Today we are going to continue to look at Matthew 7. This is the closing of the sermon on the mount. It’s sort of the application part of the sermon. Last time we looked at how self righteousness gets in the way of helping others. Today I want to look at the next section dealing with asking God for things.
Here is what Jesus says
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; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
“Which of you, if your 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!
The first paragraph fits into an interesting category of scripture abuse. This is the sort of thing that is often used to justify what is often called the prosperity gospel. The idea that whatever you want, if you just ask God, then He will give it to you.
Many years ago when I was driving through Colorado Springs I saw a bumper sticker directed at Focus on the Family that said, “Focus On Your Own Family”. I thought it was sort of funny but I didn’t really give it a lot of thought. But the phrase sort of stayed with me. Whenever I’d see something from Focus I’d think about that sticker and smile.
But in thinking about it, this might actually be a good idea. Now to be clear, before I start, I like a lot of what Focus the organization does.* I’m not picking on them here. However, the Church’s focus on the nuclear family is a huge problem with far, far reaching implications.