01/27/13 Ask, Seek - Knock!

Posted by Pastor Steve Siegrist on Wednesday, January 30, 2013 Under: Sermon
Text: Matthew 7:7-12 (NKJV)

7 Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. 9 Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? 11 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him! 12 Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.

“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” James 1:5 (NKJV)

Intro: We have heard of and have witness those who have been born with a silver spoon in their mouth. Meaning that they are spoiled, any and everything they want they get or got. I would love to be able to tell you anything you want from God could be that easy, but in reality it isn’t. To have God’s blessings and prayers answered, requires a responsibility from the one who is asking. This responsibility is expected, it is a command that we diligently seek God’s will. When we ask, God promises to reveal His will with confidence. There is a unique comparison in this text, if we being sinful will give good gifts to our children, how much more will the sinless Father impart to His children?

Application: You’re not receiving because of the way you’re asking.

We are to diligently seek God’s will.

1. The Command: vs. 7 "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.”

Of the many things for which we should ask, seek, and knock, God’s wisdom is among our greatest needs. We must get divine counsel from our heavenly Father; and the primary means for achieving such wisdom is petitioning prayer. “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” (James 1:5). Do you diligently seek God’s will?

God gives us many principles in His Word, but He does not give specific methods or rules for every conceivable situation. For one thing, situations keep changing and vary greatly from age to age and person to person. To give specific rules for every circumstance would require a giant library of volumes. But even more important than that is God’s desire that we rely on Him directly. He wants us to be in His Word, and without being in His Word we cannot pray wisely or rightly.

It is like this, He is not going to scold you for asking!

It is crucial that we are in His Word, and that is a barrier for many, it should not be a barrier but in reality reading God’s word daily is hard for a lot of people. He just wants to have fellowship with what He created.

The Word if read gives us His Spirit, the spirit is the interpreter of encouragement and strength! He does not want us to have all the answers in our hip pocket. The Bible is a limitless store of divine truth, which a lifetime of the most faithful and diligent study will not exhaust.

But apart from God Himself we cannot even start to fathom its depths or mine its riches. In His Word God gives enough truth for us to be responsible, but enough mystery for us to be dependent. He gives us His Word not only to direct our lives but to draw our lives to Him. Ask, seek and knock. Knock on the door of His word ask for that peace seek that understanding.

We are to diligently seek God’s will for our life, it is a command. It really doesn’t make sense, God is simply telling us ask, seek and knock and the door to truth, peace eternal security is yours. That’s too easy!

“You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.” James 4:3 (NKJV)

He promises to reveal his will if we ask!

2. The Confidence: vs. 8 “For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.”

What would you say is your confidence level? Put it on a scale of 1 to 10. Would you say your confidence is up there? Do you with confidence ask, seek and knock knowing that God will answer? He promises to reveal His will IF YOU ASK!

The key to prayer is persevering in prayer. The Lord commands and challenges us to persevere in prayer. What is persevering prayer? It is asking, seeking, and knocking until the answer is received, found, or opened. It is being so obsessed with getting something that a person never gives up until God responds. Never gives up!

The words ask, seek, and knock are in the present tense. A person is to keep on asking, keep on seeking, and keep on knocking. Be persistent in prayer. Be confident! The words receive, find, and open are also in the present tense. This shows that the answer to prayer is more than just a promise for the future. The person who perseveres in prayer possesses the answer now. Perhaps the thing has not yet happened, but by faith the believer knows that God has heard his prayer.

“Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. 15 And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.” 1 John 5:14-15 (NKJV)

Ocean View has a church to build, and it is a lot more than just a building or the cost it might take to build it! Where is the confidence? Should we act as if it has already happened or look for reason to stop it from happening? KEEP ON ASKING, KEEP ON SEEKING! OUR YOU KNOCKING ON THE DOOR? Or are you pushing on the door bell and it is not working so you give up! It’s a knock not a push, do you have that confidence???

Real prayer, persevering prayer, acknowledges our dependence upon God. When we are genuinely in need, we come to God and ask and seek and knock. The very fact that we are asking, seeking, and knocking demonstrates that we are truly dependent upon God. We are His children and He is our Father. Christ said that true prayer is prayer that really means business: it is sincere and genuine in its requests and it keeps on asking and asking until God answers.

We can’t afford to have a complacent mindset or a sluggish attitude, the thrust is action, a get-to-it attitude. Maybe it is the wrong door! Have you ever knock on the wrong door?

We must approach every door that we can until the right door opens. We certainly would not pound and pound away at the same door. We must move about knocking until the right door is opened. We must continue knocking at the door of heaven. We must wrestle with God, not giving Him rest until He opens. Such action shows dependency upon Him. And coming to Him in fellowship and communication is bound to please Him, just as such communication pleases an earthly father.

Just remember: “pray without ceasing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:17 (NKJV)

If we, being sinful, can give good gifts to our children, how much more will the sinless Father impart to his children!

3. The Comparison: vs. 9-11 “Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? 11 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!”

The Comparison deals with our own strength or His strength. Trying to do good with the old sin natural attached to us or the understanding of how much more God can do with His perfect nature.

This Scripture contains two of the most well-known things Jesus ever said. They deal with two of the basic issues of life. There is the issue of righteousness. How can a person live righteously, that is, have a right relationship with his neighbor? There is the issue of life. How can a person be sure he has life, real life? This is the Golden rule of life: The golden rule is probably the most well-known thing Jesus ever said. It is a behavior of righteousness, and godliness. It is a very practical statement of God's love; that is, God has done to us just as He wants us to do to Him. God has treated us as He wants us to treat Him (and everyone else).

The golden rule reveals the heart of God. It shows us exactly how God's heart longs for us to live and act. It is a simple statement revealing what love really is and what life in a perfect world is like. It tells believers that they are to live as the golden rule dictates while still on the earth before being transferred into the heavenly world or dimension. Three things are required of men. To know what Christ taught. To believe what Christ taught. To do what Christ taught. It is not enough to know or to believe the golden rule. We must live it.

Two simple rules can revolutionize a person's life (or society itself), Treating God as we want God to treat us and treating others as we want others to treat us. "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself" Matthew 22:39 (KJV)

We are commanded to love everyone. That is how Jesus lived on this earth, and if we are Christians, we must strive to be like Christ. How will the world know that we are Christians?

They will not know that by reading a sign over our doors. They will only know that by the love we have in our hearts for other people.

Andrew Murray said, “My relationship with God is part of my relationship with men. Failure in one will cause failure in the other.”

John Ashcroft said, “The most important thing my dad taught me is that there are more important things than me.”

There is an old saying that goes, “A pat on the back is only a few vertebrae away from a kick in the pants, but the results are much better.” “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 2:5 (NKJV)

Conclusion: I mentioned in my intro, a Christian’s responsibility requires that you ask, seek and knock, But the Christians must also understand there is a responsibility that we should have to the world: We are to treat others as we would want them to treat us.

Billy Sunday: 'Let's quit fiddling with religion and do something to bring the world to Christ.' -We live and develop physically by exercise. We are saved by faith, but we must work out our salvation by doing the things God wills. The more we do for God, the more God will do through us. Faith will increase by experience.

If you are a stranger to prayer you are a stranger to the greatest test source of power known to human beings. If we cared for our physical life in the same lackadaisical way that we care for, our spiritual, we would be as weak physically as we are spiritually. You go week in and week out without prayer. I want to be a giant for God. You don't even sing; you let the choir do it. You go to prayer-meeting and offer no testimony.

You are a stranger to the great privilege that is offered to human beings. Some of the greatest blessings that people enjoy come from prayer. In earnest prayer you think as the Lord directs, and lose yourself in him.

We are to diligently seek God’s will. It is a command – ask, seek and knock. If we ask with confidence He promises to reveal his will if we ask!

If we, being sinful, can give good gifts to our children, how much more will the sinless Father impart to his children! There is no comparison.

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