Reading Assignment: Matthew 7:7-14
Did you understand what you read?
- What must we do to receive good things from God?
- What is the foundation of the old law?
- Why is going to heaven harder than going to hell?
Jesus tells us that God will give us the things that we need if we simply ask him for them. God does expect us to ask him. The blessings do not flow to us automatically, just because we are Christians. God expects us to take the initiative.
God will answer our requests, but he does place conditions on how we may ask him for favors. Though God is never far away (Acts 17:27), we cannot find him unless we search for him with our whole heart and soul (Deuteronomy 4:29). Once we have found Him, we must ask for things that are in accordance with his will (I John 4: 14-15). We must understand what God's will is so that we may ask properly. Similarly, we need to ask in Jesus's name (or with his authorization) (John 16:24). We cannot expect God to grant our requests if we are disobedient, so we must also live a proper Christian life (John 15:7).
Just because we ask God for a favor, it does not mean that we will receive exactly what we have asked for. Sometimes what we think we need may not be what is best for us. Children ask their parents for many things, but it is foolish for a parent to grant every request. A child who gets everything he wants has no appreciation for the things that he has. A spoiled child grows up thinking that gifts are his right instead of a blessing.
God also expects us to be persistent in our requests (Luke 18:1-8). When we work hard for something, it gives us more satisfaction when we receive it. Persistence helps us sort out what is important to us. If it is not important enough to ask God for something regularly, then maybe we don't really need it.
When asking favors of other men, remember that people will treat us as we treat them. In addition, God treats us as we treat other men (Matthew 6:14-15).
We must also be persistent in striving for heaven. A goal is not reached by a half-heart, haphazard effort (I Corinthians 9:24-27). We must run the race of life with patience; setting aside every hindrance that we can (Hebrews 12:1). Life is rough and at times it seems so very long, but we cannot grow weary in well doing (Galatians 6:9). If we endure to the end of our life, we will receive the prize of salvation (Matthew 10:22). Living the Christian life is a marathon, not a sprint.
- Why do we have to ask God for the things we need? Since God knows what we need before we ask, why doesn't He give the things to us immediately?
- When would it be right to ask God for a car? When would it be wrong?