Matthew – God’s Purposes
We want to begin by thanking all the people and church groups who contributed to our mission work here in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. Our treasurer for Finding Focus Ministries will be making the last payment on our living and ministry expenses with our partner, World Gospel Mission. We thank and praise God for you as passionately as Paul prayed for those who supported him. (See Philippians 1)
We have two months to go to fulfill our agreement to serve. We thank God for what He has done in the last two months, for what He is doing in and through us currently and look forward to what He will do. We pray and ask to finish well. We know you will pray that prayer with us.
Today we come to Jesus’ teaching where He explains to us how to ask and seek with the promise to find all that God has for us that is best in His eyes. Our Father in Heaven knows what we need and will provide exactly what He deems best for his children at just the right time and in the right place on our journey. I know because I live with this teaching in my heart, mind and soul every day. I love how God works!
Matthew 7, NKJV
Keep Asking, Seeking, Knocking
7 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. 9 Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? 11 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him! 12 Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.
QUESTIONS FOR THOUGHT: For what am I asking? Am I asking for a want or a true need? Am I asking for spiritual nourishment that leads to growth, wisdom, insight and understanding, strength of character along with the guidance of His Holy Spirit? For WHAT am I asking? If I get what I ask God for will it make me a better person, living His way? Am I asking for help for problem solving? Am I asking for help to relate to others in more loving ways? Am I asking for help to understand His Word more so I can live more closely to Him? Mm. For what am I asking? AND do I realize WHO I’m asking? Do I give Him glory, honor and praise as I humble myself before Him to ask what His best is for me?
AND that ‘s not all…look at verse 12 that Jesus slid in for good measure. “Whatever you want other to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law”. Mm. Do I ask God to help others on their journey? Do I ask God what I can do for others and then do it with God’s help?
The Narrow Way
13 “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. 14 Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.
QUESTIONS FOR THOUGHT: What path am I choosing? The easy way looks, well, easier. We always say work smarter, not harder in this world. But we are not of this world. That’s why the road to God is narrow, not many choose the hard work, sacrifice, obedience to God that the journey requires. Mm. What way am I choosing? What will my reward be?
You Will Know Them by Their Fruits
15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? 17 Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them.
QUESTIONS FOR THOUGHT: Follow those who are false and rotten on the inside but look good and close to God on the outside are deadly to our walk with God. Watch closely at what they say and do when no one is looking. For out of the mouth comes from what is in the heart, Jesus reminds us in his teachings later. Look for character traits which are “fruits” that are developing in people and in ourselves.
I Never Knew You
21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’
QUESTIONS FOR THOUGHT: At the end of a long day, what will God say to my heart? “Well done or what were you thinking?” We can do good things for bad reasons, reasons not of God and for His glory. Lawlessness here is not following the number one Law Commandment, “You shall love the Lord, Your God, with all your heart, mind and soul.”
Dear Heavenly Father,
I love Your Word that speaks volumes to us each morning. I feel closer to You when I read and understand Your ways. I hear Your Holy Spirit convict, challenge, encourage and guide me to developing better fruit in my own life. Thank you, Lord for your teaching. Thank you for saving us. Thank you for your mercy and grace that is new each day. Grow us still. Transform us to be all you intended for us to be…and then do.
In Jesus Name, Amen