Girlfriends in God - Jan. 20, 2011

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January 20, 2011 

Just Ask 

Mary Southerland

Today's Truth 
"Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God and receive from him anything we ask because we keep his commands and do what pleases him. And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us" (1 John 3:21-23, NIV).

Friend To Friend
Christmas morning is serious business at the Southerland home and is steeped in tradition that is not to be tampered with. We open stockings first. Then comes breakfast - during which the Christmas story is read - followed by the grand finale of opening the gifts under the Christmas tree. I could hardly wait for our eighteen-month-old grandson to open the presents we had so carefully chosen, purchased and wrapped for him this year. Justus quickly got the hang of opening gifts as he happily ripped off the brightly colored paper covering his new fire truck. And then it happened. Justus immediately sat down and began to play with the truck - which is the whole point - right? No! There were more gifts for him under the tree. In fact, the fire truck was the smallest and least expensive toy we had purchased. It didn't matter. Justus was happy with one gift. He had no idea what was waiting for him under that tree. In fact, he did not even open all of his gifts on Christmas morning. His very wise mother said, "Let's save a couple of gifts for him to open later this week." What? Was she kidding me? Nope! Those unopened boxes sat under the tree for days. It just about drove me crazy! I knew what was in each box. I also knew Justus was going to love each gift. But he is just a baby. He didn't realize that all he had to do was ask and those gifts would be opened in a flash.

One morning, as I walked by the Christmas tree and saw the unopened gifts, the Father whispered, "Mary, you know I want to bless you. Why won't you ask?" My thoughts immediately went to a story I often tell when I speak at conferences.

A man died and went to heaven. He was met at the pearly gates by Saint Peter who offered to show him the home God had prepared for him. The man's excitement grew as he and Saint Peter passed a street lined with beautiful mansions - but they did not stop. The man was still enthusiastic as he and Saint Peter walked by a street lined with smaller but still lovely houses, but they did not stop. The man began to wonder just what kind of home was waiting for him when Saint Peter stopped in front of an attractive but tiny house. "This is your home," Peter explained. Even though it was not a spectacular mansion or magnificent house, the man was thrilled. After all, the little house was in Heaven.

The man's excitement faded as he opened the front door of his heavenly home. Instead of beautifully furnished rooms, he saw stacks of unopened boxes. In fact, every room was filled with boxes stacked from the ceiling to the floor. When the man asked Saint Peter what was inside the boxes, Peter smiled sadly and said, "These are the gifts and blessings God had for you on earth" The now very confused man responded, "Why didn't He send them to me?" Saint Peter smiled sadly and said, "Because you never asked."

I want every blessing God has for me. I know you feel the same way. God is not a heavenly vending machine that dispenses blessings simply because we want them. Every promise of God is accompanied by at least one condition we must meet in order to experience the blessing of God. That condition is always rooted in obedience to Him.

1 John 3:21-23 "Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God and receive from him anything we ask, because we keep his commands and do what pleases him. And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us" (NIV).

When we have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and seek to obey His commands, we can come before God in confidence, knowing that He wants to pour out His blessings on our life. He is waiting. We just need to ask.

Let's Pray
Father, thank You for loving me. Please help me walk in obedience to Your commands and live my life in a way that pleases You. I really do want to be a fully devoted follower of Jesus Christ. Right now, I surrender all that I am to You and ask for Your blessings in my life.

In Jesus' name,

Amen.  

Now It's Your Turn

·         Read Psalm 51:10. How is a clean heart related to the blessings of God?

·         Focus on the blessings God has already given you and praise Him for each one.

·         Read Proverbs 21:2. "A person may think their own ways are right, but the LORD weighs the heart." How does this verse apply to the blessings of God in your life?

More From The Girlfriends
One of my problems with asking God to bless my life is that I don't think I deserve His blessings. I really don't … and neither do you. God's blessings are not based on who we are or what we deserve. I am so glad! God's blessings are unmerited gifts that are backed by the honor of His name. God loves you and wants to bless your life. Just ask.

Need help? Enroll in Mary's weekly online Bible Study, Light for the Journey. The current topic is How to Handle Hurt. Trials are part of life. We will experience pain and hurt. That is reality this side of heaven … but we can learn how to handle the hurt in a way that honors God and assures a life of victory. We can harness the power of our pain and use it for good. We can choose to examine every broken part of life and compel it to give us a "seed" of victory. Join women across the world in this powerful and practical online Bible Study by Mary Southerland.

Be sure to check out the FREE MP3s available on Mary's website in the Freebies Section!

Do you or someone you love struggle with depression? Mary's book, Hope in the Midst of Depression, offers practical steps you can take to get out and stay out of that pit.

Need a friend? Connect with Mary on Facebook or through email

Seeking God?
Click here to find out more about
how to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

Girlfriends in God
P.O. Box 725
Matthews, NC 28106
info@girlfriendsingod.com
www.girlfriendsingod.com

Click here to learn more about hosting a Girlfriends in God conference in your area or having one of the GiGs speak at your next women's event.

 
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