8 For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. — Matthew 7:8 NLT
We hear a lot of opinions on how we should pray. Some say you should only ask once and God will answer when and if He wants to. Some say you should only ask for certain things. What does God say about it? In the original text of the Bible, the Greek verbs were verbs that indicated this was a continuing action. Jesus concurs with this in the parable of the woman who kept bothering the unjust judge until he gave her what she wanted. In James, we are told that “all good gifts come down from the Father above”. Furthermore, God has said that He is our provider and that means more than spiritual salvation. When Jesus healed people, He used the term “made whole”. That means physical as well as spiritual. The simple truth is that we can ask God for any and every thing that doesn’t violate His Word and we can keep on asking Him. Think about what He said to Paul. Paul had asked Jesus 3 times for healing and God said “my grace is sufficient”. That was God’s answer to Paul’s prayer. Unless God has answered your prayer (and that doesn’t always mean that He gives us what we want, but He does give us what we need) keep on asking. Look again at verse 8 above: “For everyone who asks receives……”
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
5 May God, who gives this patience and encouragement, help you live in complete harmony with each other, as is fitting for followers of Christ Jesus — Romans 14:5 NLT
Romans 13:1-7 NLT
As the years pass, the percentage of people attending church on a regular basis declines. Instead of growing stronger and influencing the society around us, the body of Christ grows weaker and weaker. Jesus warned us that a house divided could not stand. Yet, we have allowed satan to come in and use the differences in our denominations to divide us rather than focusing on our common ground and encouraging each other. Paul told us over and over how important it is for Christians to stand together as one body, the body of Christ. We are no longer able to stand because we refuse to stand together. Instead, the body of Christ is ripped apart from the inside because of our lack of love for Christ and each other. When we disparage and discourage our brothers and sisters, we violate the two greatest commands. The commands to love our Lord with all our hearts, mind, and strength and our neighbors as ourselves. Is it any wonder that the outsiders look at the Church and decide not to become a part of the family? We must show the world the love of Jesus and the peace and the joy that comes with that love rather than the image of a torn and decaying body. We get enough of that from the society around us. As long as the foundation is the name of Jesus, Jesus alone, no other name and no other way, the houses can be different and still compliment each other.
11 Revive me, O Lord, for Your name’s sake! For Your righteousness’ sake bring my soul out of trouble. — Psalm 143:11 NKJV
There are times in our lives when everything around us seems to be going in the wrong direction. There are situations that we have prayed about on a daily basis, we have checked the Scriptures to be sure that our request does not violate them in any way and we have agreed with others in our request. Yet, we still don’t see any positive results. It is then that we, as the Psalmist does here, must fall on our faces and ask God to fulfill our request, not for our sake, but for the glory of His name. The end of our rope is the beginning of our hope. The surety that God cannot be defeated and that He will not give His glory to anyone else is our hope and our reason for being confident that He will act. Yes, it will be in His time and in His way, but He will act. So, when satan seems to be winning the battle, we appeal to God to act speedily for His name’s sake. And He will do it.
10 Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction.
11 For My own sake, for My own sake, I will do it; For how should My name be profaned?
And I will not give My glory to another. — Isaiah 48:10, 11 NKJV
20 The crowd replied, “You’re demon possessed! Who’s trying to kill you?” 21 Jesus replied, “I did one miracle on the Sabbath, and you were amazed.22 But you work on the Sabbath, too, when you obey Moses’ law of circumcision. (Actually, this tradition of circumcision began with the patriarchs, long before the law of Moses.) 23 For if the correct time for circumcising your son falls on the Sabbath, you go ahead and do it so as not to break the law of Moses. So why should you be angry with me for healing a man on the Sabbath? 24 Look beneath the surface so you can judge correctly.”—John 7:20-24 (NLT)
God is waiting to show you the Way.
Doesn’t the crowd in Jerusalem that day kind of remind us of ourselves? Aren’t we always pointing fingers at others and trying to justify why and when we do what we do? Jesus pointed out some of the things that they and their ancestors had done on the Sabbath. Under the law, if the eighth day after birth occurred on the Sabbath, you would have to violate Moses’ law by working on the Sabbath or not circumcising the male child on the correct day. That is why Jesus said:
27 Then Jesus said to them, “The Sabbath was made to meet the needs of people, and not people to meet the requirements of the Sabbath. 28 So the Son of Man is Lord, even over the Sabbath!”–Mark 2:27,28 (NLT)
Jesus asks them to look beneath the surface, in other words, look into the situation and determine why the person is doing what they are doing on the Sabbath or any other time. Jesus has set us free from the law and now we live under grace. If we are led by the Holy Spirit, our conscience will determine if our actions are right or wrong. No law is required.