Introduction: Read Matthew 7:7-8. Here in the Sermon on the Mount the Lord promises that those who seek God’s blessings will find them.
Our reading gives three imperatives: (1) Ask, (2) Seek, (3) Knock.
Matthew 7:7-8 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.
Matthew 7:9-12 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.
THE GOD OF CREATION IS TO BE SOUGHT.
Acts 17:27 so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us;
Romans 1:20-21 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, 21 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.
Romans 10:20-21 20 But Isaiah is very bold and says: “I was found by those who did not seek Me; I was made manifest to those who did not ask for Me.” 21 But to Israel he says: “All day long I have stretched out My hands To a disobedient and contrary people.”
THE GOD OF OUR FAITH MUST BE SOUGHT OUT.
Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
Hebrews 12:14-17 14 Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord: 15 looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled; 16 lest there be any fornicator or profane person like Esau, who for one morsel of food sold his birthright. 17 For you know that afterward, when he wanted to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place for repentance, though he sought it diligently with tears.
1 Peter 1:10-12 10 Of this salvation the prophets have inquired and searched carefully, who prophesied of the grace that would come to you, 11 searching what, or what manner of time, the Spirit of Christ who was in them was indicating when He testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow. 12 To them it was revealed that, not to themselves, but to us they were ministering the things which now have been reported to you through those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven–things which angels desire to look into.
THE KINGDOM MUST BE SOUGHT.
This truth is brought by Jesus’ kingdom parables (e.g. Matt. 13:44-46).
Parables hide the truth from those who do not seek (Matt. 13:10-17).
Conclusion: God is not at fault if people do not find Him, but He is found only in the good and honest heart (Rom. 10:1-3, 20). Are you a seeker?
Matthew 5:46-48 [Scripture Reading] 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? 48 Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.
Hebrews 10:24 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works,
2 Peter 1:13 Yes, I think it is right, as long as I am in this tent, to stir you up by reminding you,
2 Peter 3:1 Beloved, I now write to you this second epistle (in both of which I stir up your pure minds by way of reminder),
Hebrews 5:9-14 9 And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him, 10 called by God as High Priest “according to the order of Melchizedek,” 11 of whom we have much to say, and hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing. 12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. 13 For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. 14 But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
1 Peter 1:22-23 22 Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervent-ly with a pure heart, 23 having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever,
1 Peter 2:1-2 1 Therefore, laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking, 2 as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby,
2 Peter 3:17-18 17 You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked; 18 but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.
1 Timothy 4:12-13 12 Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity. 13 Till I come, give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.
Psalm 1:1-2 1 Blessed is the man Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful; 2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD, And in His law he meditates day and night.
Isaiah 7:16 For before the Child shall know to refuse the evil and choose the good, the land that you dread will be forsaken by both her kings.
Isaiah 5:20 Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!
Conclusion: When you do a “self-check,” what do you see (2 Cor. 13:5)?
We are back in the building for worship! Zoom will still be available for those wishing to still worship from home for the foreseeable future. We have assigned seats for regular members and a visitor section.
We are asking everyone to wear their masks until they are in their seat and put them back on, whenever you are moving throughout the building. Finally we are asking members to wear their mask over their mouth during the singing portions of the service.
Once we hit the magical 50 number, we will have to ask attendees to worship from your car and tune their radios onto the station given at the time.
Thank you all and look forward to worshiping together, in person.