RESOURCES FOR RADICALS
Almighty God, I am assured that You know what is ahead of me today and will provide exactly what I need. I praise and thank You.
Read MATTHEW 7:7–12
Ask, Seek, Knock
7 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
9 “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 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! 12 So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
‘… when I am weak, then I am strong.’1
Those who first heard the Sermon may have felt overwhelmed by their inadequacy to meet the standards of life within the kingdom of God. Jesus recognizes that His teaching seems to raise the bar very high and that to take His instructions literally, in a world shaped by completely different values, will seem impossible. Historically, Christianity has often reached this conclusion and found ways of interpreting the Sermon that toned down its radical demands.
This passage is not, therefore, a context-less exhortation to prayer, but a reminder that we are not left to our own resources as we strive to follow the way of Jesus Christ. The Sermon on the Mount can shape disciples’ daily practice of life, provided they recognize their continual need of the grace and love of God. The Father in heaven will gvie ‘good gifts’ (v 11) to all who ask, enabling them to live in imitation of Jesus.
In 1937 C.F. [Charlie] Andrews left England for the final time to return to India. The friend of Mahatma Gandhi and Rabindranath Tagore,
he had endeavored to put the Sermon on the Mount into practice throughout his life and was criticized by British imperialists and fellow missionaries as an ‘extremist’. Yet his life deeply impressed Hindus, as a letter from an Indian friend illustrates: ‘You know that during the intimate friendship of all these years I have never asked you about Christ, for your own personality has been more than sufficient for me … you have lived like Him all these thirty years in India’.2 In the era of world Christianity imagine the impact if the whole church were to take the Sermon on the Mount seriously!
Give thanks for those whose lives reflected the character of Jesus and gave you encouragement. Ask for grace to have such an influence on young people known to you.
Lord, my prayers seem so small when I consider the challenges of Your teaching. Thank You that You long to do great things through my life. I ask You to work mightily in me for Your glory.
1 2 Cor 12:10 2 C.F. Andrews, The Sermon on the Mount, Collier Books, 1962, p11
Book and Author Intros
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