Nepaug Bible Church - http://www.nepaugchurch.org - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes - http://www.nepaugchurch.org/pm/pm20121010.htm
THRU THE BIBLE EXPOSITION
Matthew: Jesus As Israel's Messiah And His Kingdom
Part XII: Christ As Israel's Messiah By His Summons Unto His Righteousness
A. Christ's Motivation Unto God's Righteousness In Tapping God's Goodness By Prayer
Lesson: As motivation to live righteously before the Lord, God calls His true spiritual children in Christ to a vibrant, practical life of faith before Him, a life of (1) praying for their needs to be met (2) while seeking for God's provisions of those needs (3) while also trying to open various doors of opportunity that present themselves toward discovering God's answers to their prayers in their lives. We are further encouraged to live by faith this way in realizing that if imperfect, sinful fathers know how to give good gifts to their petitioning children, surely a perfectly Good God knows how to give good gifts to His own.
- Having extensively illustrated the Biblically consistent righteousness of His subjects, Jesus summoned His hearers to His righteousness, starting with a winsome call of motivation to live rightly before God.
- That motivating call urges hearers to tap God's goodness by prayer in following Him in righteous living:
- Christ's Motivation Unto God's Righteousness In Tapping God's Goodness By Prayer, Matt. 7:7-11.
- The Matthew 7:7-11 admonitions instruct people who are committed to following the righteousness of God as Jesus' kingdom subjects, a fact seen in Jesus' reference to His hearers as God's children, verse 11.
- Scripture elsewhere similarly provides a wonderful call for believers committed to God's righteousness to carry on a vibrant, practical life of faith in their prayer lives (as follows):
- 1 John 3:22 reveals that whatever we believers ask in prayer, we receive from God as we do those things that please Him and are in alignment with His commands (in Scripture).
- Then, 1 John 5:14-15 adds that if we ask anything in accord with God's will, He hears us, and if we know that He hears us, we have the petitions we have desired of Him.
- These same concepts of living by faith are provided in Jesus' Matthew 7:7-11 encouragement to those who adhered to the righteousness of God in His kingdom (as follows):
- The commands in Matthew 7:7 of the Greek New Testament are all present imperatives, indicating that God wants His kingdom subjects to keep on asking, to keep on seeking and to keep on knocking in prayer while also looking for His answers to prayer in their lives, Bible Know. Com., N. T., p. 34.
- Thus, God in heaven loves for His spiritual children to have a very practical life of faith with Him:
- God loves for His spiritual children to pray constantly for their needs to be fulfilled.
- God loves for His spiritual children to be constantly looking for His answers to their prayers in a life of expectant faith while looking to have their petitioned needs fulfilled.
- God also loves for His spiritual children to try opening various doors of apparent opportunity to find those answers to prayer as they live by faith in Him!
- The reason this is effective for the believer is that God gives to those who keep asking, He allows those who keep seeking to find and He gives to those who in faith in Him keep trying various doors of opportunity, Matthew 7:8. God thus loves to interact with His children in a practical life of faith!
- Encouragement to heed this truth is seen in comparing an imperfect, sinful human father's interaction with his petitioning, seeking and knocking son and a Perfect Heavenly Father's similar interaction with His petitioning, seeking and knocking spiritual children in Matthew 7:9-11:
- Jesus claimed that even imperfect human fathers do not give their sons a stone if they are hungry and ask him for loaves of bread for food, Matthew 7:9.
- Also, Jesus noted that even imperfect human fathers do not give their sons serpents if they asked them for fish to eat, Matthew 7:10.
- Thus, if imperfect, evil human fathers know how to give good gifts to their sons, how much more will a Righteous, Good God give good things to those who walk by faith in Him, Matthew 7:11.
Application: May we keep on asking in prayer and keep on seeking and keep on knocking in a life of faith before God to be richly rewarded by Him as motivation to keep on living righteously before Him!