Monday, October 22, 2007

Ask and It Shall Be Given

"And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you." Luke 11:9

Our Lord wants us to ask, seek and knock. When we ask, we are simply asking him for something or making a request like a child would ask a parent for a piece of bread. We should be reverent in our asking as he is our God and we are his creation. None of this "Hey God" stuff, that's for beginners. Mature Christians don't pray that way.

Then we must seek, which means to investigate. When you seek for something, you look for it or "Try to locate or discover, or try to establish the existence of." The Bible, or God's Holy Word, is the logical place we would seek for an answer. We don't seek for an answer in the newspapers or media although I don't think we should be completely shut out as we are living in times that may be on the brink of the tribulation period. We don't seek the books sold in the Christian bookstores as most of the books published today lack a lot of sound Biblical doctrine. The Bible tells us what God thinks and is saying.

We then must knock. That takes more effort. Continually asking is knocking as well as fasting. Just because we don't hear or get the answer the first time doesn't mean we give up. There are numerous passages in the scriptures that state otherwise. Here is just one found in Luke 18: 1-7.

And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint; Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man: And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary. And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man; Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me. And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith. And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them?

The judge didn't fear God nor did he care anything about man but was so tired of her coming that he finally gave her what she asked. God is the same although, unlike the unjust judge, he does love us and cares for us so how much more will he answer if we ask.

We must beware lest we ask for things that are not his will. James 4:3 says, "Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts."

Later, Jesus said the following in verse 13. "If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?" While the Holy Ghost had not fallen yet, it was a promise that it would and that it would be given to all who ask. This has not changed and God will fill a holy vessel with the Holy Ghost today with the evidence of speaking in other tongues as they haven't ceased yet. See I Corinthians 13:8. "Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away." If tongues shall cease, so has knowledge. Tongues are not the only manifestation of the Holy Ghost but it is proof of one receiving the baptism. "And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance." Acts 2:4

Lastly, we must pray for our nation. I'm afraid we will be in very serious trouble if we head the way things are looking. It's time for the church to fast and pray either that God would show his hand of mercy on us for a little longer, or that we may endure and stand for Christ to the end.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Keep Your Faith

"Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God." Hebrews 3:12

Can you be lost after once tasting the goodness of eternal life? You certainly can! The above scripture is enough to show anyone that, even though they have once prayed and asked Christ into their heart, they can be cast away because of unbelief. Notice it says "in departing from the living God." You can't depart from something you first aren't a part of. So what causes someone to be lost?

"But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin." Hebrews 3:13

The answer is in the verse above – sin! We are told to exhort, beseech, or entreat each other not to fall back into sin and to watch out for the traps that Satan may be trying to lay for us. We are in a battle and, even though our Lord Jesus Christ has paid the price, we are still warring against the devil and the flesh.

"Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:" 1 Peter 5:8

"For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would." Galatians 5:17

From the above two verses we plainly see that we are fighting the devil and our flesh. Unfortunately most in the church do not realize that this is a warfare and not just something for us to "feel good" or "make us rich." Of course, in this free and easy, self-centered culture that we live in today that is not popular, but true. However, we do have a promise.

"For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end;" Hebrews 3:14

We can continue fellowship with him if we hold our confidence and faith in him.

If we keep from falling into a sinful state of unbelief and our love wax cold. "And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold." Matthew 24:12

If we keep in fellowship with him, each other, and walk in the light we can continue in the faith. "But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin." 1 John 1:7

If we bear fruit and abide in him we will not be cut off but our prayers can be answered. 2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. 3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. 4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. 16 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you." John 15:2-4,16

It is essential that we keep fellowship with Christ by daily prayer and study. While Satan will do everything to take this from you, you must fight him and your flesh to maintain a life that is close to the Master. Yes, there are times when the heavens seem like brass and the earth as iron but if you and I continue to hold on to the truth and fight the good fight of faith, not only for ourselves but for others, we will be victorious in Him. Remember this one thing, that Christ can help you through any temptation if you let him as he is the faithful high priest.

"Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted." Hebrews 2:17-18