Master Sermon List
If Ye Abide in Me
by Rodney "Gipsy" Smith
"If ye abide in Me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you." John 15:7
What is meant by the word "obey"? And what is the meaning of "abide"? Listen: "If you keep My commandments, ye shall abide in Me even as I have kept My Father's commandments and abide in Him" so that to abide in the love of God is to be obedient to His word.
Lots of people pray selfishly, and this is the reason that prayers are unanswered. You who want your prayers answered must do as Jesus did say as He saint, "If it be possible, let this cup pass from Me: nevertheless, not My will but Thine be done." You must be willing, if necessary, to sip the bitter cup to the last drop.
If a man abides by the word of God and if he obey the will of God which he purposed in Christ Jesus before the foundation of the World, then he may ask what he will and God says, It shall be done. When a man you have never seen this, for it is done only in private, and only the eye of God witnesses opens his heart to his creator, and sobs out in solitude the burden of his soul, which he makes known neither to his wife or closest friend, or any other, and which God-and only God can interpret, that is prayer.
"Ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be given." I doubt not but that in your prayer services you have some whose prayers God will hardly recognize as such. Rather will He know them as "much speaking,"
Selfishness is an element which should be foreign to our prayers. We pray that the kingdom of God may extend and reach out to the ends of the earth; we pray that our neighbor may be relieved of the difficulties which bow him down; we pray in the interests of others, and if we do this shall not God take care of our own wants as well?
You want to get into the heart of God, and then you can pray. If you will let me hear a man pray in public, I can tell you in two minutes whether he is accustomed to praying in private. There is something about the prayer of a man who is used to praying in private that cannot be mistaken.
He knows he approaches God with authority, with dignity. You may not be able to define it but you know it is there, and when it is absent you know.
If a man abides in God and His words abide in him, he may ask what he will and it will be done unto him.
If you abide in Him, call upon Him, and ask for something, let Him do it; He knows how to do it. If we pray for the right things, He will know how to give you the gifts you ask.
If you haven't received, you haven't known how to ask, or you do not abide in Him. Some people let God do their asking for them.
Once when I was preaching in an English city in Birmingham before an audience of three thousand or four thousand people, I told them that they would not let the Lord do anything for them. I told them to bow their heads just then and to ask God to do something for them. An old grandmother who had an income of $1.75 per week sat in the front of the audience. She lived in one little room. Her son was in jail. She was taking care of her son's little boy, Jack. The little boy's mother was dead.
Little Jack needed a pair of shoes. The old grandmother had seen his little toes coming through the only pair of shoes he had, and she had no money with which to buy another pair. And she prayed, "O, blessed Jesus, a pair of shoes for Jack."
When Jack went to school the next morning the schoolmaster was waiting for him, and said: "Jack, come here," and took him into his office. He had him try on a pair of shoes. He had seen Jack's little toes coming through the old shoes he wore, the day before, and had ordered five or six pairs of shoes on approval.
When Jack went home with his new shoes, can you imagine the joy of his old granny can you imagine it?
Let the critics say what they may, but I believe that not only does God answer our prayers after we have prayed them, He sometimes anticipates them. "Before ye call, I will answer, and while ye are yet speaking, I will hear."
Open your hearts and tell God you want something. He is in a delightful burnout. "Ask and ye shall receive, seek and ye shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you."
I have a mighty faith in God that will laugh at impossibilities those who have that can march up to God with authority.
When you are abiding in Christ, you can claim the things that belong to Christ. When you belong to a family, you don't ask if you can have a thing, you just take it.
When my boys came home from school and sat at the table, they didn't ask if they could have some bread, they said, "Please pass it up." At our own tables we don't ask if we may have something, we just take it.
If you abide in the love of the Father, whatever belongs to the Kingdom of God is yours. You are a member of the family. Everything belongs to you.
You must do the abiding, then you can ask what you will. We don't put God to the test.
Once I was preaching in Lincoln, Eng. it was my first campaign in the twentieth century. The building was crowded. At that service was a woman a nominal church member and her husband, who was a blasphemer. He held a position of trust on the Great Northern Railroad Company in the signal box at an important junction.
As they were going home from the meeting that night, the wife spoke to him, calling him by his second name, "What do you think of him, Holt?"
"Think of him?" he answered. "If that man is right, I am wrong. That's what I think of him. Of course, I am not a church member. But you are and I have lived with you."
She answered that she knew she was a member of the church, but she knew that she was not a child of God. And some of you will find that out some of these days. May God help you to be honest when you have found it out.
Then they went home to tea. It was a quiet tea, even though they were surrounded by their six sons, one daughter and a motherless youth of seventeen who made his home with them.
The husband would not go to the service that night because he would have had to go in his uniform he went on duty at nine o'clock.
That night the wife went to the meeting with two of her sons. They were converted. Then every night of the week some member of her family was converted, until at the end of the week her eldest son and her husband were the only unconverted ones. That night was my night of rest, but a prayer and song service was being held in the church. The wife went to the meeting alone. I crept in at the back to watch the service. The leader asked for testimonies.
Holding a little Bible above her head, the wife stood and told her story. She said:
"God has done great things for me this week. He has saved me, five of my boys, and a motherless youth who lives with me. Tomorrow God will save my husband and my first-born. God will do it tomorrow. If He does not save my husband tomorrow, this Bible is not true."
This brought me to my feet and I asked the people to join me in prayer for that husband and boy that God might save them both. The people fell on their knees I can hear the thud of the people's knees as they fell on the floor even now and prayed for that husband.
The next morning when the husband came home from work, he found that his wife had overslept. When he called to her and awakened her she expected to be cursed for not being up. Instead, the husband built a fire, quietly ate the breakfast she prepared for him, and said he was going to sleep all he could that morning, so he could go to the Gipsy Smith meeting twice that day.
Then the wife told him of the prayers that had been offered for him and told him it was the night before. "At what time?" he asked. "About half past eight," she replied. Then he told her that the tracks at that time being clear, he had knelt and asked God to save him. "And I was converted then," he answered. "God saved me last night."
"Whatsoever ye ask in my name shall be done."
God's promises will be fulfilled and God shall be glorified. Amen!