Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Keep On Knocking

Chuckle: Preacher: "Jimmy, do you say your prayers at night?" Little Jimmy: "Yes, Sir." Preacher: "Do you say your prayers in the morning, too?" Jimmy: "No, Sir. I ain't scared in the daytime!"
Quote: "Prayer is not conquering God's reluctance, but taking hold of God's willingness." --Phillip brooks
"Keep on asking, and you will be given what you ask for. Keep on looking (seeking) and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened" (Matthew 7:7 NLT).
During his discourse in the Sermon on the Mount (Matt. 5-7), Jesus instructs us on the need for persistence in our prayers. We are never to stop asking, seeking, and knocking at the door of God's throne of grace. Disciples are followers and learners of Christ, and, as such, we are to be constantly allowing him to teach us and help us grow into spiritual maturity. There are three truths from this verse that we should never forget.
1. We are Christ's disciples. As such, we should be perpetually committed to Him with an insatiable desire to learn from Him. This means we are willing to adjust everything else in our lives in order to please Him and grow stronger in Him. Nothing should take precedence over our desire to become more like Him each day.
2. Christ wants kingdom commitment. The overall theme of the Sermon on the Mount is God's kingdom. "Seek first his (God's) kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things (physical needs) will be given to you as well" (Matthew 6:33 NIV). Sometimes we may commit ourselves to our church, our Bible study class, or to a project to help others. These are well and good, but God wants us to seek him first and commit ourselves to a personal love relationship with him. Once such a relationship is established, God knows our faithfulness in service to Him and others will follow because of the condition of our hearts. To commit to his work without a commitment to Him and His kingdom results in drudgery, but commitment to Him first makes our service pure joy.
3. Christ wants us to persist in asking, seeking, and knocking. In the same way, we eventually react favorably to the requests of a persistent child, God honors our persistence with Him. "Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up" (Luke 18:1 NIV). Jesus assures us that we will be rewarded for our persistence. Continue to ask God for more knowledge, patience, wisdom, love, and understanding. He will give them to you.
Asking suggests dependence; seeking suggests yearning; knocking suggests persistence. When we ask, seek, and knock, as believers, we must keep in mind that we should only pray for those things consistent with Christ's character. If we keep this in mind, we will not pray selfishly, but with God's will and the good of His kingdom in uppermost in our minds.
Love, Jerry & Dotse


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