Fresh Hope – 29th April 2016

In 1838 Charles Dickens wrote the novel Oliver Twist, which later became a famous film.

The story is of a young boy, Oliver Twist aged 9, who was orphaned and ends up doing forced labour in the workhouse to exist. He is fed three bowls of gruel a day.

Oliver Twist is most remembered for being bold enough to ask for more food, but ends up being refused and punished for his insolence.

For many people their perception of God is more Charles Dickens than it is Bible, in that we are afraid to ask for more and feel that if we should dare to do so we would be punished by God.

Having that kind of belief doesn’t make you more Holy, it simply makes you more ineffective, as you look at what you have and believe that that is all you are entitled to.

Instead of taking what you have and believing for even greater things, you simply settle into a life of mediocrity and rarely ever break out of your comfort zone let alone break out into a sweat.

A bowl of ‘just enough’ is what most of us settle for in life.

Just having enough for you, can sound so spiritual but is actually so selfish, as you become content in looking after only you.

When King David sinned by having an affair with Bathsheba and subsequently killing her husband, he was challenged and rebuked by Nathan the prophet…

2 Samuel 12:7-8 Then Nathan said to David…This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: “I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you from the hand of Saul. I gave your master’s house to you, and your master’s wives into your arms. I gave you all Israel and Judah. And if all this had been too little, I would have given you even more.”

In other words, God is saying to David that I gave you everything you wanted and if that wasn’t enough you could have asked for more, but instead you decided to take what wasn’t rightfully yours.

The Bible is full of illustrations that tell us that we should not be afraid to ask for more of what is rightfully ours.

James 4:2-3 You do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.

Asking for more can of course be a selfish act, if it’s simply to line your own pockets, but asking for more can be a selfless act if you want to do more, help more, reach more, build more and influence more.

Don’t be content today to just accept what you have for you; ask for more so that you can multiply God’s blessings to everyone that you meet.

Ephesians 3:20-21 …Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

James 4:1-3 What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.

Pastor Mark

A daily devotion for a better way of living.