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

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

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)

 

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!

It’s All About Taking Action

So for about the past month I could feel God urging me to read the Book of Nehemiah.

It was like I was seeing it mentioned all over the place.  But I just never “got around to reading it.”  Then the other day I felt down and kept saying I need to do something extraordinary with my life.  You know, something to help change the world.

And then it hit me like a ton of bricks… the urge to read Nehemiah.  Wow, just wow.

Here’s a short background on the Book of Nehemiah:  Mehemiah was feeling grief over the ruins of the walls of Jerusalem, so he decided to take action and left his home and job to do an “impossible mission” which was to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem.

So here’s this common, ordinary man who felt grief over where his fathers were buried, constantly reached out to God, and TOOK ACTION.

That’s the key right there… he TOOK ACTION and constantly reached out to God from beginning to end.  God doesn’t want us waiting around for him, he wants us to pray to him and then go take action!

So go read God’s Word, Pray, and put his Word into Action AND be a Light in the World!

Love is…

If someone was to ask you, “How would you define love?” how would you respond?
 
Dictionary.com defines love as:
  1. A profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person.
  2. A feeling of warm personal attachment or deep affection, as for a parent, child, or friend.

It’s how we all usually define love, no?

But, what does scripture have to say about love?  How does scripture define love?

Take it away, Paul!

“Love is patient, love is kind.  It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  Love never fails.” -1 Corinthians 13:4-8

What wise words form a wise man.

Now I want you to replace LOVE with your name.  So for me it would be:

David is patient.
David is kind.
David does not envy.
David does not boast.
David is not proud.
David is not rude.
David is not self-seeking.
David is not easily angered.
David keeps no record of wrongs.
David does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
David always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Wow!  How powerful is that just by replacing one word with your name!

Now I must admit, I’m not all of those.  Heck, I can see me being all of these at times, which means I have a lot of work to do.  It also gives me a lot to think about…

How about you?  What do you need to work on when it comes to love?

“And now these three remain:  faith, hope and love.  But the greatest of these is love.” -1 Corinthians 13:13

Love never fails!

Words of Encouragement

Lately I’ve been thinking that we could all use a little encouragement, especially around all of the holidays.  Which, I hear Christmas is the most depressing time of the year for many people (and it shouldn’t be).

So I normally make posts online or try to say some encouraging words to people I come across.

One thing I’ve noticed is that people actually take a likening the encouraging words, especially some encouraging scripture passages.

Here’s a few verses to help you with getting started to encourage others!

Remember, we’re all faces trials of many kinds.  Why not help lift someone up who is in need… It’s as simple as saying a few encouraging words.


“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” -Ephesians 4:29

“But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.” -Hebrew 3:13

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.  I do not give to you as the world gives.  Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” -John 14:27


And, my favorite passage in the Bible…

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.” -2 Corinthians 1:3-4

Comfort those with the comfort you have received from God!

Keep spreading the love!

Create In Me A Pure Heart

Yesterday I went to my first Worship Night at my church.

I’ll tell you what… it was refreshing, especially during this time of the year with all of the hustle and bustle going around.  You know, all the worldly chatter.

Got to sing praises to our Father in Heaven.  What’s better than that?!  And He definitely gave rest for my soul.  Ah… refreshing.

So in-between songs there were Bible verses on the screen, and this one really caught my eye which I want to share with you:


“Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.  Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me.  Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.” -Psalm 51:10-12


What a beautiful passage.

Dwell on it for a while…  We could all use a pure heart from God.

I Will Give Thanks To The Lord

Today in the United States we celebrate our Thanksgiving Day.

There’s a lot to be thankful for even if you feel the world is collapsing all around you.

So on this Thanksgiving Day, I’m going to share with you some Bible passages about giving thanks.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!


“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”” -Philippians 4:6-7

“Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” -1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

“For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer.” -1 Timothy 4:4-5

“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.” -1 Chronicles 16:34

“I will give thanks to the Lord because of his righteousness and will sing praise to the name of the Lord Most High.” -Psalm 7:17


Now go and think about what you’re thankful for.  Feel free to share what you’re thankful for in the comments below.

Not only am I thankfully for Jesus, who died for my sins, but for my family, my friends, and, of course… all of YOU!

Would God Forgive Satan If He Asked For Forgiveness?

I heard a questions recently, which I’ve never heard before… “Would God forgive Satan if he asked for forgiveness?”

Hmm… very interesting question.  One that got me thinking.  Hmm… thinking to myself, would God forgive Satan if he asked for forgiveness?

Looking to the Bible, we all know the fate of Satan.  So, he’ll never be in Heaven, but the question about would God forgive him if he asked for forgiveness… I’d have to say I think so, and here’s why.

If we look at Luke 16:19-31, Jesus talks about a rich man dressed in purpled and fine linen while living in luxury while there was a beggar named Lazarus at the rich man’s gate.

Eventually Lazarus dies and the angels carry him to Abraham’s side.  Then the rich man dies and he’s in hell, where he’s in torment.

The rich man looks up and see’s Lazarus by Abraham’s side and says, “Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.” (24)

Abraham then goes on to tell the rich man how he received good things in life and Lazarus received the bad.  Now Lazarus is comforted and the rich man is in agony.(25-26)

The rich man then begs Abraham to send Lazarus to his father’s house and warn his five brothers so that they will not also come to the place of torment. (27)

Abraham tells the rich man, “They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.” (29)

“No, father Abraham,” the rich man said, “but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.” (30)

Abraham said to him, “If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.” (31)

There’s quite a bit between the rich man, Lazarus, and Abraham.

But there is one thing that really strikes me… How come the rich man never asked for forgiveness?  How come he never told Lazarus he was sorry for not helping him?

Instead, the rich man asks for some water to cool his tongue and to warn his brothers so they don’t end up in agony with him.

This all gets me thinking… the rich man never wanted to be forgiven.  It’s almost as if he feels he didn’t do anything wrong.

It’s like if you don’t want to be with Jesus now, why would you want to spend eternity with him?  I can’t imagine anyone going to Hell and then asking for forgiveness.  But………… if they did ask forgives, would God forgive them?

In verse 26, Abraham does say, “besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.”

So, whether you go to Heaven or Hell when you die, it’s where you’re going to spend eternity.

I think if Satan was to ask God for forgiveness he would forgive him, but Satan will never ask for it.  Nor, do I think anyone who goes to Hell will ask for forgiveness either.  Kind of like being set in there ways.

Curious to know your thoughts.  Do you think if Satan was to ask God for forgiveness that He would forgive him?  Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Now keep spreading the word!