What If? By Dennis Huebshman I grew up in a church that taught if you…
Better Than I Asked
By Dennis Huebshman
Several years ago, my wife and I hit a financial crunch, and needed some emergency funds. It wasn’t a real large amount, but was beyond the resources we had at the time. I recalled a verse in James that paraphrased says, “You don’t have, because you didn’t ask.” (James 4:2b) So, I took this to heart, and asked the Father to help us. Also, I was specific as to the need, and the amount. I realize God already knows our needs, but He still likes to be asked anyway. (any emphasis mine)
After just two days, I received a response that could only have come from the Lord. The company I worked for had a very productive quarter, and awarded a full week bonus check to all 12,000 employees. Mine was enough to cover our immediate need, and even enough left over for me to take my wife out to dinner. God not only honored my request, but passed on the blessing to all of my co-workers as well. There have been other occasions where the Father provided extra needs, but in His time and in His way. I do not look at the Lord God Jehovah as a sort of Santa Claus; and those false prophets that are “prosperity” advocates turn my stomach. They are twisting the true word of the Lord for their own greeds, and convince others to do the same.
Matthew 6:7-8, “And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think they will be heard for their many words. (8) Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.”
A prosperity preacher will make it sound as if God “owes us” something so that we will “want” to worship Him. Truth be known, the phrase, “Jesus Paid It All, All to Him I Owe” is the correct message that should be given out. The heavenly Father loves us so much, He provides what He knows we need, and most of the time will skip over the greeds. I’m not forced to worship the Lord; I consider it an honor to do so, and anything that I do for Him is to continue saying “Thank You” for loving me so much, even when I’m totally unlovable.
Going back to James 4:3, “You ask, and do not receive because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.” To ask the Father for anything that is selfish, or meant to harm anyone else is totally wrong.
Jesus told us to even pray for those who would be our enemy. Matthew 5:43-44, “You have heard that it was said, you shall love your neighbor, and hate your enemy. (44) But, I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”
Your first thought is, this is impossible. How about the example given by Jesus Himself, when He was first nailed to the cross? Luke 23:34, “And Jesus said, Father forgive them, for they know not what they do. And they cast lots to divide His garments.” Jesus didn’t like what they were doing, and even didn’t like the religious leaders for all their vain evil deeds. However, He loved them all for their immortal souls, and if they repented and called on Him to be their Savior, they will be with us in Heaven. On the other side of that coin, all who reject Jesus and His sacrifice, will end up in the Lake of Fire with their “leader” satan. After all, Hell was made for satan and his demons. Matthew 25:41, “Then He will say to those on His left, depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal lake of fire prepared for the devil and his angels.”
Those who have died and are currently in torment are not in their final Hell. The first occupants will be the tribulation antichrist, and his false prophet. (Revelation 19:20) They will be followed by satan one thousand years later. (Revelation 20:10) After this will be the judgment at the Great White Throne found in Revelation 20:11-15. This will be for all those from the beginning of time that were not in the will of the Lord; and all those from Calvary to the end of the Millennium that would not accept His Son Jesus the Christ. It will be an extremely long line. They will receive their final verdict of the degree of punishment they will suffer forever, and they will be made to realize it’s totally by their own choice.
We, as believers, whether we die in Christ, or are taken up in the Rapture, are being given a Blessing of Forgiveness and Mercy we really do not deserve. However, God loves us, and when we become a true part of the “Shepherd’s Flock” we get the blessings Jesus paid for with His precious blood, on a cross, that we deserved to be on, rather than Him.
It’s a blessing “Better Than I Asked” is one more song of Dale and Cheryl Golden that’s absolutely inspirational. It tells us that even though we are not worthy, God is always there for us in ways we can not imagine.
(1) In a world, full of friends, I was alone. No earthly needs, were freely met; I had no hope. Then in a moment of deep despair, I called God’s name. Though found unworthy, of His sweet touch, yet still He came.
(c.) God gave a blessing, so much better than I asked; His gentle touch, was love enough, to change my past. Now I’m remembered, filled with new hope and joy to last. God gave a blessing so much better than I asked.
(2) When no one knew, my darkest fear, I wept inside. My deepest wounds, made long ago, I tried to hide. His loving grace, reached way down low, to where I cried. And placed me, on forgiveness high, and mercy wide. (c.)
(Available on YouTube; “Dale and Cheryl Golden – Better than I asked.)
It’s expressed so well that we receive grace and mercy we do not deserve. As imperfect humans, we could never satisfy the Father for our own sins. Knowing this, He provided the blessing that would give us a “pardon” from eternal torment. When we ask forgiveness for our sins, He knows who has accepted His Son, and through the blood of our sin-free Savior, He forgives us. (1 John 1:8-10) For those who have not, or will not, accept Jesus as their only way to the Father (John 14:6), they will have to answer for each and every sin they ever committed for themselves. It doesn’t matter how great or small the sin, God cannot tolerate any of them.
God did not spare His own Son from death on a Cross, but when it was complete, and Jesus rose from the dead, we were brought in as His precious flock. Even the Lord’s chosen, the Jews, must receive and accept Jesus in order to have eternal life with Him. Sadly, only a small fraction (about 1.5%) have done so. As for the rest of the world, it’s not much better – possibly 7% – 9% worldwide are true believers. By the end of the Wrath, all surviving Jews will accept Jesus as their Messiah.
Speaking of true believers, we will receive another blessing the rest of the world won’t; being taken up to meet Jesus in the air to avoid the misery of the coming Tribulation/Wrath. All who enter the Tribulation, will suffer tremendously. Approximately 2/3 of the world population will perish. (Zechariah 13:8-9) Again, those who belong to Jesus will be raised up to be with Him forever. Those who do not will be raised, only to be thrown into the Lake of Fire at the end of the Millennium.
The world will suffer throughout the 7-year Wrath, but those of us who accepted Jesus, from Calvary to the moment of the call, will be with Him; with our new bodies; and will receive assignments that will be absolutely perfect. Never again to experience pain or death; never again to be able to be subjected to commit any sin. We will be with Jesus throughout the Millennium, and then into our forever in Paradise.
It’s far more than we could ever deserve, as I have said, and definitely better than we could have asked for. One more point, this is totally an individual choice each and every one of us must make. No one can get us into Heaven except through the grace and mercy of the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit.
All who call on the name of the Lord will be saved. (Acts 2:21 and Romans 10:9-13) There’s nothing difficult about coming to the Lord, as the most difficult part was paid for by Our Savior at Calvary. We have to let go of the pull of this world, and realize we’re only “temporary residents” here. What waits for us is absolutely “Better Than I Asked”. Satan will try to do everything in his power to pull everyone away from Jesus. He tries to deceive us with lies that this world is more important than anything. Open your heart to Jesus and realize He is everything to us in this “temporary” world. Forever is a long time to have made the wrong choice.
Make the call today; Jesus could be taking His Church (all believers) at just any time now.