Ask & It Shall Be Given

sasy2

 

“Ask, and it will be given to you. Seek, and you will find. Knock, and the door will be opened to you.” – Matthew 7:7

I’ve heard and read  this verse so many times but never pondered it as much as Will did in Cold Sassy Tree by Olive Ann Burns. Grandpa explains it to Will in his simple, crusty manner.

Will: “One time I prayed for a million dollars, to test Him, and didn’t get one dime.”
Grandpa: “Thet was just wishin’. Hit warn’t prayin’.”

A little different from Joel O’Steen’s health and wealth credo.

“God can cause opportunity to find you. He has unexpected blessings where you suddenly meet the right person, or suddenly your health improves, or suddenly you’re able to pay off your house. That’s God shifting things in your favor.” – Joel O’Steen

“Well’m, faith ain’t no magic wand or money-back gar’ntee, either one. Hit’s jest a way a-livin’. Hit means you don’t worry th’ew the days. Hit means you go’n be holdin’ on to God in good or bad times, and you accept whatever happens. Hit means you respect life like it is — like God made it — even when it ain’t waht you’d order from the wholesale house. …When Jesus said said ast and you’ll git it, He was givin’ a gar’ntee a-spiritual healin’, not body healin’….And I found out a long time ago, when I look on what I got to stand as a dang hardship or a burden, it seems too heavy to carry. But when I look on the same dang thing as a challenge, why, standin’ it or acceptin’ it is like you done entered a contest. Hit even gets excitin’, waitin’ to see how everthang’s go’n turn out… Jesus meant us to ast God to hep us stand the pain, not beg Him to take the pain away. We can ast for comfort and hope and patience and courage,and to be gracious when thangs ain’t goin’ our way, and we’ll git what we ast for.” – Grandpa

“I believe if you keep your faith, you keep your trust, you keep the right attitude, if you’re grateful, you’ll see God open up new doors.” – Joel O’Steen

“We can ast for comfort and hope and patience and courage . . . and we’ll git what we ast for. They ain’t no gar’ntee thet we ain’t go’n have no troubles and ain’t go’n die. But shore as frogs croak and cows bellow, God’ll forgive us if’n we ast Him to.” – Grandpa

“They’s a heap more to God’s will than death, disappointment, and like thet. Hit’s God’s will for us to be good and do good, love one another, be forgivin’…’. He laughed. “I reckon I ain’t very forgivin’, son. I can forgive a fool, but I ain’t inner-rested in coddlin’ hypocrites. Well anyhow, folks who think God’s will jest has to do with sufferin’ and dyin’, they done missed the whole point.” – Grandpa

I don’t think Grandpa would’ve coddled the likes of O’Steen.

Advertisements

What They Do: Thoughts from A Man Called Ove

lies

Getty Images

 

“Men are what they are because of what they do. Not because of what they say,” said Ove.
From A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

I had to think on this for a while. First off, this applies to women, also.

I think it’s true when it comes to campaign promises. We can all say we’re going to do something. It’s whether we do it or not that makes all the difference. Grand speeches, promises, gestures, are all in vain if they are not followed through to fruition.

On the other hand, especially in this election season, “what they say” is quite the indicator of what a man/woman is. Both of our candidates are foul-mouthed individuals.

But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man. Matthew 15:18

These things, according to John Gill, include “…idle words, foolish talking, filthy jesting, unsavory communication, and every word that is rotten and corrupt, or which is done in the life and conversation;” and he continues, “the heart is the corrupt fountain from whence all moral defilement flows; and sinful words and actions are the impure streams, which spring from thence, and increase the moral pollution of human nature.”

Just something to think about…

Inside-Out Beatitudes

A fairly accurate description of the human race might be furnished…by taking the Beatitudes, turning them wrong side out and saying, “Here is your human race.”

A.W. Tozer was a pastor, preacher, author, magazine editor, and spiritual mentor who lived in America.  He died in 1963, but his words are still relevant today. The quote above was taken from his book, THE PURSUIT OF GOD, which was written in 1948. Pretty spot on, won’t you agree?

beatitudesofJesus

Under the Surface of Life

gil

“There’s a lot under the surface of life, everyone knows that. A lot of malice and dread and guilt, and so much loneliness, where you wouldn’t expect to find it, either.” – from Gilead by Marilynne Robinson

alone

I lie awake, and am like a sparrow alone on the housetop. –  Psalm 102:7

Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? – Matthew 6:26

Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows. – Matthew 10:31

Just One Day

Andrew Murray wrote a book titled Abiding in Christ, originally published in 1895 but still relevant today. The posts in this series are a combination of his thoughts and mine.

We are so easily led to look at life as a great big whole, and to neglect the little today; to forget that the single days do indeed make up the whole…

I can’t add much to what he says here. But the following verse, which my husband recently reminded me of, says it all.

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. – Matthew 6:34

sun

B’ham, AL 6-4-15

As its light opens on your waking eyes, accept it on these terms: a day, just one day only, but still a day, given to abide and grow up in Jesus Christ.

The Secret of Perfect Rest

am1

Andrew Murray wrote a book titled Abiding in Christ, originally published in 1895 but still relevant today. The following posts in this series are a combination of his thoughts and mine.

Now He not only says, ‘Take My yoke upon you and learn from me’; become My scholars, yield yourselves to My training, submit in all things to My will, let your whole life be one with mine – in other words, abide in Me.

This shows me I need to be a student of the Word, to learn from Christ is to be in His Word. I am sorely lacking in the exercise of being a scholar of Christ. Yet, as Murray says, “entire surrender to Jesus is the secret of perfect rest.”

Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.  –  Matthew 11:28-30

Seventy Times Seven

f

“We are quick to find fault and slow to forgive…To our amazement, when we turn toward Jesus as light and truth, we find, not condemnation, but grace and forgiveness.” – Woodrow Kroll

How many times do I think I have learned this lesson, only to have to be taught it over again? Too many to count.

I, we, need to be slow to find fault and quick to forgive. And we need to forgive over and over, as Christ told Peter, and us, in Matthew 18:21-22.

Then Peter came to Him and said, ‘Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times’ Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.