Friday, November 22, 2019

Be Persistent- Keep Seeking God

5-6 Then Jesus said to them, “Suppose one of you went to your friend’s house very late at night and said to him, ‘A friend of mine has come into town to visit me. But I have nothing for him to eat. Please give me three loaves of bread.’ 7 Your friend inside the house answers, ‘Go away! Don’t bother me! The door is already locked. My children and I are in bed. I cannot get up and give you the bread now.’ 8 I tell you, maybe friendship is not enough to make him get up to give you the bread. But he will surely get up to give you what you need if you continue to ask. 9 So I tell you, continue to ask, and God will give to you. Continue to search, and you will find. Continue to knock, and the door will open for you. 10 Yes, whoever continues to ask will receive. Whoever continues to look will find. And whoever continues to knock will have the door opened for them. 11 Do any of you have a son? What would you do if your son asked you for a fish? Would any father give him a snake? 12 Or, if he asked for an egg, would you give him a scorpion? Of course not! 13 Even you who are bad know how to give good things to your children. So surely your heavenly Father knows how to give the Holy Spirit to the people who ask him.” –Luke 11:5-13 ERV

In his book Written In Blood, Robert Coleman tells the story of a little boy whose sister needed a blood transfusion. The doctor explained that she had the same disease the boy had recovered from two years earlier. Her only chance for recovery was a transfusion from someone who had previously conquered the disease. Since the two children had the same rare blood type, the boy was the ideal donor.

"Would you give your blood to Mary?" the doctor asked. Johnny hesitated. His lower lip started to tremble. Then he smiled and said, "Sure, for my sister." Soon the two children were wheeled into the hospital room--Mary, pale and thin; Johnny, robust and healthy. Neither spoke, but when their eyes met, Johnny grinned.

As the nurse inserted the needle into his arm, Johnny's smile faded. He watched the blood flow through the tube. With the ordeal almost over, his voice, slightly shaky, broke the silence. "Doctor, when do I die?' Only then did the doctor realize why Johnny had hesitated, why his lip had trembled when he'd agreed to donate his blood. He's thought giving his blood to his sister meant giving up his life. In that brief moment, he'd made his great decision.

Johnny, fortunately, didn't have to die to save his sister. Each of us, however, has a condition more serious than Mary's, and it required Jesus to give not just His blood but His life.
-Thomas Lindberg.

We each need that child like love that Johnny had for his sister. Often times we can get jumbled up in the day, upset, cranky, and even start to have self pity. Why won’t things go my way? Why won’t God give me what I want? But being a Christian is about loving others before ourselves. What are needs of those around you?

This is practical. This is as simple as helping someone up the stairs. Or helping an old woman cross the road. It can be as simple as bringing your cart back to the building before you leave Wal Mart.

It can be a random act of kindness. Or it can be calling someone just to see how they are doing. It can be handing your brother a loaf of bread. It can be inviting your neighbor over for dinner. It can be inviting someone to dinner church. It can be praying with the sad lady at the check out line. Even if it means holding up the line.

He who truly loves his friends will be willing to help his friends, and even if necessary to die for his friends. All of us as part of dinner church are more than just friends, we’re family. We’ve been born again, and we’re now part of the family of God.

I think of each of you as family. I get worried when I hear something has happened in your life, and I pray for each of you at night. That is what friends do for each other.

In our scripture today we hear Jesus tell of a story of someone coming to his friend’s house, late at night, probably at like 2 in the morning, and saying hey I got another friend out here who doesn’t have any food, give me a bunch of food. And his friend tells him to get lost. Go away, it’s late at night, I’m busy right now!

But Jesus says that even if your friend refuses you, keep asking, and keep bothering him and eventually he will help you.

Now Jesus compares this to seeking after God. Jesus says keep searching for God. Keep looking for God in your daily. Keep praying to God about the problem you have. Keep asking God for freedom from sin. If we keep asking God, and keep bothering Him, God will answer. He wants us to be persistent in prayer, and very patient.

I don’t just say patient. I say very patient. For things I want in life, I have to wait years, and years, praying and seeking God. For some reason that’s how God works. He builds us into better people through patience, waiting, and seeking after Him.

Jesus said, “Continue to search, and you will find. Continue to knock, and the door will open for you. 10 Yes, whoever continues to ask will receive. Whoever continues to look will find. And whoever continues to knock will have the door opened for them. “

After a few months or even a few years, of wishing for something, of dreaming of.. losing weight. Or being able to sleep at night. Or for that back pain to go away, or for my soul to be free from sexual sin, or to be free from lying, or free from stealing, or addiction to cigarettes or alcohol, or porn, we start to lose hope that anything can change. But Jesus says keep seeking, keep knocking on the door, even if it’s been many years. There is still hope. God will answer. If you keep persisting. Don’t give up. Don’t lose hope. Your blessing is almost here.

So, Jesus concludes this story he tells by saying that obviously, if your own child asks you for some food, or some money, you aren’t going to give him a snake or a scorpion, you’re gonna give him or her what they need. Even if you’re a nasty, bad parent and your kids drive you nuts, you’re still gonna give them a meal if they ask for it.

In the same way, God will give to us abundantly of the Holy Spirit, if we will just keep asking. Through all our struggles, if we keep seeking Him, He will provide. But we have to be very patient, and settle in for a long journey.

So in conclusion, just like the little boy who gave blood for his sister, expecting to die, we must give to our brothers and sisters in the church, and outside the church. We must share with them, and love them, and not grow angry or upset with them. Even when they are hard to love, we must them.

We can and should do this because God has done so much for us in washing away our sins, and giving us salvation through Jesus. And as we walk with God through this life, we must always continue to seek God, and keep knocking at the door, and keep praying for God’s will to be done, for the desires of our hearts, and God will certainly answer, if we are persistent, and do not give up.

As we settle in to the long journey home, we want to continue to gather together for dinner church. We want to be praying everyday, and reading the Bible. And right now we realize that it’s sometimes hard to love each other, and forgive each other, and deal with each other’s personalities and quirks. But we have to stand together, keep seeking God, and love one another with deep Christian love.