Whatever You Ask . . .

~~ a devotional ~~

by tkbrown

12 — “‘Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do, because I go unto My Father.'”

13 — “‘And whatsoever ye shall ask in My name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.'”

14 — “‘If ye shall ask any thing in My name, I will do it.'”

15 — “‘If ye love Me, keep My commandments.'”

John 14:12-15 — Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version (KJV)

How many times have you heard it said, “If we ask it in His name, He will do it. . . . ” Well, maybe. That depends what we ask, but there are some other things it is dependent upon too.

Notice, in verse 12 above, Jesus said, “If you believe on me, the works that I do, you will be able to do also — and greater works as well — because I go to My Father in Heaven.” So, He is explaining to them the importance of believing He is God’s Son and of doing good works, just as He did.

Then, in verse 13, He tells us to ask all in His name and He will do it that the Father in heaven might be glorified. He is NOT telling us we can ask for a million dollars and He will give it. He is telling us, “If you believe in me and want to carry on the works I do, ask Me and I will do it for you — these things I have done and more will be done for you — if you ask it in My name.” So, we must be wanting to emulate Christ and His life here on this earth in order to be able to ask of Him and receive. Our requests should be for something He did or would have done. Then, He will do it for us.

Verse 14 stresses the importance of asking all in His name. By saying it a second time, He is telling us, “If you have faith in me, ask and you shall receive.” Then He follows these statements with the qualifier in verse 15. “If you love Me, keep My commandments.” Don’t pick and choose the ones you like and discard those you don’t care for. Do all that He commanded; then, He will know you love Him. If you meet this requirement, you can ask in His name, and He will do as you ask. Because, if we love Him and keep His commandments, our heart will be in the right place. So, we will not ask for things we should not want.

Do you love Him enough to keep His commandments? If you do, then He will do for you — when you ask it in His name. Finally, when I pray, I say — ‘If it be Thy will. . . .’ — as He did when asking the Father in heaven to allow His cup to pass from him ‘if the Father willed it.”

“And He went a little further and fell on His face and prayed, saying: ‘O My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from Me: nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt.'”

Matthew 26:39 — Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version (KJV)

Then I complete my request by letting Him know I believe:

“In Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen.”

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Photo Above: by Alexis Foto @pixabay.com.

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Sources:

Eds. King James Bible Online. (November 2007). John 14:12-15. “Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version (KJV).” U.S. Congress. (19 February 2022). https://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/John-Chapter-14/.

Eds. King James Bible Online. (November 2007). Matthew 26:39. “Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version (KJV).” U.S. Congress. (19 February 2022). https://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/Matthew-26-39/.

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God’s Righteousness

~~ a devotional ~~

by tkbrown

“‘Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.'”

Matthew 5:6 — Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version (KJV)

In His “Sermon on the Mount, Jesus presented a series of “Blessed are . . . ” statements which modern-day theologians reference as “The Beatitudes.” The problem with grouping them together is it tends to discourage the study of each statement individually. If we look at them as separate indicators of desirable characteristics in those who follow Christ, they take on much more meaning.

With the indicator noted above in Matthew 5:6, Christ emphasized the importance of “hungering and thirsting for righteousness” as personal descriptors of a devoted Christian. He also noted: those seeking righteousness to this extent will be filled. In other words, if a follower truly hungers and thirsts for righteousness, time and energy will be spent trying to emulate the example Christ gave us when He was on earth, since everything He did was done in a manner well-pleasing unto God. We see this in Matthew 3, verses 16 and 17:

16 — “And Jesus, when He was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, low, the heavens were opened unto Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon Him.”

17 — “And lo a voice from heaven, saying, ‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.'”

Matthew 3:16-17 — Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version (KJV)

Thus, one must first “hunger and thirst after righteousness” in order to be filled. This hungering and thirsting will increase our “searching of the scriptures” which will allow God to “fill our desire for righteousness.” The more we learn from the scriptures, the more we understand of what God wants from those of us who follow Jesus’ commandments.

As newborn Christians, we are to “desire the sincere milk of the word, that we may grow” in likeness to Christ. This growth is how we are filled with God’s righteousness.

1 — “Wherefore, laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings,”

2 — “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:”

1 Peter 2:1-2 — Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version (KJV)

Peter goes on to say that those who believe and follow Jesus are “the chosen ones;” thus, they shall be filled with righteousness if it is searched and applied. He goes to great lengths in this chapter to describe the differences between those who believe and those who do not believe Jesus Christ is God’s Son.

“But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people: that ye should shew forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into His marvelous light:”

1 Peter 2:9 — Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version (KJV)

In searching the scriptures, if we hunger and thirst after God’s righteousness, we will learn how emulating Christ’s actions and attitudes, while He was on earth, will satiate us and increase those behaviors in us. Thus, we “shall be filled,” and we shall become more like Christ as we continue to grow and live for Him.

Jesus Christ is the perfect example of God’s righteousness.

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Photo Above: by permission from Benjamin South @facebook.com.

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Sources:

Eds. Bible Gateway. (1993). Matthew 5:6. “Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version (KJV).” biblegateway.com. (15 February 2022). https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew%205%3A6&version=KJV.

Eds. King James Bible Online. (November 2007). Matthew 3:16-17. “Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version (KJV).” U.S. Congress. (15 February 2022). https://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/Matthew-Chapter-3/.

Eds. King James Bible Online. (November 2007). 1 Peter 2:1-2; 2:9. “Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version (KJV).” U.S. Congress. (15 February 2022). https://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/1-Peter-Chapter-2/.

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Havoc and Destruction

~~ a devotional ~~

by tkbrown

29 — “But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom, it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all.”

30 — “Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.”

Luke 17:29-30 — Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version (KJV)

Christian Living is not just a part-time endeavor. We cannot look back with longing to our way of life before becoming a child of God. We cannot give a half-hearted effort to living according to Jesus’ commandments. We are expected to give our all. No, He does not expect perfection, but He does expect us to look toward eternity with Him while having no regrets for leaving our past sinful selves behind.

“Remember Lot’s wife.”

Luke 17:32 — Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version (KJV)

When God’s angel saved Lot and his family from the wrath God wrought upon Sodom and Gomorrah for the sinful ways of those who abode there, they were warned to leave and never look back. However, as they were making their way to safety, when the sounds of havoc and destruction brought down upon the two cities fell upon Lot’s wife’s hearing, she turned and looked back. Immediately, she was turned to a pillar of salt to serve as a reminder to God’s people as to what happens when we disobey God.

15 — “And when the morning arose, then the angels hastened Lot, saying, ‘Arise, take thy wife and thy two daughters which are here lest thou be consumed in the iniquity of the city.”

16 — “And while he lingered, the men laid hold upon his hand, and upon the hand of his wife, and upon the hand of his two daughters, the Lord being merciful unto him: and they brought him forth and set him without the city.”

17 — “And it came to pass, when they had brought them forth abroad that he said, ‘Escape for thy life; look not behind thee, . . . “

Genesis 19:15-17 — Holy Bible: Old Testament, King James Version (KJV)

God had already made many concessions to Lot’s efforts to save Sodom and/or Gomorrah from the total destruction of God’s wrath. In doing so, He proved to Lot there were no others in the two cities who cared about or wanted to enlist God’s love for them. The entirety of the two communities served Satan in their sinful ways. God’s patience had worn thin. As Lot and his family were ushered from the two cities by angels sent from God, they were told to head for the mountains, not to settle in the plains. Lot once again begged God to allow them to settle in the small plains community of Zoar rather than go up into the mountains. Once again, God conceded.

23 — “The sun was risen upon the earth when Lot entered into Zoar.”

24 — “Then the Lord rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven;”

25 — “And He overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground.”

26 — “But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.”

Genesis 19:23-26 — Holy Bible: Old Testament, King James Version (KJV)

In the book of Luke, Chapter 17, verses 29-32, Jesus discusses the escort of Lot and his family from the destruction that was about to be rained down upon the two cities of Sodom and Gomorrah because of their sinful and unremorseful ways. He likens this to the day He returns to take His people up to heaven. The destruction of the unrepentant, unbelieving, Satan serving multitudes will be swift, unannounced, and complete.

Are you ready for that day?

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32 — “Remember Lot’s wife.”

Luke 17:32 — Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version (KJV)

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Sources:

Eds. King James Bible Online. (November 2007). Genesis 19:15-17. “Holy Bible: Old Testament, King James Version (KJV).” U.S. Congress. (6 February 2022). https://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/1611_Genesis-Chapter-19/.

Eds. King James Bible Online. (November 2007). Luke 17:29-32. “Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version (KJV).” U.S. Congress. (6 February 2022). https://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/1611_Luke-Chapter-17/.

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Out of Your Mouth

~~ a devotional ~~

by tkbrown

“Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.”

Ephesians 4:29 — Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version (KJV)

Do we even think before we speak? Have we ever contemplated the perception others hold of our vulgar language? It seems in this day and time, every other word out of the mouths of some is a vulgarity of some sort: MF this, OMG that! Where did it all come from?

When I was young, I remember fearing retribution if I even thought a vulgarity. Such words were not typically uttered in the hearing of mixed company. As a general rule, men respected the presence of a woman and omitted such words from conversation. The impact of language on children was also considered. “Children Learn What They Live” (Nolte, 1954). Today, many women have language as atrocious as that of most men. This is sad. Even before birth, children hear these words as a part of everyday communication.

In verse 29 of Ephesians chapter 4, the apostle Paul exhorts the Christians at Ephesus to keep corrupt communication out of their mouths altogether. He told them every spoken word should be considered carefully and have a purpose. It should instruct, lift-up, praise, and exhort. Idle vulgarities were not to be voiced because of the negative influence and effect they have on others.

Do you think before your speak? Do you stop, think, and rephrase before you say words that impact others negatively? This is one area of living to which Christians are to pay special heed. Your spoken word reveals more to others than you might think. Do the words you speak reveal Christ in your life?

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Photo Above: by bekky bekks @Unsplash.com.

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Sources:

Eds. King James Bible Online. (November 2007). Ephesians 4:29. “Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version (KJV).” U.S. Congress. (31 January 2022). https://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/Ephesians-4-29/.

Nolte, Dorothy Law. (1954). “Children Learn What They Live.” childrenlearnwhattheylive.com. (31 January 2022). https://childrenlearnwhattheylive.com/.

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Unchecked Anger and Sin

~~ a devotional ~~

by tkbrown

26 — “Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:”

27 — “Neither give place to the devil.”

Ephesians 4:26, 27 — Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version (KJV)

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Have you ever been so angry you could spit nails at another person? I am sure all have been at one point or another. It is normal to be angry, even to be tempted to lash out at someone due to anger, but — as Christians — we are never to give in to such impulses.

In verses 26 and 27 of chapter 4 in his epistle to the Christians at Ephesus, Paul addresses a number of behaviors that may be a part of the person we were before becoming a Christian. One of those tendencies was to become angry toward another person and to seek revenge because of that anger. Paul cautions them in this. He tells them to be angry if they must, but do not stay angry.

Do what you must to gain control of your anger and set it aside by nightfall. When the sun goes down, allow yourself the enjoyment of watching the beautiful colors of the sunset with gratitude and admiration. Know those colors are a reflection of God’s love for us. He said, “do not let the sun go down on your anger” (v26). In other words, don’t let the day pass and allow that anger to destroy your sleep or the sleep of others.

He said, “Be angry, and sin not:” Don’t rant and rave. Don’t threaten. Don’t hurt yourself or anyone else. Work through your anger and set it aside.

When we allow sin to overtake our behavior, we do things we should not do. We do things Christians are instructed to not do by Jesus and the apostles. In His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus instructed the crowd to “turn the other cheek when others do you wrong.”

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38 — “‘Ye have heard that it hath been said, ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth:'”

39 — “‘But I say unto you, that ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.‘”

Matthew 5:38, 39 — Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version (KJV)

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On another day, Peter asked Jesus if seven times is sufficient to turn the other cheek to someone who does us wrong. Jesus answer to Peter was: “not seven times but seventy times seven times.”

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21 — “Then came Peter to him, and said, ‘Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Til seven times?'”

22 — “Jesus saith unto him, ‘I say not unto the until seven times: but, until seventy times seven.‘”

Matthew 18:21, 22 — Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version (KJV)

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When you think of it, through our belief and faith in Jesus and through our obedience to Him, we are forgiven many multitudes of sin over and above seventy times seven. Truly, grace doth abound in His forgiveness of an obedient Christian.

If we as Christians strive to emulate Christ — and that is to be our goal — we must learn to set our anger aside. Do not sin due to anger: such anger is merely Satan trying to lure us back into our old ways and away from Christ. Set anger aside. Forgive the other person toward whom your anger is directed and forgive yourself for being so angry. Holding onto the anger does not really harm the other person; it harms you. The ultimate consequence of holding onto anger can be the loss of your life due to a heart attack, a stroke, an aneurysm, or some other catastrophic health crisis. If we leave this world in a state of such anger, you can be assured: we will answer for it in the day of judgment.

When I was a teenager, in church services we sang a song that I dearly loved because it teaches this concept in such a harmonic manner. “Angry Words,” has ever been one of my favorites.

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Angry Words – A Cappella Hymn – YouTube

Words and Music: Horatio R Palmer (1867)

KeyEb Major

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Photo Above: by Andre Hunter @Unsplash.com.

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Sources:

Eds. King James Bible Online. (November 2007). Ephesians 4:26-27. “Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version (KJV).” U.S. Congress. (30 January 2022). EPHESIANS CHAPTER 4 KJV (kingjamesbible.me).

Eds. King James Bible Online. (November 2007). Matthew 5:38-39. “Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version (KJV).” U.S. Congress. (30 January 2022). MATTHEW CHAPTER 5 KJV (kingjamesbibleonline.org).

Eds. King James Bible Online. (November 2007). Matthew 18:21-22. “Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version (KJV).” U.S. Congress. (30 January 2022). MATTHEW CHAPTER 18 KJV (kingjamesbibleonline.org).

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