You find yourself more and more at home with your loving Heavenly Father because you're not fighting His will. You've spent some time waiting on Him.
Alright, thank you very much. And hello again, radio friends. How in the world are you? Doing alright today? This is your friend, Bob Cook. I’m glad to be back with you. We’re looking at John Chapter 16, our Lord Jesus has said to the disciples, “Look, I have to go away, but I’ll come back. You’ll see me again, and when you do, your heart will be filled with the kind of joy, nothing can take away.” That’s where we were the last time we got together, as we looked at Verse 22 of John 16. And then we were just about to look at 23 and 24, and we’ll get at that today, “In that day, ye shall ask me nothing.” Now, there are a number of statements here, where He says, “In that day, ’cause you’re gonna see me again. I’m coming back.” This referred to His post-resurrection appearance and without saying so, His ascension to the Father.
He said, “I’ll see you again and your heart’ll rejoice. In that day, ye shall ask me nothing, but whatever ye ask the Father in my name, He will give it to you.” Then in Verse 26, “In that day, ye shall ask in my name, I say not unto you that I will pray the Father for you, for the Father Himself loveth you, because ye have loved me and have believed that I came out from God.” This has to do then with the process of prayer in the light of the resurrected Christ. He said, “In that day, you’re not gonna ask me for things, you’re gonna ask the Father. You’re gonna ask the Father in my name.” Then he says, John 16:24, one of the verses I learned long ago, “Hitherto, have ye asked nothing in my name? Ask and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.” What is this all about?
Can I pray directly to Jesus? Of course, you may. Stephen did, he said, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” As a matter of fact, the scriptural, oh, you may say official approach in prayer, is that the believer prays to the Father, in the name of, in the merits of trusting the shed blood of, in the name of the Lord Jesus, and through the enablement of the Holy Spirit, so that all of the persons of the Trinity in our Godhead, three persons, one God, all of the Trinity is involved in your praying. You may speak lovingly to the Spirit of God. Are you comfortable with the Holy Spirit? Or are you a little bit afraid of Him? Wonderful person with all the attributes of deity. Read your Bible and find that the Holy Spirit is, quite frankly, said to have all the attributes that are credited to the Father or the Son.
Speak with the Spirit of God, He dwells within you. You can depend on Him. Speak to your Savior, the Lord Jesus, He loves you with an everlasting love and He is concerned about you. “He ever liveth,” the Bible says, “To make intercession for them that come unto God by Him.” He’s interested, deeply so, and then you can come directly to God. “Let us come boldly,” says the writer to the Hebrews, “To the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace, to help in time of need.” And you can say sincerely, “Dear Father,” because He loves you, the Father Himself loveth you, Verse 27, “Because ye have loved me and have believed that I came from God.”
Now, let me just ask you, where are you in this matter of really praying to a loving Heavenly Father? Are you comfortable with God? Are you depending on the Holy Spirit to pray through you? Are you aware of the Savior’s deep heart interest in you? And does that whole set of concepts, then wrap itself up into a loving encounter with deity? When I go to see my children and grandchildren, they rush out to meet mother and me, and their arms are outstretched, and they hold us fast in a loving embrace. And the littlest one now, three years old, reaches up little arms, and wants to be loved. Our loving Heavenly Father waits for you to come into His presence. Jesus said, “The Father seeketh such to worship Him.” Did you know that God is out looking for people who will worship Him in Spirit and in truth, in genuineness, in other words? So many of us make speeches to God. The Bible is full of references to the fact, that many prayers are just empty speeches.
And God says in Isaiah One that, “It makes Him tired.” He said, “I’m weary to bear them.” Just to make speeches to God, just to say your prayers, as the saying goes, while at the same time, we reserve in our hearts, great blocks of self-will, where we haven’t yielded to our blessed Lord. Oh, He must be grieved with the hardness of our hearts. Jesus was. He said, “He looked around about at the disciples and was grieved for the hardness of their hearts.” God looks for people who will really love Him, and really seek Him, and really worship Him. How can you achieve that? If you’re anything like me, you’re aware of the fact that stubborn human nature is there inside your skin, and any amount of preaching, either by somebody else to you, or even by yourself, and say, “Come on, shape up now, and get real with God.” Any amount of preaching and good advice doesn’t change the person that you are. What do you do about it?
“We all with open face,” this is Second Corinthians Three, “We all with open face, beholding as in a glass, the Glory of the Lord are changed into the same image, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” Take time, beloved, to wait in the presence of God, to read His Word and meditate on it, to let it take root in your heart, and in your mind, and in your unconscious mind, the computer portion of your mind, so the Holy Spirit can crank it out when you need it. Take time, just to look to Jesus, “Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith,” says the writer to the Hebrews. And that is not a glance, that’s a gaze. That’s a gaze. To be like the Lord Jesus, you spend time with your Lord.
And in the process, as the Word of God takes root in your life, and the Holy Spirit takes hold of your attitude, and your impulses, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance, against such, there is no law. The Holy Spirit begins to make the difference. And you find yourself more and more at home with your loving Heavenly Father, because you’re not fighting His will, you’ve spent some time waiting on Him. The Holy Spirit has been tuning up your soul, and working on your attitudes, and motivating your desires. “It is God that worketh in you, both to will and to do.” See, God takes care of the want to. Oh, spend some time with the Lord.
We talk about backsliding. The deterioration of an individual’s spiritual life is directly proportional to the cutting off of time spent with God. Did you know that? You will improve in direct proportion to time you spend with the Lord, and you will deteriorate in direct proportion to the cutting off of time invested in the presence of your Lord. You wanna get comfortable with God? Spend some time with Him. And you don’t have to try to make yourself feel better. You don’t have to adopt a kind of a pious tremulant in your voice, and try maybe, to make yourself shed a few tears. You don’t have to work at it. Just spend some time with the Lord and let the Holy Spirit speak to your heart.
“We all with open face,” let me quote it for you once again then, “Beholding as in a glass,” that’s our word ‘mirror,’ “The Glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” You can be different from the inside out. You can be comfortable with your loving Heavenly Father. He’s waiting for you to be genuine with Him, without the slightest hint of artificiality or insincerity. And He, by His Holy Spirit, will enable you to reach that experience, as you wait on Him.
“The Father Himself loveth you, because you loved me and have believed that I came from God.” Now, back before the time runs out, back to Verse 24, He says, “Hitherto, have ye asked nothing in my name? Ask and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.” To ask in Jesus’ name, means to claim His merits, His redemption at Calvary on your behalf, the price is paid. “God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” The word ‘for’ is ‘huper,’ up over, in our stead, instead of us. Okay? Then to ask in His name, means to claim what He can do for you.
I ran out of cash some years ago on a trip, and I was in a Florida city, and I wondered who in the world would cash a personal check for me. I finally went to a businessman in the area, whom I knew. I said, “Bill, would you sort of tell the folk at the bank, that I’m alright if I go in and cash a personal check?” “Why, of course.” He picked up the phone, called the president of the bank, he said, “My good friend, Bob Cook, is coming in in a little while to cash a personal check, give him every consideration.” And he hung up again. Well, I went to the bank a few moments later. I’ll tell you, I could’ve been the King of Siam. Why, they welcomed me and they said, “What can we do for you, Mr Cook?” [chuckle] I wanted to cash a check for $200, so I could get home. [laughter] Well, they were glad to do it. I came in my friend Bill’s name. That made the difference. He said, “Ask in my name,” that means you depend upon Jesus to do what He can do for you. You depend on what He’s already done, and dying, and rising again. You depend on the merits of that shed blood, which satisfied the holiness of God, and forever vindicated God’s law, and forever opened the door of mercy. You depend on it all, when you ask in Jesus’ name. Well, I’ll see you some more on this passage. It’s great, isn’t it?
Father God, have your way with us today. Help us to glorify thee. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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