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Summary: This is a study on the Sermon on the Mount This is the 12th sermon in the series.

Sermon on the Mount

Pt 12

Asking | Seeking | Knocking

Matthew 7:7-12

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 he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. [9] Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, and give him a stone? [10] Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? [11] If you then being evil know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him! [12] Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets. [NKJV]

OPENING REMARKS

1. One of the most important aspects of the believer’s life is prayer.

.. We are taught to have a continuous attitude of prayer.

1 Thessalonians 5:17

Pray without ceasing.

.. We are taught not to worry about nothing but pray about everything.

Philippians 4:6-7

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

2. How one approaches God and what they ask God reveals how they view God.

.. Some approach in a very flippant way – some reverently.

.. He is either viewed as a benevolent loving Father or as a fool-hearted give all you want benefactor.

Luke 18:9-10 | [Parable: The Pharisee and the Tax Collector]

Also He spoke this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: "Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. "The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, ’God, I thank You that I am not like other men--extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector. ’I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.’ "And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ’God, be merciful to me a sinner!’ "I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted."

NOTE: Thus the manner in which one approaches God is important. | James 5:16b declares: The prayer of a righteous man avails much. This seems to indicate if we approach God like the Pharisee (obnoxious and demanding) we will not prevail with Him. However, if we approach Him like the publican (in humble righteousness) we will be accepted and justified before His sight.

3. Is God obligated to answer your prayers if you say the right words.

Does God give you everything you ask for?

.. Often this is the case claimed with the “name it and claim it” crowd. They proclaim that God is obligated to provide whatever material thing our hearts desire. This passage is one of the scriptural text proofs they use to validate their teachings.

.. All one has to do is simply:

. Ask – for what you wish.

. Seek – for what you miss.

. Knock – for what we feel you have been shut out from.

and God will [No! – God Must!] give you the desires of your heart for He is obligated to honor His written word here.

.. They say that all we need to do is desire more, and of course give more in faith – usually to them or their organization – using James 5:16b | The prayers of a righteous [in their definition] man avails much – as their proof text.

.. However, when God doesn’t seem to answer it is never because of their teachings, but almost always because of our lack of faith.

. However, is this true?

. No? Why not?

James 4:3

You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.

When we ask in this manner.

We are asking, seeking, and knocking for the wrong motive.

Because we are attempting to obligate God to fulfill our fleshly desires instead of bringing glory to His name.

4. What does the text mean to us His disciples?

.. Primarily

. Within its context (7:1-12): it teaches us as believers how we are to truly discern in our judgment concerning other believers as well as determining when to share the gospel with the unbeliever | which is through earnest persevering prayer.

.. Secondarily

. Within the textual passage (7:7-11): it teaches us as believer how we are to approach God in a persistent and persevering manner.

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