292. Ask and receive.
"Ask and it will be given you ... For everyone who asks receives." - (Matthew 7:7-8) Creation is full of good things that testifies to the goodness of God! 'He has not left himself without testimony: He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; he provides you with plenty of food and fills your heart with joy.' - (Acts 14:17) But the ultimate giving is sacrificial, when the giving costs the giver very dearly! That's why God asked Abraham to sacrifice his only son Issac to test whether he had a heart to make that painful sacrifice! Though Abraham was about to sacrifice, the Lord stopped him because God had never required a human sacrifice for our sins since 'no man can redeem the life of another or give to God a ransom for him - the ransom for a life is costly, no payment is ever enough ...' - (Psalm 49:7-8)
However, the Lord himself became the ultimate giver when he gave his only begotten Son as a ransom for our redemption. Not that God sacrificed his Son but he turned the murder of his Son into a human sacrifice that 'took away the sin of the world' - (John 1:29) when the 'Lord laid on him the iniquity of us all'. - (Isaiah 53:6) However, that would not absolve the murderers from the crime they committed! 'This man was handed over to you by God's set purposes and foreknowledge and you with the help of wicked men ( or those not having the law that is Gentiles) put him to death by nailing him to the cross.' - (Acts 2:23) This ultimate giving which cannot be outgiven by anyone else, forms the basis of all asking and receiving from the Lord. 'He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all - how will he not also , along with him, graciously give us all things?" - (Romans 8:32)
This ultimate giving should help us overcome any double-mindedness about receiving from God. 'When you ask, you must believe and not doubt ... That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.' - (James 1:6-7) David was not double-minded about the goodness of God but was confident. 'I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.' - (Psalm 27:13) This confidence that we will receive what we ask, comes from the knowledge of God's goodness! What then can we ask? Anything according to his will! 'This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, we know he hears us.' - (1 John 5: ) Since His will is revealed through his Word, Jesus said: "If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish and it will be given you." - (John 15:7) "I tell you the truth, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name ... Ask and you will receive and your joy will be complete." - (John 16:23-24) Amen.