By John Foll
, entered 11/29/2016 from notes and updated, and finished 6/10/2017 to 6/19/2017.
© Copyright 2017 John Foll
Jesus said, ‘But so that the world may know that I love the Father, I do exactly as the Father commanded Me. Get up, let us go from here.’ John 14:31 NASB.
It’s time to get busy serving the Lord and carrying out His will. Get up, let us go from here! This is what Jesus said as He went out of the last supper with His disciples, to allow Judas Iscariot and the mob to arrest Him and take Him to Jerusalem, that He might die on the cross for our sins. Men did a lot of bad things to Jesus, but it was necessary for our salvation and for the world that He submit to all that Satan and evil men would do to Him; that He would drink this cup that the Father had given Him to drink and die on the cross for our sins, a most cruel death, but He did it out of love for His Father and for you and me! But He would see all the people who would be saved, and be satisfied with His sacrifice. “He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.” Isaiah 53:11 KJV. Never forget what Jesus did for you and the other sinners in this world! Meditate on this often, never let it depart from your mind.
In like manner, if we love Jesus and His Father, it is time, high time, that we go out from here to carry out God’s plan to save the world. God will give us the Holy Spirit and all of the gifts that we need to carry out His will, if this is our desire. We will not worry what people will say or do against us, but will proceed to carry out God’s will. And no matter what cross we have to bear, or what hardship we have to endure, or what comfort or need we forgo to have the funds and resources to help others get to know Him, it will all be worth it in the end, for we will see the work of our life in the souls we have helped and won God’s power and be satisfied, like Jesus was, who is our Master. There will be much joy in Heaven for those who have been faithful in serving God and their fellow man. This is the reward of the righteous. This joy will be compounded and accrued throughout eternity! What kind of price can you place on someone else’s soul; for their love, joy and happiness throughout eternity? Have you no thought or care for their needs? Look at what Jesus did for you and the eternal peace, joy and happiness He bought for you. Does this not bring forth gratitude and love in your heart for Him? How can you hold back this love and joy that He has given you? You cannot, if you have received His forgiveness and love into your heart.
Get up, let us go from here. The fields are white for the harvest. “Jesus said to them, ‘My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to accomplish His work. Do you not say, 'There are yet four months, and then comes the harvest'? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look on the fields, that they are white for harvest. Already he who reaps is receiving wages and is gathering fruit for life eternal; so that he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together.’” John 4:34-36 NASB.
Jesus said, “My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples. Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father's commandments and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.” John 15:8-11 NASB. Yes, God the Father would be glorified if you bear much fruit for Him; if you would lay everything on the altar and do everything that you can to win many precious souls for Him. How can you prove to be Jesus’ disciple? If you abide in His love as He abode in His Father’s love. This is how you keep His commandments, by abiding in His love. This is how you glorify His Father, like He did; by always doing exactly what He has commanded you to do. This is how you can have your joy made full, by abiding in Jesus’ love and bearing much fruit for God.
Do not worry if you are not sure how you can serve Him or think that you don’t have the skills or gifts needed. God will not ask you to do some great thing beyond your ability. Notice we didn’t say “current ability” or the gifts and abilities that you were born with. You might be surprised, if you have faith and believe, God is not limited in what He can do for you! He is your creator and loves you and can miraculously provide you with new gifts and abilities that you never had before, or help you to develop skills that you didn’t think that you had! Nothing good is impossible with God! Do not fear that God is asking you to do something that you cannot do. Do not say, ‘What can I do?” with the idea that you cannot do anything at all. Do not feel bad if you are not good at doing things that others feel are more important or that you should do. Do not look at what others are doing or not doing as your guide, but let your love for God and desire to serve Him fuel your efforts. Do not let others try to tell you what you should or should not do to serve God. Do not look to man to figure out what you should or should not do. Lean not to the flesh. Some may have wise counsel that you should listen to, if they know you well and are ‘Spirit filled’, but many people see things only as man sees them, not through the eyes of faith, for without faith it is impossible to please God. Hebrews 11:6. It is not wise to listen to those who have not yielded themselves fully to God and do not fully believe. Or to those who have not experienced the joys of serving God. Look to God who cannot fail. If the Christians that you are close to or observe are lukewarm and not doing anything, this will have no bearing on you, if you love Jesus.
If you love Jesus, you will be willing to serve Him, and ask Him for the help and direction needed to serve Him effectively. If you are willing, and trust Him, you will be given what you need to serve Him. In the verse before our passage above in John 15:8-11 Jesus said, “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” John 15:7 NASB. If you listen to all of Jesus’ words, and meditate on them in your heart, and allow them to work their way through to your soul, you will be transformed into His likeness. Then you will ask what you will need to serve Him with, and it will be given to you, because you abide in His love. You can be very bold in your requests to God, if you are clean before Him and have yielded yourself fully to Him! He will always listen to your prayers if you truly love Him! If you love Jesus and His Father, do not be afraid to ask them for the help you need to glorify them and to help save the lost, or to help in whatever way they would be pleased for you to serve. The Father would be delighted to give you all the gifts that you need and the direction as to how you can best serve Him. If you yield to Him all the way, He will give you all the help you need to succeed! This is His promise to you.
Jesus told all who would be His disciples how they can receive the gifts that they need to serve Him with when He said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father. Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.” John 14:12-14 NASB. This asking of anything in Jesus’ name to the Father is not a blank check to ask for anything that you would want to ask, but is anything that would glorify Jesus and His Father, that is to do the ‘greater works’ than what Jesus did while He was on this earth. They are ‘greater works’ because of their extent throughout the world; various followers of Jesus would spread the good news of God’s love throughout the earth! Jesus has promised you, that if you ask anything in His name, He will give it to you. To ask in His name is to ask for what you need to carry out His will. You should know that if you have yielded yourself fully to Jesus and His Father, then your heart will become ‘knit’ with them, and you will ask them for all the gifts that you need to serve them with. God would be delighted to give you your requests, whenever you pray in Jesus’ name, believing in Jesus, as this passage plainly states.
Do you want to receive the wages of the reaper or the gatherer? Do you wish to serve Jesus in telling the world of His Father’s love? Then your food and drink will be to do the work that He has given you to do. Your greatest desire will be to serve Him and do all that you can to help others know and be saved too. Whether you are a sower or a reaper you will rejoice in being given a part to play in this great work of God’s love for the world, and you will have your reward. If you love Jesus and His Father, you will do exactly as He has commanded you: To go out and make disciples of all men, teaching them all things that He has commanded, and lo, He will be with you, until the end of the world. Matthew 28:18-20. Amen. Jesus has commanded all of His true followers, His disciples, until the end of the world to bear much fruit for His Father and win many souls for the kingdom. This brings honor and glory to God, for God is love! 1 John 4:8. And He is not willing that any should perish. 2 Peter 3:9.
Do you want to prove to be Jesus’ disciple? Then get up, let us go from here! Go out in His strength, and bear much fruit for His Glory! Amen.
#GetBusy #Serving #God #Go #Obey #Command #Meditate #Joy #Servant #Jesus #Food #Will #Disciple #Gifts #NoLimits #HolySpirit #Clean #Yield #Ask #Wages
By E. J. Waggoner
"For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren." The word "predestinate" is the same as "foreordain," which is found in the Revised Version. Volumes of speculation have been written about these terms, but a few words are sufficient to set forth the facts. With respect to these, as well as the other attributes of God, it is sufficient for us to know the fact. With the explanation we have nothing to do.
That God knows all things is plainly set forth in the Scripture. Not only does he know the things that are past, but he sees the future as well.
"Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world." Acts 15:18. "O Lord, thou hast searched me, and known me. Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising; thou understandest my thought afar off." Ps. 139:1, 2. Thus God can tell what people even yet unborn will do and say.
This does not make God responsible for the evil that they do. Some have foolishly thought it necessary to apologize for the Lord and to relieve him of the charge that if he is omniscient He is responsible for the evil if he does not prevent it, by saying that He could know if he wished, but that he chooses not to know many things. Such a "defense" of God is both foolish and wicked. It assumes that God would be responsible for the evil if he knew it beforehand and did not prevent it, and that in order not to be in a position to prevent it, he deliberately shuts his eyes from it. Thus their "defense" really puts the responsibility for all evil upon God. Not only so, but it limits Him. It makes him like a man.
God knows all things, not by study and research as man learns the little he knows, but because he is God. He inhabits eternity. Isa. 57:15. We can not understand how this can be any more than we can understand eternity. We must accept the fact and be not only content, but glad, that God is greater than we. All time, past, present, and future, is the same to Him. It is always "now" with God. The fact that God knew the evil that men would do, even before the foundation of the world, does not make him responsible for it, any more than
the fact that a man can see by means of a telescope what a man is doing ten miles distant makes him responsible for that other one's actions. God has from the beginning set before people warnings against sin, and has provided them with all the necessary means for avoiding it; but he can not interfere with man's right and freedom of choice without depriving him of his manhood and making him the same as a stick.
Freedom to do right implies freedom to do wrong. If a man were made so that he could not do wrong, he would have no freedom at all, not even to do right. He would be less than the brutes. There is no virtue in forced obedience, nor would there be any virtue in doing that which is right if it were impossible to do wrong. Moreover, there could be no pleasure or satisfaction in the professed friendship of two persons if one associated with the other just because he could not avoid it. The joy of the Lord in the companionship of his people is that they of their own free-will choose him above all others. And that which is the joy of the Lord is the joy of His people.
The very ones who rail against God for not preventing the ills that he foresees since he is all-powerful, would be the very first to charge him with cruelty if he did arbitrarily interfere with their freedom and make them do that which they do not choose. Such a course would make everybody unhappy and discontented. The wisest thing for us to do is to stop trying to fathom the ways of the Almighty, and accept the fact that whatever he does is right. "As for God, His way is perfect." Ps. 18:30.
The text shows that "whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the first-born among many brethren." God's thoughts toward men are thoughts of peace, and not of evil. Jer. 29:11. He ordains peace for us. Isa. 26:12. We read nothing about men being foreordained to destruction; the only thing that God has predestinated is that men should be conformed to the image of His Son.
But it is only in Christ that we become conformed to His image. It is in him that we come "unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ." Eph. 4:13. Therefore it is that men are foreordained or predestinated only in Christ. The whole story is told in the following passage of Scripture :-
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ; according as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love; having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good-pleasure of his will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, wherein He hath made us accepted in the Beloved."
Everything is in Christ. We receive all spiritual blessings in Him; we are chosen in Him unto holiness; in Him we are predestinated unto the adoption of children; in Him we are accepted; and in Him we have redemption through His blood. "God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ." 1 Thess. 5:9.
That is God's purpose and foreordination concerning man. Still further, "whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son." Whom did He foreknow? There can be no limit; He must have foreknown all. If there were any exception, then God would not be infinite in knowledge. If He foreknows one person, then He foreknows every person. There has not been a person born into the world whose birth God did not foreknow. "Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in His sight; but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do." Therefore, since every person has been known to God even before the foundation of the world, and those whom he foreknew He predestinated to be conformed to the image of his Son, it follows that God has purposed salvation for every soul that has ever come into the world. His love embraces all, without respect of persons.
"Then everybody will be saved, no matter what He does," some one will say. Not by any means. Remember that the purpose of God is in Christ. It is only in Him that we are predestinated. And we are free to choose for ourselves whether we will accept Him or not. Man's will has been forever set free, and God Himself will not presume to interfere with it. He holds sacred the choice and will of each individual. He will not carry out His own purpose contrary to man's will. His will is to give man whatever man decides will best please Him. So he sets before man life and death, good and evil, and tells him to choose which he will have. God knows what is best, and has chosen and prepared
that for man. He has gone so far as to fix it beyond all possibility of failure, that man shall have that good thing if he chooses it. But the wonderful kindness and courteousness of the great God is seen in this, that He defers in everything to man's wishes. If man, in his turn, will but defer to God's wishes, there will be the most delightful and loving companionship between them.
Called, Justified, Glorified:
"Moreover, whom He did predestinate, them He also called; and whom He called, them He also justified; and whom He justified, them He also glorified." This is completed action. We need not stumble over it, if we will but remember that everything is in Christ. In Christ we have already been blessed with all spiritual blessings. All men are called to that which God has prepared for them, but none are "the called according to His purpose" unless they have made their calling and election sure by submitting to His will. Such ones are predestinated to be saved. Nothing in the universe can hinder the salvation of any soul that accepts and trusts the Lord Jesus Christ.
And all such are justified. The death of Christ reconciles us to God. "He is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world." 1 John 2:2. His death has secured pardon and life for all. Nothing can keep them from salvation except their own perverse will. Men must take themselves out of the hand of God, in order to be lost. Much more, then, those who accept the sacrifice, are justified. "God commendeth His love toward us, in that,
while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son; much more being reconciled, we shall be saved by His life." "And whom He justified, them He also glorified." Have we not read in the prayer of Christ for His disciples, not only for those who were with Him in the garden, but also for all them that should believe on Him through their word and therefore for us, "The glory which Thou gavest Me, I have given them"? Peter said that he was a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed. God has left nothing undone. Everything that Christ has we have if we accept Him. All that remains is that it should be revealed. "The earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God." When God asks concerning His people, "What could have been done more to My vineyard, that I have not done in it?" who shall presume to say that there is something that He has overlooked?
All Things Ours:
But we have anticipated the apostle. Hear him: "He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall he not with Him also freely give us all things?"
How shall He not? That is, how can He avoid giving us all things? In giving Christ for and to us, God could not do otherwise than give us
all things, "for in Him were all things created, in the heavens and upon the earth, things visible and things invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers; all things have been created through Him, and unto Him; and He is before all things, and in Him all things consist." Col. 1:16, 17, R.V.
"Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are yours; whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours; and ye are Christ's; and Christ is God's." 1 Cor. 3:21-23. This, then, answers the question, "Who can be against us?" Everything is for us. "All things are for your sakes." 2 Cor. 4:15. A general once telegraphed to the seat of government, "We have met the enemy, and they are ours." This is what every child of God is privileged to say. "Thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." 1 Cor. 15:57.
"This is the victory that hath overcome the world, even our faith." 1 John 5:4, R.V. This is what makes us know that all things work together for good to them that love God. No matter how dark and forbidding the things may seem, if we are in Christ, they are for us, and not against us.
Blog Edited by John Foll.
If you were blessed by this article by E. J. Waggoner, you may want to check out some of our other articles by him or others on our Faith Blog: http://whiteraimentevangelismfaith.blogspot.com/.
A really good article on this site by E. J. Waggoner is: “Living by Faith Part 2 of 5: A Cause of Failure” http://whiteraimentevangelismfaith.blogspot.com/2016/10/living-by-faith-part-2-cause-of-failure.html
#Foreordained #Predestined #Destiny #Foreknew #Predestination #God #Kindness #Love #Delight #Companion #Companionship #Courteous #Sacred #Will #Free #Choice #Right #Justified #Glorified #Victory
© Copyright 2017 John Foll and earlier.
“And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day. For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him, may have eternal life; and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.” John 6:39-40 NASB. “And He was saying, ‘For this reason I havesaid to you, that no one can come to Me, unless it has been granted him from the Father.’” John 6:65 NASB.
Wow! It’s the Father’s will, if you will give your heart to Him, that He will give you to Jesus, and Jesus will raise you up on the last day! Whoever believes in Jesus will have eternal life! How do you know that the Father has given or will give you to Jesus? If you behold Jesus and believe in Him, you will be given to Jesus as the text says, and He will raise you up on the last day. You cannot lose if you do this. How do we know this? Because Jesus said here that He will lose none of those who have been given to Him. The condition again? To behold Jesus, God’s Son, and believe in Him.
Stop thinking about your past failures and problems. Just believe that the Father and Jesus the Son love you. Just believe that the Father will give you to His precious Son Jesus, who will raise you up to eternal life. He will give you a wonderful spiritual life now and when you die, He will raise you up on the last day! No one can come to Jesus, unless the Father draws him (by the power of the Holy Spirit). This is what is meant by ‘all that the Father gave me’.
In the New Testament of the Bible there are many comparisons between baptism, death, the resurrection of Jesus and the resurrection of our heart to walk in the newness of life – but these are often an allusion to the literal resurrection of the dead, that is promised to all who believe. Jesus also said this in our passage above in John 6:39-40 that He will raise up all who are given to Him by the Father on the last day! Is that what you want? To be raised up by Jesus on the last day? Then behold Jesus and believe in Him, and let Him create a clean heart in you (Psalms 51:10), and ask God to help you to become born again, so that you can enter the kingdom of God. John 3:3, 5.
God promised through the prophet Jeremiah that He would make a New Covenant with His people (the house of Israel and Judah, which also includes all Christians who give themselves to God, see Galatians 3:29), which was to be fulfilled starting at Pentecost in Acts 2 and continue to our day: “"Behold, days are coming, " declares the LORD, "when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, not like the covenant which I made with their fathers in the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, although I was a husband to them," declares the LORD. "But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days," declares the LORD, "I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. They will not teach again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, 'Know the LORD,' for they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them," declares the LORD, "for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more."” Jeremiah 31:31-34 NASB. In this promise, not only does God want to write His Law in our heart, He wants all to know Him from the least to the greatest – this is also a prophecy of Heaven, which is when this prophecy will have its sweetest, complete fulfillment! But we can all have the first part fulfilled now, where God will write His Law in our heart.
So there is a link between being baptized into Jesus’ death and resurrection and the New Birth of John 3:3, 5 and God promising to create a new heart in His people of Jeremiah 31:31-34, and when Jesus finally takes His people to Heaven, at the Second Coming.Baptism/death, raised from the water/raised into the Newness of Jesus’ resurrection through baptism, and to the resurrection of the dead on the last day. If we love Jesus and want to be saved we will want to die with Him, through baptism (and each day die to sin), and be raised to newness of life, and to be resurrected on the last day. “It is a trustworthy statement: For if we died with Him, we will also live with Him; If we endure, we will also reign with Him; If we deny Him, He also will deny us; If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself.” 2 Timothy 2:11-13 NASB. Paul indicates that if we want eternal life, we should die with Jesus in baptism, and not deny Jesus. And in 1 Corinthians 15:31, he also adds ‘die to self’. “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” Romans 10:9 KJV. We should ask God for His Holy Spirit to help us to be faithful to Him, and not deny Him or His Son Jesus by our words, deeds, thoughts, or by the way we live, so that He will not deny us. “For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him.” 1 Thessalonians 5:9-10 KJV. God does not want to appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through Jesus, as Paul says above, and that waking or sleeping we should live together with Him. It is the will of the Father, as Jesus said above in John 6:40, that all believe in Jesus and obtain eternal life. Therefore believe.
“Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin. Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him: Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over Him. For in that He died, He died unto sin once: but in that He liveth, He liveth unto God. Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:3-11 KJV. If you are not walking in newness of life with God’s love in your heart, or do not love God more than anything and everything else, or do not love your neighbor as yourself, then you have not fully, truly been baptized into Jesus’ death and resurrection, or you have not truly beheld the Son Jesus or believed in Him, or you have not continued like this. But if you are walking in newness of life, life is good and sweet, even if you are going through great difficulties and trials, and your heart will long to serve God and tell others how much He loves them, and help them in whatever way you have in your power to do. “Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it.”Proverbs 3:27 NASB. And to whom is good do? To every child of God; every human being on this earth, good or bad, because God loves them all! If you are born from above, this will be your sweetest desire, to help all when it is in your power to do so.
If you know you are not yet where you should be, or are not walking in newness of life, and you have not truly beheld the Son nor believed in Him, or are not born again, there is still hope! The door of mercy is still open! Get on your knees and plead with God to have mercy on you a sinner, and ask Him to help you to become born again. Ask God to help you to be more willing, and yield yourself completely to Him. God will always hear your prayer when you beg Him for mercy and cling to Him for help like this!Deuteronomy 10:20, 13:4; Joshua 23:8; Psalms 63:8. And you can yet be born from above! Amen!
This is what we want and continue to want, to be raised in newness of life, and to be raised on the last day to be with Jesus and His Father in Heaven forever.There is a great joy and a great reward in loving God with all your heart and loving your neighbor as yourself, because love is the fulfillment of the Law! Romans 13:10, and Psalms 19:7-11. This is God’s promise to all who behold Jesus and believe in Him.
Finally, to end this article, we want to bring this final statement from Paul regarding our blessed hope:
“But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.” 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 NASB.
#God #Jesus #Lose #Raise #Behold #Believe #Faith #Resurrection #Baptism #Death #Life #Buried #New #Spirit #Born #Again #Covenant #Condition #Heaven #Pentecost
© Copyright 2017 John Foll
Some may not be aware that in order to get answers to prayer, that there are conditions for many prayers that must be met. We want to give some texts and ideas that everyone might not know or may have forgotten. This is not intended to list everything that could be a problem as to why you are not getting an answer to your prayers, but to give the most common problems that may prevent you from getting answers to your prayers, and to give you the prayers that God will always answer. We are giving the general conditions whereby you can know the will of God, when you can expect to get your answer or not from Him. We want everyone to be able to get what they need from God: life, peace, joy, love and happiness, now and forever! So we are sharing with you the principles that will lead to your salvation and happiness! We want to share with you how you can get the blessings from God that your heart craves. You want this, don’t you?
Let us start with ‘The Lord’s Prayer’ that Jesus told the people in the beatitudes:
“Pray, then, in this way: 'Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. [For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.']” Matthew 6:9-13 NASB.
Notice that this is not a prayer of selfishness or a prayer of want, but a prayer for your greatest needs and for God’s kingdom to come. This prayer starts out with praise for our Heavenly Father which is in Heaven. He deserves our praise doesn’t He? Let’s thank Him for everything that He’s done for us and for Jesus His Son, and for the blessed Holy Spirit! You can never praise them enough for what they have done for you and have given to you. You should be grateful for all that they have done and are doing for you now. Pray for God’s kingdom to come, which is to pray that as many people as possible on this earth would know His peace, and would give their heart to Him. Pray that God’s will on earth and in your life will be done, as it is in Heaven. If you want your prayers to be heard, you should always want God’s will to be done on this earth and in your life. This prayer is giving God permission to work in your life to help you! And it is also a prayer where you agree to cooperate with Him to help others and love Him with all your heart. And then Jesus said that you should pray for your food and needs.
Note that in ‘The Lord’s Prayer’, Jesus lays out a very important condition: if you want to be forgiven you must forgive others their sins against you, even if they don’t ask for it or want it. And you are to pray to God to forgive you your sins.And you should pray that God would keep you from temptation, i.e. help you to overcome sin. And then you close the prayer by acknowledging that God is the ruler of the Kingdom (the Universe), and has all the power and the glory forever; everything you need for your temporal needs, and eternal life. You can depend on Him forever, if you make Him your trust! When you pray like this and mean it, you know that you are praying according to His will and He will hear you. We are not saying that you must use these exact words every time you pray to God, but that you should have this attitude and you should pray for these kinds of things. You can also give specific needs for yourself or others to be prayed for.
Jesus also said, “When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.” Matthew 6:5 NASB. If you have any pride in your heart, full of yourself, and are saying that you love God, and are not living according to your beliefs in what God has revealed to you, the Lord will not hear your prayers, until you first humble yourself before Him, and want Him to remove the hypocrisy from your life, and then you can make your other requests known to Him.
You should be persistent if you believe your prayer to be God’s will, and keep praying for it:
“Now He [Jesus] was telling them a parable to show that at all times they ought to pray and not to lose heart, saying, "In a certain city there was a judge who did not fear God and did not respect man. "There was a widow in that city, and she kept coming to him, saying, 'Give me legal protection from my opponent.' "For a while he was unwilling; but afterward he said to himself, 'Even though I do not fear God nor respect man, yet because this widow bothers me, I will give her legal protection, otherwise by continually coming she will wear me out.'" And the Lord said, "Hear what the unrighteous judge said; now, will not God bring about justice for His elect who cry to Him day and night, and will He delay long over them? I tell you that He will bring about justice for them quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?" Luke 18:1-8 NASB.
Now for a very serious problem: David said, “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:” Psalm 66:18 KJV. Many times when prayers are not answered, it’s because of sin that is regarded in the heart of the individual, or of sins that have been known and have not been confessed or have not been repented of. If we want God to hear our prayers, we must confess all of our known sins, and ask Him for help to overcome them. Or maybe we have agreed to do what God has asked us to do, but have been putting off doing it? God’s grace cannot cover rebellion against His desire for our life or rebellion against His Law of Love or any of His words in the Bible. And we should not keep putting off what God has asked us to do! If we want God to hear our prayers, we cannot regard sin or iniquity in our life! This is so important!
Now Solomon says, “He who turns away his ear from listening to the law, even his prayer is an abomination.” Proverbs 28:9 NASB. If we want God to hear our prayers, we must want to study His Law of Love, and listen to and follow all of His counsel for us in the Bible. We know that there are some who love to put down God’s Law of Love, the 10 Commandments in Exodus 20, and other of His requirements in the Bible, but God will have the final say in this. If we don’t want to study God’s word to find out what He wants from us, or if we don’t want to love Him with all of our heart, and mind and soul or do not want to love any of our neighbors as our self, and refuse to hear His word in the Bible, God will not hear our prayers! Read Matthew 22:25-40.
What prayer will God always hear? “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9 NASB. He will always hear our prayer when we confess our sins, or pray for help to be saved! Note what Jesus said here: “And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other [the proud Pharisee]: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.” Luke 18:13-14 KJV. So if you will humble your heart before God, and ask for mercy and help, He will always here this prayer!
What is another reason why some prayers are not heard? “You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures.” James 4:3 NASB. You need to have good motives, and not pray to spend God’s blessings on sinful pleasure. God wants you to have a good life, and there are some simple pleasures that God approves of, if they are good for you at the time that He may allow. But there are many pleasures which God doesn’t approve of: you should not pray for anything that is wrong.There may be some things that you want that you do not need that God may want you to wait for, and other things that He may let you have right away.
Be careful, sometimes God will give you what you ask for, so that you may learn that it is not for your best. An example of this was when the children of Israel wanted to eat meat again, instead of the manna from Heaven that God had provided for them, and were complaining to Moses about it (Numbers 11:13), then God said, “Say to the people, 'Consecrate yourselves for tomorrow, and you shall eat meat; for you have wept in the ears of the LORD, saying, "Oh that someone would give us meat to eat! For we were well-off in Egypt." Therefore the LORD will give you meat and you shall eat. 'You shall eat, not one day, nor two days, nor five days, nor ten days, nor twenty days, but a whole month, until it comes out of your nostrils and becomes loathsome to you; because you have rejected the LORD who is among you and have wept before Him, saying, "Why did we ever leave Egypt?"'"” Numbers 11:18-20 NASB. In Numbers 11:31-35 it outlines what happened to these people: “The people spent all day and all night and all the next day, and gathered the quail (he who gathered least gathered ten homers) and they spread them out for themselves all around the camp. While the meat was still between their teeth, before it was chewed, the anger of the LORD was kindled against the people, and the LORDstruck the people with a very severe plague.” Numbers 11:32-33 NASB. So they had cried out to Moses because they were tired of the manna that God had rained down from Heaven for them, thinking that they were better off when they were in Egypt and slaves and could eat what they wanted. And so God gave them their wish, and some of them were struck with a plague from God. Don’t be persistent in asking for something that is not for your best or right. So be careful of what you ask for!
Now David concludes our passage from Psalms 66:18 with:
“But verily God hath heard me; he hath attended to the voice of my prayer. Blessed be God, which hath not turned away my prayer, nor his mercy from me.
” Psalm 66:19-20 KJV. So there you have it, David’s prayer was heard by God, because he didn’t regard iniquity in his heart, because God’s mercy found him and forgave him.
Is there no room for grace you may ask? Yes, if you are a sinner take courage, if you don’t say everything exactly right or do not pray for the right things but mean well, the Holy Spirit will translate it to God for you, He knows what you really need!“In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to Hispurpose.” Romans 8:26-28 NASB. If you have accepted God in your life, and are cooperating with Him, and are called according to His purpose, He will cause all things to work for your good, even if you make a mistake and pray for something that may not be the best for you, as long as you are not regarding iniquity in your heart! The Holy Spirit will translate your prayer into the language of love, “clean it up”, and make it presentable before the Father. This is God’s grace for you! Oh wonderful love of God! He has provided for all of your needs! He is mindful that you are but dust and are prone to wander from Him! If you will just throw yourself on His great mercy, He will forgive your sins, mistakes and will answer your true prayer, even if you don’t know what that is: your greatest need, not just what you asked for! When you pray to God, even if you didn’t ask for it, the Holy Spirit will intercede for you with something like this to the Father: ‘Father, even though they didn’t pray for all of your help that they need, please give them more time, please grant them more mercy! Please give them their true needs.’ Amen! Yes, God provides us poor sinners with His rich grace! We are not rewarded according to what we deserve, but according to His mercy and grace! But do not take His grace for granted, confess your sins and allow Him to work in your life, while His mercy may still be found!
To conclude: Before you make any of your other requests known to God, always confess your sins to Him first, and allow Him to change you, to help you repent. If you pray like this and do not regard iniquity and do not turn away your ear from hearing God’s Law, and are not praying for things out of selfish motives or for sinful pleasure, then you will have confidence before God that He has heard your prayers! Let God bring your life in harmony with Him, and let Him guide and protect you all the way, and then you will not have to worry if your prayers are heard! Amen.
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Give your heart to God every day! Why not? He loves you! If you promise to love and serve Him, by His power, and ask Him to bless you in witnessing to others of His love, He will be happy with you! Even though we are cautioned by Jesus not to vow, because we cannot turn one hair of our head white or black, He is talking about any promises that we make in our own strength. “Nor shall you make an oath by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black.” Matthew 5:36 NASB. See also Ecclesiastes 5:4-5, and Deuteronomy 23:21. The key here is that we cannot keep an oath that we made ‘by our head,’ or by ourselves. But we can vow by the mighty power of God! “For when God made the promise to Abraham, since He could swear by no one greater, He swore by Himself,” Hebrews 6:13 NASB. See also Galatians 6:14, and 2 Corinthians 10:1.
Jesus also taught this vital truth that we should pray for God’s will, which implies it’s by His power, since He is God. Praying 'for God’s will to be done' is similar to when you make a vow to God, by His power, for things that are His will. Jesus taught this when He said, “Pray, then, in this way: 'Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come.Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.’” Matthew 6:9-10 NASB. A prayer like this is a vow to let God’s will be done in your life by His power, as it is in Heaven, because when you pray like Jesus did in ‘the Lord’s Prayer’, as it is known, you are praying for God’s will to be done in your life. Now the Apostle Peter says, “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9 KJV. So if you pray for your own salvation, it is always God’s will! If your heart wants to make a vow to God to give your heart to Him completely by His power, this is always His will! He is unwilling that any should perish. This is the only way any of us can be saved, by His will and power. So it is clear, that you can give your heart to God, and ask Him to keep this vow by His mighty, unfailing power! If you pray according to God’s will, you are guaranteed that He will listen to your prayer and grant it to you. He is unwilling that any should perish! If you were never under any circumstances to make a vow to God, then Moses need not have said, “If a man makes a vow to the LORD, or takes an oath to bind himself with a binding obligation, he shall not violate his word; he shall do according to all that proceeds out of his mouth.” Numbers 30:2 NASB, because Moses would have said, ‘do not make any vows, for they are all sin.’ But this is not the case!
Jesus is cautioning His people to not be quick to make a vow to God, because none of us have the ability to keep our vows! Only God can offer that kind of a rock-solid assurance, because only God cannot fail. We cannot fail, if we put our trust in God to help us keep our promise to be His peculiar treasure! Notice that in the original covenant between God and His people at Sinai, that He made a vow to His people that if they would obey His voice, that they would be His own peculiar treasure above all people, for all the earth is His. Exodus 19:5. Notice that God made no reference here to His people making a promise to Him, even though they did in Exodus 19:8, but the promise is in God’s power to save alone. He will help His people obey them, if they would only listen to Him and want to obey Him in all things, and keep their heart clean by confession. So when we make a vow to God by His power, we are really vowing what was already promised to us in Exodus 19:5, which is really God’s vow to make us His people!Some may say this vow by God was just for the Israelites, but Paul says, “And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.” Galatians 3:29 KJV. So this promise in Exodus 19:5 is for Christians too!
When you make a vow like this to God, you must make sure that you don’t have any unconfessed sins in your heart, or the Lord will not hear your prayer! “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:” Psalm 66:18 KJV. If you are willingly turning away from hearing or wanting to do any of His commandments, God will not hear your prayers, for then they will be an abomination to Him, until you ask Him for forgiveness and repent. “He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination.” Proverbs 28:9 KJV. You cannot have this deep love for God and desire to serve Him all the way, if your heart is stained with iniquity that has not been cleansed by the blood of the Lamb. But ‘if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9 KJV. So there is no reason for anyone to have any stain of sin in their heart, for God has promised to forgive us all of our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness, if we would just confess them.
So you know now that it is God’s will for you to give your heart to Him! It’s what He’s been waiting for! But if you love Jesus and His Father, you can’t help but want make a vow to them. You have nothing to lose if you break your vow to Him, because you are lost without Him, and can do nothing without Him. But if God’s love is making you happy, why not commit your life to God all the way now? You can only promise your heart to God by His power, because none of us have this power within ourselves to keep our word. But God has the power to help you keep His word, so if you promise your heart to God by His power, you cannot ultimately fail, as long as you keep promising your heart to God by His power every day! His power will be in you a well of water springing up unto eternal life! John 4:14.
Why not promise your heart to God every day, by His power? Nothing can make your soul happier than doing this. If God’s love is in your heart, it will be your greatest desire to serve Him, and you won’t be able to help yourself! You will then be flooded with love, joy and peace!
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