by Tony Nester

Ask, Seek, Find
Tony Nester
(Matthew 7:7-11 NRSV) ""Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. {8} For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. {9} Is there anyone among you who, if your child asks for bread, will give a stone? {10} Or if the child asks for a fish, will give a snake? {11} If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask him!"

"Look at what parents do for their children," says Jesus in these words from the Sermon on the Mount, "when their children are hungry their parents give them food to eat. Children ask their parents to give them the things they need. So why won't you trust your Heavenly Father to give you what you need? Ask and you will receive. Seek and you will find. Knock and the door will be opened to you."

If only it were this simple! But it isn't and Jesus knows it. That's why all three commands are given in the present tense. If we give them a literal translation they read: keep on asking; keep on seeking, keep on knocking.

Jesus knows that we often lose our hope in God. The truth is that we don't ask enough of God, we don't seek with enough persistence after God, and we quit knocking all too soon at Heaven's door.

Let's be clear that Jesus is talking about asking and not whining. The example that Jesus cites is of a hungry child who asks for a simple meal of bread and fish, not of a spoiled child who demands a McDonald's Happy Meal.

I heard about a 4th grade boy who went to summer church camp for the first time. He sent home a postcard that read: "Dear Mom, please send me lots of food. All we get here is breakfast, lunch and dinner." That's whining.

While good parenting discourages whining, mothers and fathers who love their children never discourage their children fr ...

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