Summary: Pentecost 9(A) - Believers are encouraged to ask God for the very best in humility and confidently.
ASK GOD FOR THE VERY BEST (Outline)
July 29, 2007 -
PENTECOST 9 -
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INTRO: What do need? The question is not what do you want, but what do you need? For whatever you need God is ready and willing and able to hear, listen, and answer. Time and again our gracious and loving, heavenly Father invites us to come to him with all of our needs. Our Lord’s answer is to provide us with what we need in this life for the next life. God provides what we really, really need. “And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work”(2 CORINTHIANS 9:8). Today’s familiar text encourages us to:
ASK GOD FOR THE VERY BEST.
As believers we ask God for the very best
I. in humility, II. confidently.
I. ASK GOD FOR THE VERY BEST IN HUMILITY.
A. God uses Solomon this morning as a fitting example of a believer wisely praying.
1. In his great mercy God had made Solomon king over his people, the children of Israel.
2. The Lord God knew Solomon would need help whether Solomon realized it or not.
B. In verse 5 God offers to Solomon whatever he wants. This is quite an offer!
1. Anything in the world could be Solomon’s. This could be a very tempting offer.
2. Verse 6a describes how Solomon understood God had shown mercy to his father, David.
3. In verse 6b Solomon acknowledges that God’s kindness has now also been shown to him.
C. Solomon admits to his own unworthiness in verse 7. He is only a “child” in experience as a king.
1. In humility Solomon realizes that he needs help, verse 8. All of these people and one king.
2. With great humility Solomon asks for wisdom to know right and wrong in ruling, verse 9.
D. God makes a point here. Certainly the Lord knew what Solomon needed. Certainly our Lord today knows exactly what we need. Yet, how often we do not ask. We do not have because we do not ask. Over and over the Lord invites the believer to pray. There is not one place in the Bible that says, “You have prayed enough, stop praying”. The opposite is true. Our gracious God finds it necessary to quietly encourage us to pray continually, pray without ceasing. Why? It is simply because we do not pray as we ought. Here is Jesus’ own encouragement. “So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you”(LUKE 11:9). Start with asking and seek and knock.
E. There is a reason that our Lord wants us to pray to him. The reason our heavenly Father delights in our prayers is that he promises to hear. More than just hearing the Lord then also promises to answer. There is no other god like that in any other religion in this world. The mercy of God and the love of the Lord and the grace of our Savior cause us to stand in humility. Here is the Lord Almighty creator of all things. Here is our Lord Almighty inviting us to come to him and ask him for anything. How awesome! We bring only our sins and deserve nothing. Still, the Lord promises everything. How humbling! “’Has not my hand made all these things, and so they came into being?’ declares the LORD. ‘This is the one I esteem: he who is humble and contrite in spirit, and trembles at my word’”(ISAIAH 66:2).