Lessons Of A Lifetime

SUNDAY AUG. 11, 2019

Scripture To Consider:
“Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces.”

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he [or she] who seeks finds, and to him [or her] who knocks it will be opened.”

“Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him? Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 7.6-12

Something To Consider:
Jesus, in our Scripture to consider warned us as His disciples, by instructing; “Do not give what is holy to the dogs.” Earlier in verse 1 Jesus stated, “Judge not, that you be not judged.” He went on to communicate the fact and truth that it is not in our job description to judge others in order to condemn them, for final judgment resides with God alone. But here in verse 6, Jesus is clearly claiming the importance of our having wisdom to determine if a person or group of people are open or receptive to the message of the true gospel.

We are not called to argue the authenticity or relevancy of the gospel, but rather to communicate mankind’s spiritual need for the biblical good news of Jesus Christ. To accomplish this takes discernment and wisdom, which includes our believing the gospel of enduring to the end. But what exactly is discernment? Webster’s dictionary of 1828 defines discernment as: “The power or faculty of the mind, by which it distinguishes truth from falsehood.”

The apostle Paul writing in 1 Corinthians chapter 2 declared in verse 14, “But the natural man [person not spiritually born again] does not receive the things of the Spirit of God [such as the spiritual gift of discernment], for they are foolishness to him [or her as an unbeliever] nor can he [or she] know them because they [things of the Spirit such as discernment] are spiritually discerned [or understood].”

Something Else To Consider:
Spiritual discernment and wisdom comes often times through prayer as in the case of Solomon in 1 Kings chapter 3. Solomon asked God in prayer that he may be able to discern between good and evil, and God granted Solomon his prayerful petition. Prayer is simply communicating with God. It is a combination of our speaking with God and God speaking with us through His Word and impressions upon our hearts and minds that will never contradict His Word.

God so very much desires that as His children, we learn to come to Him often in order to ask of Him, that He might freely give good things such as discernment to us. Sometimes it takes more than just asking. Sometimes His answer to our asking requires seeking more intently on our part that we might in our seeking, find a solution to a problem or difficulty, or simply in return draw nearer to God. And, there are those occasions when knocking upon the door of heaven’s vast storehouse is needful.

But, in our asking, seeking, and knocking; what is it that we are asking, seeking, and knocking for? Many times, according to James 4.3; “You [we] ask and do not receive, because you [we] ask amiss [with the wrong motivation], that you [we] may spend it on your [our] pleasures.” Let us make sure that what we are asking for, seeking after, and knocking to obtain, is in accordance with the living and powerful Word of God!

Something More To Consider:
As leaders in training, God is preparing us to be communicators of wisdom and truth. Therefore, as we learn to ask, seek, and to knock, we learn the lesson that God maintains an open-door policy at all times when it relates to prayer. Even as it relates to those outside the realm of the kingdom of heaven, God has an open-door policy; if we are coming to Him for wisdom, help, guidance and direction through His forgiveness, mercy, and grace.

If we are coming to God through the forgiveness of our sin in what Christ has accomplished on the cross, then the door to God is always open.  And if not, then what stands between us and God? What is it that has closed the door to our heart? What is it that keeps us from asking, seeking, and knocking upon the door of opportunity as it relates to the enlarging of the kingdom of God, and the diminishing of our kingdom?

Have we been found by God asking, seeking, and knocking at the portal of prayer to obtain the spiritual gift or gifts God has before ordained for each of us? The apostle Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 12.1; “Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be ignorant.” In verse 4 Paul declared, “There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.”

Beginning in verse 8 Paul lists for us some of the spiritual gifts of which discernment, as mentioned earlier is included in the list. “For to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit [of God], to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith… to another healings… to another the working of miracles… to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues [languages], to another the interpretation of tongues [languages].”

A Few Final Words:
The bottom line is as according to Paul in verse 14 of 1 Corinthians chapter 12, “For in fact the body [body of Christ, the true church] is not one member but many.” And without our asking, seeking, and knocking upon the open door of opportunity, of which Jesus Christ is standing behind, the body of Christ, the true church of Christ will continue to be dysfunctional.

And yet, if we refuse to ask, seek, and knock in order to determine our place and spiritual gift or gifts in the kingdom of God, Jesus faithfully knocks at our locked from the inside door to our heart as revealed in Revelation 3.20 as Jesus proclaimed, “Behold, I [Jesus] stand at the door [to every human heart in every generation] and knock. If anyone [man, woman, or young person] hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him [or her] and dine with him [or her], and he [or she] with Me.”

Learning to ask, seek, and to knock upon God’s door of opportunity and provision is an important lesson for every leader in training to learn. Have we learned that lesson of a lifetime yet? And if not, when do we think would be a good time to start to learn? According to Jesus, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you.”

Our Father in heaven, create in us a passion for prayer. Give us a desire to come often and boldly to the throne of Your grace. In Him Always, Amen!

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