Starting with a Promise


“Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.”  (Matthew 7:7-8 NRSV)

This promise from Jesus in the collection of his teaching known in the church as the Sermon on the Mount (contained in the Gospel of Matthew, chapters 5-7) has been and remains very important to me.  This passage of just two verses is also very easily misunderstood if taken out of context.

Jesus’ promise does NOT fit into the company of such vaporous, positive-thinking aphorisms as, “You can be whatever you want to be,” or any of the “You can get whatever you really want in life” type of self-confidence boosters for go-getters.  Even less does the promise belong in the company of assurances that if we pray hard enough and believe hard enough, God will give us what we desire, as though God were the supreme genii in some mystical Aladdin’s lamp.

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