Jesus' recorded sermon/s.




We consider prayer requests and our behaviour to others.





Sermon on the mount.




Online links to scriptures (New International Version [NIV] unless otherwise stated) are shown in blue


7 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.



9 “Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake?



11 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 7:7-11)





There is a 3 stage process towards getting gifts from God. First we must 'ask'. Many Christians stop there. Secondly we must 'seek'. Do something positive. Push on the doors to see if they will open. And thirdly, we must 'knock' and keep on knocking, which involves perseverance through faith. God is our Father and He will give gifts that are good for us, as He decides, according to our circumstances, as would any good parent. 




The area of God answering prayer is one that gives rise to questioning and disappointment, as well as joy when our prayers are answered.

First of all, we need to understand that God is not a big Father Christmas in the sky raining down gifts to satisfy our every whim. Oh dear, how sad! We have all seen the result of parents meeting a child's every desire and understand the consequences in the development of a self centered, greedy, uncaring child - the exact opposite of what we are to be as followers of Jesus!

So let's understand, the Lord is not there to satisfy our every selfish want, nor to make us rich materially, which face it, we would all like to be, a fact which teachers of the prosperity doctrine prey upon to get followers, often in order to enrich themselves. If believing in Jesus was a way to guaranteed riches on earth, 'the world' would flock to the church!



On the other side, I see faithful believers in poor countries who do not have sufficient to eat. 'Why Lord', I ask, for their material needs are so much greater than mine will ever be. The desire to help these people is at the heart of our Seekers Megamarts operations.  



As explained in the EXPOSITION, receiving is not simply a function of wanting something and asking for it. We need to seek and knock also, to prove our desire. Generally the effort required sorts out the wheat from the tares in our own life. 'Easy come' and 'easy go' are great bedfellows but certainly not part of God's ways. 



New Christians, being spiritual children, may well given what appears to be a frivolous gift by the Lord in order to build their faith. But as we mature in Christ, our ways and prayers are to change to be more in line with His desires and His ways. Our prayers will then ask for the things that are on God's heart as well as our own. When our motivation is pure, as God's motivation is pure, then our prayers will be answered. For like any parent, God wants us to come to maturity and reflect 'the family values' - His values, in our life.

I have had prayers answered, prayers still to be answered, and others that have been answered in the negative, which I now realise, as I grow spiritually, were not in my best interests anyway.

Jesus tagged a very interesting verse onto the end of this section which goes a long way towards explaining His attitude towards our prayers.

May we reflect upon whether our prayer requests are truly glorifying God or are centered upon ourselves.


12 So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets. (Matthew 7:12)





Our Lord Jesus here presses upon us that righteousness towards men which is an essential branch of true religion, and that religion towards God which is an essential branch of universal righteousness. I. We must make righteousness our rule, and be ruled by it......Fitly is the law of justice subjoined to the law of prayer, for unless we be honest in our conversation, God will not hear our prayers, Isa. 1:15–17; 58:6, 9; Zec. 7:9, 13. We cannot expect to receive good things from God, if we do not fair things, and that which is honest, and lovely, and of good report among men. Henry, Matthew, Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Bible, (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers) 1997. 




I quoted the above directly from Matthew Henry in case you thought that which follows is just 'David'!

The simple, if harsh, reality is that we cannot expect answers to our prayers when we are not leading godly lives ourselves. It is no accident that Jesus incorporated the 'universal commandment' with His statement on prayer.

As I have learned and experienced more of God I have come to understand that everything of God is conditional. God makes us a promise. Then we need to live it out in some way. But how about salvation, David? Surely salvation is free? Yes it is! But to live, to work out, our salvation, costs us our life! If our life doesn't change when we come to Jesus, our conversion is not a true one. For Jesus is to be not only Saviour but also Lord. One goes with the other. Of course Lordship takes time, a lifetime in fact, to develop. As butter is to bread, making it palatable, so the Lordship of Jesus in our life displays our salvation to the world.

This is not a well promoted truth amongst Christians. We prefer to say come to Jesus for His blessings, without talking about the accompanying sacrifice of ourselves that is also required.



The same principle applies to prayer. If we expect Jesus to answer our prayers, we need to live a godly life to the full extent of our understanding of godliness at the time. None of us is perfect - certainly not me. Yet we are to grow in godliness from glory to glory as Jesus reveals more of Himself to us throughout a lifetime of growing spiritual maturity. A new, 'baby' Christian is not expected to be a spiritual 'adult'. But we are expected to grow up to spiritual maturity. I have been saved, am being saved, and will be saved, as I give up more and more of myself to the Lord.  


1 Corinthians 13:11-13



I don't want this word to sound harsh. My desire, both for you and for me, is to see Him face to face. My heart cries out for His people to know Him more. I believe that this is the heart of Jesus also.

As we reach out to know Him more, so we can expect Him to act upon our petitions and prayers, for they will be of His heart, not our own. Selah.


<i>NEXT WEEK:</i> SERMON ON THE MOUNT continues...


... as we look at the way to Jesus, plus spiritual fruit in our lives. 




Walking with Jesus requires commitment.

Too often we seek the benefits without being prepared to pay the price!

May we both truly seek to walk in His path.



Does this stone vessel contain an inscription with the same word used by Jesus "Corban"?

This Korban Inscription is a fragment of a stone vessel excavated at the ruins of the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem.

On the fragment are the 4 Hebrew consonants KRBN (kaph, resh, beth, nun), which spell the Hebrew word "korban" meaning "sacrifice" or "offering". The inscribed word is the same word used by Jesus in Mark 7. With the inscription are two inscribed doves or pigeons. The Korban Inscription is from the time of Jesus and kept at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. The Korban Inscription discovery is important in the study of Biblical Archaeology because the word is mentioned by Jesus in the New Testament.

Meaning of Korban or Corban

Korban is a name common to any sacred gift; the term in general use to denote sacrifice, its equivalent (Ex 28:38) being "holy gifts." All things or persons consecrated (or vowed) for religious purposes became korban and fell to the sanctuary. The Pharisees taught that "if a man says to his father or his mother, anything of mine you might have been helped by is Corban [i.e., devoted]" (Mk 7:11), he thereby consecrated all to God and was relieved from using it for his parents. This Jesus declared to be contradictory of the command that taught children to honor their parents.

"But ye say, If a man shall say to his father or mother, It is Corban, that is to say, a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; he shall be free. And ye suffer him no more to do ought for his father or his mother; Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye." Mark 7:11-13

Source: http://www.bible-history.com


So until next week.......

His servant and yours

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305. The foolish can seek wisdom, the wise godliness, while the godly grow into the image of Christ.

David Tait         




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