Asking to Give

Have you ever wondered why Jesus had so much influence over men? Why did men flock just to listen to what He had to say? How was it that Jesus’ words accomplished so much good? What were the mighty secrets of His life? We want to learn them, because Jesus said that as He was in this world, so we are to be also. 1 John 4:17. One of His most powerful secrets is found in this verse, “The Lord God hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to Him that is weary: He wakeneth morning by morning, He wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned.” Isaiah 50:4 As Jesus dwelt among men, His Father woke Him from His slumbers morning by morning and He spoke to Jesus, and would give Him words to speak—”A word in season to him that is weary.”

Each one of us have sinned and sin has made us weary. Even the affects and results of sin make us weary and stay with us all throughout our lives. Paul said, “What I would like to get rid of, I can’t, and the things that I don’t want working in me, keep working in me anyway.” (Romans 7:13-18) The law of sin is the law of death. Jesus took our place to give us eternal life, but, nevertheless, as long as we are on this earth we have the curses of sin to live with. We have the curses of sin to live with. We have disease; we have others who talk to us that are upset with us; we have financial burdens; we have trials that make us weary. But the thing that makes us the most weary is the burden of guilt that is caused by sin.

Jesus came to this earth to save us from our weariness. Jesus took the words that His Father gave Him and gave them to men. Jesus, who was pushed on every side, who was followed by enemies all of His life, who the devil personally conducted warfare against, could say at the end of His life: “The words that I speak unto you I speak not of Myself; but that Father that dwelleth in Me, He doeth the works…The word which ye hear is not Mine, but the Father’s which sent Me.” John 14:10, 24. Rather than speaking his own words, he spoke words that ministered to the needs of others.

Can we ever live a powerful life like that? The servant of the Lord has told us that, “Jesus revealed no qualities, and exercised no powers, that men may not have through faith in Him perfect humanity is that which all His followers may possess, if they will be in subjection to God as He was.” Desire of Ages, 664. We need to find out what the secret of the power in His life was; the power that caused Him to live for others only, amid scorn, mockery and abuse.

The Secret

To learn the secret of His life we will look at quotations from the chapter “Asking to Give,” Christ’s Object Lessons, 135-149. “Not for Himself, but for others, He lived and thought and prayed. From hours spent with God He came forth morning by morning, to bring the light of heaven to men. Daily He received a fresh baptism of the Holy Spirit. In the early hours of the new day the Lord awakened Him from His slumbers, and His soul and His lips were anointed with grace, that He might impart to others.” Is that how you are living your life? Is the Lord waking you up every morning with the first thought of your day being “Father, thank you for giving me life through another night. Thank you for Your blessing, for the morning light. Now Father, what do You want to tell me? I am listening.” God will tell us how to speak a word to the weary ones of this earth.

“Christ’s disciples were so impressed…with His habit of communion with God.” One day they found Him praying. Jesus went right on praying seemingly unconscious of their presence and they said, “Lord, teach us to pray.” Jesus again gave the Lord’s payer. Read through the section on the Lord’s Prayer from the book Thoughts From the Mount of Blessings. Phrase by phrase, on your knees, pray that it may be incorporated into your life.

The Present Neighbor

Jesus, in answer to their request, then told this most interesting story. “And He said unto them, ‘Which of you shall have a friend, and shall go unto him at midnight, and say unto him, Friend, lend me three loaves; for a friend of mine in his journey is come to me, and I have nothing to set before him.’ And he from within shall answer and say, “Trouble me not: the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give him as many as he needeth.” Luke 11:5-8

This man had out-of-town company. When his company came, even though it was late, he knew that his company was hungry. In the Eastern countries the people are perhaps more courteous than people in the United States; at least that is what I hear from some who have been there. This man wanted to be hospitable to his company, but he had no food to give his guest—nothing. But he thought that his neighbor might have food. He went and knocked on his neighbor’s door in the middle of the night. His neighbor was in bed and was asleep with his children. How is it with you if you are sound asleep about midnight, and the phone or door bell rings? Most of you have experienced it. You struggle to wake up, but you are in such a deep sleep, you wish you did not have to wake up. So you can just imagine this neighbor. He did not want to get up. He wanted to stay in bed. But what did the man keep doing? He kept knocking and asking until the neighbor woke up and got up and gave him some bread.

Asking To Help Others

There are people all around us who are on their one time journey through life. They get faint and weary. If they do not receive the Bread of Life, they will die—eternally die of starvation. Jesus told us how to help them. “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For [notice this next word is all-inclusive,] everyone that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him?” So many times we do not ask, and then we wonder why our words have no influence to help others. No one who asks to give to others will ever be turned away. The Lord is so anxious for us to ask even though we feel unworthy, that He even tells us what to say: “do not abhor us, for Thy name’s sake, do not disgrace the throne of Thy glory: remember, break not They covenant with us.” Jeremiah 14:21

When on earth, Jesus prayed a most beautiful prayer. He said, “Sanctify them through Thy truth: Thy word is truth.” And then He said this, “As Though hast sent Me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.” John 17:17, 18. How are we sent? We are sent into the world the same way He was sent into the world. So, we need the same strength that He received form His Father. We need the same power that He revealed in His life. The power of love. The power of perfect self-control. We need the words from on high, the Bread of heaven, that we can speak to weary souls and give them strength so that God’s grace may be imparted through us to others.

Our Work

There are so many that never get beyond the ABC’s of the Christian life. Here is the reason why. “It is because this work is neglected, the work of caring for others, that so many young disciples never advance beyond the mere alphabet of the Christian experience.” Desire of Ages, 640. Now when you learn to read, what is the first thing you learn? You learn the alphabet. But after you know the alphabet, do you know how to read? You can know the alphabet forwards, you can know it backwards, you can know it perfectly, you can say it fast, you can say it slow, you can write it, but do you know how to read? No, you do not know how to read if all you know is the alphabet. The alphabet is just the tool that you need to help you learn how to read, but if you do not know how to put it all together, you cannot read. Why do so many young disciples never advance? Because “the light which was glowing in their own hearts when Jesus spoke to them, ‘Thy sins be forgiven thee,’ they might have kept alive by helping those in need. The restless energy that is often a source of danger to the young might be directed into channels which it would flow out in streams of blessings. Self would be forgotten in earnest work to do others good. Those who minister to others will be ministered unto by the Chief Shepherd. They themselves will drink of the living water and they will be satisfied. They will not be longing for exciting amusements or for some change in their lives. The great topic of interest will be how to save souls that are ready to perish. The conversation is the thermometer of your Christian experience. Has the topic of your conversation been how to save souls? Or has it been on some other topic?

Jesus assigned to His followers the job of giving the Bread of Life to the perishing world. “He who had appointed their work, saw how often their faith would be tried. Often they would be thrown into unexpected positions, and would realize their human insufficiency. Souls that were hungering for the Bread of Life would come to them, and they would feel themselves to be destitute and helpless. They must receive spiritual food, or they would have nothing to impart. But they were not to turn one soul away unfed.” Now that is a real fix. They had nothing to give. They realized they were destitute and helpless, but they were commanded not to turn away one soul unfed. “Christ directs them to turn to the source of supply. The man whose friend came to him for entertainment, even at the unseasonable hour of midnight, did not turn him away…And would not God, who had sent His servants to feed the hungry, supply their need for his own work?

What Does Christ Long To Give You?

“But God delights to give. He is full of compassion, and He longs to grant the requests of those who come unto Him in faith. He gives to us that we may minister to others and thus become like Himself.” Do you get the picture that is being described here? God gives us bread that we can give it to others and in that way we become like Him. There is no other way to become like Jesus except by imparting the Bread of Life and the Water of Life to others. You cannot just get it and horde it. It will spoil. Spoiled grape juice turns into wine and it can cause all kinds of terrible things. But if we get, that we may impart, what a blessing the weakest souls on this earth could be! “There is no limit to the usefulness of one who, putting self aside, makes room for the working of the Holy Spirit.” Ministry of Healing, 169. The secret is all in putting self aside.

Jesus says, “Whatsoever ye shall ask in My name that will I give to you.” John 15:16. But there are some conditions that He has laid down for us. One is found in this text. “A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. John 13:34. That was one of Christ’s last commands to His disciples. “If we have in any way grieved or wounded others, it is our duty to confess our fault and to seek for reconciliation. This is an essential preparation that we may come before God in faith, to ask His blessing.”

There is another qualification that is essential to answered prayer. It is found in this text. “Even from the days of your fathers ye are gone away from mine ordinances, and have not kept them. Return unto me, and I will return unto you, saith the Lord of hosts. But ye said, Werein shall we return? Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed me. In tithes and offerings.” Malachi 3:7, 8. Jesus wants us to be faithful in our tithes and offerings. He is gracious, even though we make mistakes, if we will just return to Him, He will hear our cry. And then He encourages us with this promise, “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.” Malachi 3:10

Obedience Is A Condition

Sometimes when we come to the Lord, He waits a little while so that we may search our hearts and cast out all of self. Prayer does not bring God down to us. That is not the purpose of prayer. Prayer brings us up to God. “All His gifts are promised on condition of obedience. God has a heaven full of blessings for those who will cooperate with Him. All who obey Him may with confidence claim the fulfillment of His promises.” There is no limit to God’s power, if we are asking to give. But so often, James says, “we pray and receive not” because why? We “ask amiss that we may consume it on our own lusts.” James 4:3. So God tests and proves us that we may be cleansed.

“The path of sincerity and integrity is not a path free from obstruction, but in every difficulty we are to see a call to prayer. There is no one living who has any power that he has not received from God, and the source whence it comes is open to the weakest human being.” Desire of Ages, 667

Often when we are giving out the Bread of Life, we find ourselves in perplexing situations. We realize that we do not have the wisdom to advance. “When perplexities arise, and difficulties confront you, look not for help to humanity. Trust all [another all-inclusive word] with God. The practice of telling our difficulties to others only makes us weak, and brings no strength to them. It lays upon them the burden of our spiritual infirmities, which they cannot relieve. We seek the strength of erring, finite man, when we might have the strength of the unerring, infinite God.

“You need not go to the ends of the earth for wisdom, for God is near. It is not the capabilities you now possess or ever will have that will give you success. It is that which the Lord can do for you. We need to have far less confidence in what man can do and far more confidence in what God can do for every believing soul. He longs to have you reach after Him by faith. He longs to give you understanding in temporal as well as spiritual matters. He can sharpen the intellect. He can give tact and skill. Put your talents into the work, ask God for wisdom, and it will be given you.”

Friends, did you hear those words? Did you catch the reality of what this promise means to the worker for God? It says He will give us wisdom, not only in our spiritual affairs, but in our temporal affairs. That is everything in life. There is nothing left that God has not made provision for. God wants you to totally surrender your life to Him. He wants you to be willing to wake up when he wakes you up in the morning, that your ear can hear as the learned. He wants you to expect great things from Him and He will give you success in your work. It is an unfailing promise.

Standing Through The Shaking

Do not talk of your faults, your trials, others’ faults, others’ trials; in short, do not talk about erring men. Talk about soul-winning. Talk about the blessings of God. If your mind is filled with these things, you will withstand temptation. But if your mind is filled with the things of earth, you will fall. You will not be able to stand. So fill your mind with the promises of God. Ask that you may give to others. If your life becomes a channel of God’s blessings, the waves of the ocean can be surging around you, the greatest tempest can be blowing, and thunder can be crashing, the lightening can be flashing through the sky, but your life is hid with Christ and you can stand in the middle of anything. That is what I want for each of you. I want us to stand together as a mighty army so that we can give the Loud Cry to this perishing world.

We are going through a mighty shaking, but if we remain steadfast in faith and prayer, we will come forth as gold. The disciples went through the terrible ordeal of the cross. But, they came through it and the Lord poured out his Holy Spirit on them. Three thousand were converted in a day. And, if we are faithful, we will yet see the mighty things that God will do for His people. The latter rain will be poured out on His humble waiting ones and the truth will be proclaimed in power to a perishing world.

The End