Monthly Archives: January 2014

Here’s something new…

Editor’s Note:  

Since my father’s death, I have been the keeper of some of his sermons and other assorted papers.  At various times I have given thought to what to do with them.  I could donate them to the seminary from which he graduated (Calvin) but I can’t help but think about the last scene in “Raiders of the Lost Ark” where the ark of the covenant is filed in a large warehouse.  Then I thought about somehow creating a daily devotional.  After all, he already did a month’s work himself a number of years ago with “Our Daily Bread.”  But a daily entry seemed both restrictive and daunting.  It was then that my wife pointed out a former pastor’s blog and the light went on.  That would make the perfect format.  I can post as often as I want (I hope to do so weekly) without too many restrictions on space and on various topics.  It also is accessible to many people and is available for feedback (hopefully positive).

As to the title, it is taken from one of his “homemade” benedictions…”Know Who You Are, Be What He Made You.”  The content of the blog is essentially his.  I may employ the power of editing now and again.  In addition to being taken from his sermons, I will also post letters that were placed in my lunches during my adolescent summer jobs.  Often these took the form of what he might call “semonettes,” of which I and my brothers were the beneficieries.

I hope you enjoy these posts, but most of all, I hope you are blessed by them.

Ask, Seek, Knock

Matthew 7:7  “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.”

Originally, we regard the verse as essentially stating the same thing three times, for emphasis if for no other reason.  This was quite common in the Hebrew culture and there are many examples of this within the poetic books, most notably the Psalms (see Psalm 19).  However, even in those repetitions there is often an advance or a little additional information.

So, wiser minds than mine have pointed out that this represents different degrees or levels in the Christian life,  particularly in the area of intercession or prayer. This is found elsewhere in scripture, most notably in I John which talks regarding spiritual “little children, young men and fathers.”

Spiritual children, regardless of age, regard prayer primarily as asking.  Note their objections or criticisms of prayer, namely, “I didn’t get what I asked for.”  Asking for things.  And first of all for self (and maybe for family or close friends).  Even this is honored by God, who tampers the wind to the lamb, as they say. Most of the time they receive what they ask in faith, if they don’t ask for the moon or the impossible.

Spiritual adolescents seek, and find – the Giver!  Things that are lost are already one’s own possession; we HAVE that.  But we lose sight of our love for the Giver. And the bible states plainly that “If with all your heart you truly seek me, you shall surely find me.” (Duet 4:29) Unbelievers may get lots of things, and often do, but never find the Giver.  What good is that, says Jesus.  And God is more eager to give Himself to us than things.

“Knock” represents a desire for entrance.  And the purpose of entrance, such as into another’s dwelling, is for fellowship.  Jesus says that if anyone opens the door (his own; his heart, his life), I will come in and make my home with him.  We will “sup” together. This is a level that many professing Christians do not attain.  They recognize God, thank Him for his gifts, etc., but to be like Him, to be on intimate terms with Him (”prayer without ceasing”) is an unfamiliar concept.

And that rare step is also easy.  One only has to want it, sincerely.  Without strings attached.  For it’s own reason, not in order to excel the other person, or have lots of spiritual gifts.  To settle for anything less is self-defeating. It is what God has made us for.  It is where true peace and contentment lie. And since God is infinite, you can never exhaust such “fullness.” Strength to strength, glory to glory, grace upon grace.  Which is why heaven will never get boring.