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Summary: This is th 19th part of the Sermon on the Mount Series, looks at our prayer requests

THIS ENTIRE PASSAGE OF SCRIPTURE IS DEPENDENT ON ONE THING AND THAT IS A PROPER UNDERSTANDING OF VS.9,10 & 11. BECAUSE CHRIST USES THESE VERSES TO QUALIFY THE VERSES THAT WENT BEFORE. AND SO CHRIST USES THE CONCEPT OF FATHER TO DESCRIBE GOD. BUT THE FATHER CONCEPT IS

ONLY VALID FOR THOSE OF US WHO HAVE POSITIVE MEMORIES OF OUR FATHER.

IF THAT IS YOUR VIEW OF FATHER THEN THIS PASSAGE OF SCRIPTURE ISN’T GOING TO BE ALL THAT ENCOURAGING TO YOU. FROM THE ILLUSTRATIONS THAT CHRIST USES THROUGHOUT THE NEW TESTAMENT IT BECOMES FAIRLY

OBVIOUS THAT JESUS NOT ONLY HAD A FIRM GRASP OF HIS HEAVENLY FATHER BUT ALSO HAD FOND MEMORIES OF HIS LIFE WITH JOSEPH, HIS STEP FATHER.

THE TWO ILLUSTRATIONS THAT ARE USED HERE WOULD BE VERY COMMON TO THE AREA OF GALILEE BECAUSE BREAD AND FISH WOULD BE THE MOST COMMON FOOD IN THE AREA. THE PICTURE THAT CHRIST DRAWS IS ONE FROM HIS TIME AND PLACE AND IT WOULD BE FAIRLY OBVIOUS TO THOSE WHO HEARD HIM. IF YOU WERE TO VISIT THE HOLY LAND YOU WOULD NOTICE THE MANY ROUND ROCKS, ALMOST THE SAME SIZE AND SHAPE AS DARE I SAY A LOAF OF BREAD. AND SO CHRIST IS SAYING WHICH ONE OF YOU, AS A FATHER WOULD ATTEMPT TO TRICK HIS SON BY RESPONDING TO HIS REQUEST FOR A LOAF OF BREAD BY GIVING HIM A ROCK THAT SIMPLY LOOKED LIKE A LOAF OF BREAD.

AS WELL IN THE SEA OF GALILEE THERE IS A FISH THAT IS LONG AND SLENDER, A FORM OF CATFISH THAT IS ALMOST EEL LIKE IN APPEARANCE, COULD THIS BE WHAT CHRIST IS TALKING ABOUT, THAT WHEN A SON ASKS FOR FISH, NO CARING LOVING FATHER WOULD GIVE HIM SOMETHING THAT LOOKED LIKE A FISH YET WAS AN UNCLEAN FOOD. BECAUSE WHEN THE SON REACHED OUT HE WOULD THINK HE WAS RECEIVING ONE OF THESE SLENDER CATFISH INSTEAD HE RECEIVED A SNAKE, THANKS DAD. AND SO CHRIST REACHES BACK TO THE MEMORIES OF AN UNSELFISH FATHER AND SAYS, IF JOSEPH,IF JOSEPH THE CARPENTER WHO WAS A SINFUL MAN, BECAUSE ALL MEN ARE SINFUL. IF HE WANTED ONLY THE VERY BEST FOR ME, THEN HOW MUCH MORE WILL MY HEAVENLY FATHER WHO IS PERFECT WANT THE VERY BEST FOR ME.

AND THAT PREMISE, THE PREMISE THAT FATHERS GIVE THE VERY BEST THAT THEY CAN TO THEIR CHILDREN EXPLAINS THE RATIONALE BEHIND THE STATEMENT THAT CHRIST MADE IN THE VERSES 7 & 8. 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.

NOW THE PROBLEM IS THIS, WE REALLY DON’T BELIEVE THAT DO WE. I MEAN REALLY, I KNOW THAT WE ARE WESLEYANS AND THAT WESLEYANS BELIEVE THAT THE BIBLE IS GOD’S WORD, AND I QUOTE FROM THE DISCIPLINE PARAGRAPH 107 WE BELIEVE THAT THE BOOKS OF THE OLD AND NEW TESTAMENTS CONSTITUTE THE HOLY SCRIPTURES. THEY ARE THE INSPIRED AND INFALLIBLY WRITTEN WORD OF GOD.

THAT’S WHAT THE BOOK SAYS WE BELIEVE, BUT WHEN IT COMES TO PRAYER DO WE REALLY BELIEVE THAT. DO WE REALLY BELIEVE THAT EVERYONE WHO ASKS RECEIVES. I KNOW THAT WE OFTEN MOUTH THE WORDS THAT GOD IS A

PRAYER ANSWERING GOD, BUT WHAT DO WE MEAN.

DO WE REALLY BELIEVE THAT GOD ANSWERS PRAYER, THAT WHEN YOU PRAY FOR SOMETHING GOD WILL GIVE IT TO YOU. THAT’S WHAT THE BOOK SAYS, TIME AND TIME AGAIN CHRIST REITERATES THAT POINT. IN JOHN 14:13 AND

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