Blessed… Ask, Seek, Knock

 “Ask, and you will receive. Search, and you will find. Knock, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Whoever seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door is opened. Who among you will give your children a stone when they ask for bread? Or give them a snake when they ask for fish? If you who are evil know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good things to those who ask him. Therefore, you should treat people in the same way that you want people to treat you; this is the Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 7:7-12, Common English Bible).

“Ask and it will be given to you…Who among you will give your children a stone when they ask for bread? Or give them a snake when they ask for fish?” The Scripture is correct. I wouldn’t give my child a stone or a snake when they asked for food. But, what happens when we ask for a stone or a snake? Sometimes the things we ask for first, are the things we actually need the least and then we get cranky when we don’t get what we want from God.

Search and you will find. Before sitting down to compose this post, I was in search of ashes I bought for Ash Wednesday, today! I had put them in one of my computer cases. I looked all over the house. I drove to the church and looked all over my office. I didn’t remember taking them to the church but, you never can tell. As I was driving to the church I prayed. Living in a place like Sweeny, finding ashes on Ash Wednesday could prove to be difficult. Cindy jokingly asked if I was going to go buy a package of cigarettes just to burn them up for the ashes. Thankfully my prayer was answered. I found a small, old container of ashes in my office. It might be enough but I really didn’t want to take the chance. When I got home I found it.

Knock, and the door will be opened for you. What if I am knocking on the wrong door? Should I expect God to open it anyway?

All this is to say, while I have faith in the words of Scripture, I also need to remember that God knows what is best for me. If I ask and don’t receive, if I search and don’t find, if I knock and the door doesn’t open, it may be because I am searching outside the will of God.

All to often when we ask, seek and knock, we forget that it isn’t really about us and God knows what is best for us. I know, I might be simplifying this, but it really is the way I read the passage. You are welcome to disagree in the comments below.

For what are you asking, seeking and knocking?

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

Joy, Peace and Thanksgiving,
Keith

Copyright 2017, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

Author:

"The Pastor Ponders" is my attempt to share some of my thoughts. I often share what I am thinking with my dog "Bishop," but he keeps his thoughts to himself. He will even go to sleep sometimes while I am sharing my thoughts with him. The truth is, if it doesn't involve getting his ears scratched, his belly rubbed or some kind of treat, he really doesn't care. I will say this for him, he never argues with me or tells me I am wrong. So, I decided to share some of my thoughts with whoever might come across this blog in their ramblings around the Internet. Bishop and I live in Sweeny, Texas where I am the pastor of First United Methodist Church. I have served here for the past two years. For the past 27 years I have served United Methodist congregations throughout East Texas including rural Madison County (Elwood UMC), Lovelady (First UMC) and Kennard (Center Hill UMC), Canton (First UMC), rural Smith County (Mt. Sylvan UMC and Union Chapel UMC), Grapeland (First UMC), Tyler (Pleasant Retreat UMC), Santa Fe (Aldersgate UMC), Freeport (First UMC) and Oyster Creek (Oyster Creek UMC), Diboll (First UMC), and now Sweeny (First UMC). My wife Cindy and I have been married for over 40 years. We have two grown sons. Wayne and his wife Nikki and all our grandsons (Kaleb, Noah, and Jaxon) live in Southern California. Christopher and his wife Morgan and both our granddaughters (Jenna and Natalie) live in Tyler Texas. I enjoy preaching and all aspects of preaching from research to writing to the actual preaching event. I also love writing, reading, playing the guitar as well as a bit of drawing. I have spent quite a bit of time over the past two years working with paracord on various projects, mostly prayer ropes I usually give away. I sing bass with a local barbershop chorus called The Coastalaires. I have also recently begun doing a little wood carving. I also enjoy playing with Bishop, something he likes a great deal better than listening to my thoughts. I hold an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Data Processing, specializing in Microcomputers from San Jacinto College in Pasadena, Texas, a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a minor in History from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX, a Master of Divinity from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and a Doctor of Ministry from Carolina University of Theology. When I was a student at Carolina, the school was in Iron Station North Carolina. They have since relocated to Manassas Virginia (Yeah, go figure, a school named Carolina geographically in Virginia). This blog is mostly devotional writing, but there are other things here too. Just about every week I will either post my sermon manuscript or a video of the worship service. On occasion, I will post something I see in society. Occasionally I write a short story, a poem, or a song and will post it here too. I will say this, my motivations for writing this blog are really selfish. I write it to get what I am thinking out of my head and onto something a bit more permanent. They say, after all, once something is on the internet it never really goes away. Still, I hope you enjoy reading it. And, should you desire, you can one-up Bishop and actually tell me what you think. Who knows, it might generate a bit of discussion between you and me and anyone else who might make their way here. With Joy and Thankfulness, Keith Sweeny, Texas May 2018

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