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Bible with Cross ShadowThere are some sayings of Jesus that do not line up with the average person’s reality. It is at those times that Bible teachers are tempted to justify Jesus’ commands, and defend the word of God. I’m just saying… from personal experience.

My intention in this article is to take a different course. Instead of defending or explaining away, let’s simply try to understand how to do this saying. It is, after all, what the Master desires for us.

Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Matthew 7:7-8

On the surface, this is not a difficult saying to do. Most Christians spend a lot of their prayer time asking God for things. Most human beings are seeking the truth; and many of them are knocking on the door of heaven, genuinely trying to get into the kingdom of God.

The problem we face in this saying is: Not everyone who asks receives; nor do those that seek find. Many are finding the door closed no matter how passionately they knock. So what is the problem here?

We know that Jesus is not a liar. There must be something more; something Jesus is assuming we understand in this saying. Hopefully, that understanding will help us be better doers; and help us appropriate His promises of getting, finding and entering. Read the rest of this entry »

Bible with Cross ShadowThere are passages in the Sermon on the Mount that are impossible to understand with the carnal mind. The fact that our minds are in the process of renewal leaves us in a vulnerable position. Perhaps this is God’s intent: To help us experience the humility that precipitates our taking on the mind of Christ.

I confess that I am experiencing that humility in regards to this passage:

You have heard that it was said, “An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.” But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. If anyone wants to sue you and take away your tunic, let him have your cloak also. And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two. Matthew 5:38-41

Personally, I have lived a relatively safe life. There have been very few times in my 55 years that I have faced an evil person, and the temptation to resist them. I have not had the “opportunity” to turn the other cheek. I have not been sued; nor have I been compelled to go one mile. I hope you will ignore my lack of personal experience long enough to consider the following encouragements. Read the rest of this entry »

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