Our Relationship with God and Others :: by Sean Gooding

Matthew chapter 7: 7-12 (continued)

“Keep asking, and it will be given to you; keep seeking, and you will find; keep knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who keeps asking receives; he who keeps seeking finds; and to him who keeps knocking, the door will be opened. Is there anyone here who, if his son asks him for a loaf of bread, will give him a stone? or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake?

So if you, even though you are bad, know how to give your children gifts that are good, how much more will your Father in heaven keep giving good things to those who keep asking him! “Always treat others as you would like them to treat you; that sums up the teaching of the Torah and the Prophets.”

Last week we finished the lesson talking about dealing with those who despise the doctrines of the Lord. Everyone has the right to hear the truth and it is our job to make sure that they hear it to the best of our ability. But we must remember that we CANNOT save anyone, only God can. It is not our job to persuade or cajole anyone into the kingdom of Light.

In fact this is impossible, only God can call them, only He can open their eyes and only His Holy Spirit can show them what they need and He will. Only God can actually save them and indwell them. When we present the Gospel we are to be careful not to get involved in arguments with people that are not open the truth, their hearts are closed and no amount of logical arguments will persuade them.

When speaking to Lazarus about his brothers, Abraham told him that if people will not believe the Law and the Prophets, they will not believe even if one arose from the dead. Abraham offers us good wisdom and in Matthew 10:14 and Luke 9:5 Jesus warns the disciples not “shake off the dust of the cities that rejected “when they went with the Good News. God has people everywhere who will gladly receive the gospel, to these we must go.

Today we will look at the next few verses and learn about asking God for things as well as how to treat others. This is the way God treats us, with love, honestly and genuine care. I have three children and they ask for things all the time, even things that they are not supposed to have. But they ask, over and over again without any shame sometimes.

They have no shame in asking and they shouldn’t. As parents we want them to ask with confidence knowing that we will always give them what is best for them. God is good and His ways are good.

Ask God and He Will Answer You, Verses 7-11

It is important that we form the same kind of relationship with God as our children have formed with us. We must be able to ask God for the impossible. My kids ask me for the impossible all the time. When I was about 14 years old I wanted a surf board. I asked and asked and my dad kept saying “no” over and over for a long time.

I would let it die down for a while and then as soon as I saw one of my friends with a nice board or a new board I would ask again and then one day out of the blue my dad gave me $375 to buy a used surf board. I will never forget that day. I am sure that it frustrated him that I kept asking but there was no shame and in truth I was not sure he would ever allow me to have one, but he did.

The lesson for me and all of us is that we don’t know God’s plan or His will all the time. If there is something that you want or need, then ask God for it. He is your Heavenly Father and He is pleased when you ask for stuff and show your dependence on Him. Jesus implores us not just to ask, but to keep asking.

We are not to demand things from God just like none of us in our right minds would go up to our parents and demand that they give us something. But as His children we have the right to ask for whatever it is that we want and need and He will give it to us according to His wisdom.

Any of you that have kids know that you have to be able to say, “NO” to some requests. Either the child is not ready for what they ask for, or they do not understand that cost and value of what they are asking for or maybe they simply don’t need it or it is dangerous

God makes the same considerations when we ask for things, only from the mind of perfect knowledge. God will not withhold a good thing from you unless that good thing is bad for you either at the current time or in your current situation. But keep asking, the time will come when we are ready to receive from God and He will give freely.

Jesus said that we are to be ‘like children’ in our relationship with God, in Matthew 18:3 Jesus tells us that “we become like little children” we will not see the kingdom of God. Little children have absolute faith in their parents. They don’t die from anxiety and depression, they don’t worry and they are fearless. It is only as we get older that we get these issues.

We are to have to same kind of dependence on God, we are to truly believe that He can do ANYTHING, not just for the other guy, but for me as well. It is amazing that we will pray for God to do big things for the missionary across the water on the other side of the world and we wholeheartedly believe that God will answer the request but we can’t ask God for things for ourselves. For some reason we only believe God is powerful for others.

Keep asking, keep knocking, keep seeking and you will get all you need and a lot of what you want from God. He is ready, able and willing to give you all you need and beyond. He promised to give abundantly and faithfully. He reminds us that we sinful people know how to give good gifts, so He the perfect, holy, loving God also knows even more how to give not just good things, but very good things.

Live Out the Whole Bible, Verse 12

People always complain that the Bible is too hard to understand. Most that say that simply have not taken the time to read it. There are two main reasons why people fail to understand the Bible, one, it is a spiritual book that needs the guidance of the Holy Spirit as you read it to understand its precepts and teachings.

If a lost person reads the Bible, God will gladly reveal their need to be saved because they are sinners whose sin damns them to Hell. And, two, most people are not committed to studying the Bible; they read it sporadically and do not have a systematic or disciplined approach to it.

They would have the same difficulty reading a medical journal for the first time. But if they were to be serious about being a doctor then they would take the time to read the journals with discipline and they would read them often as well as refer to them for answers. their understanding would grow and the journals would be less confusing. A Bible handled in like fashion also becomes less confusing.

Jesus in His complete understanding of human frailty and limitations distills the Bible down to its foundations so that we are without excuse. “Treat others as you want to be treated,” this summarizes the writings of the Law and the Prophets. We can understand that can’t we? We can apply that can’t we? We can see this and now as we read the scriptures in the context of its foundations we can begin to understand some of the “do’s and don’ts.”

We can appreciate some of the boundaries that God sets for us and we can see the Godly logic behind the Ten Commandments.Suddenly these rules become our freedoms as opposed to being seen as our limits. We see that boundaries are set for our good and the good of our friends, neighbors, enemies and family.

Suddenly the Bible becomes livable and doable. Now we see the Bible as a practical book for running a family, a business, a country and our lives. Go and treat you neighbor exactly the same way that you would like to be treated, and further keep treating them that way no matter how he or she treats you. That is what Jesus would do and did for us and it should be our way.