“If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?” —Matthew 7:11
Scripture Reading: Matthew 7:7-12
An aspiring pastor was studying under the care of a seasoned pastor. He chose this man for his great faith and perseverance in spite of hardships and setbacks, for his commitment to the Word, for his obedience to the call of God’s Spirit.
As the young man was studying his Bible, he stumbled across Matthew 7:7: “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you…” Like a ton of bricks, the truth of this passage hit him. Excited with his discovery, he hurried into the office of his mentor and quickly shared this new revelation. Having read the verse many times and also seeing its profound truth in his youth, the mentor tried to muster excitement for his protege’s discovery.
Sensing the reluctant enthusiasm, the young protege began his humble journey back to his own office. As he left his pastor’s office, he turned around and said, “If this verse is true, why don’t we pray more?”
“Why don’t we pray more?” is the haunting question we must ask ourselves. Does God give us what we ask for? Does he open the door to those who knock? Either He does or He doesn’t—and the Word says He does. This isn’t “name-it-and-claim-it” theology but rather a true understanding of God’s nature. He wants to bless us; He wants to reveal His will to us; He wants us to receive more and more of His life. God is often seen as a stingy ogre dispensing His graces as infrequently as we dispense grace to others. Yet, Christ tells us He’s waiting to give us what we ask for (according to His will).
When it comes to asking and receiving, remember one thing—we can’t ask for more than God wants to give and we can’t receive from Him more than He has to offer.
- What are we promised according to Matthew 7:7-8? See also: Psalm 91:15; John 15:7; Mark 11:24; Ezra 8:23. Why is it important to realize God does answer our prayers?
- Discuss how one gift from God stood above all the rest. John 3:16; Romans 6:23; Romans 8:32; Ephesians 2:8-10; Hebrews 12:1-3. What other gifts are promised to us? 2 Peter 1:3-4; Luke 11:13; 1 Corinthians 10:13; Matthew 11:28; Ephesians 1:17-19; 4:7.
- Are there conditions we must meet to receive God’s gifts? Psalm 34:18; 2 Peter 1:5-10; Proverbs 3:9-10; Luke 14:11; 1 Kings 11:38; John 14:23; Romans 2:9-11.
- Do our gifts to one another help us understand God’s gifts to us? How? Matthew 7:9-12; 25:31-46.
- Does Matthew 7:12 teach that our motivation for good works should be self-fulfillment and personal gain? Romans 12:9-10; John 13:35; 1 Peter 1:22; Philippians 2:1-5.
- Why is it important to realize that the “Golden Rule” is a summation of the law and the prophets? Romans 13:8-10; Matthew 22:36-40; 1 John 5:3.
This week, focus on three situations you know need divine intervention. Then, write them down on a piece of paper, put them in an obvious place in your home, and pray fervently that God would intervene. Ask the members of your family to join in prayer with you.
Next week in class, share with other members of your class how God has answered your prayers.