A S K

Ask, Seek, and Knock

Matthew 7:7-29

Though Jesus has taught us not to “Judge…lest ye be judged”; He has also given us commandment to make certain judgments. That can be seen in these things we will look at now. Jesus teaches us to Ask, Seek, and Knock. Could it be that the power of A.S.K. is that it is the mortar of God that holds the building stones (1 Peter 2:5) of the kingdom together, and keeps us strong in Him? We may know the answer to that question when we see Him face to face.

ASK, SEEK, AND KNOCK IN PRAYER (vv. 7-12).

* The first thing the Kingdom dweller must do is ASK;

+ for wisdom, knowledge, righteousnss, for making right judgments.
+ Ask for the glory of the Lord in all things.
+ Ask for His glory in your own life.

* The second thing the Kingdom dweller ASK in Seeking is to do it diligently, frequently, hopefully,

+ and once again; what ever we are seeking that we may glorify the Lord.
+ Also Seeking that others may enter through the right gate.

* The final thing in the ASK acrostic is in Knocking.

+ Be consistent, persistent, victorious, and again for the glory of the Lord.
+ Don’t give up on praying to fill the glory of the Lord.

“Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.” (v.12). The “Law and the prophets” has to do with the whole of the Word of God.

PEOPLE MUST BE SURE TO SEEK TO ENTER THE RIGHT GATE (vv. 13-14).

* Jesus tells us to enter the “strait gate” or “narrow gate”.

+ This thought gives us a picture of a path that is also narrow.
+ This gate is seen as narrow, rough, rocky, and often dangerous according to the flesh.

* The other gate is wide and broad, and this is the journey which all of us are on until we heed the call through the “Narrow gate”.

+ The broad gate leading to destruction is the one of popularity.
+ You go along to get along. There is tolerance. There is political correctness. There you can be and are expected to be Socially Progressive.
+ It is the gate of the masses. It flows with ease; everyone is going the same direction.

* The “Narrow gate” is one which only very few enter.

+ This gate has a high price to enter it.
+ It requires righteousness. A righteousness that is far greater than any of our own – any greater than that of the scribes and Pharisees

“For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Phraisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven” Matthew 5:20 (NKJV).

We must conclude also that there are two groups of people represented here. Quoting John MacArthur, “The many will include pagans and nominal Christians, atheist and religionists, theists and humanists, Jews and Gentiles — every person from whatever age, background, persuasion, and circumstance who has not come to saving obedience to Jesus Christ.” MATTHEW, Vol. 1, p. 457 of THE MACARTHUR NEW TESTAMENT COMMENTARY.

* The few is not few because there is no room.

+ Jesus’s death, burial and resurrection has provided room for all who will believe.
+ However, you come in through the gate at the price He paid, not yours or mine.
+ The room God provides is boundless.

WITH PERSISTENCE, BEING CONSISTENT, AND IN THE VICTORY OF THE CROSS AND RESURRECTION GIVE GLORY TO JESUS CHRIST (vv. 15-20).

* By our looking at verse 15 it seems we are required to make judgments by action, words spoken, and behavior.

+ A “False prophet” is to be identified as a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
+ How does one discern a false prophet? By the words they speak and the lives they live.

“If there arises among you a prophet or a dreamer of dreams, and he gives you a sign or a wonder, and the sign or wonder comes to pass, of which he spoke to you, saying, ‘Let us go after other gods’ — which you have not known — and let us serve them,’ you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams, for the LORD your God is testing you to know whether you love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. You shall walk after the LORD your God and fear Him, and keep His commandments and obey His voice; you shall serve Him and hold fast to Him. But that prophet or that dreamer of dreams shall be put to death, because he has spoken in order to turn you away from the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt and redeemed you from the house of bondage, to entice you from the way in which the LORD your God commanded you to walk. So you shall put away the evil from your midst” Deuteronomy 13:1-5 (NKJV).

“And if you say in your heart, ‘How shall we know the word which the LORD has not spoken? — when a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the thing does not happen or come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD has not spoken; the prophet has spoken presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him.” Deuteronomy 18:21-22 (NKJV).

* Usually, false teachers/prophets like having a large following.

+ They are dependent upon the applause and accolades of the people.
+ The true prophet of God proclaims the Word of the Lord, and is not motivated by men, money, or mention.

* One of the fruits of a true prophet of God is his faithfulness to the Word of God.

+ The prophet of God will preach the Word of God even while he is being stoned, and hated and despised.
+ The prophet of God will preach even when it seems no one is listening, or seems that no one cares.

* The fruits give the verdict. The fruits of the true prophet of God will be that those who hear the Word of the Lord through him will be on their face before God, seeking righteousness, holiness, and the face of God.
* In fact, the fruits of the prophet of God may not be seen immediately; they may come after the prophet is dead.

THE FINAL JUDGEMENT IN IN THE HANDS OF THE RIGHTEOUS JUDGE (vv. 21-23).

* Many of the false prophets and teachers are those who are relying upon their “good deeds” to get them into presence and pleasure of God.

+ They believe that by their many deeds they surely will be allowed into God’s house.
+ They have afterall healed the sick, cast out devils, and preached in His name; why shouldn’t God allow them in?

* The reason they will not get in is because they are not known by the Savior.
* They are in fact self-deceived people.

+ Because of a “Prayer of decision”, led by someone else, and false assurances given from men, and not from the Word of God they go from the church “altar” thinking all is well and there has never been any change made in their lives toward God, grace, and salvation.
+ They fail to examine their own lives –

“Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?” 2 Corinthians 13:5 (KJV).

* The Righteous Judge: who is Jesus Himself will say to those who do not know Him and are not known by Him; “I never knew you: depart from Me, ye that work iniquity”.

+ Notice, that He attributes what they have deemed as good works, as iniquity.

THE JUDGMENT THAT STANDS WILL BE THAT WHICH IS BUILT UPON THE ROCK AND THE STONES ERECTED THROUGH THE MORTAR OF ASKING, SEEKING AND KNOCKING (vv. 24-29).

* The foundation is one of obedience.

+ Is it required that a follower of Jesus be obedient?
+ Should a child be obedient to their parents? Obedience is as a child to a parent or master who has our best interest at His heart.

* It has a foundation which is built upon the Rock.

+ This rock will never fall, nor will the foundation that is built upon this Rock.
+ The Rock of Jesus Christ will never fall nor fail, but shall abide forever, “…And the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it” Matthew 16:18.

* Jesus Christ Himself is the Rock, and we must trust Him to be our Rock of security, strength, and power.

+ He is our authority.
+ The people who heard this Sermon on the Mount realized His authority.

“He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes”.

+ He is the authority, and anyone who detracts from Him is a liar and a deceiver.
+ His judgment and the judgment of His Word will stand forever.

-Tim A. Blankenship

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Treasured Treasures

Treasured Treasures

Matthew 6:19-34

LAID UP EARTHLY TREASURES ARE SUBJECT TO THEFT, MOTH, RUST, AND CORRUPTION (vv. 19-20).

* There is no contentment, peace or joy in obtaining worldly things or pleasures.

* There is comparison between two places of savings;

THE TREASURED TREASURE IS THAT WHERE YOU DEVOTE YOUR MOST ATTENTION, AND TIME (vv. 21-24).

* The key verse to this passage of Scripture is verse 21.

+ When we speak of the “heart” we mean the center of one’s being.

+ This is the place of your feelings, emotions, your caring.

AN EXAMPLE/ILLUSTRATION OF HIS PROVISION, THROUGH THE FOWLS OF THE AIR, AND OUR FAITH (vv. 25-30).

* Taking no thought for food or raiment is to not worry or fret over where these things will come from.

+ As the Father provides for the birds of the air He provides for His children.

+ As the Father provides for the flowers of the field in raiment He provides raiment for His children.

WORRY/ANXIOUSNESS IS THE PATH OF THE UNGODLY, AND GOD KNOWS ALL OUR NEED (vv. 31-32).

* The Gentiles [ungodly] spend their time seeking material gain, putting money away and building massive bank accounts; or at least dream of doing so.

SEEK SPECIFICALLY, WITH DESIRE, THE KINGDOM OF GOD, AND LET ‘TOMORROW’ TEND TO ITS OWN (vv. 33-34).

* The righteous by Jesus Christ desire to seek righteousness, and to be like Christ

+ We seek the righteousness of God through our daily disciplines:

1. Giving; 2. Praying; 3. Fasting; and 4. Feeding on His Word.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Christian Disciplines

Kingdom Character/Disciplines

Matthew 6:1-18

THE CHRISTIAN WILL GIVE WITH CAUTION (vv. 1-4).

* Jesus’s first words in the first verse is “Take heed”, so there is caution needed in giving.
* Caution means giving without calling attention to your act.

THE CHRISTIAN WILL GIVE ATTENTION TO PRAYING WISELY (vv. 5-13).

* The hypocrites, to whom Jesus refers, probably spent no time praying in private, unless it was to build their praying vocabulary, and prowess in expressing the words they would pray in public.
* How the Kingdom Christian should pray –

+ When you pray Praise and Glorify the Father – Recognize Him for who He is; Holy, Righteous, Creator, Sustainer, Redeemer, Sovereign, LORD of hosts, etc…;
+ For His will in your life as though you were in Heaven;
+ When you pray be sure that it is His will that you request most earnestly;
+ Request from Him what you need for the day – not wants and desires – your needs for the day;
+ Asks for forgiveness of your sins and transgressions against God and those you may have committed against your fellow man;
+ Asks for the power of the Word of God in your life to be delivered from evil;
+ As you are ending the time with the Lord end with recognition of His sovereignty, power, His kingdom, recognizing that His Kingdom is forever.

THE CHRISTIAN WILL GIVE ATTENTION TO FORGIVING THOSE WHO ARE INDEBTED TO US (vv. 14-15).

* The Christian of all people should know how to forgive – We have been forgiven much.
* Lack of forgiveness can hinder our prayers, and rob us of peace.
* All Christians have been forgiven by God’s grace, through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

THE CHRISTIAN WILL GIVE ATTENTION TO FASTING WITH JOY (vv. 16-18).

* Just as in their praying, so also in their times of fasting they begged the attention of men.

* Fasting is right and good when it is done with the right motive.

+ To seek God’s will in times of uncertainty.

+ To seek God for personal renewing, revival, and church renewal and revival; National renewal and revival.

+ To seek God for strength for going through a difficult time.

* Fasting is a means of disciplining the appetites of the body.

* Overcoming hypocrisy in fasting -+ Be honest with God in your secret life;

+ Fast seeking God with all your heart;

+ Pray from your heart, not form;

+ Fast secretly;
+ Please God alone.

* The purpose of fasting and prayer is to glorify the Lord, and then it matters not whether you get what you asked for yourself.

For the Kingdom Christian Giving, Praying and Fasting is so that we might grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus our Lord and Savior. All world religions have these as religious disciplines for the gaining of their salvation, or earning favor with their deity; whoever that may be. These become the Character of the true Believer of Christ – the true Christian.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Communicating Perfection

Communicating Perfection

Matthew 5:33-48

We start off with an “Ye have heard…” statement. It is the fourth of five if you count the “It has been said” of verse 31. This shows us Jesus’s familiarity with Scripture and the Law. It also shows that He is familiar with the general interpretation of those Laws.

In looking at the SERMON ON THE MOUNT we must realize that for the time being these principles are our goal. I fall so short of these principles of His Kingdom. The only way they are lived is when we are in complete obedience to the leading of the Spirit within us. Let me say here that our perfection/completion is only by God’s own decree – “You are Justified. All your sins are gone. Jesus has paid your debt”. This is still our goal for now.

THE PLACE TO BEGIN LIVING HONESTLY, WITH HIGH HONOR AND INTEGRITY IS WITH JESUS CHRIST (vv. 33-37).

* When your heart is right with God your first responsibility of honesty is with Him.

+ He already knows your heart and thoughts why would you lie to Him.

+ Why lie to others, if indeed, you see the image of God in them, and we should.

* When making a vow, or promise, let your Yes, Be Yes; and your No, be No!

+ If you must swear on a “Stack of Grandma’s Bibles”, then, your word is probably as good as the ocean front property in Arizona.

THE PLACE TO BEGIN SEEKING THE GOOD OF OTHERS IS BY LOOKING AT THE LIFE OF JESUS CHRIST AND BE LIKE HIM (vv. 38-42).

* Jesus even turns this toward those who would strike you.

+ Is it a wimpy thing for a man to “turn the other cheek”?

+ Is it the right and courageous thing to “turn the other cheek”?

* Giving others what belongs to you shows that you care for them more than we care for things.

+ Giving them our time – if you are “compel(led) to go a mile, go with him twain”.

+ Giving possessions – if he “take away you coat, let him have your cloke also” (vv. 40, 42).

“Let nothing be done through strife or vain glory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.” Philippians 2:3 (KJV).

LIVING WITHOUT THE ATTITUDE OF RETALIATION IS A WORK OF JESUS CHRIST IN OUR HEARTS (vv.43-47).

* I recall nowhere in Scriptures which tell us to “Hate your enemies”.

+ Most error in such things comes from misinterpretations and evil hearts.

+ Here, Jesus quickly puts that thought out in the cold

* The law does teach, “Eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth” (Exodus 21:23-25).

+ Seeking justice and seeking revenge are two different thoughts.

+ You can still love the person when justice is being done, but revenge almost requires hatred.

* When we love those who love us, we are doing only what others will do.

+ When we love those who have stricken us, who have lied about us, who have harmed us, then, people will see the love of Jesus Christ, and the difference He has made in our lives.

+ We need to be strengthened by the Spirit of God each day to walk with Christ and be like Him, in loving and forgiving those who have despised us, even hated us.

THE PERFECTION OF GOD IS THE COMPLETENESS WE HAVE SOLELY IN HIM (v. 48).

* This is similar to God’s command to Israel:

+ “For I am the LORD your God: ye shall therefore sanctify yourselves, and ye shall be holy; for I am holy: neither shall ye defile yourselves with any manner of creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. For I am the LORD that bringeth you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: ye shall be holy, for I am holy.” Leviticus 11:44-45, and 1 Peter 1:15-16.

* Perfection is the work of God taking us and making us more into the likeness of His Son.

+ It is the goal of every follower of Jesus to one day be made like Him for we have the promise;

+ “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be; but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is. And every man that hath this hope in Him purifieth himself, even as He is pure.” 1 John 3:2-3 (KJV).

-Tim A. Blankenship

The Protected Home

The Protected Home

ADULTERY (Matthew 5:27-28)

– An act against marriage, betrayal of trust, an addition to the oneness of marriage – (1 Corinthians 6:16-20).

FORNICATION (Matthew 5:31-32)

– The act of sexual immorality; probably before marriage.

THE LOOK (v. 28)

– with desire was to commit adultery by Jesus’s sermon.

THE PRICE OF SIN (Matthew 5:29-30)

– Is the sacrifice of the eye that offends too high to pay to deal with sin?

– Is the sacrifice of the hand that offends too high to make amends for sin?

-Think about this – Jesus laid down His life for our sin.

Job made a “Covenant” with his eyes: “I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid? Job 31:1 (KJV).

It is the Christian’s responsibility to deal with their own sin. A individual with no eye or eyes can and will still have lusts. The individual with no hand(s) can still touch what is supposed to be untouchable. It is a matter of the thought life that needs dealt with.

CAST INTO HELL (vv. 29-30)

– Sin will be dealt with harshly in judgment.

– Sin must be dealt with harshly now to avoid Hell.

– Jesus took the judgment that should be ours.

-Our trust and faith in Him justifies us; it is God’s decree.

WRITING OF DIVORCEMENT (v. 31)

– Deuteronomy 24:1-4 seems to be the Scripture to which Jesus is referring. The scribes and Pharisees were promoting a “No Fault” divorce; giving themselves and others an easy opportunity for sin. This is what Jesus condemns.

CAUSES HER TO COMMIT ADULTERY (v. 32)

– When the woman was forced to leave because of this “divorcement” decree; if it was not because of sexual sin against the marriage, then, he caused her to commit adultery when she married another, and the man she marries commits adultery as well.

PROTECTING THE HOME –

– Husbands cherish and love your wives. Quickly replace those lustful thoughts with thoughts of the Lord, His Word, even your wife and family.

-Wives be devoted solely to your husbands, honor and obey him.

– Men keep that look of love upon your wife, not other women.

– Women when you are devoted to your husband, no other man will come between you and your husband.

– Men and women; most of all stay true to God, His Word, and pray. Pray for wisdom, grace, discernment, and knowledge.

-Tim A. Blankenship