What Are You Looking For?

“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.

“Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 7:7-12)

In Matthew 6, Jesus taught us how to bring glory and honor to God through our prayers by giving us the model of the Lord’s Prayer. In our verses for today, He teaches us to pray, pray, and keep on praying! I am reminded of Paul’s words:

“Prayer is not an exercise, it is the life of the saint. Beware of anything that stops the offering up of prayer … maintain the childlike habit of offering up prayer in your heart to God all the time.” -Oswald Chambers

Pray continually. (1 Thessalonians 5:17)

Jesus assures us that God welcomes our prayers and urges us to come to Him persistently and continuously. God is discovered by those who earnestly seek Him. Indeed, as our Great High Priest in heaven, Scripture tells us Jesus is at the right hand of God living to intercede on our behalf setting forth for us the perfect example:

Because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them. (Hebrews 7:24-25)

“You know the value of prayer; it is precious beyond all price. Never, never neglect it.”
-Thomas Buxton
We must approach God as His children, as we might approach our earthly fathers, expectantly, confidently, and with complete trust that He will never withhold anything from us which will be for our ultimate good. We can be sure He has full knowledge of what is best for us and we can rest securely in what His hand allows in our lives.

Throughout the Bible, God compares His love and concern for His children to both an earthly father and a mother. However, His compassion, tenderness, and goodness far surpass that of any earthly parent. God is infinitely wise in what He bestows. Earthly parents can be foolish, being permissive without having the wisdom to show restraint.  This can often lead to the ultimate detriment of the child. God is able to give us anything, yet in His infinite wisdom He withholds anything that He knows will harm us:

Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the LORD.
(Jeremiah 29:12-14)

As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him. (Psalm 103:13)

“Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me.” (Isaiah 49:15-16)

James tells us:

The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing.
(Psalm 34:10)

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. (James 1:17)

Take It to Heart

“Pleading the promises of God is the whole secret of prayer.” -Martyn Lloyd-Jones

For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless. (Psalm 84:11)