Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Jesus' Sermon On The Mountainside: Third Command, Ask-Seek-Knock

How do you and I gain discernment to tell who to talk with and what to talk about?
3) The Lord Jesus’ third command was to pray,
Since He is the Sustainer of all things by the power of His word, it is wise to pray to your Father in heaven, Who will give you the good you need
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you." (Matthew 7:7)
Ask – The word “pray” means to ask, ask for the specific things you need.

* You know that you can’t get whatever it is for yourself.

* If God doesn’t give it, you know you will have to live without it.

* So you ask in expectation, in faith, continually, waiting for God to give wisdom, discernment (James 1:5-7)

Seek – Is to look for.
* You are alert to where God’s hands will be at work, providing for you what you are asking of Him.

* You are determined not to miss it, no matter how unexpected a place it might come.

* Look for God’s will about the things you are asking Him for. As you search you will discover what the good is that God is answering your prayer with

Knock – Is the active, diligent pursuit of God’s way.

* As you seek out and find God’s will on a matter, go and knock on that door.

* You don’t throw the door open and take what’s inside, but you knock until God opens that door for you and gives you what He has for you. Knock patiently and expectantly, trusting in God’s timing.

This is what Jesus does with you, knocking on the door of your heart, patiently and lovingly, until you open the door of your heart and invite Him in to fellowship with you.

The actual verb tense in the Greek holds the meaning that we are to be continually praying:
- Keep on asking,
- Keep on seeking,
- Keep on knocking

Jesus promises that God, Who is good, wise, loving and powerful, He will certainly give you what you need to live for Him.
"For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

“Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake?

"If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!" (Matthew 7:8-11)
Jesus was referring to the little round limestone stones on the shore of Lake Galilee which were exactly the shape and color of little loaves; and to eels, which were often drawn up along with other fish, in the nets, but which were considered unclean to eat, since they had no scales.

The Father will give you what you need, and what your heart desires for, deep down. He won’t give you counterfeit bread, and counterfeit meat, He will give you the real thing.

God never changes. He is completely good, without any shadow of meanness or darkness in Him, and God is consistently good.

God’s goodness is not arbitrary or capricious, God’s goodness flows from the perfection of His character. The Bible explains that every good and perfect gift comes from God.

He is not only the standard for goodness, He is the source of all goodness.

What are you asking God for right now?

God will always answer your prayers, but He will answer in His way. God’s way is perfect wisdom and perfect love.

God will sometimes allow suffering, trouble, grief, all kinds of things you didn’t realize you were praying for, but don’t be discouraged. The Father is answering your deep need:
1) For the sense of His presence,
2) For His comfort and courage,
3) For His strength and spiritual power,
4) For maturity in your character,
5) For depth in your personality,
6) For a capacity to love and forgive that begins to match His own.

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