Asking and Seeking

Asking and Seeking

A.S.K.ing in Matthew 7:7 “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 he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.”, Ask:  to beg, call for, crave, desire, require and it will be given –of one’s own accord, to give one something, to his advantage; to bestow, give as a gift Seek:   to seek in order to find; and you will find: to come upon, hit upon, to meet with; after searching, to find a thing sought Knock:  to knock with a heavy blow; and it will be opened: to grant something asked for What should we be A.S.K.ing (Ask, Seek, Knock) for? Verse 11 tells us our heavenly Father will give us what He defines as “good” or useful.  “…how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!” When we approach this question biblically, we quickly identify that it is not simply about asking God for whatever we want.  We should consider asking for (requesting/begging), seeking (in order to find), and knocking for (indicates aggressions) something(s) more “good” than just anything we want. Later on in Matthew 7, v. 21 He says, “He who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter.” Consider if this is more about aligning our will (what we want) with what He wants (what is good), and then being intentful about asking and pursuing His desire for us:          Am I working His will to include what I want, or I...
Not By Sight

Not By Sight

Hebrews 11: 1 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. 2 For by it the men of old gained approval.  3 By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible.  4 By faith Abel offered to God a better sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained the testimony that he was righteous, God testifying about his gifts, and through faith, though he is dead, he still speaks.  5 By faith Enoch was taken up so that he would not see death; AND HE WAS NOT FOUND BECAUSE GOD TOOK HIM UP; for he obtained the witness that before his being taken up he was pleasing to God.  6 And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him…39 And all these, having gained approval through their faith, did not receive what was promised, 40 because God had provided something better for us, so that apart from us they would not be made perfect. (Observation) Faith is the assurance and conviction of things not seen.  The faith of “men of old” gained them approval from God. The “men of old” listed in Hebrews 11 are pleasing to God because they “believe that he is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.”  The “men of old” believed God and acted on His word even though the result of their actions was not within their control, but in the hands of God....
Coveting

Coveting

“Mortify…covetousness, which is idolatry.” Colossians 3:5 Possibly no sin in the believer’s life is more pernicious and difficult to identify than covetousness. Paul says, “I should not have known what it is to covet if the law had not said, ‘You shall not covet.’”1  Coveting is one sin that the conscience cannot identify as wrong; it is wrong because God says that it is wrong. For me personally, I find that even after God says that covetousness is wrong, I still have difficulty identifying it in my life. When do desire, anticipation, and other forms of temporal hope, become sin? How do you know when you have crossed the line between wanting something and coveting? As I have meditated on this, I conclude for myself that I cannot know. It seems to me, however, that God affords certain indicators that help in this effort. When anticipation becomes expectation, resulting in disappointment, the line probably has been crossed. A lack of gratitude may be another indicator. The presence of anger and experiencing stress are also possible indicators. The absence of such indicators does not eliminate the possibility of covetousness, but they can become warning signs in our lives. Lord, help us to be alert to your warnings in our lives! 1 Romans 7:7  “What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shall not covet.” For more articles by Walt...
That Dreadful Question

That Dreadful Question

My soul, wait in silence for God only.  For my hope is from Him. Psalm 62:5 Several years ago, I came across a friend whom I had not seen in quite some time. We exchanged the typical greetings and quickly shared several pleasant comments with each other. Immediately following, he looked at me straight in the eye and raised a question that no one had ever asked me before. Ever. “How’s your soul?” he asked. What kind of a question is that? In addition, who asks that kind of a question? At first, I almost took offense. The audacity. I stared back for what felt like an eternity. I am usually pretty good at drawing from a deep well of witty comebacks for such moments. Usually, there is no shortage of clever responses and at times, they even sound genuine. This time, I was speechless. Stumped. Interestingly, his genuine stare begged a genuine response. He proceeded to wait patiently for me to answer the question. I could not even come up with a fabricated response. I remember taking a deep breath and proceeded to mumble a few incoherent words. It has been several years now since I had that memorable interaction and I have never forgotten the question or the stare for that matter. That particular question, however, has caused me to periodically slow down and think about my soul. It is so incredibly easy for me to stop and think about a million other things, but it is so hard to think about my soul. Why is that? The prophet Jeremiah says, “The heart is more deceitful than all...
Ambassadors for Reconciliation

Ambassadors for Reconciliation

Ephesians 2:4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.  8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.  10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them. (Observations) God, out of His love and mercy, rescued transgressors against Him through Jesus Christ.  This rescue from death is undeserved.  It is a gift to those who will believe. We who are “saved, through faith” have “good works” prepared by God “in advance for us to do.” (Interpretation) God’s rescue of transgressors from the death they deserve to eternal life with Him in heaven by faith in His Son Jesus Christ does not transport the new believer immediately to heaven.  I suggest to you that God’s purpose for the new believer includes “good works” that are to be revealed as the believer lives out the rest of his life on earth.  Further, I suggest that these “good works” include the sharing of the good news about Jesus Christ as He presents opportunities “prepared in...
An Inexpensive Virtue

An Inexpensive Virtue

“And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” Ephesians 4:32 Many Christian virtues prove to be expensive when applied in interpersonal relationships. For example, it costs to be generous and to love your enemies – especially when you define “love” as treating others the way you wish to be treated. Most agree that to love those trying to hurt you is indeed difficult. Not so kindness; of all the Christ-like virtues it is the least costly. It costs you nothing to be gentle, kind, gracious, considerate. For this reason, you never have an excuse for being rude, abrasive, unkind, or cruel. Never belittle another person. Never humiliate others, joke at their expense, ridicule, speak in a sarcastic, caustic tone, or say things you know they would not appreciate. No one likes people doing it to them, and you never have a legitimate excuse for doing it to others. I have heard men and women say to family members what they would never say to a stranger. They lose their temper and say cruel things because they are secure enough in the relationship that they think they can afford it. From God’s perspective, you can never afford such abusive behavior! Never forget the warning of our Savior: “I tell you, on the Day of Judgment men will render account for every careless word they utter.” 1 1.   Matthew 12:36 KJV For more articles by Walt...