Summary: In Christ Jesus, we are given Total Access to the Father that we may Ask, Seek, Knock, and receive all the good things He has.
* In our church office we use a church management software package called ACS (Automated Church Systems). Until recently, this software was a “single-user” system. This means it was installed on one of our five computers and could be used by only one person at a time.
* With the last upgrade we now have a “network” version which means all five of our computers can now access this program. With the increased availability come increased security concerns because within this software there is information which is confidential. For that reason, every person who uses this system must have a password and an ID. Each user’s access is carefully controlled so that things like contributions, unlisted phone numbers, or other personal information does not accidentally wind up in the wrong hands. Now, Alice is considered the system administrator and as such, she has TOTAL ACCESS.
* Total Access; think about the meaning of this. Getting what you want, when you want it, with no boundaries.
* May I suggest to you that through Christ Jesus we have been granted total access to God, His power, grace, love, forgiveness, as well as a myriad of good and perfect gifts.
* Let’s turn to our Text found in the Sermon on the Mount and see what our Lord has to say about “getting what we want”. (Read TEXT)
* Tonight from this text, let’s consider 3 thoughts; first, let’s consider “The Principle Jesus is teaching” and then “The Plan Jesus is Revealing, and finally, the “The Picture Jesus Is Drawing”.
* Years ago, Jack Taylor helped me understand the concept of principles and their potential impact on a person’s life. His teaching was unique and I have always liked to hear him say, “I’m going to run around this principle before I turn you loose with it.”
* Bro. Wayne Dubose has a different approach to this. Bro. Wayne says, “Here’s what I’m going to tell, Here’s what I want to tell you, and then Here’s what I told you”. (He developed this style while preaching to people like me.)
* A TRUTH: It doesn’t matter how many principles we KNOW, it only matters how many we apply.
1. The Principle Jesus Is Teaching – can be summed up: ASK
* The word ASK serves as an acrostic for ask, seek, knock. This is the almost the holy trinity for a meaningful and fulfilled life in Christ. If we never learn to ask properly, we will miss much God has for us.
* This ask principle is multi-faceted. It’s like placing a drop of mercury on a “glass table” and attempting to put your thumb on that drop of mercury. The mercury divides into many drops. Let me explain;
* To “ask” may be something you wish to have. It could be a mate, children, healing, money, or other things.
* To “seek” (or search) suggests something you lost or are missing. The most familiar illustration is found in Luke 15 when the coin and the sheep came up missing or lost and the owners went looking, search, seeking.
* To “knock” speaks of something you have been “locked” or “closed” out of. Recall and re-read the story in Matthew 25 about the foolish virgins literally being locked out. Compare at the end of the church age in Revelation 3:20 where Jesus himself is knocking on a door which has been closed to him.
* To ask is to engage our voice. To seek is to engage our mind. To knock is to engage our body. Thus, to A.S.K. is to engage all of our being to make the request of the Lord. The truth is, the bible teaches we have not because we ask not.
* My last year of college I served with a pastor named Gibbie McMillan. Gibbie and I were and are great friends. He is the pastor who ordained me. The year after I left that part time position to move to full-time ministry, I invited him to be the came pastor for our youth camp the next summer. On the last afternoon of the youth camp, we had the traditional counselors verses the campers softball game. Before we played, Bro. Gibbie was asked to pray. He prayed for safety, fun, sportsmanship, and the like. I’ll never forget the last line of his prayer, “Lord, please help the counselors win this game, Amen.” When we opened our eyes my pastor, Bro. Tim, was staring at him in disbelief. With a true “Gibbie Grin”, he simply said, “you have not cause you ask not.”
* Now, admittedly this is not exactly what James had in mind in James 4, but what he did have in mind was God’s children to understand the “Access” they have to the Father when they ask Him in the correct way.