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Jul 18, 2021

Golden Vision

Golden Vision

Passage: Matthew 7:7-11

Speaker: Matt Petty

Series: Sermon On The Mount

Category: Sunday Sermons

Keywords: faith, sermon, prayer life, sermon on the mount, sermons, golden rule, bible study, how to pray, matthew 7, prayer request, living the good life, persistent prayer, pray without ceasing, burnt hickory baptist church, the golden rule, sermons on faith, burnt hickory, god’s children, burnt hickory baptist church live stream, how to live like a christian, knock and the door will be opened, answer my prayer, does god care, struggling with prayer, bible teachings, seek and knock

The golden rule might seem like a great command to follow, but its not actually in the bible. As we study further in the sermon on the mount in Matthew, we see that Jesus does give us reminders, challenges, and encouragements to follow that will help us actually live according to Him. Jesus encourages us to pray persistently, and to knock, and the door will be open. Pastor Matt shows us that our prayer life is just that, a life, not a one and done activity. As we study the bible, we see also that not every prayer request is always answered, because only God knows how to give far better that we know how to ask. Take heart, God cares, has unlimited resources, and delights in blessing us as His children when we ask, seek, and knock. What things are you struggling with in prayer, and what things should you be more persistent in? We would love the chance to pray with you, so feel free to call our prayer hotline at 770-590-0372.

Well, if you got your Bibles this morning, or a copy of Scripture I want you to go ahead and get with me towards Matthew chapter 7. As you're getting there, let me just say this out of the forefront of the morning, an incredibly big thank you, for last week for the celebration last week, you guys absolutely blessed my family. And it is incredible. It's just incredible to know that we are in a church that loves their pastors, and I want to speak on my behalf and my family's behalf. But on all the pastors and staff’s behalf, man you guys are absolutely incredible. And that's not the case in a lot of places. So, thank you. Thank you. Thank you for doing that. Well, look, I can't believe that we're in week number eight of this series on the Sermon on the Mount. Now, if you haven't been here, don't worry, because every sermon can operate on their own, but we're following through this incredible teaching of Jesus in the summer, it just seems like this summer, I don't know about for you. But it's flown by. I mean, we are almost done with summer already. Because summer officially ends in August, the second or August the first because that's when school goes back. But let me just say a couple things towards summer. I know that in the summertime as well as during the pandemic. There are some of us who have gotten out of our normal rhythms, who've gotten out of normal, just kind of life. And we've seen that all over. And I need to just speak to a couple of different groups. Number one, if you have not jumped back into public worship yet I'm speaking to you guys, please, now is the time we would love to have you for that to be part of the rhythm of your week. If you have not jumped into a life group, I realize that we have incredible worship, we have adequate teaching, but life groups are where your lives are going to change. Right? So, jump into a life group. I know that some of us have gotten a little bit off rhythm of that. For some of the others of us we're just casual fans. Man, please see this for what it is. Man, there's so much to offer in God's family. For those of you that are the core. You know who you are. You serve, you love, your part of this place. Would you do us a favor? And would you join us in praying towards August the first. August the first every year is a reset in kind of the church life. It's when everybody comes back home from all their summer stuff. It's where we revamp for the fall. And I'm just telling you. I’m ashamedly praying that this fall is the biggest, the most powerful, the most Spirit led Jesus showing up fall that this church has ever seen. And we need you to help that. We need you to pray in that we need you to be investing in the people and to have them here, alright we're really praying hard for that to happen. Alright, that's enough of the infomercial.

Let's jump in Matthew chapter 5, Matthew chapter 6, and Matthew chapter 7 are what we've been calling the Sermon on the Mount where Jesus took his disciples with some other bystanders around, he taught them these messages that we've been walking over these last couple of weeks. Now we don't have time to go back through all of the teaching. But what I do want to mention this morning is that everything that Jesus says inside the Sermon on the Mount falls into what I would call three categories, or I guess we could call it three concentric circles if you know what that means. And it gives us this idea of these three areas or these three rings, that everything he does flows through this grid and the first thing he does is that in everything that he's saying he's kind of reminding us, number one, that wise, discernment fuels, godly decisions. And we've seen this over and over and over again through the Sermon on the Mount. We've seen Jesus say that, hey, I am the king, I'm the Messiah, but you have the responsibility to live out wise discernment. You have the responsibility to take these truths to take these ideas and to press them into your heart. And when you do live out wise discernment, Jesus has said you will flourish. But here's the problem. Most, but not all but most of what Jesus has said produces this wise discernment goes against where our culture would say, if you do this, you will flourish. That's a lot of the rub in what Jesus says it kind of goes against the grain or against the river, our flow of traffic. But Jesus says that, hey, you can flourish in this life, and you can flourish in eternity. But a lot of that does rest on how you deal with My truths, how you live My truths in regard to Him being the leader of our life, and in regard to us treating others how He would have us to treat them. Matthew, chapter 5 showed us this incredibly beautiful in the Beatitudes, where Jesus really does, He offers us life, and He offers us hope, and He offers us comfort, He offers us the kingdom of God, He offers us all of these blessings over our lives. But He says that we have a part in these things. And we need to step into where God has offered. That's what He's saying in this. But have you ever noticed that the world, everything that God creates the world tries to counterfeit? See, that's what this whole message is, right? Is that Jesus is saying, hey, you can flourish, or you can go chase what the world wants you to chase. And you may feel like you're flourishing for a moment, but it's not going to last. It's these reminders. But the second kind of circle of all the beatitude is is challenges where Jesus challenges us to live in righteousness in relation to the world. He challenges us to live out this righteousness. That's right standing, this right moment to live out the righteousness in relation to the people that are around us to the tasks at hand to what He has asked us to do. Now, there's beauty in this statement, and there's challenge. The challenge is that to live out righteousness a whole lot of the times, means that we're turning our back on what the culture says that we should be living. But it's also beauty in it to know that we're living out Christ's righteousness, not our own. In other words, we're not having to conjure up or we're not having to grow this inside of us. Our job as a believer is to latch on to the righteousness that Christ has given us and then to live it out.

This is what being Matthew 5:13, to be salt to be light to be the city on a hill that knows who we are and represented to others. You see, God is challenging us, and this is tough, alright, I’m not going to lie. He's challenging us to live by holy standards, to live outwardly and in our hearts, the righteousness of Christ has given us. Now notice I said in our hearts, because there's a whole section that we didn't really have time to cover, where Jesus said things like, hey, don't murder people, to which most of us are like, well, that's a good plan, right? But on the other side, He said, but don't murder people in your hearts. He said, don’t commit adultery. But don't commit adultery in your hearts, don't have lustful thoughts. Don't act out on these things. In other words, Jesus is saying live out my righteousness outwardly, but also live it out in our hearts and in our minds. This is where fasting and praying and giving and like last week judging, righteously, all of this fits into these challenges, and I'm not going to lie to you. They're tough. But that's why Jesus does something incredibly interesting, I think. You see, the third concentric category and all of this teaching is encouragements. It's encouragements that God is with us, and that God is for us, and that God provides for us. I find it absolutely incredibly amazing. The fact that not only does God remind us of things we should do. Not only does He challenge us on things that we should be living, but the master teacher, Jesus rolls all of this around this idea that we can be encouraged that He's with us. Listen, if you don't hear anything else that I hear today, and that's not liberty, just to check out and play Angry Birds. But if you don't hear anything else I say today, listen, you need to know that God is for you. You need to feel that God is with you. You need to feel that it is God who provides for you. In fact, listen to these encouragements, Matthew 5:12, it says "Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven." Great is your reward. Matthew 6:4 it says, "Then your father, who sees what is done in secret will reward you."

In the best of the best, I think all of the Sermon on the Mount is Matthew 6:33, "Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and then all these things will be added to you." You see, Jesus doesn't just throw us to the wolves, right. He's not just like, hey, I'm going to rebuke you. I'm going to challenge you. I'm going to send you and I'm going to leave, you, no, no, no, He comes behind us and says, but when you're doing it know that you are storing up a reward and a treasure. And He balances out the teaching. This morning, we're going to look at one of those encouragements. We're going to look at a Matthew chapter 7 when Jesus swaps and He does encourage us by giving us some incredible hope this morning. And Jesus is going to encourage us by showing us that how he the good God can give us what we need. And then we're going to finish up with probably one of the most famous verses that you either have on a coffee cup or you've cross stitched it. Alright, Matthew, chapter 7:7, I'm not kidding, here it goes. It says this, "Ask and it will be given to you," this is the encouragement, right? "Seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened. Man, that's so good. "Which of you if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for fish, will give him a snake. If you then who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him? So, in everything, do to others, which you would have them do to you? For this sums up the law and the prophets." Now, I know as soon as many of us read this, our first thought is the last saying. It's the last one. It's the one we latch on to. And we're like Matt, if we believers could just live the golden rule, we would reset the trajectory of this whole culture, we would redo who people see Christians are and, hey, all I got to say to that is, Amen. Yes, it would. But listen, we can't just say that and leave this morning. Number one, I wouldn't be getting my money's worth. But number two, Jesus gives us in the text, a message of how we can live that out. He connects some things together that will challenge us not to always just jump into doing mode. But there's a process behind the doing, before we get to it. And Jesus does something crazy here. He begins in a place that most of us just quiet, frankly, see as a last resort. He begins a place in this moment that bookends this whole main body of the Sermon on the Mount. He starts with prayer. Now this is interesting. If you've been with us all summer, you know that Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount has already taught Matthew chapter 5:5-15 on prayer. He's already spent a significant amount of time teaching us as believers, the how to's in prayer, He's given us an instruction on how to pray. It's the Lord's Prayer, we spent a whole week on it. And He said that we lift up the attributes of God, we come before Him humbly submitting to His will on earth as it is in heaven. We asked Him for our needs, we turned from our sins, He gave us a model of how we are to pray. But now Jesus circles back around to prayer about a chapter and a half later, to which my mind goes, why does He cover it again? Why? Let me tell you why. Now this is Matt talking, I'm reading into the text. I think He did it, because He knows we're terrible prayers. Honestly, I think He knows that we're terrible prayers. Jesus spends the most time and the most content on things that He knows that we're going to struggle with the most. It's a truth all throughout His words. Let me prove my point. How many of you would say today? How do we how many would be bold enough today, to say, Matt, let me tell you about my prayer life. Let me just tell you how when I come into my prayer closet, the walls shake in my house, the Shekinah Glory of God falls into my room, everything happens, and I know the Lord is with me. It is so rich and powerful. I don't even want to leave. There's no I miss lunch sometimes because of it. I miss my kids’ stuff because of it. And I just know when I say God, things just change in my life. Because I'm a prayer warrior for the King. How many of you be bold enough to go, Yeah, that's my life everyday Matt?

Nobody, right? And it's kind of an unfair question. I get it. But I think that's one of the reasons that Jesus comes back to prayer in this is because he realizes that, hey, I got to keep encouraging them to realize that prayer is a primary activity in our life and not a last resort. Its primary, primary, and Jesus revisits prayer, but He doesn't revisit how to pray. He just gives us a couple bullet points on prayer and a couple encouragements. Number one is this. Jesus says that we should be praying persistent prayers, persistent prayers before the King. Now what does that mean? That means that God desires and delights in you coming to Him and requesting of Him. Does that make sense to you? Don't think of God as a heavenly Father that is in his armchair watching the baseball game who wants you to leave Him alone. That is not our father. Our Father delights in his kids coming to Him and just saying, God, I need you. And He is desiring a persistent prayer life over us, look at verse 7, this tells us, "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be open to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks that door will be opened." The point is in this, and I don't know if I've ever heard this taught that persistence in our prayer life makes a difference. It makes a difference. Here's what it means. And I put this in your notes. Prayer is not a one and done activity. It's not. Prayer is not an activity that we check off our box and go, hey, I did that. And now I can move on about my life. Yes, we need specific prayer times. But prayer is a constant communion with God, where our Father delights in us to be persistent before him. In fact, look at the verbs; ask, seek, knock. Every one of these verbs you English people, you're going to love this our present imperative. And here's what that means for the rest of us who really don't care. Alright, here's what it is. That means you should keep on asking. Keep on seeking, keep on knocking, do not give up. Be persistent in your prayers. I can't tell you how many people I've met who say something like this, Matt, I used to be part of the church, I used to be a person of faith and then this happened. Might have been a death, might have been a divorce, might have been a habit, might have been whatever. And then I prayed to God to take this away. And He didn't. And now I just flushed it all. To which I'm like, Is He your God or is he your genie in the bottle? We need to talk right? But see, that's the point. The point is, that God doesn't call us to just come and lay a request before Him and then just go walk out on our business. God is saying persistence matters. And we should continually approach the King. Well, Matt, where do you find that? Glad you asked, Luke chapter 18:1-8 is where I find it. It's one of the least known parables by Jesus, let me read it to you. "Then Jesus told his disciples this parable, to show them, that they should always pray and not give up. He said: 'In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared what people thought. And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, 'Grant me justice against my adversary.' For some time, he refused. But finally, He said to himself, 'Even though I don't fear God or care where people think, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice so that she won't eventually come and attack me!" And stab me in my sleep that's what he's saying. "And the Lord said, 'Listen to what the unjust judge says, and will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you; he will see they get justice quickly." What is Jesus saying? Jesus is saying that our Heavenly Father desires for us to keep praying. Do you know why? Because he hears you. He hears every single one of your prayers. One of the things that blows my mind is of the billions of people who follow Jesus that God can hear every single one of them at every single moment. And in the business of life, God is doling out the yeses, and the not yet’s and the no ways and I hear you’s to the planet as a whole. Why? Because He hears His children. He hears His children. He hears, who does Matthew say He hears? Look at verse 8. Who is this benefit for in our text? Everyone. Listen, write this down. Every believer who calls on the name of the Father receives the promise of this text.

Every believer that calls on the name of the Father receives the promise in this. So, inside our request, know that God's children have access to the Father, and we receive His blessing. But I want to show you the third part of this first point. It's that our persistence and our prayers should continually escalate. It should continually escalate. You say Matt, what do you mean by that? Look back at the verbs here, in our text in chapter 7. The first verb is ask, you know what this means? This just means that, hey, when we come to God and say, God, I need you to, when I'm requesting you to, I'm asking you to this is me simply just expressing to God, I have a need, here is the need. And God would you step into this need? That is the first level prayer, that is the first level of persistence. But watch this it continually escalates the second verb; it moves from asking to seeking. Now, what is the difference of asking and seeking. Asking is me going, hey, Melissa, will you bring me some potato chips? Now that is asking, right? Me seeking is when I realized that maybe Melissa didn't hear me or maybe she just doesn’t want me to have potato chips and so now I got to get up off the couch, and I got to go find these potato chips in the pantry. That's what it's saying. God reveals Himself to us, it's saying, not only when we ask, but when we escalate it, and we seek Him. What do we seek in our life? We seek things that we have lost. We seek our car keys, and we're late to church. We seek the clothes or the one right shoe that we can't find. That's the point here, we seek when we don't know where something is. So, we ask when we know we seek when we're like God, I'm really not even sure, catch this, really not even sure what to ask right here. But I just know that I need you that seeking God in prayer, that's escalating, going God, I thought that I needed this. But now God, I'm just coming to you going, God, I need you. And there's concentrated effort in prayer. But look, it goes from asking to seeking and the third one is knocking. Now, when do you knock on a door? Not at nighttime when you're ready to run? Alright, that's not what I'm saying. So, the old school people you know what I'm talking about. When do you knock on a door? You knock on a door when the door is closed. Now listen to what Jesus is saying. Not only do we call out to God, hey, God, I need you right here and this is what I need. Not only do I call seek when I don't know what I'm seeking, but now I knock when it seems like the door is closed. When it seems like God, I cannot get past this moment, and I need you to step into my life. This is the persistence. This is the escalating persistence, because where is the handle to the door that God is going to open? Is it on our side? No. Who's opening the door? God's opening the door. That's the point here. The point is that your righteousness, your goodness, your hopefulness and your joy is not going to get you to the door. It is only God who opens the door. In fact, I love this right here Scottish theologian Sinclair Ferguson, listen to what he said. He says, "Prayer is a great blessing that puts our impotence in touch with God's omnipotence, our lack in touch with His supply, and our needs in touch with His riches. Our negligence, in this vital spiritual discipline is an evidence of beggar’s foolishness. Prayer is an invitation to an extravagant banquet where everything we need is present. But like fools, we often send back the word, I'm too busy. Not today, but maybe later."

Jeremiah 29:13, right. "You seek Me and find me when you seek me with all of you heart." James 4:2, "You do not have because you do not ask." What is Jesus saying, hey, you want to live the flourishing life? You want to live a flourishing life here in this kingdom here in the next kingdom? Pray persistent prayers, but it doesn't stop there. Number two, he says trust in the faithful gift giver. Trust in the faithful gift giver. Can I tell you this morning, that we can trust God 100% because He's faithful? He's faithful. Look at the text. Look what it says in verse nine, He always responds, "Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone?" Now bread was a staple for life back then, alright? There's no paleo going on at this moment. And bread was a staple for nourishment. He's saying, hey, God doesn't give gifts that don't satisfy or maybe even breaks your teeth. Watch this, "Or if he asks for fish, will give him a snake?" One of the major fish of that day was a sardine, it was a long and skinny fish. In other words, He's saying, hey, God's not going to give you an invitation, an imitation gift. He's going to give you what you need when you need it. Verse 11, "If you, then, though you are evil," don't get offended, because God calls us evil, we are all sinful, "know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who seek and ask him!" There's such encouragement in this. He's saying, hey, look, most of us have good fathers who want what's best for us. They don't always give us exactly what we're asking for, but they give us what we need. But don't get caught up in the father language here because I know some of us, who don't have that relationship with their father. Always remember when Father is mentioned in Scripture that God is the perfection of your earthly father, not the reflection. He's the perfection. He's saying, hey, if your earthly father wants what's best for you think how much more God wants what's best for you? Do you know this? I put it in your notes. God cares. And I just think sometimes we need to hear that. That He's not aloof out there spun the universe into existence and left us. No! Jesus is saying your Father cares. And also think about this, letter B, He has unlimited resources. Our Father in heaven has unlimited resources that He wants to lavish on us because He's a faithful gift giver. In fact, I challenge the staff for this this week in Psalms 121:4, it tells us that God never sleeps nor slumbers. Have you ever thought about that? That the ultimate father of the universe, who cares about us, who hears about us never takes a nap. He's always hearing and He's always carrying. But He also sees, He delights in blessing His children who asks, seeks and knocks. He delights in it. Now I can hear some of you grumbling going on. Matt is that one of those goodie good sermons, we need to hear how to repent. I get that. Yes, we do. But we also need to hear that God delights in lavishing us with His love. He wants to, because we're His kids. We're His family. We're the representation of Him on this earth. James 1:7 says, "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the father." Danny Akin says "Infinite love is the well out of which God's good gifts, always flow to his children." God will always give you what you need. He won't always give you what you're asking for.

That's a way different prosperity gospel there. But He will always give you what you need in order to live His plan, His purpose and His will for your life. You can bank on it. I love how Spurgeon says this. "It would be a terrible thing if God always gave us all that what we asked for." Now, look, if we had some time for testimony around here, we can all testify around this that we've all asked for some dumb stuff. Let's just be honest. If God always gave us what we asked for, some of you wouldn't be alive right now, because somebody wanted you dead at some point, right? But then look what he said. "Our Heavenly Father Himself knows how to give far better than we know how to ask. Man, that's so assuring, isn't it? That we have a God who says just pray, persistence, seeking, knocking, asking prayers, pray to a faithful gift giving Father and then look at number three. Look what happens when we began to do this. We began, He encouraged us to live with golden vision. Which is the golden rule, right? Now look, the golden rule is not found in the Bible. There's nowhere in the Bible it says this is the golden rule. It was named that somewhere in the late Middle Ages, and it's okay. But inside this rule, carries the context, that we're not going to be able to do this until we pray right until we trust who God is right? We're just not going to be able to. So, here's my question to us. Why don't we always start with action, when Jesus tells us to always start with prayer? Where Jesus always tells us to start with understanding who God is in our lives. Where Jesus says, Hey, Matthew 22:39-40. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength, then you'll be able to love your neighbor yourself. Watch what He says. Look at it verse 12. So, some of yours say therefore I like therefore because it kind of ties the text together. "So, in everything do to others what you would have them do to you."

You're feeling it now, right? We stamp this on T shirts all the time. But it can't happen. It can't happen until our relationship with the Lord is one where we realize who He is, what He does, how we're connected to Him, when our prayers are pointed towards Him, in persistence and he says, okay, now we're there. Now we're there. Did you know that every world religion has a saying just like this, except for one thing? Every one of them. The Hindus have one, the Buddhists have one. Socrates said it. Way before Jesus did. Some of these people said it. The only differences are that every one of their sayings starts in the negative. They're saying says something like this, hey, don't kill people, so they won't kill you. Don't cheat, so that they won't cheat you. Jesus flips it over. And I love how many times he does this. And Jesus starts with the positive. And what does Jesus say? Jesus says, hey, if you'll do to them, how you want things being done to you, then you'll begin to see the kingdom flourish. Why is that? Because we've already connected with the Father, we've already walked our faith out in Him. We've already asked God, we've already sought God, we've already knocked for God to open now what are we doing? We are loving the Lord our God with our heart, mind, soul and strength and we are loving others as self. Look at what He said. "Do to others as you'd have them do to you, for this sums up the law and the prophets." That’s the exact same thing Jesus said, after He gave us the Great Command. He's tying it together. He's given it all in this idea to persistently pray.

Trust the gift giver. Do to others, how we want them to do to us. Let me end with a couple questions. And we're done, I promise. Number one, let me ask you this. This is just honest, it's between you and the father. How's your prayer life? How's your prayer life? If it doesn't exist, let me just encourage you start. Matt, I don't know what to say. Go back to the model prayer. It'll give you the guide. How's your prayer life? Matt, I just can't squeeze it into the day. You can't squeeze the day without knowing it.

Honestly. How's your prayer life? Number two, when was the last time that you just looked at the father and said, you're such a good Father? You're such a good Father. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Number three. How's it going living the golden rule? Matt, I'm giving it a shot! Well, that's great. But we're still steamrolling over people? How's it going? Are you living your faith in front of other people in such a way that they live it back in front of you? The goal for the golden rule is not to have a better culture, it's to show people who Jesus is. Number three. The simplest of all but the most profound of all questions, the whole text. Do you know Jesus? Do you trust Jesus? Has there been a moment in your life where you have said to Jesus, I need You to come into my life, forgive me of my sins? And to be my Savior and Lord. Let me ask you, is God calling you today? Is there something in your spirit today that's saying, that's for you. If it is, there's a couple different options for you. Number one, you can text the next steps, text and just quite frankly, just say, hey, I need Jesus. What do I do? Somebody will reach back out to you. Number two, during this next song, I'm going to be standing down front. We've got some other leaders over here. And maybe today you're like, Matt, I don't want to walk out of this place without getting this settled. We'll be over here, and we'd love to pray with you and over you. Maybe today this next moment is you reconnecting with God in your prayer moments.

You say God, we're going in this together. Lord, today thank you for your text. May we ask, may we seek, may we knock knowing that you hear and care? You're a good gift giver who wants what's best for his children. Thank you. In Jesus name, Amen.

Let's stand and sing.

 

Follow Along with the Message


Golden Vision

July 18, 2021


3 Categories in the Sermon on the Mount

1. that wise discernment fuels godly flourishing.

2. to live in Jesus’ righteousness in relation to the world.

3. that God is with us, for us, and God provides for us.

Matthew 5:12
Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven…
Matthew 6:4
Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
Matthew 6:33
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
Matthew 7:7–12
7 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. 9 “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! 12 So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.

3 Encouragements from Jesus

1. Pray requests

Matthew 7:7–8
7 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

> a. Prayer is not a and done activity.

Luke 18:1–8
1 Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. 2 He said: “In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared what people thought. 3 And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’ 4 “For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care what people think, 5 yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually come and attack me!’”
6 And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. 7 And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? 8 I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly.

> b. believer who calls on the name of God receives the promise.

> c. Our persistence should .

“Prayer is the great blessing that puts our impotence in touch with God’s omnipotence, our lack in touch with His supply, and our needs in touch with His riches. Our negligence in this vital spiritual discipline is an evidence of beggars’ foolishness. Prayer is an invitation to an extravagant banquet where everything we need is present. But like fools we often send back the word ‘I’m too busy, Not to-day, but maybe later.’”
— Sinclair Ferguson

Jeremiah 29:13
You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
James 4:2
You do not have because you do not ask.

2. Trust the faithful Giver

Matthew 7:9–12
9 “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! 12 So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.

> a. God .

> b. God has resources.

> c. God in blessing his children when they ask, seek, and knock.

James 1:7
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father.

“Infinite love is the well out of which God’s good gifts always flow to His children.”
— Danny Akin

“It would be a terrible thing if God always gave us all that we asked for. Our heavenly Father Himself knows how to give far better than we know how to ask.”
— Charles Spurgeon

3. Live with vision

Matthew 7:12
So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.

Additional Notes

 

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