Ask, Seek, Knock

Ask, Seek Knock

Pastor Don Carpenter

What Are You Looking For? / Matthew 7:7–8

Pastor Jack Kale tells the following story:

The rain forced us inside for our annual family Easter egg hunt, but we had a blast anyway. The kids started by hiding 120 eggs in the kitchen and den while the adults played cards in the dining room. Gangee, Pap-Pap, Uncle Paul, Aunt Kathryn, my beautiful wife, and I grabbed our baskets and waited for the count. Three, two, one, go! The women dashed into the kitchen while the men opted for the den. I found my first egg hiding in the kleenex box. I heard the giggles of the women as they fought over who found whichever egg first. Sandra won with 29. I came in second with 25. I forget how the rest fell out.

Then it was our turn. We ordered the kids to their rooms and began to hide our eggs. Some yellow ones went in the matching flower bouquet on the the counter and among the lemons by the hearth. The white one replaced a light bulb in a lamp. We unzipped couch pillows and stuffed them inside. We hid green ones in the houseplants and I stuffed a blue one down a rolled up blue yoga mat. Hiding Easter eggs will bring out your devious side, but it sure is fun.

My favorite part was watching the kids find the hard ones. I think they felt the same way watching us. “They found the one in the fireplace!” they would shout. We cheered “You’re getting colder…. Colder…warmer… you’re burning up!” It was such a blast to watch their excitement as the found the difficult ones. We hid and we found. It was awesome.

Deep in the human soul lives a bloodhound who loves the search. It’s what drives us to study more deeply and ask more intently. It forces us to consider what is right, noble, and true. It begs us for philosophical walks into what matters in life. Its why a three year old asks why only to follow up with another “why” when you have answered the question. It’s why we read whodunits and what has made google so valuable. Its why we love a good Easter egg hunt.

Yet, the Easter egg hunt has reminded me of the joy of celebrating other’s discoveries. Watching others find their purpose and passion is really rewarding. Watching a child learn to ride a bike is just as powerful as learning yourself. In life we often walk with folks as they find their own answers to the tough questions that living throws our way. It’s easy to celebrate with others when they find the missing puzzle pieces of life. Finding life’s truth together can build relationships and bring clarity to each of us.

Just like Easter eggs, truth can be found in the some really difficult hiding places. Through the loss of loved ones recently, I have found the love of new friends and ones that I had forgotten. Facing financial pains in our past, our family found peace and contentment with what we had. Dealing with suicides, cancer, alzheimer’s, depressions, divorces, bankruptcies, and addictions have revealed life’s most colorful and beautiful Easter eggy truths. My experience has taught me that these eggs have been found best with those I love.

Some of us seem to be better at hiding truth than finding it, but life is really about the searching. Life has already hidden so much from plain view that we would be better served by searching. Look for the little Easter eggs that life sends your way. Thomas Moore wrote a whole book on Re-enchantment with Everyday Life as he examined the hidden truths that we can find if we simply look at life through curious eyes. Jesus said it this way: “Seek and you will find” (Matthew 7:7).

My guess is that you are looking for something right now that’s more important than your car keys or plastic eggs. You are looking for truth and relevance. You want to make a difference in the world and you want to matter. You want to scratch that itch that keeps calling you to take a risk and follow your dreams. You want to find true love. You are searching for answers to life’s tough questions. You are on a quest to find your place in this world. You are desperate for opportunities and options. You are a searcher. You are a seeker.

Today, I invite you to let that bloodhound loose in your life. Get busy looking for that silver lining in the clouds of your life. Keep questioning those easy answers that seem to satisfy everyone but you. Keep wrestling with the why’s and why not’s. Explore the corners of your soul as you figure out what makes you tick this way and why others just seem to tock. Peer through the clouds of doubt with binoculars of faith and hope. Look for the good in other people; it’s too easy to find faults. Keep looking. Keep searching and don’t give up till you’ve found all those Easter eggs that life has in store you.

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For the next two Sunday nights we are going to ask the question, “What Are You Looking For?” Jesus gives us some encouragement about how to get things from our Loving Father. Tonight we will see that it takes some persistence and action on our part. We need to Ask, Seek, and Knock.

Matthew 7:7–8 KJV

Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: 

For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.

Ask

Psalm 10:17 KJV

LORD, thou hast heard the desire of the humble: Thou wilt prepare their heart, thou wilt cause thine ear to hear:

John 15:7 KJV

If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.

For Deliverance

Psalm 50:15 KJV

And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.

For Forgiveness

Psalm 86:5 KJV

For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; And plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee.

It Shall be Given

Matthew 21:22 KJV

And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.

Psalm 145:18–19 KJV

The LORD is nigh unto all them that call upon him, To all that call upon him in truth. 

He will fulfil the desire of them that fear him: He also will hear their cry, and will save them.

There is an old story about how the University of Chicago received a million-dollar grant from the heiress of a major department store. She had been a student at Northwest. So, administrators of Northwest went to visit her and asked why she had not made such a gift to her alma mater. Her answer was simple, “The people at the University of Chicago asked. You did not.”

Seek, Then You Will Find

The Lord’s Presence

Isaiah 55:6–7 KJV

Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, Call ye upon him while he is near: 

Let the wicked forsake his way, And the unrighteous man his thoughts: And let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; And to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.

Jeremiah 29:13 KJV

And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.

Jeremiah 33:3 KJV

Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.

Psalm 27:8 KJV

When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, LORD, will I seek.

The Lord’s Will

Matthew 6:33 KJV

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

Psalm 10:4 KJV

The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts.

Psalm 69:32 KJV

The humble shall see this, and be glad: And your heart shall live that seek God.

Proverbs 3:5–6 KJV

Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; And lean not unto thine own understanding. 

In all thy ways acknowledge him, And he shall direct thy paths.

Knock and It Will Be Opened

Revelation 3:7 KJV

And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth;

1 Corinthians 16:9 KJV

For a great door and effectual is opened unto me, and there are many adversaries.

2 Corinthians 2:12 KJV

Furthermore, when I came to Troas to preach Christ’s gospel, and a door was opened unto me of the Lord,

Colossians 4:3 KJV

Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds:

All too often we believers have access to great riches in Christ, but we have failed put in the effort to appropriate those riches. When we ask, we are to be importunate until we receive. When we seek, we need to keep looking until we find. When we knock we need to keep knocking until the right door opens.

“In all human affairs there are efforts, and there are results, and the strength of the effort is the measure of the result.”

Ask, Seek, Knock!

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 10:39 AM March 20, 2021.

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