Summary: Jesus wants to see you live a blessed life. Jesus gives us the key to being blessed.
• SLIDE #1
• How many times have we wondered why God has not blessed us in a certain way? You asked God for something from your heart only to feel that God kicked dirt in your face or that He did not hear you?
• How do you feel when you hear someone speaking about how God has blessed them and you just cannot relate to what they are saying?
• There are times we really struggle with our relationship with God because we do not feel like God is blessing us or hearing us.
• In the last few chapters Jesus has given us some very difficult things to carry out, with some of the things almost impossible to do. Truthfully, left to our own devices, they are.
• Jesus has asked us to keep our focus on heaven, which we cannot see and not on the world that we can see. He has told us to put our full faith in Him (whom we cannot see) for our daily provision. Jesus has told us to love people that seem to be unlovable. He has told us not to hypocritically judge people. We are told that our righteousness is to exceed that of the scribes and Pharisees if we are going to see heaven.
• The question now comes, “Just how are we to do these things?” How does God expect us to do these things, things that do not come naturally to us?
• The answer is given to us in the passage that we will look at today.
• Jesus wants to bless each and every one of those who belong to Him. Jesus wants each and every one of His children to live a victorious life in Him; He wants each and every one of His children to live life to the full.
• What do we need to do so that the gates to God’s blessing become open to us?
• The answer to the question is one that is simple, but yet seems to be hard for us to carry out in our lives in a consistent manner. The answer is prayer.
• Jesus is going to tell us that if we want help carrying out all the great things that He has told us to do, we need to pray.
• If we want to receive blessings from God, we need to pray.
• If we do not feel blessed, we need to just ask!
• SLIDE #2
• Let’s begin with Matthew 7:7-8
• Matthew 7:7-8 ( ESV ) “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 the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.
• Let’s begin with…
• SLIDE #3
I. GOD’S PLEDGE TO GIVE BLESSING (7-8)
• God has pledged to us that He will bless us. Jesus lays out a path for us follow in order to receive these blessings.
• We are given a formula for a dynamic prayer life. That formula can be found in the acronym “ASK”.
• In Verse 7 Jesus tells us to do three things. Each of the steps He gives to us builds to a climax to the last step. Let us look at what Jesus tells us.
• SLIDE #4
• Jesus tells us we are to first ask. As we look at the progression it starts with simply asking.
• SLIDE #5
• James 4:2 ( ESV ) You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask.
• Jesus says in our passage if we ask and it will be given to you. James tells us we do not have because we do not ask.
• How many times have we really needed a blessing, and yet the last place we go if we there at all is to God?
• As with the other two things that Jesus tells us to do, the verb tense of the word “ask” indicates a continual asking. It does not mean just ask one time or two times, but ask continually!
• Asking in itself is not enough. There are some things that need to go into our asking.
• We must believe that Jesus can answer our prayer.
• Matthew 21:22 ( ESV ) And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.”
• When we ask for something in Jesus name, it needs to be something that Jesus would want.
• SLIDE #6
• John 16:24 ( ESV ) Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.