January 29 I Tuesday

Exodus 21-22

Matthew 19

“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; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”  —Matthew 7:7-8


All through life we are faced with need and theoretically, at least, we know God has the solution to those needs. For this reason, a constant feature in the Christian life is to ask, seek and knock. The promise is that everyone who asks receives; everyone who seeks finds; and to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. This is the privilege and right of access to God open to every Christian. It, therefore, follows that the only people who do not receive are those who do not ask, seek or knock.

However, the spirit of trust in which we ask is a key characteristic of effective intercession. Jesus asks, “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake?” (Matthew 7:9-10). The illustration is almost absurd. No decent father would give his son a stone sandwich in place of bread or snake and chips when he is expecting fish and chips. Yet this is a fear many of us have where it concerns God. Jesus goes on to say, “If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask Him!” (Matthew 7:11).

We do not need to detail the fine print of how we would like our prayers answered, but simply bring God in with the assurance that He knows what He is doing and does what is right. When bringing a need before God, we often fear the snake instead of the fish because deep down we assume God may not be kind to us or we do not deserve what we ask. It is true God may not give us what we ask, because He is too wise, too kind and too knowing for that, but He does give us what is right!

It is in this spirit and with this confidence that we are invited to ask, seek and knock. Our poverty can so often be attributed to one source, “You do not have because you do not ask God” (James 4:2). When we ask with right motives and treat others as we would like to be treated, it is bread, not stone, and fish, not snake, that God gives us. God is on our side! He loves us, and we enjoy His love to the measure that we, in turn, love God. This is what creates the relationship and framework from which all else derives. When we ask, seek and knock, we will find because we have God committed to us.

Prayer: Gracious God, I know that when I ask, seek and knock, You love me enough to give me what is right. Thank You for being on my side.

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