray many times. The servant knew that if that bride was going to make the distance, she must have the spirit of the second mile. The spirit of the bride - in Proverbs 31, we read how she went the extra mile for her family. Ecclesiastes 11:1-2, “Cast thy bread upon the waters for thou shalt find it after many days. Give a portion to seven, and also to eight; for thou knowest not what evil shall be upon the earth.”

“You can never do a kindness too soon. You never know when it will be too late.”

The Good Samaritan, going beyond the two pence that is duty - beyond is love. In the Old Testament, they were not to reap the corners of the field. Seeing a field, you would know whether the owner had a heart for others or not by how large the corners he left were.

Acts 28:14-15, “Where we found brethren, and were desired to tarry with them seven days: and so we went toward Rome. And from thence, when the brethren heard of us, they came to meet us as far as Appii forum, and the three taverns whom when Paul saw, he thanked God, and took courage.” The extra mile always encourages people. We also thank God and take courage, seeing people make efforts for the Kingdom. There are no traffic jams in the second mile.

Genesis 22 is like when we heard the gospel, “Take your only life, the life you love, and give it to me, and I’ll show you where to do it.” Abraham might have asked, "Why go so far?" - God had gone before and made provision. Going anywhere else, the provision wouldn’t have been there.

How does God know when we love and respect Him? When we don’t withhold. God doesn’t notice what we give as much as what we withhold. Withholding: Malachi 3:8-10, “'Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed Me. But ye say, "Wherein have we robbed Thee?" In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse for ye have robbed Me, even this whole nation. Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in Mine house, and prove Me now herewith,' saith the Lord of hosts, 'If I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.'” There are so many stories that show the Lord goes ahead.

Genesis 45:4-5,  “And Joseph said unto his brethren, 'Come near to me, I pray you.' And they came near. And he said, 'I am Joseph your brother, whom ye sold into Egypt. Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither for God did send me before you to preserve life.'”

Exodus 23:20, “Behold, I send an Angel before thee, to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared.”

Deuteronomy 9:1-3, “Hear, O Israel: Thou art to pass over Jordan this day, to go in to possess nations greater and mightier than thyself, cities great and fenced up to heaven, a people great and tall, the children of the Anakims, whom thou knowest, and of whom thou hast heard say, 'Who can stand before the children of Anak!' Understand therefore this day, that the Lord thy God is He which goeth over before thee; as a consuming fire, He shall destroy them, and He shall bring them down before thy face so shalt thou drive them out, and destroy them quickly, as the Lord hath said unto thee.”

Crossing into new experiences, there will be strong enemies, but He goes before and will deal with the adversary. It’s not for the sheep to tackle the wolf, but to keep close to the Shepherd, who will deal with the wolf.

Abigail. I Samuel 25:32-33, ”And David said to Abigail, 'Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, which sent thee this day to meet me and blessed be thy advice, and blessed be thou, which hast kept me this day from coming to shed blood, and from avenging myself with mine own hand.'” It’s nice to think of people that God can use; who give good advice so we don’t have to have regrets.

Exodus 12. Leaving Egypt, God told them to take the jewels. It wasn’t stealing. God was paying the wages for all those years of slavery, and now they had the means to give for the tabernacle. God had something in mind.

At the Red Sea, God went ahead to open the way. During the plagues in Egypt, when Pharaoh asked God removed the flies until there was not one left; at the Red Sea, not one horseman was left. Just one doubt or one fear or one wrong thought can take our peace - like one mosquito - and God gave a wonderful victory.

Daniel knew prayer was his lifeline, as it is ours - and God went ahead and shut the lions’ mouths.

During World War 2, two workers were in a camp for 3½ years, and treated terribly. The Japanese were cutting off 200 heads a night, and came for the workers. One managed to bring his hymnbook, and (though bound) to open it with his nose to the hymn we sang (Stronger than the strong is He), “The Lord is just ahead.” They were so prepared to meet the Lord the next day that it was a disappointment when they were released for being British subjects.

(During the Japanese retreat, the British had bombed one unit until it was completely destroyed, and they sent a message that if the Japanese executed any more prisoners, their units would all be wiped out.)

When a few workers first went to South Africa and arrived penniless, the customs official put them to one side to wait. That night, he took them home with him, and told them he’d been searching. God had gone ahead.

A woman with a very sad situation had asked a number of ministers, looking for answers, but they didn’t know. Finally she met a worker, who said, “I believe the Lord was preparing your heart for the gospel.”

The Lord sent the star ahead for the wise men, and their gifts prepared the way for when Joseph and Mary had to flee.

Elijah was fed by ravens, then by that widow. The Lord had told her to support him. She had no future, but he gave her a message so she would have a future. She got something that would never waste and never fail, because she put God first.

A lady said, “Before I heard the gospel, all I looked for was an open grave, now an open heaven.”

The women at Jesus tomb asked, “Who will roll away the stone?” There will always be difficulties ahead. If only we would trust Him. Around the corner, God is ahead with provision and answers.

Acts 10. Meeting with Gentiles for the first time, Peter had “standards,” but God said, “Don’t you despise” (people He has cleansed). During this time, I’ve seen, “The eyes of my Saviour ne’er slumber.”