Wednesday, September 4th, 2013
Sermon On The Mount (Part 26)
The Qualified Request
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 who seeks finds, and to him 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!
Matthew 7:7-11 (NKJV)
The ask. We serve a God Who answers the ask. He likes to hear from us. He likes to be with us. From strolling in the garden with Adam to the indwelling of His Holy Spirit:
'If anyone loves Me, he will keep My Word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him' (John 14:23). God seeks fellowship with us, like a parent with a much-loved child.
But between the fall of Adam and the rise of Jesus, sin reigned. 'Your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His Face from you, so that He will not hear' (Isaiah 59:2). During this era, God spoke to and through rare individuals, like Noah, Abraham and Jacob; like judges, priests and prophets.
By Moses, God gave us laws, including the Ten Commandments--written by His Own Hand. They rested in The Ark, covered by a mercy seat and protected by a veil. Once a year, the high priest entered 'The Most Holy Place' (Hebrews 10:19) to plead for God's people. Only he was qualified to make the ask.
But Jesus changed everything. Upon His death, 'The veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom' (Matthew 27:51). No longer do we need an earthly priest to intercede for us to God. Because of 'Him Who loved us and washed us from our sins in His Own Blood, and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father' (Revelation 1:5-6).
'Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the Blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the Curtain, that is, His Body' (Hebrews 10:19-20), we by Him have been qualified to make requests of God directly:
'Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need' (Hebrews 4:16). Jesus qualified His followers to ask. So ask!
To Be Continued...
Brief description by Paul of the tabernacle before and after Jesus: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Hebrews%209&version=NKJV
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Sermon On The Mount series.