you know how to give good gifts?

       YOU KNOW HOW TO GIVE GOOD GIFTS     PRESENTED BY STEVEN SCHILLER

INTRODUCTION           MT 7:11

In Mt 7:1-12, we are examining the "righteousness of the kingdom" in respect to MAN'S RELATIONSHIP TO MAN...

Three subjects are discussed by Jesus in this section:

Judging Others - Mt 7:1-6

Asking, Seeking, Knocking - Mt 7:7-11

The Golden Rule - Mt 7:12

In Jesus' comments on JUDGING OTHERS, we found Him telling us:

To abstain from judging others, yet also to determine who are "hogs" and "dogs"

Not to be hypercritical, yet to be critical

To be humble and patient, yet not to "cast our pearls before swine"

How can we have the wisdom to judge properly in these matters?

Jm 1:5-8 tells us that wisdom comes from God through prayer

So it is not surprising that in conjunction with the matter of judging others Jesus discusses an important principle that relates especially to prayer...

[What is Jesus teaching us in this section on "Asking, Seeking, and Knocking"...?]

THE PRINCIPLE BEING TAUGHT IS THAT OF "PERSEVERANCE" (7-8)

IMPLIED IN THE "CONTINUOUS ACTION" OF THE GREEK PRESENT TENSE

-- Literally, Jesus is saying:

"keep on asking" and it will be given to you

"keep on seeking" and you will find

"keep on knocking" and it will be opened to you

JESUS OFTEN APPLIED THIS PRINCIPLE OF PERSEVERANCE TO "PRAYER"

In the parable of "The Persistent Friend" - Lk 11:5-8

In the parable of "The Persistent Widow" - Lk 18:1-8

THIS PRINCIPLE OF PERSEVERANCE CAN ALSO BE APPLIED IN OTHER AREAS

Such as "Bible Study"

Many people give up too soon in their Bible studies

But those who persevere in their studies are the ones who benefit from the blessings God's Word provides - cf. Ps 1:1-3; 119:97-104

Or "Evangelism"

Many do not bear fruit because they give up too soon

But we reap what we sow; the more persistent we are in sowing, the more we will eventually reap

A MOTIVE FOR PERSEVERING, ESPECIALLY IN REGARDS TO PRAYER (9-11)

GOD DELIGHTS TO GIVE GOOD THINGS TO HIS CHILDREN...

To illustrate, Jesus gives a simple argument (from the LESSER to the GREATER)

I.e., men give good gifts to their children who ask

How much more so, will our Father in heaven!

THIS IS ESPECIALLY TRUE IN REGARDS TO PRAYER!

As Jesus promised to His disciples in Jn 14:13-14; 15:7

As the apostle John wrote in 1Jn 5:14-15

And as James wrote in Jm 4:3

CONCLUSION

So, in all things, let us persistently look to God for the help we need!

Especially when it comes to judging others, that we might receive the wisdom to do so without violating our Lord's teachings against censorious judging...