Ask And You Shall Receive…

Ask and you shall receive…

Jesus mentions many times in scripture that if you ask for anything in his name that it WILL be given to you.


“Ask and it will be given to you: seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.” -Matthew 7:7-8


“Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” -Mark 11:24


But what exactly does he mean?  Can I just ask for a million dollars, really believe it, and he’ll give it to me?

Well, not exactly…

You see, when you read the Bible as a whole you get the whole picture. 

Take what Paul says in Romans 8:5, “Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.”

Jesus even said in John 15:7, “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you.”

When you live for Jesus and the Spirit lives in you, you’ll be asking what the Spirit wants for you, not what you want for yourself.  You’ll be in line with God’s will for your life.

“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.  Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.” -Romans 12:2

When you renew your mind with the Spirit, you are aligning your life for what God wants for you.  So you will then be asking what he wants for your life! 

You’re living for HIM, not yourself.

Have your mind set on what the Spirit desires and God will give you everything you ask!


“Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.” -Psalm 37:4

Do What You Fear The Most!

Do what you fear the most!

This Saturday I’m going to my friend’s wedding in Tennessee.  Now this isn’t just a normal routine going to the wedding… my friend has asked me to officiate his wedding!  Ahhh!!!!!

Talk about fear creeping in.

I’m definitely nervous… and excited.

The nerves are the fears telling me everything that can go wrong, but I just remember what scripture says:

“God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.” -2 Timothy 1:7

God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power!!! 

I ask God to give me the strength and to work through me while officiating my friend’s wedding.  It’s all about getting out of your comfort zone with God’s strength!

Do what you fear the most, and you’ll soon overcome your fears.

Who knows, maybe I’ll be able to do some public speaking some day?

Peace!

When God Is Telling You Something…

When you feel God telling you something, you BETTER listen.

A couple of weeks ago I was on my way home from a wedding anniversary downtown.  There were two lanes to the onramp of the freeway, and about 4 cars in front of me.  In the other lane was another couple of cars along with a motorcycle.

Light turns green and we all start to go.  Well I noticed one of the cars in my lane starts to go into the right lane to pass somebody… but, it’s kind of hard to pass when someone is in that right lane.  But not for this motorist.  This motorist decided to push the motorcycle (and his passenger) off the road.

The rider and passenger go flying while the motorist speeds away.

I stop and call 911 and see how I can help.  Luckily, both the rider and passenger got up and took their helmets off (helmets…).  They were shaken up a bit, can’t blame them, and seemed to be ok with a couple of cuts on their legs.  Well, while waiting there the passenger got her helmet and noticed the rider’s helmet… his helmet was all scratched and in pretty bad shape.

The rider said he wasn’t planning on wearing his helmet that night, but decided to.

Good thing… because that would have been his head all mashed up.

Now I bring up this story because in the end the rider decided to wear his helmet.  That was an urging from God!  If he would have not listened and did as he was originally going to (not wear the helmet), he would either be dead or in very bad shape.

So when you hear God speak, you better listen.  No ifs, ands, or buts about it!

The Only Key That Will Unlock The Gates Of Heaven

So this past Saturday I was at a Bible Study, and one of the things that kept coming up from someone was that they believe you have to be a good person to get to Heaven.  They feel you need to do good works to get in.

But that’s not so.

You do not get to Heaven by your good works, but it is by the grace of God that you get into Heaven, through Jesus Christ.


“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.” -Ephesians 2:8-9


As I was sitting there listening, God put this analogy into my head…

Heaven is like a huge gated community.  While outside the gates you’re doing your good deeds (re: works).  For every good deed you do you get a key to put on your key ring.  Now you do these good deeds throughout your life, and one you come to the end of the road you may have many keys or a few keys.  It all depends on the works you did throughout your life.

Now some will say they did many good deeds and are sure to get into Heaven, their key ring is bursting with keys so they know that one of their keys will unlock the gates to Heaven.  Some of them even look down on the ones who have few keys, boasting about their many keys.

Anywho, the one with many keys starts sticking them in the gate one by one.  None of them seem to be working, but no worries… he has many more keys to go right?  Surely one of these keys will fit?

So he keeps trying one after another and none of them are working.

Now the man is starting to get a little nervous, sweating even.  It’s been hours and hours trying all these different keys and he’s down to his last few.

Meanwhile, the man with a few keys never once tries to open the gates of Heaven with his few keys.  Instead, he starts talking to the guards and then points to a man he knows.  This man, named Jesus, tells the guards to let him through because that is his friend.  So the guards let him through and Jesus welcomes him with open arms into Heaven!

Now back to the man with many keys, he tries his last key and nothing, nada, zip.  It’s the end of the road.  None of his keys could unlock the gates of Heaven.

But wait… he’s able to see through the gates.  What’s that he sees?  It’s the man with few keys.  But how?!

Surely this man had more keys, so his chances were 1,000 times better right?

Hey… wait a second.  The man with many keys sees the man with few keys taking out his little key ring and he starts unlocking things… it looks to be treasures!  TREASURES!!! All of the keys are working.

The man with many keys can’t make any sense of it.  Here he is outside of the gates of Heaven looking in… and the man with few keys is using all his keys to unlock the treasures on the inside.


So what went wrong with the man with many keys?  Did he not do enough good deeds and collect enough keys?

Of course not!  No matter how much he worked he would have never be able to work enough to get a key that opens up the gates of Heaven.

You see, the man with few keys knew something… He knew no matter how many key she had that none of them would open up the gates to Heaven.  He knew the secret… and the secret is Jesus.

Jesus says:  “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.  But store up for yourselves treasures in Heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.” (Matthew 6:19-20).

You see, Jesus is the ONLY way to open up the gates of Heaven.

Jesus IS the KEY

But the works you do here on Earth will be rewarding in Heaven.

But without Jesus you’ll never know what treasures are in store for you… You’ll have a bunch of keys, but no locks to put them in to.

Just remember, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.” -Ephesians 2:8-9

Life and Thaaangs

Lately I’ve been thinking about where I’m going in life.  I want to do something meaningful to help change the world.  Right now, it just feels like I’m going through the motions, everyday is pretty much the same and not really making an impact on the world except using the resources of this world.

I don’t just want to live, but I want to live for Jesus!  I want to use what I have to give back to others in Jesus’ name.

But how…

So some thoughts have come up about sharing positive stories.  You know… like the News, but POSTIVE.

Here’s an acroynom I came up with for NEWS:

Negative
Edition of
Worldy
Stories

It seems everywhere I look:  Newpapers, News Channels, Online News feeds… It’s all negative.

But what if we had a FREE edition of positive stories?  You know, like a newspaper that gets delivered to your mailbox… but instead it would be a PEWSpaper (Positive Edition of Wonderful Stories).  It would all be positive uplifting stories… and it would all be faith-based with Jesus at the center!

It could have little Bible Studies, a section for kids, etc.  The ideas are endless.

So that’s what’s been on my mind lately.  But how to get started… I’ll have to look to our Father in Heaven for that one!

If you have any ideas then feel free to let me know!  🙂


“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.  Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.” -Romans 12:2

One Little Flame Can Light The Whole World

I’ve been reading in the Bible a lot lately about being a Light in the world, and my thoughts have sifted to 9 years ago.

Nine years ago I went to Mammoth Cave in Kentucky (I highly recommend going if you’ve never been there).  It’s this huge cave system which you can explore (of course, there’s a path and stairs you need to stay on so you don’t get lost) with a group.

Just for giggles… me at Mammoth Cave in 2008

Well, one of the places in the cave was this huge room that had seats (large boulders) that about 50 of us were on.  The ranger asked everyone to put lights and phones away.  Once everyone had done that, the ranger turned out the lights and the cave was pitch black.  You couldn’t see your hand in front of your face.

Just then, the ranger lit one little lighter and you know what happened?  That one little flame light up this whole room, and I’m not talking about some little bedroom or living room in a house, but a huge cave!  Just one little flame!!

And you know what, that’s all we need to be a light in this world.

Jesus says, “You are the light of the world.  A city on a hill cannot be hidden.  Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl.  Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.  In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:14-16)

You are a light of the world!  You really can change the world with one little flame.  All you have to do is light it…

I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.” -Jesus (John 12:46)

 

Jesus Realized Different Levels Of Spiritual Commitment

So I’ve been reading Rick Warren’s book, Purpose Driven Church:  Every Church Is Big in God’s Eyes, and two things Rick said really stood out to me.

It’s about talking to people about Jesus.

Here’s what Rick first said:

“Jesus began at the level of commitment of each person he met.  Often he would simply capture their interest and create a desire to know more.”

You don’t need to use big fancy words, or even be a know-it-all when it comes to sharing the Gospel.  What you need to do is capture people’s interest and then create a desire for them to want to know more.

This reminds me of what Paul says about planting the seeds and Apollos watering the seeds, and then God makes it grow.  It’s our job to capture people’s interest and create the desire, while God makes it grow in their hearts!

Here’s the second thing Rick said:

“Jesus took into account that people have different cultural backgrounds, understanding, and levels of spiritual commitment.  He knew that it doesn’t work to use the same approach with all people.”

I love this.  What works on one person may not work on another person.  You’re not going to talk to a believer the same way you’re going to talk to an atheist.  Likewise, you’re not going to talk to an atheist the same way you’re going to talk to a seeker.  Right?

So remember… capture someone’s attention, create desire for them to want to know more, and don’t use the same approach on everyone!

Now let that soak into your noggin’!

Jesus: The Finisher!

On Sunday my Uncle John and I were having a deep spiritual conversation about life.

Where are we headed?  What’s our purpose here?

One thing I normally dwell on is marketing.  I love marketing.  I have even started some projects but never finished them.  Got them started, but never kept the momentum going.

Well… that night I asked God to help me finish what I start.

What happened yesterday morning?  Whoa!!!

I read a Prime Time with God Devotional I get via email and it was amazing.

The subject line:  “Jesus:  The Finisher of Our Faith.”

Finisher??  I was just asking God to help me be a finisher.  I must read on I told myself.

The devotion started with a Bible verse and then God REALLY spoke to me.  Here’s what the devotion said next:

“Jesus is the Finisher of Our Faith.  If you are good at beginning new projects, but you are a poor finisher, look to Jesus, the Finisher of Our Faith.”

wow-Wow-WOW!!!  God speaks!  And answers prayers.

We just need to keep looking to Jesus IN all I do and seek his direction.

Forgive Or Your Heavenly Father Will Not Forgive You

I’ve noticed a reoccurring theme that comes up whenever I talk with my family about “forgiveness.”

The ones I’ve talked to about forgiveness always say they could never forgive someone if they harmed someone they love.  They say they would HATE that person.  Some said they would even like to kill that person.

Yikes.

Two passages come to my mind every time I hear someone say they couldn’t forgive someone who does something horrible…


“For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.  But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” -Matthew 6:14-15

and

“Anyone who does not love remains in death.  Anyone who hates his brother is a murdered, and you know that no murdered has eternal life in him.” -1 John 3:14b-15


Jesus is very clear.  If you don’t forgive someone who sins against you, then our heavenly Father will not forgive you.  Jesus isn’t saying you’ll like it.  He’s not saying you have to be best friends with the person, but you do have to forgive.

Even John says, “Anyone who hates his brother is a murdered, and you know that no murdered has eternal life in him.”

Wowzers!  Sounds pretty clear to me, no?

Well, on Friday, my uncle and I were talking about Jesus and the Bible and we started talking about forgiveness.  And guess what he said?!  He said if something happened to me or anyone in the family, or his friends, he would never be able to forgive that person.

I referred him to scripture, but he said he knows he needs to forgive, but he wouldn’t be to do it.

So the rest of that night and Saturday it really got me thinking.  And this verse popped in my head, “Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” -1 Thessalonians 5:18

How could you give thanks in all circumstances, especially some horrible act done against someone you love?

The only thing I could think and what I can start telling people is… If someone did something horrible to me and it ended in my death, forgive them and give thanks to our Father in Heaven that it happened to me and not someone who isn’t saved.

Really… What else could be said?

Now go out and be a Light in the World!

Be Fearless!

I’ve been watching Francis Chan on Youtube lately, and I’m really loving his messages!

The video below really hits home.  It’s about being Fearless… and in this part of the video he talks about giving.  Watch the video and then below I’ll share my story about giving below.

Francis Chan – Fearless

Well, what did you think?  Awesome video, right?!

I remember when I thought I never had enough money to give, heck, I still feel that way.  But, last summer I started giving a little more than normal.  Then I started giving to my church 10% of my checks that came in.  Then… I started giving 10% of my income BEFORE taxes and anything being taken out.

I’ll tell you what, I was scared.  I kept thinking, how am I going to pay my bills.  Well, you know what?  God ALWAYS provided for my needs, and always will provide for my needs.

I remember last month I kept thinking, I’d really like to put some of that money away rather than give it away.  But God kept urging me to give it away, so I did.  And guess what?!  One of my affiliate marketing accounts I have made a huge sale and… it was, get this, 40 cents lower than what I just gave away.

God provided a way for me.  He has ALWAYS provide a way for me.  The more I trust him the more it seems he gives me… and I’m not just talking about money, but time, enjoyment, love, etc.  It’s amazing.

Just remember, “God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.” -2 Timothy 1:7

Keep on trusting, keep on being fearless, and keep on being a Light in the World!