Monday, April 2, 2007

Ask, Seek, Knock

A favorite verse from Matthew 7: “Ask and it will be given to you, seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks, the door will be opened."
This past Sunday we visited the church in Laodicea in the book of Revelation, to find out what kind of report card Jesus was giving this church for their ministry. It wasn't good. The church of "lay-odd-i-see-a" (it's always interesting to me to learn the correct pronunciation of a word in the Bible that I have totally pronounced wrong over the years) was lukewarm. The people had become focused on themselves, and had taken their eyes off of Christ and his teachings. Despite Jesus' rebuke, He gave them the greatest promise of all of the 7 churches in the book of Revelation. "20Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me. 21To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne." Talk about grace and mercy flowing down, huh?! I find this exciting. Not only does this verse tie in with a favorite life verse from Matthew, it provides true hope and promise when one lives for Christ instead of themselves. I had created a devotional layout a few years ago, and after Sunday's message I am prompted to share it with you, journaling and all.

As a child I remember clearly the picture on my bedroom wall - Jesus stood at a large wooden door with his hand poised to knock. There wasn’t a door handle. Jesus was knocking to come in, but the true question the painting posed was "will you open the door and let him in?"
Jesus is always waiting - waiting for us to open our hearts to receive Him, and once this happens, life will never be the same. Mine certainly has changed...I have always believed in God. I knew He was there. I believed He created Heaven and Earth. My family attended church every Sunday. I was in the youth choir. We celebrated all the religious holidays. God and church - it was routine.To ASK God a question - to actually have a relationship with Him - that was new concept for me. I've prayed, now and then, throughout my life, but fourteen years ago I would have never asked God a question, and expect an answer. How pompous would that seem of me?
But I sought, and I learned. I asked questions. I listened in church to the message being given. I listened, I drifted. I listened some more, and one day I finally got it. God is not about going to church, God is about relationship - but not with Him alone; for there is no relationship with God unless one goes through His Son Jesus. His only Son died on the cross for EVERYONE… even a sinner such as me. No matter my past, my sinful ways, my slate is washed clean by His precious blood. His love and grace is beyond measure - a free gift to us all - if only we ask, seek and knock.
Nowadays I do not hesitate to ask, and I am always seeking His answer. Sometimes the answer is not what I want to hear. Sometimes I hear no answer at all. It's not that God is ignoring me... after all, He knows the count of every hair on my head. Either I am not taking the time to sit quietly and listen for His answer, or it is simply not yet time for the answer to be revealed. Yet, at other times I feel the warmth and love of the Holy Spirit envelope my body. He provides an answer, or sends a message for questions yet to be asked. He knows my heart, my mind, and my soul. I love Him, and He loves me - unconditionally. My world is no longer about "me", but about Him. I am SO GLAD that Jesus knocked on my door - and even more so that I OPENED the door and let Him into my heart. He welcomes all into His eternal kingdom - wouldn't you like to live there someday, too? All you have to do is ASK, SEEK, KNOCK.

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