Today's Word of Encouragement
A WILLING SAVIOR
Sunday, April 26, 2020
What do you wish? (Matthew 20:21).
What do you want Me to do for you? (Mark 10:51).
Jesus, Master, have mercy on us! (Luke 17:13).
If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you (John 15:7).
Each new day brings new opportunities for us to come before our Lord with words of praise, gratitude, intercessions, and personal requests. Does the Lord turn a deaf ear to us? On the contrary. He listens with an attentive ear.
In the 1st cited verse, Salome (the mother of James and John) asked the Lord if her sons could sit on either side of Him in His kingdom. Jesus said, You do not know what you are asking . . . to sit on My right and on My left, this is not Mine to give, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared by My Father (Matthew 20:22-23).
In the 2nd cited verse, blind Bartimaeus asked the Lord to restore his sight. Jesus said, Go; your faith has made you well (Mark 10:52).
In the 3rd cited verse, 10 lepers asked Jesus for mercy, which means they wanted Him to heal them of leprosy. Jesus said, Go and show yourselves to the priests (Luke 17:14). On the way they were healed.
Our Lord delights in helping people. He especially delights in helping His children as a loving father helps his beloved child (Matthew 7:9-11). I did not say, however, that the Lord will always give us what we ask for, even when we ask in His name. Sometimes the help He gives us is not what we asked for, but what we need. He did not grant Salome’s request, not because it wasn’t her desire, but because it wasn’t what she, or her sons, needed. And it certainly wasn’t (as far as we know) within God’s will.
That’s why the 4th cited verse is so important. If we live in constant fellowship with Christ Jesus, surrendered to His will, yielding to His Lordship, and we hide His words in our heart and mind, He will grant our requests because we will not ask outside His will or desire for us. Often times we ask the Lord for things out of a self-centered heart, not a Christ-centered heart. Sometimes He answers that request to teach us a lesson – a hard lesson that His will is better than our own will. (Remember the Jews asking for a king? Remember Hezekiah asking God to extend his life?)
What if, in His prayer in Gethsemane, Jesus did not pray nevertheless, not My will, but Your will be done, and demanded God remove ‘the cup’ from Him? Maybe it would have been what Jesus (the man) wanted, but would it have been what He needed? Would it have been what we needed? Not every request is according to the Lord’s will, and that’s not good for us, for the kingdom of God, or for others.