Ask, Search, Receive 

In Matthew 7:1-2, Jesus talks about how we are to live. He says:

    “Do not judge others. Then you will not be judged. You will be judged in the same way you judge others. You will be measured in the same way you measure others.”

And verse 12:

    “In everything, do to others what you would want them to do to you. This is what is written in the Law and in the Prophets.” (From the New International Readers Version of the Bible, or NIRV)

How well do we follow His teaching? I can’t speak for anyone except myself, and I am guilty of being judgmental. I don’t always treat others the way I want to be treated, but I often expect preferential treatment. I’m human, and that means I’m a sinful being. It DOESN’T mean I have to sit back and give control back to the enemy!

  “I have seen everything in this meaningless life, including the death of good young people and the long life of wicked people. So don’t be too good or too wise! Why destroy yourself? On the other hand, don’t be too wicked either. Don’t be a fool! Why die before your time? Pay attention to these instructions, for anyone who fears God will avoid both extremes. One wise person is stronger than ten leading citizens of a town! Not a single person on earth is always good and never sins. Don’t eavesdrop on others—you may hear your servant curse you. For you know how often you yourself have cursed others. I have always tried my best to let wisdom guide my thoughts and actions. I said to myself, “I am determined to be wise.” ** But it didn’t work. Wisdom is always distant and difficult to find. I searched everywhere, determined to find wisdom and to understand the reason for things. I was determined to prove to myself that wickedness is stupid and that foolishness is madness.” – Ecclesiastes 7:15‭-‬25 NLT (

**As my favorite recovery pastor tells it, it was our best thinking – i.e. our “wisdom,” not God’s Wisdom  – that got us here!

My Dad used to say that you could be sincere, but you could be sincerely wrong. He was absolutely right, and it troubles me to see so many people who are preaching and teaching and discipling other gospels than the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Prosperity – I admit to worshipping at that altar in the past. How about the altar of self-righteousness? Prejudice? Keeping up with the Joneses, or the Corporate ladder? Arrogance? What about the altar of football? On the opposite spectrum,  what about self-pity and self abuse? 

I have skipped over many of our altars, but I could take all day and still not list them all, because as humans we are constantly creating more. Even children and spouses can be altars that cause us to trip.

  “Let God’s curse fall on us or even an angel from heaven, who preaches a different kind of Good News than the one we preached to you. I say again what we have said before: If anyone preaches any other Good News than the one you welcomed, let that person be cursed.”

***”Obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God.”***

   “If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant. But even before I was born, God chose me and called me by His marvelous Grace. Then it pleased Him to reveal His Son to me so that I would proclaim the Good News about Jesus…..”(Galatians 1:8-10, 15-16a)

By surrendering myself daily (hourly, minute by minute – whatever it takes!) to my Savior; by letting God have control, I do a little bit better at living as He tells me to. It’s interesting, too, that the more I let go, the less stress and judgmental I find myself.

I will always sin. The enemy will throw temptation and disaster and ugliness at me as long as I live. The thought that keeps me sane {okay, those of you who know me well, STOP LAUGHING!} …. the KNOWLEDGE that keeps me going is this verse from Matthew 7:7-8:

    “Ask, and it will be given to you. Search, and you will find. Knock, and the door will be opened to you. Everyone who asks will receive. He who searches will find. The door will be opened to the one who knocks.”

I have asked; I have searched; and I have knocked, and Jesus answered. AMEN.

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