Matthew 7:7-14 New King James Version (NKJV)
Keep Asking, Seeking, Knocking
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.
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 Narrow Way
13 “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it.
14 Because[a] narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.
Is there some guide, to follow, to help us in life?
--Yes, we have Jesus, our Messiah. And God's Word.
--For joy and blessing, here and hereafter, for people of all ages and conditions, God shows the way!
--Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me" (John 14:6). Jesus' resurrection proves He's the way!
In Matthew 7:7-14, in this Sermon on the Mount of Jesus, God is showing us His way. It is the best way.
--Do we have a need? "Ask, and it will be given to you, seek, and you will find, knock, and it will be opened to you." (v 7). Jesus says, "Ask." In faith.
--When our heart, and request is right, He says to us, "Everyone who asks receives" if in God's will.
--If a child "asks for bread" do we give a stone?"
--Of course not, for we love them!
--If we know how to give "good gifts" to our children, "how much more will" God give "good things to those who ask Him!" (v 11). To His children.
Next, Jesus speaks of the Golden Rule, "whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them" (v 12).
--It is not as they do, but do as "you want men to do to you," - that we do, to them, anyway.
--It summarizes His sermon, "love God, with all our heart; and our neighbor as ourselves..and even to love our enemies." For this we need Jesus!
--For maximum blessings and minimum burdens.
God shows two ways, Jesus! Or, the way of the world.
Two. Right. Wrong. All are on one of these ways.!
He speaks of a "narrow way, which leads to life."
--And, "a broad way, that leads to destruction."
--Look how the Living Bible puts it, "Heaven can be entered only through the narrow gate! The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide, enough for all the multitudes who choose its easy way."
--"The Gateway to Life is small, and the road narrow and only a few ever find it." The way of Jesus.
I. LET'S LOOK AT THE WORLD'S WAY - THE BROAD WAY.
--People like to go along with the crowd, don't we?
--To go, and do, as others. Dress and act, as they.
--In a crowd - with the world's way - as many do.
--But suppose the world - the crowd - is wrong!
--The majority is not always right. Only God is!
For instance the papers carried an incident near the Turkish village of Gevas recently, a herd of sheep.
--While the shepherds ate their breakfast, one of the sheep "jumped off a 45-foot cliff to its death."
--Then, as the stunned shepherds looked on, "rest of the flock followed. In all, 1500 sheep, stumbled off the cliff, and 450 of them died." Gone! Lost!
--They just followed the crowd, without thinking!
People are a bit like sheep, the Bible declares; and we are, are we not? "All we like sheep, go astray."
--All we wander away from the Lord, follow a crowd.
--Jesus said, "I am the Good Shepherd, who gives His life for the sheep" and "My sheep hear My voice..I know them, and they follow Me" (John 10:14,27).
--So the real question is: Whom are we following?
--Jesus, the "Good Shepherd"? Or other sheep?
There is a "wide gate and broad way" out there, and Jesus said, "many go in it, but it leads to destruction." The natural way. So take the supernatural.
--He is saying, the world may be popular, may be exciting and glamorous, with all its glitter; but it is not God's way, that leads to everlasting life!
I picture that "broad way" like a wide funnel at top.
--Those who go in this wide, broad way get their fun up front, early on. But it narrows less and less.
--Until in the end, without Jesus, we miss heaven!
--We've neglected the Lord, and His salvation.
--We face eternal judgment by our way and not God's.
Reverse it. If we enter the funnel with Jesus on the "narrow way" of faith and righteousness, His funnel widens, wider and wider. Blessings increase; grow.
--The Christ-like life gets better and better, here.
--And all the way to heaven. You are the winner.
Jesus said, "I have come that they may have life and that they may have it more abundantly" (John 10:10).
--Not just "life, but more abundantly." We need it!
--The Christian life, above others, is "abundant."
Following the way of the world, is like being lose.
--We can be lost, not know it - having a good time.
--Maybe in life, on a strange road, or circumstance.
--Can you recall a time when you were lost? I can.
--Didn't realize it for awhile, but when we know it, it is no fun. Remember? Lost! Until found!
--It is bad enough to experience it physically - but far more serious for it to be, spiritually.
--That is why Jesus came, "To seek and save the lost."
--To call us away from the ways of the world to God!
--So let's consider God's way, together, in Jesus.
II. GOD'S BETTER WAY - THE WAY THAT LEADS TO LIFE
--It is the best of all - the way of Jesus, and His cross and resurrection, for all the lost world.
--God, in human form, born of a virgin, came to us.
--In Jesus, the Messiah, to show what God is like.
--Jesus was without sin - sinless! Paid for ours.
--Shows us how to live! To "love one another."
--No other Person, or religion, can compare to Jesus!
You are not a follower of Jesus? Friend, why not?
--He loves you as no other can! Still shows it!
--You may think He's all right for kids and old people, but not for you, while you're having fun.
--But friend, Jesus is the joy of living, I found.
God's grace is abundant; able to forgive an change, even the worst of sinners, to be His followers.
--To give us a hunger for His Word, worship, His will.
--To straighten out our lives, in righteousness.
--To make us loving of others. Be more loveable.
--To receive His guidance - and peace - for living.
Years ago I met Moishe Rosen founder of Jews for Jesus; met him in Denver, CO, out winning souls.
--A converted Jew, he and his mission have won many.
--Jesus meant everything to Moishe Rosen's family.
--Not easy to leave Judaism, for Jesus! God enables.
--I have followed his life, and mission, for years.
--Have had his groups in our churches to bless us.
One can be born a Jew, or a Muslim - but one must be
"born again" in Jesus (John 3), to be a Christian.
I love the Lord. Love people. Want them believers.
--God wants to "give good things" to us, and I desire that everyone have all the "good things" of God.
--For God never wills any to be lost! We choose it.
--God shows the way. All choose the way we'll go.
--Which way, friend, are you following?
III. SOME PEOPLE SAY THEY HAVE THEIR OWN WAY.
--"O, I have my own religion, my own way," they say.
--Not Jesus. "His way is too narrow, too hard."
--"I like my own way better." Does it save, satisfy?
--And, are we wiser than God? Better than Jesus?
When I think of God, He is the One Jesus revealed.
--A God of love. Holiness. Compassion. Grace.
--Man has many different gods, or ways - but God has only one - it is His way, "The way, truth, life."
--"The way." Not a way. Not one of many. God's.
--Built on the Old Testament. Perfected in Jesus.
To those who have their own way, circle Proverbs 14:12, "There is a way that seems right to a man but the end is the way of death." It is the way of many.
--It is man's way, not God's. "Seems right."
--But man's way - or any but God's - is wrong.
--Have your own, but can it save? Peace? Heaven?
There are many religions - which is right?
--They can't all be right. Right? Read a Bible.
--I recommend Jesus. He works for me, and millions.
--I know He will work for you. Jesus alone saves.
--Not some church. Or ritual. Fine, but don't save.
--It is Jesus Who died, so that we may live, always!
--The only One who arose from the dead, on His own!
--Tell me, is yours .. better than His?
God shows the way - to live abundantly, day by day.
--Why not follow this Savior today? And every day?
--Jesus is "The way." - Wilbert D. Gough, ThD 76