Epistles to the Cyberchurch - Su Min

To: All
From: Su Min
Subject: Ask Seek Knock

My dearly beloved,

Today's reading is Matt 7:7-12.

Ask ask ask, Knock, knock, knock, Seek and ye shall find: so goes a Sunday School song. Jesus promises us "Everyone who asks receives, he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks the door will be opened."

The false prophets who preach a gospel of health and wealth like to use passages like this to suggest that we can pray our hearts out and receive a million dollars, an instant cure of cancer, friendship, success and material blessings to match our every whom and fancy.

The spirit of discernment tells me that it was not only material blessings that Jesus had in mind when he directed us to ask, knock, seek. Jesus nailed to the cross stretches his arms out to reach us across the world, yet stands boldly up, reaching up towards heaven. The cross has a horizontal component and a vertical component. Even as Jesus had spoken so much about a spiritual plane of thinking rather than a materialistic plane, surely his main thrust of teaching here is spiritual: that as we ask for spiritual blessings we will receive blessings: as we seek spiritual truths in bible study and small group discussion, we will find God speaking to us to gives the answers, as we knock the door to be let into the kingdom, the door will be opened.

We have been given the bible as God's telephone number: What of material blessings? What of health and wealth? The answer lies I believe in learning to ask, not only from the bottom of our hearts, not only with persistence and fervour, not only pleading for God's mercy, but with the focus on God's will and perfect judgement and His supreme plan for the kingdom. It is God's prerogative to give and to take away. It is for Him to have mercy on whom he will show mercy. For some he will intervene and provide miracle cures. For others he has destined them to progress through the illness till they find sweet release in mortal death. God works in mysterious ways. Many of us have been so blessed by being ministered to by those saints who despite a terminal illness have found peace with God and the ability to radiate God's love to us.

Jesus could have prayed for anything at Gethsemane, yet he prayed, "Yet not as I will, but as you will (Matt 26:39)". "May your will be done (Matt 26:42)."
Thy kingdom come... thy will be done... (Matt 6:10). So too we should learn to pray, even as we ask for material blessings, that the blessings are congruent with God's perfect will.

Jesus ends this teaching on a practical note: Even as we ask for material and spiritual blessings, our blessed lives must have an impact on others, to the glory of God. How simple it is for us to learn what we should do to others. "In everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets." (Matt 7: 12).

Let us pray

For any comments or enquiries please write to Dr. Lim Su Min

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