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September 12, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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“When the hour had come, He sat down, and the twelve apostles with Him.”—Luke 22:14 (NKJV)
Those final moments that Jesus shared with His disciples the night before His crucifixion portray an incredible contrast. On one hand, He delivers some of the most difficult messages the disciples would ever hear: “I’m leaving” (John 16:16); “You won’t be seeing me” (John 16:17); “You’re going to weep and lament” (John 16:20); “Your adversaries will rejoice” (John 16:20). Not the sort of thing they wanted to hear!
And then, Jesus goes on to share some of the most glorious promises ever given: “Your sorrow will be turned to joy” (John 16:20); “You’re going to see me again” (John 16:22); “Your joy will never be taken” (John 16:22); and last but certainly not least, He tells them, “Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full” (John 16:24 NKJV).
This last promise is something we can’t afford to overlook . . . yet we often do. Here, Jesus gives His followers something so momentous, so sweepingly spectacular that we often discount it. We read that promise and instinctively think, “That just sounds too good to be true!” But if Jesus said it, then it is true, which means there’s a privilege so wide that’s been opened to us that we scarcely scratch the surface of it!
Now, this promise to give us whatever we ask for isn’t a blank check to gratify our own independent desires. It’s given with the understanding that what we ask for will be for the sake of God’s glory and Kingdom, that we’ll be asking according to His will (1 John 5:14). Even still, the reality remains that the Lord is almost always more willing to give than we are to ask.
How do we change that? How do we put this promise to proper use the way it’s supposed to? For one thing, we need to live like the disciples did. Not in sinless perfection, but in sincere devotion. They had no backup plan if the whole Jesus thing didn’t work out . . . they invested everything into Jesus. We need to have that same heart, to be committed to follow Christ closely, to live without a plan B.
When we live like that, we’ll start desiring things the Lord wants and asking for things He wants for us. A holy boldness will fuel our hearts to use this privilege as He wants, leading to fullness of joy.
DIG: What incredible privilege does Jesus give to His followers?
DISCOVER: To what extent do you utilize this privilege? How can you grow in its use?
DISPLAY: Search your heart today. Think about those dreams and the things you aspire to; think about your goals, what you want to do with your life and what you want the Lord to do in your life . . . and ask! In your time of prayer, ask the Lord to act according to His will in these areas, to bring His glory in them and to do with them—and you—what He wills.
Pastor Dan Hickling serves our online community, also known as the Calvary Chapel Online Campus. He and his wife Becky have been married for 22 years and have two children, Lauren and Danny. Both Dan and Becky have been part of the CCFL church family for 22 years and have served in full time ministry for 20 of those years.