Keep Asking, Seeking, and Knocking

Keep Asking, Seeking, and Knocking

The other day my wife and I were reading Matthew 7:7-8, part of Jesus’s Sermon on the Mount.  Jesus gives us three instructions: Ask, and keep on asking. Seek, and keep on seeking. Knock, and keep on knocking. I like how the New Living Translation translates these words of Jesus.

"Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.”

Because God is a relational God, we need to relate to Him! God is not an idea or a concept. He is a person! If you live with a person, you listen to them and you talk to them! God is a person. Do you spend some time in silence with Him, asking Him to speak? Do you read His Word?  Do you talk to Him? Do you ask Him! Do you seek Him? Do you persist in asking and seeking for Him? Do you persist in knocking at the door of heaven (through your prayers)?

Some Protestant Christians do not realize how many godly and spiritual men and women there were in the history of the church who interpreted scripture faithfully before the Protestant Reformation in Europe in the 1500’s. John Chrysostom lived about 350 years after Jesus, and he was the bishop of Constantinople (today’s Istanbul, Turkey). Here is what he said about this passage in a sermon:

“Jesus did not simply command us to ask but to ask with great concern and concentration—for this is the meaning of the word he used for ‘seek.’ For those who are seeking put aside everything else from their minds. They become concerned only with the thing that they are seeking and pay no attention at all to the circumstances. Even those who are looking for gold or servants that have been lost understand what I am saying. So this is what he meant by seeking. But by knocking Jesus meant that we approach God with intensity and passion. Therefore, O mortal, do not give up. Do not show less eagerness for virtue than desire for possessions. For you frequently sought possessions but did not find them. Nevertheless, although you knew that you could not guarantee that you would find them, you used every means of searching for them. Yet even though in this case you have a promise that you surely will receive, you do not even demonstrate the smallest fraction of that same eagerness. But if you do not receive immediately, do not despair in this way. For it is because of this that Jesus said ‘knock’ to show that even if he does not open the door immediately we should remain at the door knocking.”

Psalm 37:4 says, “Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” (Notice the underlying assumption that when we delight in God, what our hearts desire begins to change.)

Persist in reaching out to Him. Persist in asking Him for His best for you and for others. He is a loving, faithful God. His response is sure. Persist!

Winfield Casey Jones is a retired pastor and can be reached at  Columns first appear in the Pearland and Friendswood Reporter News.


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