“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 the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.” – Matthew 7:7-8 (ESV)
Today’s passage is one we have considered previously but it is good and necessary for review. This is a training exercise we should do over and over and over again. So doing, it will become a natural response in times that we need God’s help. This is from what is called the Sermon On The Mount. Jesus was speaking to and teaching his disciples and many more who had gathered around him to listen to him teach. He was also speaking to us and this is a promise for us today. A promise we can take to heart and live by. We all have needs throughout our life and Jesus knows that. We all are looking for the truth and knowledge and guidance. We all come to places where we might find our way closed. Jesus tells us to Ask for what we need and it will be made available; Seek what we are promised and we will find it; Knock when the door is closed and it will be opened. We can be thankful and rejoice to know that God responds to us when we ask, seek and knock. He is always there to respond.
“So I say to you, 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.” – Luke 11:9-10 (NASB)
IIn need? Ask. Receive. Lost? Seek. Find. On the outs? Knock at the Entrance. This is a promise. But these are not promises we will receive substantive goods. Not promises of material prosperity. Jesus is emphasizing the effectiveness of prayer. A threefold promise. The triple exhortation is as follows: ask, seek, knock. Arranged in an escalating scale of intensity. Ask. Asking suggests humility and a mindfulness of our need. When we asks, we expect an answer. This demonstrates a faith in God the Father. Having such a faith makes the prayer warm and personal. Seek. Seeking is asking plus acting. We must be active in striving to obtain the fulfilment of our needs. For example, as we pray for a deeper knowledge of the Bible, we should also diligently search and examine the Scriptures. Knock. Knocking is asking plus acting plus persevering. We are doing the knocking again and again until the door is opened. Another translation would be “continue to ask, to seek, to knock.” We continue knocking at the door of the kingdom-palace until our King, who is at the same time our Father God, and our Savior, opens and supplies whatever is needed.
“God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us.” Acts 17:27 (NIV)
When the Apostle Paul visited Athens, the capital of Greece, he went to a place called Mars Hill which was close to the Acropolis and where the court of the Areopagus* met. This was a gathering place for those who sought discussion on new ideas. Our verse today comes from the recorded words that Paul said to those gathered there. After telling the people that God, the creator of all, had caused them to settle in different parts of the world, he made this statement in today’s verse. God knows where each one of His creatures is He knows where you and I each are. And His great desire is that we reach out for Him and find Him. Our verse reminds us that no matter where we are on this earth God has promised that He is not from from us. That means that we do not have to reach out far to find Him. We only need to be in earnest and to be honest in reaching out for Him. He is there for each of us no matter where we might be on this earth.
“Blessed are those who keep his testimonies,
who seek him with their whole heart,
who also do no wrong,
but walk in his ways!” – Psalm 119:2-3 (ESV)
Psalm 119* is longest of the psalms and chapters in the Bible. Like Psalm 1 and 19 it exults God’s Word. We cannot be certain who the psalmist is since he is not identified. Each verse contains the author’s reverence and love for the Word of God (using eight different terms**), we take each of the statements as an affirmation of the promises God has given us regarding the effectiveness of His Word. We find again the use of the word “heart” which refers to our intellect, volition, and emotion. When we say we are seeking God with “all my heart” what we are affirming is that we have a complete commitment to God and to His Word. We don’t use it occasionally or when our circumstances are desperate and we are driven to seek God’s will in His Word. We don’t use is conveniently or only when we think about it. Our promise is that as we keep our commitment to what God has instructed us in His Word, it will keep us from doing wrong. It will keep us on the path He has made straight before us.
*This is an acrostic psalm composed of 22 sections, each containing 8 lines. All 8 lines of the first section start with the first letter of the Hebrew (language). alphabet; thus the psalm continues until all 22 letters have been used in order.
Every verse includes a reference to one of these terms. Other acrostic psalms are Psalms 9, 10, 25, 34, 37, 111, 112, 145) referring to Scripture occurring throughout the psalm are: 1) law, 2) testimonies, 3) precepts, 4) statutes, 5) commandments, 6) judgments, 7) word, and 8) ordinances.
“Seek the Lord while He may be found; Call upon Him while He is near.” – Isaiah 55:6 (NASB)
Our promise today is one that brings thankfulness to our hearts and without fail, we can trust the promise. But, more than a promise, it is an invitation from our Lord God. God is near and being near means he is ‘findable.’ This appeal is for all people, believers, but especially those who have not yet chosen to believe in the only God, our Savior Jesus Christ. What can we believe when we seek the Lord? We can believe that we will receive mercy and pardon. From the beginning of time the Lord has required the same thing for salvation and that is that we trust in Him. Salvation by grace and mercy has always been available to the all who are willing to seek the Lord and call on Him. There is a warning, God can be found only while He is near, which means while His offer is still available. There are also promises of a time of His judgment when it will be too late to receive the mercy and pardon God offers it to us now. Be thankful today if you in faith have believed in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.
“If you seek her as silver And search for her as for hidden treasures; Then you will discern the fear of the LORD And discover the knowledge of God. Proverbs 2:4-5 (NASB)
Yesterday’s promise from God was what comes from fearing the LORD God – a start at knowledge and wisdom. Today’s verse tells us the promise for those who seek wisdom as if it is a precious metal. But the verses before, (Proverbs 2:1-3) give us more on how we can understand the fear of the LORD and discover the knowledge of God. There are six actions that proceed seeking knowledge as if it is as precious as silver. Receive the Word of God; Treasure up God’s commandments; Open our ears to what wisdom is saying; Have a heart to receive understanding; Call out for discernment and Speak out for understanding. Effort must be expended for one to become wise. Getting wisdom involves openness, retention, hearing with the ear, applying with the heart, requesting, and diligent searching. This is the pathway to possessing understanding and finding the knowledge of God. A person who strives for wisdom will find that wisdom will enter their heart. Gaining wisdom requires diligence on our part in pursuing God’s will; yet wisdom is a gift, a promise from God. Possession of such knowledge from God results in inner joy and Godly pleasure.
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