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Sermon on the Mount - 10 - Ask, Seek, Knock

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Ask and it shall be Given

Matthew 7:7–11 NKJV
“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? 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!

Ask and it shall be given

Moving from our relationships with our fellow men, to our relationship with our Heavenly Father
Earlier Jesus has warned us against hypocrisy in our prayers
against making vain repetitions
praying with wrong motives (t o be seen)
Now Now He actively encourages us to pray
offering gracious promises
regardless of our frailties, we have the full assurance that we will be heard
So Jesus begins this section by instructing us to “ask”
Ask:
1 say something in order to obtain an answer or information:
2 say to (someone) that one wants them to do or give something.
Ask - many people don’t ask - they fail to pray
James 4:2 NKJV
You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask.
sometimes we ask amiss- but Jesus did say to ask
as we learned earlier - Pray (or ask) for His Will
This “asking” ought also to include asking “if” it is His will.

Seek and You will Find

Jesus uses repetition to imprint the principle upon our minds
Perhaps a deliberate scale of urgency: Ask, Seek, Knock
Also a distinction between these three verbs
1 attempt to find.
2 attempt to obtain or do.
Not only should we ask, we should seek the object of our prayers
Seek = 1: to attempt to find
2 a: to go in search of: look for
2 a: to go in search of: look for
b: to try to discover
b: to try to discover
3: to ask for: REQUEST 〈seeks advice〉
3: to ask for: REQUEST 〈seeks advice〉
4: to try to acquire or gain: aim at 〈seek fame〉
Not only should we ask, we should seek the object of our prayers
If, however, asking should not appear to succeed, the Lord would arouse you to a more concentrated and active longing; therefore let your desires call in the aid of knowledge, thought, consideration, meditation, and practical action, and learn to seek for the blessings you desire as men seek for hid treasures - Charles Spurgeon
5: to make an attempt: TRY—used with to and an infinitive 〈governments … seek to keep the bulk of their people contented—D. M. Potter〉 verb intransitive
5: to make an attempt: TRY—used with to and an infinitive
Not only should we ask, we should seek the object of our prayers
James 2:20 NKJV
But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?

Knock, and it will be opened to you

By using this ascending scale of repetition, Jesus implies persistence also
Ask and keep on Asking
Seek and keep on Seeking
Knock and keep on Knocking
knock
1 strike a surface noisily to attract attention.
2 collide forcefully with.
3 make (a hole, dent, etc.) in something by striking it.
Knock denotes action
Faith without works is dead
James 2:20 NKJV
But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?
Consider the heroes of faith in
Again and again, we see action in their faith
Another way to look at it:
Ask, Seek, Knock
Ask = Pray, request (of God)
Seek = Learn, discover, discern (God’s will, how to obtain)
Knock = Act, strike, decidedly take action in faith with expectation

Everyone who asks receives

Here we have an amazing promise
extraordinary - “everyone”
This promise is of universal application-
Our God wants to Hear from us, and he desires to give
Luke 12:32 NKJV
“Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.
God is not angry with us for asking
You need not worry about asking for too much (He has no limits)
Romans 8:32 NKJV
He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?

If your son asks bread, would you give him a stone?

Of course we can all identify with this example
Who could all imagine a child asking for something from a parent?
Even unbelievers and sinners provide for their children
If you child asks for bread (something good and needed) you would not give him a stone (something harmful, or not good for him)

If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts...

Jesus acknowledges the inherent, sinful nature of men
Yet, He does not deny that even evil (sinful) people are capable of doing good things
Even while doing good, they do not escape the designation of “evil” for that is what is in man. (; )
The point however, is that if even wicked men can do good… How much more...

How much more

The comparison here is not that God is better than men
the contrast is that if even men can do good, How much better will God do?
How much more will your Father in Heaven give good things...
God wants to do exceeding, abundantly above all that you asked or even thought
Salvation, and abundant Life
He is a Good, Good Father
God knows what gifts are good
He will give Good things to those who ask
Asking is necessary -
acknowledges dependence
acknowledges relationship
Acknowledges authority (George Muller ex.)

Is God Your Father?

The Pharisees would never have viewed God as Father, Abba
The old Testament Jews would not have seen Him as Abba
But Jesus always saw Him as Abba, Father
And, He invites us to the same relationship
Romans 8:15–16 NKJV
For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,
Romans 8:16 NKJV
The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,
romans8.15
Galatians 4:6 NKJV
And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!”
Hebrews 2:11–13 NKJV
11 For both He who sanctifies and those who are being sanctified are all of one, for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren, 12 saying: “I will declare Your name to My brethren; In the midst of the assembly I will sing praise to You.” 13 And again: “I will put My trust in Him.” And again: “Here am I and the children whom God has given Me.”
Hebrews 2:11–12 NKJV
11 For both He who sanctifies and those who are being sanctified are all of one, for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren, 12 saying: “I will declare Your name to My brethren; In the midst of the assembly I will sing praise to You.”
This “sonship” is obtained through faith in Jesus Christ
It is an “adoption”
John 8:42 NKJV
42 Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and came from God; nor have I come of Myself, but He sent Me.
John 8:32–49 NKJV
32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” 33 They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s descendants, and have never been in bondage to anyone. How can You say, ‘You will be made free’?” 34 Jesus answered them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. 35 And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. 36 Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed. 37 “I know that you are Abraham’s descendants, but you seek to kill Me, because My word has no place in you. 38 I speak what I have seen with My Father, and you do what you have seen with your father.” 39 They answered and said to Him, “Abraham is our father.” Jesus said to them, “If you were Abraham’s children, you would do the works of Abraham. 40 But now you seek to kill Me, a Man who has told you the truth which I heard from God. Abraham did not do this. 41 You do the deeds of your father.” Then they said to Him, “We were not born of fornication; we have one Father—God.” 42 Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and came from God; nor have I come of Myself, but He sent Me. 43 Why do you not understand My speech? Because you are not able to listen to My word. 44 You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it. 45 But because I tell the truth, you do not believe Me. 46 Which of you convicts Me of sin? And if I tell the truth, why do you not believe Me? 47 He who is of God hears God’s words; therefore you do not hear, because you are not of God.” 48 Then the Jews answered and said to Him, “Do we not say rightly that You are a Samaritan and have a demon?” 49 Jesus answered, “I do not have a demon; but I honor My Father, and you dishonor Me.
Through faith, we receive this adoption and are presented to God as sons
Hebrews 2:11–13 NKJV
11 For both He who sanctifies and those who are being sanctified are all of one, for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren, 12 saying: “I will declare Your name to My brethren; In the midst of the assembly I will sing praise to You.” 13 And again: “I will put My trust in Him.” And again: “Here am I and the children whom God has given Me.”

Receive this adoption right Now

If you are not already adopted into the wonderful family
Today is your day
Hebrews 2:1–15 NKJV
1 Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away. 2 For if the word spoken through angels proved steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just reward, 3 how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him, 4 God also bearing witness both with signs and wonders, with various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to His own will? 5 For He has not put the world to come, of which we speak, in subjection to angels. 6 But one testified in a certain place, saying: “What is man that You are mindful of him, Or the son of man that You take care of him? 7 You have made him a little lower than the angels; You have crowned him with glory and honor, And set him over the works of Your hands. 8 You have put all things in subjection under his feet.” For in that He put all in subjection under him, He left nothing that is not put under him. But now we do not yet see all things put under him. 9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone. 10 For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. 11 For both He who sanctifies and those who are being sanctified are all of one, for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren, 12 saying: “I will declare Your name to My brethren; In the midst of the assembly I will sing praise to You.” 13 And again: “I will put My trust in Him.” And again: “Here am I and the children whom God has given Me.” 14 Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, 15 and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.
Romans 8:16–18 NKJV
The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together. For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

Promise is not unconditional

It is absurd to suppose that the promise ‘Ask, and it shall be given you’ is an absolute pledge with no strings attached
The idea is ridiculous. It would turn prayer into magic, the person who prays into a magician like Aladdin, and God into our servant who appears instantly to do our bidding like Aladdin’s genie every time we rub our little prayer lamp
The Message of the Sermon on the Mount b. The Problems Men Raise

The idea is ridiculous. It would turn prayer into magic, the person who prays into a magician like Aladdin, and God into our servant who appears instantly to do our bidding like Aladdin’s genie every time we rub our little prayer lamp

Father Gives Good Gifts
Although He would not give a snake for a fish, HE may give a fish when we ask for a snake -
Father knows best
Romans 8:26 NKJV
Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
We do not always know what we Should pray for
So the Spirit intercedes
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Also, there are conditions
Seeking and knocking might also be viewed as conditions
A teenager might want a car, but they first need to seek a license to drive
God has no obligation to provide positive answer to prayer that are harmful, or outside His will, or below His intentions for you
However, if we ask (in faith), and continue to do so
while seeking, earnestly desiring to learn and discern
And take what actions toward that end that are appropriate,
Then we will receive, we will find, we will have things opened unto us
If we were asking amiss, our desire and understanding will have to come into line with His
That is faith (Up to you to believe it)
So Ask!
Seek!
Knock!
isa
Isaiah 48:10 NKJV
10 Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction.
Ephesians 5:24–32 NKJV
24 Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. 28 So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. 30 For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. 31For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” 32 This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church.
eph5.
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