ASK AND IT SHALL BE GIVEN

TEXT:
Matt 7:7  Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:

Matt 7:11  If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?

Romans 8:32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?

I. ASK

  A. SOME HAVE TOO MUCH PRIDE TO ASK
    1.  Their motto is: "I'll do it myself!"
    2.  We have the Wonderful Counselor, but weíre too smart to ask for His counsel.
    3.  We have the Lord our Provider, but weíre too big to ask Him to provide.
    4.  We have the Great Physician, but weíve got it all figured out, and weíre sure that herbs
        and health food will take care of everything.
    5.  Story of a man who was too proud to ask for all he needed:
        A young man in South Africa who had contracted a great deal of debt went for assistance
        to Cecil Rhodes. "How much do you owe?" asked Mr. Rhodes. The young man told him
        a certain amount. "Is that all?" asked Mr. Rhodes.  He was assured that was all. A check
        for the amount was written out. "Come to see me tomorrow about an appointment for a job,
        and be ready to leave for the north." The young fellow left happily, but in the morning there
        was another story.  In his dread of stating an amount which to him seemed large, he had not
        told the whole amount his debts, and he had spent the afternoon trying to raise the extra
        money from the friends of his new employer on the strength of the appointment he was to
        receive. The next morning, Mr. Rhodes met him and said, "It wonít do.  I asked you a
        question, and you gave me the wrong answer. You are of no use to me. Good day."
    5.  When we are too proud to ask God for help, we are of no use to Him either.
    6.  Relying on God is not weakness.
    7.  Refusing to rely on God is a weakness.
    8.  There is nothing that we can do, that God can't do better.

  B. SOME HAVE TOO MUCH GUILT TO ASK
    1.  They say about themselves, "I donít deserve Godís help!"
    2.  They say, "Iím just not good enough!"
    3.  The story of the BACK-SLIDDEN SAILOR
        There was once a back-slidden sailor who was out in a boat fishing with a bunch of godless
        companions when a storm came up. The storm threatened to sink the boat, and his
        companions begged him to offer a prayer; but he refused, saying it was years since he had
        prayed or entered a church. Finally, they continually insisted, he made this prayer: "O Lord,
        I have not asked You for anything for fifteen years, and if You deliver us out of this storm
        and bring us safe to land again, I promise that I will not bother You again for another fifteen
        years."
    4.  He felt unworthy to pray.
    5.  He didnít think he was good enough for God to help him.
    6.  The question is not, whether or not you are good enough.
    7.  The question is, is the blood of Jesus good enough?

  C. SOME HAVE TOO MUCH DOUBT TO ASK
    1.  They donít believe they could ever expect God to answer.
    2.  They just donít think they have the faith to ask God for help.
    3.  The story of GEORGE W. TRUETT
        In the early years of his ministry, Dr. George W. Truett took the following verse as his text
        for a morningís message: "If two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they
        shall ask, it shall be done for them of My Father which is in heaven" (Mt. 18:19). Having
        quoted his text, Dr. Truett asked:
        "Do you believe it?" Of course he did not expect an answer, but one was forthcoming
        nevertheless. As he paused for a moment that his question might be understood, a very
        poor member of the congregation, poor in this worldís goods but rich in faith, rose to her
        feet. "I believe it, pastor," she said, "and I want you to claim that promise with me."
        "It staggered me," said the pastor. "I knew I did not have the faith to claim the promise,
        but before I had time to answer, a big, burly blacksmith in the congregation rose to his
        feet; "Iíll claim that promise with you, Auntie," he said, and together the two, the poor
        washer-woman and the blacksmith, dropped to their knees in the aisle and poured out
        their hearts in prayer for the salvation of the womanís husband."
        Her husband was a swearing, foul-mouthed drunkard who was well known in the church
        and in the community for his ungodly ways. At that moment, he was at home sleeping off
        a drunk.
        That night, for the first time in many years at least, he was in the church and while the pastor
        preached that woman could hardly contain herself.  She just sat there thanking God for what
        she knew He was about to do in her husbandís. When the invitation was given that old
        foul-mouthed man came to give his heart to the Lord and he became one of the most
        dependable and faithful workers in that church.
    4.  Dr. Truett was afraid to pray because he had doubts.
    5.  How often have we missed Godís blessings because of doubts?
    6. Contrast that to the story of the BARTENDER WHO BELIEVED IN PRAYER
        The story is told of a small town in which there were no liquor stores. Eventually, a bar was
        built right on Main Street. Members of one of the churches in the area were so disturbed that
        they conducted several all-night prayer meetings, and asked the Lord to burn down the bar.
        Lightning struck the tavern a short time later, and it was completely destroyed by fire.
        The owner, knowing how the church people had prayed, sued them for the damages. His
        attorney claimed that their prayers had caused the loss. The congregation, on the other hand,
        hired a lawyer and fought the charges. After much deliberation the judge declared, "Itís the
        opinion of this court that wherever the guilt may lie, the tavern keeper is the one who really
        believes in prayer while the church members do not!"
    7.  Itís sad when the world puts more trust in our prayers than we do.
    8.  Iíve asked for things beyond my faith, and seen God answer!
        a.  He healed John Holland in the V.A. hospital.
        b.  He gave us a building in Belen worth 10 times what we had.
        c.  He gave us a new church in Socorro, NM when we claimed it
    9.  God says, "Ask!" but thatís not all He says.
    10.  God says, "Ask, and it shall be GIVEN!"

II. AND IT SHALL BE GIVEN

  A. I WANT TO EMPHASIZE THE WORD "GIVEN"
    1.  Notice that it doesnít say, "Ask it shall be SOLD to you."
    2.  It doesnít say, "Ask and it shall be LOANED to you."
    3.  It doesnít say, "Ask and it shall be RENTED to you."
    4.  It says, "Ask, and it shall be GIVEN!"
    5.  It is FREE!  It is a GIFT! It is GIVEN to you!

  B. ANSWERED PRAYER IS BASED ON GRACE
    1.  Itís not based on your past works.  If it was, then the passage would read, "Ask and it
        shall be is sold to you!"
    2.  Itís not based on your future works. If it was, then the passage would read, "Ask and it
        shall be rented or leased to you!"
    3.  Itís not based on your present works. If it was, then the passage would read, "Ask and it
        shall be loaned to you!"
    4.  What you receive is based on GRACE!  Itís a free GIFT!
    5.  The scripture says, "Ask and it shall be GIVEN to you!"
    6.  Answered prayer is based on Godís unearned and undeserved FAVOR!

  C. THE RIGHT TO PRAY
    1. Sometimes we donít feel like we have the right to pray and receive
    2. Story of a U.S. representatives right to pray
        Before the U.S. House of Representatives had a full-time chaplain, individual Congressmen
        took turns opening sessions of Congress with prayer. Eventually  a chaplain was appointed
        for this duty.  One day the the chaplain was late, and it was time for the session to begin.
        Since the chaplain was not there to pray, an older congressman who was familiar with the
        way it was done before they chaplain, stepped to the front and prepared to pray.
        The Speaker of the House hit the desk with his gravel and asked, "By what right does the
        gentleman pray?" The elderly gentleman looked up at the Speaker of the House and humbly
        replied, "The right of any sinner, sir."
        He was permitted to pray.
    3.  But we have the same right as any other sinner to ask and receive!
    4.  Again, itís not a matter of whether or not we are good enough!
    5.  Itís a matter of whether or not the BLOOD was good enough!

III. HOW MUCH MORE WILL HE GIVE?

Matt 7:11 "If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?

  A. GOD IS MORE WILLING TO GIVE
    1.  God is more kind than any earthly father.
    2.  If all the compassion of all the tender fathers in the world were crowded into one man, it
        still wouldnít compare to the compassion of God!
    3.  If all the love of every earthly father was compressed into one man, his love would be like
        a candle compared to the sun in comparison to the love of God.
    4.  If we being evil know how to give good gifts, how much more shall the Heavenly Father
        give good things to them that ask Him!
    5.  Romans 8:32 "He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how will
        He not also with Him freely give us all things?"

  B. GOD IS MORE CAPABLE OF GIVING
    1.  God is more rich than the richest of earthly Fathers!
    2.  He owns all the gold and all the silver.
    3.  If thatís not enough, He can make some more!

CONCLUSION:
    Pastor Joseph Fuiten of Cedar Park A/G in Bothel, Washington tells the following story:
        "A young man was getting ready to graduate from college. For many months he had been
        drooling over a certain sports car in a dealer's showroom.  He knew that his father could
        easily afford it, and he told him that the car was all he wanted.
        As Graduation Day approached, the young man began to look for signs that his father had
        purchased the car. Finally, on the morning of his graduation, his father called him into his
        office. He told him how proud he was to have such a fine son, and told him how much he
        loved him. He handed his son a beautifully wrapped gift box.
        Curious and somewhat disappointed, the young man opened the box and found a leather
        Bible inside, with the sonís name printed on the cover. The young man grew angry and
        raised his voice to his dad. He said, "With all of your money, you give me a Bible?" Then
        he stomped out of the house.
        Years passed and the young man never went back to see his dad. He was so bitter that he
        didnít want to see or hear from him.  He was successful in business. He had a beautiful
        home and wonderful family.  One day he realized that his father must be growing old, and
        he thought perhaps he should go and be reconciled to him. He had not seen him since that
        graduation day. Before he decided to make arrangements to see his father, the young man
        received a telegram informing him of his father's death and that he needed to hurry home to
        take care of matters surrounding the possessions his father had left him (his father left him
        everything). When he arrived at his father's house, he was filled with sadness and regret.
        As he sorted through his father's important papers, he found the Bible that his dad had
        given him.  Tears began to well up in his eyes. Then he opened the Bible to a bookmark
        that his dad had left and his father had carefully underlined a verse, Matthew 7:11 "If you,
        then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more
        will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!"
        As he read those words, a car key dropped from the back of the bible. It had a tag with
        the dealer's name, the same dealer who had the sports car he had desired. On the tag was
        the date of his graduation, and the words PAID IN FULL.

        How many times have we missed Godís blessings because we have bailed out on the
        promise for one reason or another?



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