Very truly, I tell you, if you ask anything of the Father in my name, he will give it to you. Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be complete.“I have said these things to you in figures of speech. The hour is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figures, but will tell you plainly of the Father. On that day you will ask in my name. I do not say to you that I will ask the Father on your behalf; for the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God. I came from the Father and have come into the world; again, I am leaving the world and am going to the Father.”
Have you ever tried to untangle cables that have gotten entwined with each other? It is easier to do that than to unscramble the things that Jesus says. But, then, unscrambling the things that Jesus says is definitely more fun. So, here is what you get when you unscramble today’s teaching. And it really is very, very encouraging! Our Lord is telling us to ask God for what we want. In fact, he uses the word “ask” five times in this passage, which means he is actually ENCOURAGING us to ask God for stuff.
Jesus is also telling us that it is okay to ask our Father directly for what we want. We can ask for things in Jesus’ name, and they will be given, but not necessarily because Jesus is gonna ask him on our behalf. Why, then? Now, this is the beautiful part. The Father will give us these things because he loves us and wants to see us joyful. And why does he love us? Because: one, we have loved Jesus; and, two, believed that Jesus came from the Father. Why is this important? Because through Jesus we get access to the Father. This is the salvation story: I am sure you know it by now.
So, now you have a question and I know what it is! You say, “But I ask and I ask and I never receive. Why?” Good question. James has the answer. “When you ask, you do not receive,” he says, “because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.” So, quit asking for that Mercedes Benz and that duplex apartment, and start asking for the really important stuff! And what’s that? Ahh, these are the things of God. For instance, ask for the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
The church all over the world is currently praying for the Isaiah gifts of wisdom, understanding, counsel, might, knowledge, fear of the Lord, and piety. These gifts help us to be like Jesus. These gifts help us to understand the heart and mind of God. I don’t know about you, but this is much better than a Mercedes Benz to me, because it helps me secure my eternal life. But these are not the only gifts the Holy Spirit has to give. He has three more bags full of the most amazing gifts you can imagine. Try asking for them and see what happens! Don’t know what they are?
Ok. If you really are interested in finding out what these gifts are, take out your notebook, and make a note of these verses: Galatians 5:22-23, Ephesians 4:11, Romans 12:6-8, and 1 Corinthians 12:7-11. You can pause the video here. When you are done listening to me, read today’s Scripture passage again, and also read all the Scripture verses I just mentioned. Mark them. Then think about whatever you have heard and read, and write down at least one point that strikes you. The people who are doing this faithfully are growing in leaps and bounds. You just have to look at what they share on my Facebook page (fb.com/aranhaaneel) to tell! So, if you wanna grow too, do this.
You won’t regret it; I promise.