Kingdom Prayer

March 17, 2024 | Kyle Bjerga

Pastor Kyle Bjerga teaches from Matthew 7 about boldly approaching God in prayer like a child approaching their father. Jesus instructs believers to ask, seek, and knock in prayer and that God eagerly gives good gifts to His children who ask according to His will. Bjerga encourages evaluating if the Sermon on the Mount teachings has changed one’s life and relationships with others for the better. Jesus fulfills the law and prophets by teaching the golden rule of loving God and others as the conclusion of His Sermon on the Mount. Believers should pray in scripture to seek God’s guidance and bring requests that are aligned with His promises in the Bible.


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Good morning. Go ahead and grab your Bibles and turn to Matthew chapter seven. It’s page 788. If you use one of the black pew Bibles in front of you, some of you are like, wow, this is the guy with the props. No props this week, sorry to disappoint you. I know, I know. fourth and sixth grade retreat this week, I was with them at the City Link thing that we’ve just mentioned. And there were glitter balls in the crowd, there was all sorts of things, and it broke. So thankfully, there’s gonna be no glitter in our service today. So about 11 years ago, there was a an invention that kind of revolutionized the way we do something a very simple thing. And that is the way that we answer the door. So there was a guy who decided to fix a problem that he had, where he had people coming to his door delivering packages that he wanted, but he wasn’t hearing the doorbell ring. And other than I mean, he decided to just invent something which I just think get a louder doorbell. But he decided I’m gonna invent something different, something better. And and now he’s got a $2 billion company called the ring. So the ring doorbell was 11 years ago that were introduced to this device that supposed to make life easier. So if you are not familiar with it, maybe some of you have it. But there’s this doorbell, that will actually sense when somebody is there and can actually notify you that hey, somebody’s around your door, or will notify you when they actually press the doorbell. Now, depending on who or what you see, will determine if or how fast you go and open the door. You can also talk to the person from wherever you are, whether you’re at home or somewhere else, because everything comes up on whatever device you want. So let’s imagine one day you’re at home. And it’s a busy day at your door. Now the first time it’s just a notification that somebody’s by your door, and you check it and it’s just, it’s just the UPS guy delivering the package. And you’re like, I’m gonna keep working. No sense of urgency here. I can get it when it’s convenient. For me. Doorbell rings again, you look out, it’s somebody you don’t know. It’s a stranger to you, and everybody in your house. Nobody has any idea who it is. They don’t have any identification with them, they look a little suspicious. So when those harsh but very stern word you tell everybody don’t talk. Nobody say anything. Don’t look out the door, don’t let them know we’re home. Alright, because I don’t know who this person is. I don’t want to go to the door. And I’m going to ask who they are. Another person comes this time you see a tag on their shirt, you see them? They have a clipboard. And you think I don’t have time for this today? Not a salesman, not now I can’t do this. But then they’re like, Well, what’s what’s the Harmon? Let me just ask. So through the ring doorbell you say hey, who is it and kind of what are you here for and depending on what they’re selling, or what they’re there for, maybe you will open the door. But you’re gonna talk to them from the comfort of your home while they’re outside. And they end up going away. And then the doorbell rings one more time. And you check the screen. This time it’s your son, or your daughter? What do you do? You don’t say who is it? Why are you here? You go to the door. You open the door excitedly, say hey, it’s good to have you home. You welcomed them in, they come into the home. You give them a hug. You say How was your day, sit down, have a snack. Let’s talk. Brothers and sisters in Christ, that is God the Father to us, saying come in and talk to me. He sees us He knows us and he welcomes us in to pray. We do not get ignored by him as an outsider. He doesn’t see us as a threat. He doesn’t see us as an annoyance. Or someone who’s unknown. We are not bothering him. He sees his son or daughter coming to talk to their father. And so that’s what I want us walking away with today. That’s the big idea you see right there in your notes. And we’re gonna unpack it this morning. In Matthew seven. You have a good father who wants to hear from you. You have a good father who wants to hear from you. Now before we unpack all of this, we are coming to the close of the Sermon on the Mount. And this greater righteousness that Jesus started talking about in Matthew chapter five and and saying if this is he’s calling people they truly want to be a people, his people than they need to be what it looks like to enter the kingdom of God as people who have this greater righteousness that look like Jesus. And we started last week in chapter seven seven looking at kind of judgment and being discerning in our in our greater righteousness towards others in our relationship to people in the world. And at the end of this passage, Jesus is going to give us a very tangible way of how we are to relates to the world. But remember, you have a good fight Other who wants to hear from you. Now this father, we’re going to see as we go through this passage, he invites us, the Father gives to us. And finally the father changes us. So that’s how we’re gonna unpack this idea this morning. So let’s look at verses seven through eight. And look at that the father invites us. Ask and it will be given to you seek and you will find, knock, and the door will be open to you. For everyone who asks receives, the one who seeks finds into the one who knocks, the door will be open. Now, before we go any further into this passage, we need to take a step back and realize something. It’s amazing that we can even do what Jesus is saying here. We just sang the song boldly, I approach read these words from Hebrews chapter four, verse 16, let us then approach God’s throne of grace, with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. How is this possible? Because right now, many of us here, you probably couldn’t get a hold of the top dog in your company at this moment. And I know unless you have a secret profession, you’re not telling us. Nobody here can get a direct line to the President of the United States. We can’t contact him, we can’t talk to him, we can’t bring a request to him. But we get to do that with the God of the universe. That is an amazing thing. So before we kind of like oh, what are these words mean? Why are these here we have to, we have to record the fact like we can even do this. And that should lead us to worship. We come before the God of the universe, boldly making requests of him. He invites us in to do just that, to seek him out to find him to knock and have the door opened. And here, what do you want? What do you need? So yes, you and I, through Christ can boldly approach our father. And now that he says he will listen, and He will answer. There is no reason this should happen other than God’s grace toward us. So with this in our minds, we remember back when Jesus started the Lord’s Prayer when he was teaching his disciples to pray, even a couple of weeks ago, as we looked at this in Matthew six, what does he say? He starts off our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. So yes, we are going to talk about bringing our request to God today. But it has to start here we praise him, that we can even approach him and bring our requests at all. So back to verses seven through eight. These are memorable and meaningful words. Many of you know this, ask, seek and knock like these are familiar. You’ve read these before in this book, other places in Scripture as well. And each word is is meaningful, because it are memorable, because it kind of talks a little bit about a different aspect of asking God of coming to God in prayer. It’s also meaningful and memorable. Because Jesus is saying like, this is really important. You need to pay attention to us these three words of saying, This is what you get to do. As a child of God, this is what you get to do. So let’s look at these words just briefly. First is we ask. Now we don’t normally ask questions, if we know the answer already. We don’t normally ask people for help if we can do something ourselves. So when we come to God and ask, we are showing that there are things we know we cannot do without him. In fact, everything that we need, we cannot have without him giving it to us. And so our prayers are asking prayers are saying, Lord, I’m dependent on you completely. So we bring everything to him, even though small requests, we seek Him. And this is the idea of pursuing him. We want to ask God for things that are in line with his will, that we know he wants for us. So coming to God and say, Lord, I want to know what I’m supposed to do in this situation, would you would you show me through Your Word? Two weeks ago, we saw this in Matthew six, Seek first His kingdom, and His righteousness, pursue Him. And He will show you what’s important. He will show you what you should be asking for. And then we knock. We come to God and we knock and we don’t go away until He answers. We persevere. We’re persistent. Have you ever been around a persistent child? Do they ever ask a question just once? No. That’s what we do with God.
We say Lord, I want this I desire this. And then you bring it to him again. minutes later, hours later, days later, Lord, I want this I desire this. I’m bringing this to you and we are persistent. Two things happen. Two things can happen when we are persistent in prayer. The first is that it actually shows us what’s really most important to us. If you pray for something once the chances are, it’s really not that important to you. But if you pray for it daily, this matters to you. And so that’s something good that this teaches us. If we’re persistent in prayer, we say know that this really matters. I’m willing to bring the same prayer every day before the Lord until He answers. The other thing that persistence can teach us or does persistent prayer, gives us a better chance of our prayer, life changing us or I should say, God changing us through our prayer life. Because the more we persist in praying, the more the Lord will probably be shaping our hearts to be in line with his will. And so we will be praying, the right types of prayer. And so those two things can happen if we persist in praying. I love what John Piper says about these words, Ask, seek and knock. He says if if a child’s father is present, he asked him for what he needs. If a child’s father is somewhere in the house, but not seen, he seeks his father, for what he needs, if the child seeks and finds the father behind the closed door of his study, he knocks to get what he needs, the point seems to be that it doesn’t matter whether you find God immediately close at hand, almost touchable with His nearness, are hard to see. And even with barriers between he will hear and he will give good things to you, because you look to Him and not another, you look to Him and not another. Now ask seek and knock are written like commands in the present tense, meaning these are not just ask, seek and knock one time. This is keep asking, keep seeking, keep knocking. So this was a this would Jesus invites us into this the relationship with the father that he wants us to have. But what do we do with what comes after these words? Because he says Ask and you will receive, seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened. What Jesus is saying is that he’s not giving us a blank check, kind of prayer life, where it says, Yeah, write in whatever you want, you can cash it in, it’s as good as done. Because we have many scriptures we can go to, to show that we need to be praying very specifically, in accordance with God’s will. Here’s one, it’s not gonna be on the screen. So I’ll just read it for you. In First John five, it says this, this is the confidence we have in approaching God, that if we ask anything, according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have will be asked of him, if it’s in accordance with His will. So two important things to remember here first, this means that God will answer our prayers, no, sometimes to our requests. God always answers prayers, right? Like he always answers it. But but it’s not always what we want to hear. And sometimes he will say no, now sometimes when he says, No, this is a way of him protecting us from our own prayer requests. From the things we think we want, or we think that the Lord wants for us, and and sometimes he’s gonna say no, because he knows something will do more harm than good. Maybe it’s just not a part of his plan. He’s got something better for us. We just can’t see it yet. It’s kind of like the the Amazon wishlist. I know how many of you guys have wish lists, or Amazon lists, and you’re like, Oh, I’m going to put this on there. I need this. I need this. I need this. And then you send it on to people. And six months later, Christmas comes around, you open something up, you’re like, I didn’t want this. Like it was on your wish list. You’re like, oh, I guess I mean, at one point, I guess maybe I did want it. But now I don’t. So now you got this thing that you have to go return? Because you didn’t really want it. But at some point you did. And it’s kind of that same way, like we need to go back and edit our list. Thankfully, God will edit it for us. He will say you, you don’t really want that. That specific request, I’ve got something better for you. So I’m gonna take that one off, I’m gonna I’m gonna say no to that one. So that that might be what happens sometimes to our prayers. Other times, they are just things that he says no to because they’re not in line with his will. And you were sitting there thinking, Lord, I think this is in line with your will. Like, I think I’m praying exactly what your word says. And it’s in those moments that are really tough, and I don’t have an answer for you. I don’t know how to explain that. We’ve all been there. We prayed prayers that we believe we’re convinced that God will answer exactly how we pray them. And we don’t see it. Maybe you’re praying those types of prayers right now. Now, sometimes in my life, the Lord has shown me that he saved me from something else in order to give me something better. Sometimes, most of the time, that’s not true. Most of the time was in there. I don’t know how else to pray. I don’t know what else to say. And I don’t know what you’re doing. And I’m sure all of us have been in that place. So as a Christian It’s in these moments, one of the most important questions we ever ask ourselves is, can I trust my father? My kids don’t understand a lot of what I do. And sometimes that’s because maybe doesn’t make sense. And I don’t even know what I’m doing. But sometimes it’s just because they’re not going to because I have a long view of their life in the long view of parenting that they can’t possibly understand at this point in their life. And if that’s true of me, than the infinite God has a much longer view than I have. So do I trust him? And the answer this question, we need to look at Jesus, we need to look at Jesus the night before the night, the night He is betrayed, as he is praying in the garden, and he comes before his father, he’s gonna be betrayed. He knows what’s coming. He’s stressed, and he’s sweating. And he’s sweating so much. And there’s so much stress and intensity in his prayers, that the capillaries are breaking, he’s sweating, and His blood is mixed with his sweat. And he’s before His Father. He says, My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me? Seems like a pretty good request. He’s asking him if there’s any other way. Maybe this can’t be taken from me. If you ever ask God to end your suffering, you ever ask God to intervene? In a situation? Jesus was seeking his father next, because what does he say ready for that? Yet, not as I will. But as you will. I’m going to ask this, and then I’m gonna pray. I’m gonna lean in and say, This is not for me, this is what you want. And then he knocks, because Jesus falls to the ground, his face before His Father and He prays, and then he gets up and he goes, and he finds his disciples sleeping. He comes back and he prays the same thing again. He gets up again, he goes to his disciples again, and they’re sleeping again. He goes back, it says, a third time, and he prays the same thing. He kept knocking. He was persistent. If there’s any other way, yet, not what I will, but what you will. And he did it over and over and over again. He’s does exactly what he’s telling us to do here with our father. And God, the Father said, No. There’s no other way. The cup will be poured out on you, not taken from you. That was the answer. One pastor I came across this week says this says because the father answered NO SINNERS of high priest, perfectly intimate with all their weaknesses, merciful and faithful. We have one who stands between us and all our ungodliness and God and all His Holiness to reconcile us and reunite us as friends rather than rebels. Because he said, No, we never fear that the father’s wrath is coming again for us. Because he said, No, we stand assured that our acceptance with God happened on completely legitimate grounds. And because he said, No, we will forever enjoy and share the glory of the Father and the Son and unending timeless age to come. So I am glad the father said no. It’s hard in the moment. It’s frustrating. But you know what kept Jesus from running away at this point when the soldiers came to take him away? What kept him from fighting back? What kept in silent during all those accusations? What kept him on the cross when they kept saying if you’re really him come down off the cross. What kept him firm? Was his trust in his father. complete trust, he trusted his father in his life. He trusted him in his death. He trusted him in his resurrection, and with everything. So the question for us is, do we? Do we trust him? Even when things are going the way we didn’t initially pray for? Even when we’re not sure what he’s doing? Do we trust our good father? The way you answer that question will drastically change the way you pray, and will drastically change the way you respond to how the Lord answers those prayers. Do we trust the Father? Now the reason we can trust Him why Jesus trusted his fathers because it’s directly tied his character who God is
and how He wants to bless His children. So we have a good father who wants to hear from us He invites us to talk to him. The second thing is the Father gives to us look at verses nine through 11. Which of you have your son asked for bread we’ll give him a stone. Or if he asked for a fish, we’ll give him a snake. If you then though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children. How much more will your Father and haven’t give good gifts to those who asked him. So these two rhetorical questions that Jesus asked sets up a little compare and contrast between God the Father and earthly parents. So if your child comes up and ask for bread, you’re not going to give them a stone. Now there were some stones back then that will look a lot like bread, like a loaf of bread. So you’re not going to deceive your child, give them a stone and say, Here you go, and let them break their teeth. On a stone, there’s fish that kind of look like snakes. So you’re not going to give them a snake and, and say, go ahead, here’s your food, so that that snake can turn on them and harm them when they take a bite. That’s called bad parenting. Not something we do. earthly parents don’t do that to their children, and God isn’t going to do that to us. So there’s the comparison. earthly parents give good gifts to their children. It’s built into how God has created things. We want to bless our kids give them good things, we do not seek to harm them. But then Jesus contrasts God Father, and earthly parents, because he says, If you then though you are evil. Like, ouch. Do you imagine hearing this for the first time as they’re listening to Jesus? I mean, he said a lot in the Sermon on the Mount. So they’re, they’re not caught completely by surprise. But if you then who are evil, I mean, should you say wait, we’re giving good gifts, our children shouldn’t say you who are loving and selfless and good. Of course, you give good gifts your children. Know, he says, Though you are evil, you still give good gifts. So what is Jesus saying here? Well, let’s think back to last week, and I had the the measuring stick up here, when we take that measuring stick, and we compare the way God parents us, compared to our own parenting, we will see that we fall far short of his standard of the type of parent, the type of father that he is. So the contrast here is between a perfect holy, just and good father, and sinful, fallen imperfect parents. Because we are going to mess up. I have told my kids that many times, I don’t need to tell them. But I tell them, this is going to happen, I’m going to sin against my children, I’m going to not always give them good gifts, not always intentionally. But I’m not always going to choose the best option. The quality of my parenting is always going to be impacted by my own sinful flesh. But we should still take encouragement from what Jesus is saying here. I think that’s what we’re supposed to take from this. Because even though that is true, we still give good gifts to our children. So it isn’t meant to be a rebuke of parents. It’s the reality we live in. Now Jesus is trying to set up the argument that he has already used throughout his teaching in the Sermon on the Mount, and in many other places where he says the phrase, how much more if you’re sinful, and imperfect, and give good gifts, your children, how much more will your perfect Father in heaven give good gifts to those who asked him? Our good father wants to hear from us, and He wants to give to us? Like, let me say it again, he wants to hear from us, and He wants to give good things to us. I don’t know if we always believe that. I don’t know. I’ll speak for myself, I don’t always believe that. I haven’t always believed that. That he hears me and then he wants to give me good gifts. And many times, he’s just waiting for us to ask. He’s just waiting. Are we actually asking? He wants us to ask for good things, and he will give us good things. The question is, are we asking for the right things? So we’re looking at Matthew seven, seven through 12, within this larger framework of the Sermon on the Mount. So I think this is where we need to start. We need to start in this sermon, because the people hearing this can start to make connections like what should I be asking for? What are the good things that God is ready to give me right now? If I will only ask him for it. How about asking the Lord to fulfill all the teaching that he has been giving us? Like, Lord, do this in my life to this like, we’ve gone through this since January 14. So we’re looking at a passage of scripture every week, every week, when Jesus is giving a sermon when Jesus is giving other teaching, and he’s saying these things, it’s in the larger context. They’re hearing all of it. And so we’re going to have to really like use our minds go back and kind of think through like, what are the different weeks? Where was the Lord convicting me prompting me to start praying that this needs to be true of my life? Because the Kingdom of Heaven is for those who are poor in spirit. Are we asking that the Lord would give us that kind of heart? That desperate need for God? The Beatitudes we also saw that we need to hunger and thirst for righteousness. Are we praying that we are humble, merciful, and pure in heart, like, these are the good things God wants to give us. And none of these things come naturally to us. Okay? That’s not what the sermon on the mount is for Jesus is not getting up and saying, these are all true of you. So keep doing them and saying, these are not true of you. But if you’re in the kingdom, if you’re a child of God, these these are things that can be true of you. So these are things that we cannot do ourselves. So instead, they need to come from a changed heart. So we pray that God will work these things in our lives. And there’s more, of course, I’m just gonna name a few more through the sermon, the Sermon on the Mount, we pray that God would help us to forgive. Because forgiveness is hard. We pray that he would help us love our enemies. We ask that you would, that he would help us to pray for those who persecute us. We pray that you’d help us to give to the needy, that we would serve Him and only him? So I don’t know. And we can go, of course. But I think we need to reevaluate what types of requests we’re bringing to God? Are we bringing the right types of requests, the ones that he has already told us? He will answer, if we bring them to him, If we ask, James tells us if you lack wisdom, ask, ask for wisdom. Because God gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins, and purify us from all unrighteousness. Like, these are the things he promises he will do. Are we asking him, he will do them. And when my kids come in, I asked me for something that I believe is really important. I lean in differently to those prayers, then when I know they’re asking me for something that could be harmful to them, isn’t good for them isn’t what’s best. And so when we bring our requests before God, and these are things that he has promised in Scripture to give us if we ask, he’s going to lean in, and he wants to give to us. He’s just waiting for us to ask. So you have a good father who wants to hear from you. So he invites us in. And then he gives to us. So can God be trusted? Yes. We trust God, we bring request to him. And when he gives us those gifts, there is a goal at the end of all of it. And it’s verse 12. The father changes us that’s what he does, the father changes us look at verse 12. So in everything Do to others, what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the law, and the prophets. So in everything other translations actually say, therefore, connecting what we’ve just read to this statement. So since you have a good father, who invites you in, who who loves you, who who wants to give to you and has given to you now go and do to others what you would have them do to you. The father has been mentioned many, many times in the Sermon on the Mount. We’ve talked about this many times already in this series. And the father wants to see his children change. Those who enter the kingdom must have a kingdom mindset must have Kingdom ethics. So as we get to the end, as we finish up next week, has the Sermon on the Mount changed you? It’s a good question to ask every week when God’s word has opened before us, has it changed you? Are you different now than when we started back in January 14? Like last I’ve heard, I don’t know how many times this week how many of you imagine the plank in your eye? I did to like, has it changed you though? Have you given these things the Lord? Are you working on them? Has it changed you next week, we’re going to come to the point where Jesus starts talking about there’s a choice to make in this life regarding who he is and what he is teaching.
But now verse 12, seems kind of like a conclusion statement. It seems a little bit out of place here actually. So what’s happening here is that it is and it isn’t a conclusion statement. Like already said we have more to go next week in the Sermon on the Mount. However, this statement does conclude what we started this past week of looking at the Greater righteousness and relationship to the world. How we relate to other people in the kingdom of God. This statement also kind of concludes the main block of teaching that started all the way back in Matthew 517 and goes here until 712. So how do we know that? Look, look back with me at 517 You should just be able to flip over 517 and 712 beginning And with law and the prophets, they’re bookends of this teaching the inclusi Oh, that we talked about before. So look at Matthew 517, do you not think that I’ve come to abolish the law or the prophets, I have not come to abolish them, but to fulfill them. So Jesus starts off the main block of teaching of saying, don’t think I’ve come to abolish the law and the prophets. I’ve not come to abolish them, I’ve come to fulfill them. And then he goes right into how he fulfills them. And then here we get this sums up the law and the prophets. So the law and the prophets were a way to refer to the Old Testament, that’s what they would have had at this time, in Jesus’s time. So he’s saying, I’ve come to show you what it means to live in the kingdom of God, I have come to fulfill the law and the prophets, and I’ve come to change you, so that you live out your kingdom citizenship, so that you live out the truth of this, of this truth in the world. So this sums up the law and the prophets. Do unto others what you would have them do to you. That’s the summation of the law and the prophets, in everything, in everything do to others what you’d have them do to you. So here, we get what we know is referred to as the golden rule, right? We’ve all heard it, we’ve memorized it. We’ve talked about it before. We’ve had lessons on it before your parents probably talked about it. There is another place in Matthew, where we see the foundation of the golden rule. It’s another place where Jesus summarizes all of the teaching of the law and the prophets. In Matthew 22, Jesus is challenged by an expert, an expert teacher of the law, that is sent by the Sadducees. And Pharisees and he’s asked teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the law. And you know this, Jesus replied, Love the Lord your God, with all your heart, all your soul, with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it. Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets Hang On these two commandments. So you want to know what the Old Testament is about? Love God, love others. That’s, that’s the summation of it. You want to know what the kingdom of God is all about? Love God, love others. You want to know how to live out the Sermon on the Mount. Love God, love others. What is the principle guiding this golden rule? Love God, and love others. Jesus has come to fulfill to show us exactly what this looks like. He fulfills it perfectly, because he loved God, and he loved others perfectly. And now he says, Now I’m going to sum up everything here and say go and do the same. This should be what you’re about now. Because all of this is true. So in everything, go and do the same. Sinclair Ferguson, and commenting on this passage says, For Jesus, the Word of God is not an impossible complex of rules and regulations, like many of us think it is. It’s not these rules, regulations placed on men shoulders as a heavy burden. Rather, it is the outworking of this principle of love. Grasp this and everything falls into place. That is his point. There’s one more thing to notice here about what Jesus says, in many religions, belief systems, even in our culture, people will have a golden rule. But most the time it’s given the negative. We’re used to hearing it like this don’t do to others. Well, you don’t want them to do to you, Hey, don’t don’t do those things. If you don’t want them done to you don’t do them to others. But Don Carson says there’s something much deeper going on in Jesus’s words here. He says the positive form is thus far more searching than its negative counterpart. Here there’s no permission to withdraw into a world where I offended no one, but accomplished no positive good, either. What would you like done to you? What would you really like? Then do that to others duplicate both the quality of these things and their quantity in everything. So if I told you yesterday, Jackie, and I had a great day in our marriage, and we did because I didn’t make her mad. That’s it. I just didn’t make her mad. So clearly, it was it was a good day. Now what if I told you I was also gone at this conference for most of the day, we didn’t see each other hardly at all. Which is the truth. So therefore, by that standard, we don’t do to others what I don’t want them to do to me as long as I’m as long as I don’t make her mad, then things are good, right? Jesus says No Do to others, what you want them to do to you. So nothing in that shows that I have loved her well, or that there’s joy in our marriage. Ridge, it just means that they make her mad. So you see, it’s a lot easier to live a life where you just don’t do things to make people mad or upset or you didn’t step on people’s toes or whatever it is, than it is to say, go in love them like Jesus loved you. That is a lot harder to do. But that is what Jesus is calling us to. So so a lot of people I heard even in reading this week, say this isn’t so much the golden rule as it is the golden vision. And I love that it is a golden vision. The vision is that believers of Jesus Christ would be so radically transformed by the good news of Jesus, the one who is the fulfillment of the Old Testament, that we love others just like He loved us. That’s the golden vision. Which means by the way, our work is never done. Right? Because we, I can check off a box, if I didn’t do this, I didn’t do this. But can I ever truly check off the boxes I loved like Jesus loved. I don’t feel comfortable checking that box off. But it is a vision, a goal to attain a goal to work towards a goal that I need a lot of prayer in, to ask God to give me these things we see in His Word, to seek out His will for my life, for others, and then to keep knocking keep pursuing him keep asking these requests of him. Because I do believe and I hope you do, too, that you have a good father and he wants to hear from you. He wants to give you good things. I know that because he’s given us the greatest gift ever. And that’s where our relationship with Him starts. Which means everything else is icing on the cake. If that’s how our relationship starts with God, is that he gives us the gift of His Son. Everything else is a bonus. Everything. But it’s such a beautiful thing that we get to approach him and bring our requests. So for those of you who are here, and you’ve been walking in the Lord for a long time, you you pray. And maybe you’re like, I don’t pray enough. I don’t ask enough of what the Lord wants. I don’t really seek His will. I just want to give kind of one, one thought that we can take with our with us today. How can we be sure our prayers are in accordance with God’s will? How can be sure he’s going to hear them? And he’s going to respond and answer. And so the one thing I want you to take away today, it’s not the only thing. But I think it’s a good place to start. We need to pray scripture. We have to pray God’s word back to him. Because it’s the only thing that we know of when we pray he is listening, because it’s what he gave us. So already mentioned some ask ask for wisdom. If we confess our sins, like he will answer these words in our life, how he’ll do it, when he’ll do it. I can’t guarantee all of those things, but he will answer. And so we’ve given away the book a few years back now called praying the Bible. We have questions that we have on Bible study things that like how do we how do we pray this truth? So as a family talk about it, what does the Lord want us to ask coming out of the message today? What is what does God want us to ask coming out of kids city or youth group or wherever else we’re in? What should we ask? How can we seek God? How we can we persist in asking for these things? There’s other good resources that we could point you to, to be praying through scripture. But I think that’s the place we all need to start because again, if he gave it to us, he’d love to hear us pray back to him. And he will listen and He will answer because he’s a good father. He loves his son, he loves his daughter, and he wants to hear from us. Let’s pray. Lord, we, we thank you that you are good to us. That you have given us your son, made a way for us to be saved. made a way for us to approach you boldly.
And see where we stand. We sit. Maybe we lay face down before you when we pray. First in a posture of thanksgiving and praise. Because we know we don’t deserve it. We know we never earned it. So Lord, as we come this morning to your table, let us see the gloriousness the goodness the grace that was displayed in Jesus on the cross. We love you and we pray this in Jesus name. Amen.

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