13 March 2010

Jesus Encourages His Followers

Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. Is there anyone among you who, if your child asks for bread, will give a stone? Or if the child asks for a fish, will give 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 things to those who ask him!
Matthew 7:7-11

By this time there must have been many questions swirling in the heads of the crowd.  Jesus gave several warnings.  He wanted them to be "perfect as your Heavenly Father is perfect".  He taught them about integrity in all their spiritual disciplines.  He taught them about having a purity of heart that does not entertain malice or lust or any kind of evil. He even taught them about loving even people who mistreated them.  He taught them about seeking first His kingdom and His righteousness.

How?  How in the world is this possible?  Keep in mind that throughout the twelve disciples and the crowd there were many who had come to Jesus believing that he could heal them or their loved ones and He did.  If I had brought my brother who could not walk to Jesus and Jesus healed him, when he tells me "Ask, and it will be given to you..."  I would be nodding my head quickly.

Here's something that Jesus hammers home to those who want the Lord as their King, who want God to be their heavenly Father:  We are not alone.  We might look at the will of God as a very difficult thing, as too much to bear in certain circumstances.  But we must come to know that He is good.  He wants the best for all His children.  There are just two things he wants from us.

First, he wants us to ask.  Why does the one who knows us better than we know ourselves wants us to ask, seek and knock?  Because he wants a relationship with us.  He wants us to know that he is there.  He wants us to know where our gifts come from.  He has given us everything.  It's all gift.  And in honestly searching and seeking Him out, we come to truly understand who He is.

Second, our heavenly Father wants us to trust him.  Jesus calls the crowd evil.  That's a bit harsh.  But if we are to honestly look at our lives and some of the decisions we make out of absolutely stupid, selfish motivations, we can only bow our head and acknowledge this to be true.  Our Father is good.  It is hard to recognise sometimes because we are not entirely convinced that he has our best interests at heart.  Why do I have this?  I wanted this.  Why am I suffering through this?  Doesn't he care?  If there is a God, why did this happen?

In a fallen world, from an evil perspective, it is sometimes hard to tell what is good and what is evil.  To repent is to turn back from the old way of life.  To believe in Him is to trust that our heavenly Father really does have our best interests at heart.  Jesus reassures us that if we are honestly asking, we will receive.  If we are honestly seeking, we will find.  And Jesus reassures us that if we knock on the door of His home, he will always open the door for us.  Isn't it truly wonderful that the maker of heaven and earth, our heavenly Father will always welcome us into His home? 

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