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




ASK       SEEK       KNOCK

Message presented by Adelle North
Laity Sunday, October 21, 2001

May the message I bring to you be God's message, 
and may it be God's voice you hear, not mine.

~~~

While I was on the Internet one morning, there suddenly appeared a flashing message.  You know the kind...some company wanting to give you a great deal on their product, or whatever.  The ads are usually annoying.  But, I actually read this one...guess I was supposed to...it was a memo from God!  It read:

I am God.  Today I will be handling all of your problems.  Please remember that I do not need your help.  If life happens to deliver a situation to you that you cannot handle, do not attempt to resolve it.  Kindly put it in the SFGTD box.  Once the matter is placed in the box, do not hold onto it by worrying about it.  All situations will be resolved in MY time, in MY way.

Well, I don't know about you, but my SFGTD box is crammed full!  There is so much I cannot handle alone.  You see, I need God's help all the time and when I don't hold His hand I can get into trouble.

Oh, yes, the SFGTD means, "something for God to do."

The scripture I chose for this morning is Matthew 7:7-8.  Jesus is speaking to many people gathered around Him. He tells them, "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened."

ASK.  SEEK.  KNOCK.  Three simple words; three powerful words.  Today we'll be exploring the meaning of these words, why they are important, and how to apply them to our every day life.

These three words are really about praying - praying without ceasing.  I believe prayer is the realization that if God did not engage Himself in our problems, we would be lost in the dark.  I know I would.  Yet because of His mercy we have been lifted up.  The path is lit and Our guide takes our hand.  Prayer reminds us of who God is and whose we are.

ASK - Asking is making a request of God in Jesus' name when there is a need...ours or someone else's.  Asking requires believing...believing the Holy Spirit will give us insight and direction and trust that God will answer our prayers.

James 4:3 reminds us to pray with the right attitude.
I John 5:14-15 says that we are to ask according to God's will.
Matthew 6:8 tells us that God knows what we need even before we ask Him.  He knows that we will often ask for what we don't need, and need what we don't ask for.

I don't believe God will give us everything we ask for... let's face it...we don't give our children everything they ask for.  We know what is good and what is not good for them.  And so it is with God.  I do believe, however, that as the Holy Spirit within us directs our hearts, we will desire and ask for those things that are within God's will for our lives.  So, my friends: REMEMBER TO ASK.

SEEK - Seeking is more than asking.  It's of a higher intensity.  Seeking is when you add diligence and determination to asking.  Martin Luther said, "Pray as if everything depends on God, then work as though everything depends on you."  I wonder if he had just been reading, II Thessalonians 3:10, which says that a person who will not work will not reap.  For example, we pray for knowledge and understanding of God's Word, yet we diligently search and examine the Scriptures.  I believe that God will provide, and although He doesn't need our help, He knows that by seeking we will be stronger people.  So, my friends:  REMEMBER TO SEEK.

KNOCK - Knocking is asking plus seeking plus attitude (which I will call persistence for today's purposes.)  The intensity of our prayers increases out of our needs.  The more the needs, the more we ask, seek and especially knock.  When we're really frustrated or frantic we will knock on every door until we find the right one.  Then we'll continue knocking until we gain entrance.

Matthew 7:7-8 is basically telling us to keep praying until an answer comes.  Knocking takes persistence.  This reveals just how dependent we are on God's presence in our lives.  Yes, knocking takes persistence, but I would add that it takes a positive attitude and trust that God will do what is in our best interests just as our earthly parents do.  So, my friends, REMEMBER TO KNOCK.

God DOES hear each and every prayer and He answers each and every prayer at a time of His own choosing. Rev. Robert Schuller says, "If the request is wrong, God says NO.  If the timing is wrong, God says SLOW.  If we are wrong, God says GROW.  But when the request is right, the timing is right and we are right, God says GO". So next time you're disappointed in God's answer or timing:  don't panic; be patient; don't give up.  Ask within God's will, seek diligently for understanding, and keep on knocking.  Let God be in control.  (And, remember to use the SFGTD box.  Have it close by and add to it any time.)


ASK.  SEEK.  KNOCK.  Now we know the meaning of these words.  We know why they are important.  We know how to apply them to our daily lives.  We have seen the progression of asking, seeking and knocking.  In simple terms - suppose someone is trying to find a friend's house.  First, she is asking for the address, and next she's out seeking to find it, and then she knocks on the door.

The path to a meaningful, fulfilled and complete life is a long journey...a lifetime journey of prayer and trust in God's perfect will for our lives.  If we desire to receive, find and have doors opened to us, then let us ask, seek and knock.

Three simple words.  Three powerful words.  So, my friends, keep on asking, keep on seeking and keep on knocking.  THEN LISTEN for the Lord's answer and be grateful!

Amen.


Jesus is knocking on the door to your heart.
It's up to you whether you let Him in or not. 
What will you do?
Adelle



Midi playing ~ "The Lord's Prayer"
Performed by Margi Harrell




       

       



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