Thursday, August 7, 2008

Matthew 7:7-12 "Ask...Seek...Knock...."

Read Matthew 7:7-12.

"For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened." NIV
I really hate when this verse is misused to expect prosperity and riches here on this earth. I can't believe that God works that way. Money is just money and some people use it well and others do not. Riches are a temporal pleasure and sometimes a curse.

Christ always rises above the temporal to teach us a much greater truth while at the same time meeting our earthly needs. Much of this passage takes us back to 6:9-13 in Jesus' lesson on how to pray. This passage is showing the result of praying in that vein.

ASK: If we ask according to God's will with a humbled, surrendered heart to His direction, we will receive what we ask for. Now, granted, sometimes the Lord blesses us with excess, but that is a free gift. It's not something we've earned or even deserve, but receive out of His great mercy. We also must see the answers He gives to our requests through His eyes. For example, I pray that my child will recover from a serious illness. I pray believing that God can heal. But that may not be according to the Lord's plan, and we must keep in mind that this is a temporal existence. Death is not the end, but for the believer, only the beginning -- the perfect healing. Our grief here is but for a short time compared to eternity. Those answers from the Lord may seem harsh and unloving, but that is where our surrender and faith in Him must prevail -- even in the harshest circumstances.

SEEK: Recently I was having a discussion with a couple friends about the theology of a worship song that was asking God to come closer to me. The fact is, He can't be any closer to me than He is right now. He never moves. I'm the only one who walks away from Him or shuts Him out of an area of my life. If I seek Him, He is ALWAYS there. Never failing, never ignoring. Granted, we've all experienced periods of God's silence. Sometimes our prayers feel like they are hitting the ceiling and going no further. But the Lord has not left. He will reveal Himself in His own time for His own purposes and glory. Meanwhile, our faith must remain strong and sure through the waiting.

KNOCK: Christ's grace and mercy are always available to us. We will never be turned away. His love is never ending. If we refuse to live in that grace-filled life, we will suffer consequences. Some of them can last a lifetime. But when we humbling, repentantly fall on our knees at the throne of Christ, we are received with open arms every time. It doesn't matter what we've done; where we've been, He will take us as we are and show us the potential of where we can go. The door will always be opened if we simply have faith and choose to knock.

Isn't His mercy and love absolutely amazing?! Thank you, Father, that you care about the minutest part of my life, and the big life-changing moments. You amaze me, and I praise You with all my heart, soul, mind, and spirit as my Lord and Savior, Master and King. Amen.

Further Thoughts:
  1. Where do our blessings come from? Read James 1:17.
  2. Have you been asking for something, but not received it? Re-examine your asking. Is it in line with God's Word. Maybe it's not His will or the right timing. Sometimes, His answer is "no."
  3. Are you in a place that you feel like God has left you? Turn around, He's right there. What in your life is hindering you knowing His presence? Are you spending time in His Word, solitude, prayer and meditation? Are you giving Him a chance to talk to you or do you take up all the time talking to Him? Maybe you need to give Him some conversation time and do so with an open heart to His will. Read Deuteronomy 31:6 and Luke 21:37.
  4. Have you yielded to temptation and sinned against God? He's waiting at the door to extend His forgiveness through grace and mercy. He's never stopped loving you and is waiting patiently for your return. Read Romans 3:23, 6:23, 2 Peter 3:9, and 1 John 1:9.

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