Ask and receive
This month I want to share what I call a kingdom key for the new year. What is a kingdom key you ask? It is a series of scriptures that tell us how to succeed in this world for the kingdom of God. Now before you get on my case and call me a name it and claim it pastor read and re-read this teaching. This is about what Jesus said about our asking and receiving. Or maybe it is better phrased, what Jesus said about why we ask and do not receive. Three times in the Gospel John Jesus tells us ask and you will receive. So if this is the case why are so many Christians in need. I am not just talking about money here, people! So many Christians in the world today are in need spiritually. They are at their (notice their) wits ends. Except for small pockets there is very little power left in the church. John 14:12-14 (NLT) 12"The truth is, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father. 13You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, because the work of the Son brings glory to the Father. 14Yes, ask anything in my name, and I will do it! The key here, is he who believes in Jesus. He who believes will 1) do greater things and works and 2) will ask anything in Jesus name and He will do it! Of course there is a catch, "because the work of the Son brings glory to the Father." So if you feel you believe in Jesus and ask for a new car, unless it will bring glory to the Father don't count on getting it.
Lets go on: John 15:6-9 (KJV) 6If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. 7If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. 8Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. This is a two way street; we must abide in Jesus and His words must abide in you. Be honest what is your life like? Do you truly abide with Jesus. If you do then every move and action you make in this world is automatically controlled by the old saying "What would Jesus do?" Does this control your life or do you? Second is Jesus words must abide in you. The Greek here means A primary verb; to stay (in a given place, state, relation or expectancy):-abide, continue, dwell, endure, be present, remain, stand, tarry. This does not mean blown by every wind of doctrine, it does not mean following the latest and greatest new "word" from some new "mighty" man of God. Nope! it means enduring, remaining, standing firm on the pure and simple word of God. Do you do that? But again there is a catch, "Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples." Again, it is to bring glory to our Father in heaven and to help us be fruitful. The most interesting thing here to me is that the final comment in this line "so shall ye be my disciples." The way I read this is that by bringing glory to our Father in heaven and by bearing much fruit for the kingdom we become disciples for Jesus. Again I have to ask where do you stand? If you are not glorifying the Father I heaven and not being fruitful how can you be a disciple of Christ? So if we want to ask whatever we want and get that prayer answered again it must glorify the Father and must in some way help us bear fruit. Have you figured out yet this goes totally against the name it and claim it gospel?
Continuing; John 16:23-24 (NLT)At that time you won't need to ask me for anything. The truth is, you can go directly to the Father and ask him, and he will grant your request because you use my name. You haven't done this before. Ask, using my name, and you will receive, and you will have abundant joy. Ok, before I go any further please read from verse 16 to understand the "at that time". Jesus is referring to the time that follows His death, burial and resurrection. I.E. Jesus is referring to the time from His ascension to heaven to the time when He returns. I.E. Now! So Jesus says that today we can go directly to the Father in heaven and ask. Jesus even went even further and said our request will be granted because we use His name. This blows all kinds of holes in the Catholic doctrine that Mary is our interceder. Jesus did not say that the Father would answer our request because "Mary went and asked for us." Nope we can go to the Father directly and ask in Jesus name. So my friends if you are asking anything of the Father in heaven through or in anyone's name beside Jesus do not expect it to be answered. Sorry, it is God's word not mine.
If you want 2008 to be a better year with your prayers heard and answered you should follow the simple Biblical sound program. Ok, Lets put it all together in a few simple sentences. You must really believe in Jesus and His word, not lip service as Paul calls it. You must not doubt that Jesus can and will answer your prayers. You must ask things that will be able to glorify the Father in heaven, help you produce fruit for the kingdom and not just be selfish for yourself. You must abide or live in Jesus and His words must abide or live in your heart. WWJD must be your true battle cry not lip service. Finally you must go directly to the Father using Jesus name, not through some other interceder!
Love Ya Pastor A. J.