Ask, seek, knock – Sunday September 9th 2012.
“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. (Matthew 7:7-8)
Beloved in the Lord,
From time to time I hear people say: “If only I won a million dollars in lotto I would be happy.” These people are placing their hope in money, with the false expectation that wealth will bring happiness. It may do so, for a while, but not necessarily. For some winning Lotto has brought nothing but misery and heartache. Whatever the case may be, lotto is not of God and it is not God’s way.
If we are children of God through faith in Jesus Christ, then we have a greater store house of treasure than lotto can provide. Paul in writing to the Ephesians wrote:
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,” Ephesians 1:3
Through Jesus Christ, God has blesses His children with every spiritual blessing. What more could we possibly want or need. Elsewhere we read that Paul said:
“ for in Him we live and move and exist, as even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we also are His children.’” Acts 17:28
Every child of God is wealthy beyond measure, because through the provision of Jesus we have access to the Father who owns all things.
The Bible reveals God to us as a loving Father and we have the priviledge of being His Children. He has promised to take care of all our needs. John wrote in his first epistle: “ See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are.” 1 John 3:1
If we are in Christ, then we are children of God. That means that we belong to God, we are members of the greatest family in heaven and on earth. God is rich beyond measure. He owns all things and all things are under His control. As we have considered before; God is omnipotent (all –powerful); omniscient (all-knowing); omnipresent (everywhere). What more do you need or want? You have access to it all.
What is of vital importance is that we learn to use what we have and to live accordingly. In our foundation text today Jesus gives us the key: “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. (Matthew 7:7-8)
This is so simple that many miss out and so lose out in life. Jesus said to His disciples: “Until now you have asked for nothing in My name; ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be made full.” (John 16:24)
Did you get that? Jesus said to them: “Until now you have asked for nothing in my name. That is why you are lacking. Ask and you will receive and your joy will be made full.” It is so simple. If you want your measure of joy to be full then don’t waste your time and money on lotto, but place your trust in Jesus. Look to your Heavenly Father to supply your needs and so much more. Ask in His name and He will give it to you.
So that we really get it, let me repeat Jesus words: ““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.”
Jesus is clearly teaching us that we must do something – we must ask, seek and knock. God wants us to do so, because in doing so we are demonstrating our desire to receive from Him. If we ask, seek and knock, then God has promised that we will receive, find and have the door opened to us.
Ask, seek and knock: This is something that we should do trusting in god. We should do it knowingly and believing that God will answer, He will reward our searching. God always rewards faith. We read in James:
“ But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. 6 But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, 8 being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.” James 1:5-7
There are a number of important statements here. Firstly we have here confirmation of what we have been discussing, namely that God desires for us to ask. If any man lacks wisdom he is to ask of God. Do you do this? When you do not know something where do you turn? Do you ask God first or do you seek help elsewhere? We would save ourselves a lot of time, effort and heartache if we learned to consistently ask God first.
Solomon wrote: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart
And do not lean on your own understanding.
6 In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He will make your paths straight.
7 Do not be wise in your own eyes;
Fear the Lord and turn away from evil.
8 It will be healing to your body
And refreshment to your bones.” Proverbs 3:5-8
Over and over again we are exhorted to trust in the Lord fully. We should seek wisdom and counsel from Him. We should entrust all our ways to Him.
Janes also said that God gives generously and without reproach. Isn’t that beautiful? God gives generously and without reproach. When we seek God’s wisdom he is generous. He doesn’t reproach us or dismiss us saying “go and figure it out for yourself!” No way. He is delighted when we seek His face, when we seek His will, when we ask His advice. He answers our prayers generously.
The next important point to notice is that James writes that we must ask in faith.” But he must ask in faith without any doubting,” We must approach God in faith, without doubting. We should have faith that not only God wants to answer our prayer He is able. He has the power, He has the means, He has the wherewithal so to speak. We must also believe that He knows what is best and will answer our prayers in a way that it is for our good. Faith says that all of Gods ways are perfect and right.
Faith knows that when we ask for bread, God will not give us a stone, or when we ask for fish, He will not give us a snake. Faith knows that if God says no, or if He says that we must wait, then it is because He has our best interests at heart.
Paul said it this way:
“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” Rom.8:28
This is a confession of faith! All things are in God’s control. He knows all things and everything that He allows is under His control. He knows exactly what He is doing. So we must ask in faith. We must also seek and knock in faith. The same principles apply.
There is so much that God would like to share with us, to give to us. If we ask, seek and knock in faith He opens to us His treasure house. God’s Word – The Bible is full of valuable pearls, that can only be found by careful and prayerful study. Those who dig deep in faith find much. If we want to go deeper with God, we can.
Why would you not want to? God is beautiful and wonderful and marvellous. He is a loving Father. He has so much to give to us, to share with us. He has already given us so much, all we have to do is receive it.
God’s storehouses are inexhaustible. The more you seek, the more you find. The more you knock, the more the doors open. Jesus said: “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10)
In Jesus there is life, not only life; but an abundant life.
“Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard,
And which have not entered the heart of man,
All that God has prepared for those who love Him.”
10 For to us God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God. 1.Corinthians 2:8-10
Pastor Colvin S. MacPherson Latvian Evangelical Lutheran Church in Sydney.
All Bible quotations taken from New American Standard Bible.