Saturday, June 06, 2009

Saturday Scripture Speaks

"You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit - fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name." John 15:16 (NIV)

"If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples." John 15:7-8 (NIV)

These words were a stumbling block to me for the first few years after my "rebirth," especially "...ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you." And then there's the whole "in Jesus' name" bit. Does Jesus mean that if you end every prayer with those words that He'll give you whatever you want?

Jesus explains Himself in the Gospels. He wants us to remain true to Him. When we do that - believing Him, sticking close to Him, reading the Bible, listening to His voice, praying - we become like Him. When we spend loads of time with someone, we begin to become like them. It's the same thing as letting our kids run with good influences and bad influences. They become like those they hang around with, don't they? Isn't that why we are so careful to teach them to choose good friends (those with whom they become best friends)?

As we become more like Christ, we bear more fruit (that of the spirit). Then we can ask God (in Jesus' name - meaning in the same spirit) for spiritual blessings and more fruit. And He will bless what we are doing for Christ - the ministry.

In other words, Jesus didn't mean that we can ask for money, power, worldly possessions and other earthly things "in His name" and POOF! it appears. He means that as we become more like Him we can boldly ask that we will bear fruit and do more for Him and the Kingdom. Does that make sense?

Let me encourage you to spend time with Him today.
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