Tuesday, January 31, 2006


NOTE;=This posting is rather long, but should you have the patience to read and reach the end, you will receive a unique perspective from CH SPURGEON about prayer. He shared it many many years ago. It's fiery plead for believers and non-believers to ask, to seek, to knock, to pray until God answers with his open doors is so necessary and refreshing today. I am blessed and renewed. May you be so too! GOD BLESS.

Knock! -- Matt. 7:12

A Sermon Delivered by C.H.SPURGEON

"Knock, and it shall be opened unto you."-Matt 7:12.

I have no doubt that, taken very strictly, the three exhortations of this verse-which, indeed, are but one-were first of all intended forGod's believing people. It was to his disciples that the Lordsaid, "Cast not your pearls before swine;" and perhaps certain ofthem who were poor in spirit might turn round and say, "Lord, we have
few pearls; we are too poor to have the treasures of thy grace soplentifully. Thou hast bidden us not to give that which is holy untodogs; but holiness is rather a thing we seek after thanpossess." "Well," saith the Lord, "you have only to ask and have; yehave not because ye ask not; you have only to seek and you will be
sure to find, for holy things, like rare pearls, are to be discoveredif you look for them: you have only to knock and spiritual secretsshall open to you, even the innermost. truth of God." In eachexhortation our Lord bids us pray. Beloved, let us abound insupplication. Depend upon it that failure in prayer will underminethe foundation of our peace and sap the strength of our confidence;but if we abound in pleading with God we shall grow strong in theLord, and we shall be happy in his love, we shall become a blessingto those around us. Need I commend the mercy-seat to you who waitbefore it? Surely prayer must have become such a joy to you, such anecessity of your being, such an element of your life, that I hardlyneed press it upon you as a duty, or invite you to it as a privilege.Yet still I do so, because the Master does it by a tripleexhortation. A threefold cord is not easily broken-let not my text beneglected by you. Let me urge you to repeated, varied, ever
intensifying prayer: ask! seek! knock! Cease not to ask till youreceive; cease not to seek till you find; cease not to knock till thedoor is opened unto you.
In these three exhortations there would appear to be a gradation: itis the same thought put into another shape, and made more forcible.Ask-that is, in the quiet of your spirit, speak with God concerningyour need, and humbly beg him to grant your desires: this is a goodand acceptable form of prayer. If, however, asking should not appearto succeed, the Lord would arouse you to a more concentrated andactive longing; therefore let your desires call in the aid ofknowledge, thought, consideration, meditation, and practical action,
and learn to seek for the blessings you desire as men seek for hidtreasures. These good things are laid up in store, and they areaccessible to fervent minds. See how you can reach them. Add toasking the study of the promises of God, a diligent hearing of Hisword, a devout meditation upon the way of salvation, and all such
means of grace as may bring you the blessing. Advance from askinginto seeking. And if after all it should still seem that you have notobtained your desire, then knock, and so come to closer and moreagonizing work; use not alone the voice, but the whole soul; exerciseyourself unto godliness to obtain the boon; use every effort to winthat which you seek after; for remember that doing is praying; livingto God is a high form of seeking, and the bent of the entire mind isknocking. God often giveth to His people when they keep Hiscommandments that which He denies to them if they walk carelessly.

Remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, "If ye abide in
me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it
shall be done unto you" John 15:7. Holiness is essential to power in
prayer: the life must knock while the lips ask and the heart seeks.
I will change my line of exposition and say: ask as a beggar
petitions for alms. They say that begging is a poor trade, but when
you ply it well with God no other trade is so profitable. Men get
more by asking than by working without prayer. Though I do not
discommend working, yet I most highly commend praying. Nothing under
heaven pays like prevailing prayer. He that has power in prayer has
all things at his call. Ask as a poor mendicant who is hungry and
pleads for bread. Then seek as a merchant who hunts for goodly
pearls, looking up and down, anxious to give all that he has that he
may win a matchless treasure. Seek as a servant carefully looking
after his master's interests and labouring to promote them. Seek with
all diligence, adding to the earnestness of the beggar the careful
watchfulness of the jeweller who is seeking for a gem. Conclude all
by knocking at mercy's door as a lost traveller caught out on a cold
night in a blinding sleet knocks for shelter that he may not perish
in the storm. When you have reached the gate of Salvation ask to be
admitted by the great love of God, then look well to see the way of
entering, seeking to enter in; and if still the door seem shut
against you, knock right heavily, and continue knocking till you are
safely lodged within the home of love.
Once again, ask for what you want, seek for what you have lost, knock
for that from which you are excluded. Perhaps this last arrangement
best indicates the shades of meaning, and brings out the
distinctions. Ask for everything you need, whatever it may be: if it
be a right and good thing, it is promised to the sincere asker. Seek
for what you have lost; for what Adam lost you by the Fall, for what
you have lost yourself by your neglect, by your backsliding, by your
want of prayer; seek till you find the grace you need. Then knock. If
you seem shut out from comfort, from knowledge, from hope, from God,
from heaven, then knock, for the Lord will open unto you. Here you
need the Lord's own interference: you can ask and receive, you can
seek and find; but you cannot knock and open,-the Lord must himself
open the door, or you are shut out for ever. God is ready to open the
door. Remember, there is no cherub with fiery sword to guard this
gate, but, on the contrary, the Lord Jesus himself openeth, and no
man shutteth. But now I must drop this line of things, for my desire
is to use the text in reference to those who are not yet saved.
Last Lord's Day, when we preached upon glory, we had before us the
end of the pilgrim way. It was a very, very happy time; for in
meditation we reached the suburbs of the Celestial City, and we
tasted of eternal glory. This morning I thought we would begin at the
beginning, and enter in at the wicket gate which stands at the head
of the way to heaven. Mr. Bunyan, in his "Pi]grim's Progress,"
says, "Now over the gate there was written, 'Knock, and it shall be
opened unto you.' " His ingenious allegory is always as truthfully
instructive as it is delightfully attractive. I concluded that this
should be my text. If it be thought worthy to be written over the
gate at the entering in of the way of life it must have a great claim
upon the attention of those who have not yet started for glory, but
are anxious to do so. May God the Holy Ghost instruct and quicken
them while we hear the Lord from within his palace saying, "Knock,
and it shall be opened unto you" Matt 7:7; Luke 11:9.
I. First, then, dear friend, whoever you are, if you are desirous of
entering into eternal life, I would expound to you the inscription
over the gate, by saying, first, THE DOOR OF MERCY MAY APPEAR TO YOU
TO BE CLOSED AGAINST YOU. That is implied in the text: "Knock, and it
shall be opened unto you" Matt 7:7; Luke 11:9. If to your
consciousness the door stood wide open, there would be no need of
knocking; but since in your apprehension it is closed against you, it
is for you to seek admission in the proper way by knocking.
To a large extent this apprehension is the result of your own fears.
You think the gate is closed because you feel it ought to be so; you
feel that if God dealt with you as you would deal with your fellow-
men, He would be so offended with you as to shut the door of His
favour once for all. You remember how guilty you have been, how often
you have refused the divine call, and how you have gone on from evil
to evil, and therefore you fear that, the Master of the house has
already risen up and shut to the door. You fear lest like the
obstinate ones in Noah's day you will find the door of the ark
closed, and yourself shut out to perish in the general destruction.
Sin lieth at the door, and blocks it. Your desponding feelings fasten
up the gate of grace in your judgment. Yet, it is not so. The gate is
not barred and bolted as you think it to be; though it may be spoken
of as closed in a certain sense, yet in another sense it is never
shut. In any case it opens very freely; its hinges are not rusted, no
bolts secure it. The Lord is glad to open the gate to every knocking
soul. It is closed far more in your apprehension than as a matter of
fact; for the sin which shuts it is removed so far as the believing
sinner is concerned. Had you but faith enough, you would enter in at
this present moment; and if you did once enter in, you would never be
put out again, for it is written, "Him that cometh to me I will in no
wise cast out" John 6:37. If you could with holy courage take leave
and licence to come in, you would never be blamed for it. Fear and
shame stand in the sinner's road, and push him back; and blessed is
he whose desperate need forces him to be bold.
One thing we should remember when we fear that the door is closed
against us, namely, that it is not so fast closed as the door of our
hearts has been. You know the famous picture of "The Light of the
World." It seems to me to be one of the finest sermons the eye has
ever looked upon. There stands the Ever-Blessed, knocking at the door
of the soul, but the hinges are rusted, the door itself is fast
bolted, and wild briars and all kinds of creeping plants running up
the door prove that it is long since it was moved. You know what it
all means; how continuance in sin makes it harder to yield to the
knock of Christ, and how evil habits creeping up one after another
hold the soul so fast that it cannot open to the sacred knocking.
Jesus has been knocking at some of your hearts ever since you were
children; and still he knocks. I hear his blessed hand upon the door
at this moment: do you not hear it? Will you not open? He has knocked
long, and yet he knocks again. I am sure that you have not knocked at
mercy's door so long as incarnate mercy has waited at your door. You
know you have not. How, therefore, can you complain if there should
be an apparent delay in answering your prayers? It is but to make you
feel a holy shame for having treated your Lord so ill. Now you begin
to know what it is to be kept waiting, what it is to be a weary
knocker, what it is to cry "my head is wet with dew and my locks with
the drops of the night" Song 5:2. This will excite you to repentance
for your unkind behaviour, and also move you to love the more
intensely that gentle Lover of your soul who has shown such patience
towards you. It will be no loss to you that the door was shut for
awhile, if you do but gain a penitent heart and a tender spirit.
Let me, however, warn you that the door can be closed and shut by
unbelief. He that believeth entereth into Christ when he believeth:
he that cometh in by the door shall be saved, and shall go in and out
and find pasture; so our Lord says in the tenth of John. "He that
believeth in him hath everlasting life," there is no question about
that; but we read on the other hand, "So then they could not enter in
because of unbelief" Heb 3:19. Forty years the tribes were in the
wilderness, going towards Canaan, yet they never reached the promised
land because of unbelief. And what if some of you should be forty
years attending this means of grace? Coming and going, coming and
going, hearing sermons, witnessing ordinances, and joining with God's
people in worship: what if after all the forty years you should never
enter in because of unbelief? Souls, I tell you if you lived each one
of you as long as Methusaleh, you could not enter in unless you
believed in Jesus Christ. The moment you have trusted him with your
whole heart and soul you are within the blessed portals of the
Father's house, but however many years you may be asking, seeking,
and knocking, you will never enter in till faith comes, for unbelief
keeps up the chain of the door, and there is no entering in while it
rifles your spirit.
Do you, however, complain that you should have to knock? It is the
rule of the Most High. Am I addressing any who have been earnestly
praying for several months? I can sympathize with you, for that was
my case, not only for months, but even for years: through the
darkness of my mind and my cruel misapprehensions of the Lord, I did
not find peace when first I began to ask for it, although I also
sought with much earnestness, going to the house of God every time I
could, and reading the Bible daily with a burning desire to know the
right way. I did not enter into peace till I had knocked long and
heavily. Hearken, therefore, to one who knows your trouble, and hear
from me the voice of reason. Ought we to expect to enter into the
glorious house of mercy without knocking at its door? Is it so with
our own houses? Can every straggler carelessly saunter in? Is it not
God's way in the world to give great blessings, but always to make
men knock for them? We want bread out of the earth, but the farmer
must knock at the door of the earth with his plough and with all his
instruments of agriculture ere his God will hand him out a harvest.
Is anything gained in this world without labour? Is it not an old
proverb, "No sweat, no sweet: no pains, no gains: no mill, no meal"?
And may we not expect in heavenly things that at least these great
mercies should be prayed for with fervency before they can be
bestowed? It is the usual rule with God to make us pray before He
gives the blessing. And how could it be otherwise? How could a man be
saved without prayer? A prayer-less soul must be a Christ-less soul.
The feeling of prayer, the habit of prayer, the spirit of prayer are
parts of salvation. Unless it can be said of a man, "Behold, he
prayeth!" how can there be any sort of hope that he knows his God,
and has found reconciliation? The prodigal did not come home dumb,
neither did he enter his father's house in sullen silence. No, but as
soon as he saw his father, he cried, "Father, I have sinned against
heaven" Luke 15:18,21. There must be speech with God, for God gives
not a silent salvation.
Besides, to make us knock at mercy's gate is a great blessing to
ourselves upon the spot. It is a going to school for us when we are
set to plead with God for awhile without realised success. It makes a
man grow more earnest, for his hunger increases while he tarries. If
he obtained the blessing when first he asked for it, it might seem
dog cheap; but when he has to plead long he arrives at a better sense
of the value of the mercy sought. He sees also more of his own
unworthiness as he stands outside mercy's gate, ready to swoon away
with fear; and so he grows more passionately earnest in pleading;
and, whereas he did but ask at first, he now begins to seek, and he
adds cries and tears and a broken heart: to all the other ways of his
pleading. Thus the man, by being humbled and aroused, is getting good
by means of his sorrow while he is kept for a while outside the gate.
Beside that, he is increasing his capacity for the future. I believe
I never could have been able to comfort seekers in their anguish if I
had not been kept waiting in the cold myself. I have always felt
grateful for my early distress because of its after results. Many
men, whose experiences are recorded in books which are invaluable in
the Christian library, never could have written those books if they
had not themselves been kept waiting, hungry and thirsty, and full of
soul-travail, ere the Lord appeared to them. That blessed man, David,
who always seems to be:
"Not one, but all mankind's epitome"
the history of all men wrapped up in one-how he pictures himself
sinking in the miry clay! Lower and lower did he go till he cried out
of the depths, and then at last he was taken up out of the horrible
pit, and his feet were set on a rock that he might tell to others
what the Lord had done for him. Your heart wants enlarging, dear sir.
The Lord means to prepare you to become a more eminent Christian by
expanding your mind. The spade of agony is digging trenches to hold
the water of life. Depend upon it, if the ships of prayer do not come
home speedily it is because they are more heavily freighted with
blessing. When prayer is long in the answering it will be all the
sweeter in the receiving, like fruit which is well ripened by hanging
longer on the tree. If you knock with a heavy heart you shall yet
sing with joy of spirit; therefore, be not discouraged because for a
while you stand before a closed door.
II. Secondly, A DOOR IMPLIES AN OPENING. What is a door meant, for if
it is always to be kept shut? The wall might as well have remained
without a break. I have seen certain houses and public buildings with
the form and appearance of doors where there were none; the sham
doorway being made for architectural purposes; but nothing is a sham
in the house of the Lord. His doors are meant to open: they were made
on purpose for entrance; and so the blessed gospel of God is made on
purpose for you to enter into life and peace. It would be of no use
to knock at a wall, but you may wisely knock at a door, for it is
arranged for opening. You will enter in eventually if you knock on,
for the gospel is good news for men, and how could it be good news if
it should so happen that they might sincerely come to Christ and ask
mercy, and be denied it? I fear that the gospel preached by certain
divines sounds rather like bad news than good news to awakened souls,
for it requires so much feeling and preparation on the sinner's part
that they are not cheered nor led to hope thereby. But be you sure
that the Lord is willing to save all those who are willing to be
saved in His own appointed way. A dear brother beautifully said in
prayer on Monday night-"Thou, O Lord, art perfectly satisfied with
the Lord Jesus, and if we are satisfied with him, thou art satisfied
with us." That is the gospel put into a few words. God is satisfied
with Christ, and if you are satisfied with Christ, God is satisfied
with you. This is glad tidings to every soul that is willing to
accept the atonement made, and the righteousness prepared by the Lord
Dear friend, this gospel must be meant to be received by sinners, or
else it would not have been sent. "But," saith one, "I am such a
sinner." Just so. You are the sort of person for whom the news of
mercy is intended. A gospel is not needed by perfect men; sinless men
need no pardon. No sacrifice is wanted if there is no guilt: no
atonement is wanted where there is no transgression. They that are
whole need not a physician, but they that are sick. This door of hope
which God has prepared was meant to be an entrance into life, and it
was meant to open to sinners, for if it does not open to sinners it
will never open at, all; for we have all sinned, and so we must all
be shut out unless it be of free grace for those who are guilty.
I am sure this door must open to those who have nothing to bring with
them. If you have no good works, no merits, no good feelings, nothing
to recommend you, be not discouraged, for it is to such that Jesus
Christ is most precious, and therefore most accessable, for he loves
to give himself to those who will prize him most. A man will never
have Christ while he has enough of his own; but he that is
consciously naked, and poor, and miserable is the man for Christ's
money, he it is that has been redeemed by price. You may know the
redeemed man, for he feels his bondage, and owns that he must remain
therein unless the redemption of Christ be applied for his
Dear friends, that door of hope will be opened to you though you may
be ignorant, and weak, and quite unable to fulfil any high
conditions. When the text says, "Knock, and it shall be opened unto
you" Matt 7:7; Luke 11:9, it teaches us that the way of winning
admission to the blessing is simple, and suitable to common people.
If I have to enter in by a door which is well secured, I shall need
tools and science. I confess I do not understand the art; you must
send for a gentleman who understands picklocks, "jemmies," and all
sorts of burglarious instruments: but if I am only told to knock,
fool as I am at opening doors, I know how to knock. Any uneducated
man can knock if that is all which is required of him. Is there a
person here who cannot put words together in prayer? Never mind,
friend; knocking can be done by one who is no orator. Perhaps another
cries, "I am no scholar." Never mind, a man can knock though he may
be no philosopher. A dumb man can knock. A blind man can knock. With
a palsied hand a man may knock. He who knows nothing of his book can
still lift a hammer and let it fall. The way to open heaven's gate is
wonderfully simplified to those who are lowly enough to follow the
Holy Spirit's guidance, and ask, seek, and knock believingly. God has
not provided a salvation which can only be understood by learned men;
He has not prepared a gospel which requires half-a-dozen folio
volumes to describe it: it is intended for the ignorant, the short-
witted, and the dying, as well as for others, and hence it must be as
plain as knocking at a door. This is it,-Believe and live. Seek unto
God with all your heart and soul, and strength, through Jesus Christ,
and the door of his mercy will certainly open to you. The gate of
grace is meant to yield admission to unscientific people since it
shall be opened to those who knock.
I am sure this door will open to you, because it has been opened to
so many before you. It has been opened to hundreds of us now present.
Could not you, dear brothers and sisters, stand up and tell how the
Lord opened the gate of His salvation to you? That door has opened to
many in this house during the last few weeks. We have seen persons
coming forward to tell how the Lord has been pleased to give them an
entrance into His mercy, though at one time they were afraid that the
door was shut, and they were ready to despair. Well, if the door has
been so often opened for others, why should it not turn on its hinges
for you? Only knock, with faith in God's mercy, and before long it
shall yield to your importunity.
It is for God's glory to open His door of grace, and that is one
reason why we are sure He will do so. We cannot expect Him to do that
which would be derogatory to His own honour, but we do expect Him to
do that which will glorify His sacred attributes. It will greatly
honour the mercy, the patience, the love, the grace, the goodness,
the favour of God if He will open the door to such an undeserving one
as you are; wherefore knock. Knock since God delights to give; knock
at a door which every time it turns on its hinges unveils His
greatness; knock with holy confidence at this present moment, for "it
shall be opened unto you." It is a door which seems closed, but
because it is a door, it must be capable of being opened.
III. Thirdly, knock, for A KNOCKER IS PROVIDED. When persons can be
admitted by knocking, a knocker is usually placed on the door; and if
not, we often see the words, NO ADMITTANCE. Before bells became so
common the habit of knocking at the door was well-nigh universal, and
people were accustomed to make the door resound with their blows.
There was a nail-head for the knocker to drop upon, and people used
to smite it so heavily that it became remarked that such blows on the
head were killing, and hence arose the mirthful proverb, "as dead as
a door-nail." Its betokens a hearty kind of knocking, which I would
have you imitate in prayer. Knock at heaven's gate as earnestly as
people knocked at doors in the olden times. Have you not had knocks
at your own doors which could be heard all through the house? Some of
our friends are vigorous, and knock as if they meant coming in. It
may be that gentle folks give such tender taps that they are not
heard by the servants, and so they have to wait; but these I am
speaking of never fall into that error, for they so startle everybody
that people are glad to let them in, for fear they should thunder a
second time. In this style let us pray: let us plead in downright
fashion, and never cease till we gain admission.
I have said that the Lord has provided a knocker. What is this
knocker? First of all, its may be found in the promises of God. We
are sure to speed well when we can plead a promise. It is well to say
unto the Lord, "Do as thou hast said." What force abides in an appeal
to the word, the oath, and the covenants of God. If a man presents to
another a promissory note upon the day on which its is due he expects
to receive the amount stated therein. God's promises are bills of
exchange, and he will duly honour them. He was never known to
dishonour a bill yet, and He never will do so. If you can only quote
a promise applicable to your condition, and spread it before the Lord
in faith, and say, "Remember this word unto thy servant upon which
thou hast caused me to hope" Ps 119:49, you must obtain the blessing.
Pleading the promise gives such a knock at the gate of heaven that
must be opened.
The great knocker, however, is the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. If
a person were to call upon you in the name of some dearly-beloved son
who is far away, if he brought you due credentials, and a letter,
saying, "Father. treat the bearer well for my sake," you would be
sure to show him kindness; and if the aforesaid person was authorized
to receive a promised amount in the name of your son, would you not
hand out the money? Now, when we go to God and plead the name of
Christ, its means that we plead the authority of Christ, that we ask
of God as though we were in Christ's stead, and expect Him to give it
to us as if He were giving it to Jesus. That is something more than
pleading for Christ's sake. I Suppose the apostles at firsts did
plead with God for Christ's sake, but Jesus says to them, "Hitherto
ye have asked nothing in my name." It is a higher grade of prayer,
and when we get to pleading Christ's name with the Father, then do we
gloriously prevail. At a Primitive Methodist meeting a person was
trying to pray, but did not get on at it, and presently a voice was
heard from the corner of the room, "Plead the blood, brother! plead
the blood!" I am not very fond of such interruptions, yet this was to
be commended, for it gave the right note, and set the pleader in his
right place. Plead the precious blood of Jesus Christ, and you have
knocked so that you must be heard.
"Alas!" says one, "I see the knocker, for I know something of the
promises and of the person of our Lord, but how am I to knock?" With
the hand of faith. Believe that God will keep His promise; ask Him to
do so, and thus knock. Believe that Jesus is worthy, whose name you
are pleading, and so knock in confidence that God will honour the
name of His dear Son. "Alas! my hand is so weak," say you, Then
remember that the Holy Spirit helpeth our infirmities. Ask him to put
his hand upon your hand, and in that fashion you will be able to
knock with prevailing vehemence. I beseech you knock with all the
strength you have, and knock often. If you are not in Christ, my dear
hearer, do not give sleep to your eyes nor slumber to your eyelids
till you have found him. If you have prayed once, go and pray again;
and if you have prayed ten thousand times, yet still continue in
prayer. Knock with all your might, with all the vigour of your
spirit; plead as for life; knock at the door as a man would knock who
saw a wolf ready to spring upon him. Knock as one would knock who
found himself ready to die of cold outside the door. Throw your whole
soul into the work. Say unto the Lord, "I beseech thee have mercy
upon me, and have mercy upon me now. I faint, I die, unless thou
manifest thy love to me and take me into thy house and heart, that I
may be thine for ever." "Knock, and it shall be opened unto you" Matt
7:7; Luke 11:9. There is the knocker.
IV. Next, to you who are knocking at the gate A PROMISE IS GIVEN.
That is more than having a door before you, or a knocker to knock
with. The promise is above the gate in plain words. Read it. You are
growing faint and weary; read the promise, and grow strong
again. "Knock, and it shall abe opened unto you." Observe how plain
and positive it is with its glorious "shall" burning like a lamp in
the centre of it. In letters of love the inscription shines out
amidst all the darkness that surrounds you, and these are its
works, "It shall be opened unto you." If you knock at the door of the
kindest of men you see no such promise set before you, and yet you
knock, and knock confidently; how much more boldly should you come to
the door of grace when it is expressly declared, "It shall be opened
unto you"!
Remember that this promise was freely given. You never asked the Lord
for such a word, it was uttered by spontaneous goodness. You did not
come and plead qwith Jesus for a promise that you should be heard in
prayer. Far from it-you did not even pray. Perhaps you have been
living in the world forty years, and never truly prayed at all; but
the Lord out of his overflowing heart of generous love has made this
promise to you, "Knock, and it shall be opened unto you" Matt 7:7;
Luke 11:9. Wherefore do you doubt? Do you think he will not keep his
word? A God who cannot lie, who was under no necessity to promise,
freely, out of the greatness of his divine nature, which is love,
says to a poor sinner, "Knock, and it shall be opened unto you." Oh,
be sure of this, that He means it; and till heaven and earth shall
pass away His word shall stand, and neither you nor any other sinner
that knocks at His door shall be refused admittance.
This inscription has encouraged many to knock: when they have been
ready to faint and give up all further seeking, they have read again
the cheering lines, "Knock, and it shall be opened unto you" Matt
7:7; Luke 11:9, and they have taken heart and made the gate resound
again. Now, do you think God will tantalize us, that He will make
fools of us, that He will excite hopes in poor sinners, for the mere
sake of disappointing them? Will He induce you to knock by His
promise, and then laugh at you? Did the God of mercy ever say, "I
called and you came; I stretched out my hands and you drew near to
me, and yet I will mock at your calamity, and laugh when your fear
cometh"? Why, a bad man would scarely speak so: such an act would be
more like Satan than God. Do not tolerate the thought that the God of
all grace could treat a seeker thus; if it ever crosses your mind,
thrust it away and say, "He that taught me to pray has thereby bound
himself to answer prayer. He will not invite me to knock in vain!
Therefore, I will knock again, only this time more vigorously than
ever, relying upon His word and His truth." Oh, that you may never
stop your knocking till salvation's door is entered by you! The
promise of the Lord was given freely, and on the strength of that
promise we knock, therefore we are sure that the Lord will not deny
His trusting servants.
The mercy is that this promise is meant for all knockers-"Knock, and
it shall be opened unto you" Matt 7:7; Luke 11:9. The Lord has not
denied to you, my hearer, the privilege of praying, or declared that
He will not answer your requests. You may knock, and you may expect
to see the door open. I know the blessed doctrine of election, and I
rejoice in it; but that is a secret with God, while the rule of our
preaching is,-"Preach the gospel to every creature" Mark 16:15. I
would, therefore, say to each one here, "Knock, and it shall be
opened unto you." The Lord knows who will knock, for "the Lord
knoweth them that are his" 2 Tim 2:19. But knock, my friend, knock
now, and it will soon be seen that you are one of God's chosen ones.
Remember the story of Malachi, the Cornishman. When a Methodist
friend had some money to give him he smilingly said, "Malachi, I do
not think I shall give you this money, because I do not know whether
you are predestinated to have it. Will you tell me whether you are
predestinated to have it or not?" Malachi replied, "You put the money
in my hand, and I will tell you." As soon as Malachi had the sum in
hand he knew that he was predestinated to have it; but he could not
know before he had it in possession. So the secret counsel of the
Lord is revealed to our faith when it gets Christ in possession, and
not before. Knock at once. If you are predestinated to enter, I know
you will knock, and knock till you are admitted, for so it stands,
and no exception is made to it-"Knock, and it shall be opened unto
you." It is a rule with the Lord that to him that knocketh it shall
be opened.
Blessed be God, this text of mine shines out as if printed in stars,
and it continues to shine from day-dawn of life to set of sun. As
long as a man lives, if he knocks at God's door, it shall be opened
unto him. You may have been long a rebel, and you may have heaped up
your sins till they seem to shut out all hope from you, but still
knock at Christ, the door, for an opening time will come. Even if it
were with thine expiring hand, if thou couldst knock at mercy's gate
it would open to thee; but put not off thy day of knocking because of
God's long-suffering mercy; rather today knock, knock now while
sitting in the pew, and if you are not answered immediately, as I
trust you will be, yet go home, and there in secret cry unto the
Lord, "I will not let thee go except thou bless me. I am lost unless
thou find me; I am lost unless I find my Saviour and Lord, I am not
playing at prayer now, my very soul means it; I must have Christ or
else I die just as I am; I cast myself upon him, and trust his
atoning sacrifice. Oh, manifest thyself to me as a pardoning God!"
Gen 32:26. I will be bound for God as a hostage that He will answer
you. I sought the Lord, and He heard me; and since than I have never
doubted of any living soul but that if he too will seek the Lord
through Jesus Christ he will certainly be saved. Oh, that you would
try it! The Lord move you thereto by His own blessed Spirit.
V. So I close with one more point. When the door opens IT WILL BE A
GLORIOUS OPENING TO YOU. "Knock, and it shall be opened." What will
come of it then? Immediately you who have knocked will enter. If you
have knocked in sincerity, the moment you see Christ as a Saviour you
will accept him as your Saviour. Enter into Christ by faith. Behold,
he sets before you an open door, and no man can shut it. Do not
hesitate to enter in. Hitherto you have thought there were many
difficulties and obstacles in your way, but indeed it is not so-
Believe and live. When, in answer to your knocking, you see the door
move, then arise, and tarry not.
Remember that the opening of that door will not only give you
entrance, but it will ensure you safety. He who once enters into
Christ is safe for ever. Only pass beneath that blood-sprinkled
portal, only rest in the house of the Well-beloved, and you shall go
no more out for ever. The life which be bestows is eternal, therefore
you shall not die. The destroying angel, whenever he may take his
flight, must pass you by. Only believe, and you are saved; only trust
Christ with your whole heart, and soul, and strength, and savation
has come unto your house, and you have come unto the house of
But then there shall come to you more of blessing yet, for yours
shall be the adoption. Once entered in you shall abide in the mansion
of grace, no more a stranger or a guest, but like a child at home.
You shall sit at the Father's table and eat and drink as a son, a
heir, a joint-heir with Christ. Yours shall be the liberty, the
plenty, the joy of the great house of love. At God's right hand there
are pleasures for evermore, and these shall be your heritage. Yes,
and more than that; when you have once entered into the house of love
you shall have access to its inner chambers. Even the vestibule of
God's house is a place of safety, but afterwards the Master of the
house shall take you into curious rooms, and show you His treasures,
and open to you His storehouses, so that you shall go from grace to
grace, from knowledge to knowledge, and glory to glory, by continued
progress. All this can only be understood by experience, and that
experience can only be obtained by knocking.
I want to say this, and I have done. Some people think if they have
begun to pray, and are a little in earnest, that this is enough. Now,
praying is not an end, it is only a means. Knocking is not the
ultimatum; you must enter in. If any of you are seeking, I am glad of
it; if you are knocking, I am glad of it; but if you say, "I am
perfectly satisfied to stand outside the door and knock," then I am
grieved for you. You are foolish to the last degree, because you are
resting in the means as if they were the end. You must enter by the
door or else knocking will be labour in vain. Would any of you be
content to visit a friend, and merely to stand for an hour or two
outside of his door knocking. Did you ever say, "I do not want
anything more: I shall sit down comfortably on the doorstep, and then
get up and have another knock or two?" Knocking would not give you a
dinner, nor do your business for you. Knocking is only the way of
entrance, but if you stop at knocking it is poor work. The most
earnest praying is only a way of getting to Christ: the gospel itself
is, "Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved" Acts
16:31. Come, then, to Christ. If you find the door shut, knock. But
oh, remember, the door is not really shut; it is only so in your
apprehension! Heaven's gate stands open night and day. At once
believe and live. Trust in the merit of Jesus Christ, and you are
clothed with it: trust in the blood of Christ, and you are washed in
it. Faith saves in an instant. It touches Jesus, and the healing
virtue pours forth from his garment's hem: faith steps over the
threshold, and the soul is safe. The Lord grant that you may enter in
at once, and then it shall be our joy, and the angels' joy, and the
great Father's joy, for ever and ever; to see you rescued from

Hope this blesses some1 today as it did me when i read it this morn.I
felt lead to share it here and will as the Lord leads be sharing what
I feel God would have me share from differnt men and women of God as
well as my own sermons as our Father leads me.I realize i am a
moderator here and read the post daily but only post when the Lord

Thursday, January 19, 2006

COMPROMISE is so insidious

NOTE;= A great reminder for each of us to re-examine ourselves before God and his word. Rationalization is typically so appealing to the human mind and nature that we engage in it almost without thinking. Therefore if the TRUE WORD of GOD is not already influencing us deep in our mind, we can so easily slide along the path of compromise, as warned in this article. Read it and carefully consider you life afresh before God.

Read 1 Kings 11:1-7

Compromise is so insidious that people often do not even realize. Of course, there are many examples of good compromise, like two opposing sides coming together through mutual conciliation. But when we make concessions to believe or act in a way that is unwise, then we are in danger. Unfortunately, such unhealthy compromise leads to disappointment and ultimately to destruction.

We do not fall into a life of compromise; instead we slide into it.King Solomon's life is a perfect example of how a small compromise can lead to destruction. God clearly tells Solomon not to associate with other nations or to make alliances with them, So although going to Egypt to buy horses seems innocent, it is actually a compromise. In the end,Solomon also makes an alliance and marries Pharoah's daughter. Then, he compromises further until he has hundreds of wives. Next, he allows others to worship idols, but soon he himself is involved in the practice too. He finally stoops so low as to build a high place of worship for
Molech where human babies are sacrificed. This is a horrible picture of the way compromise works.

The principle is the same in our lives - a little compromise can lead to complete ruin. People give in to pressure in many different areas -morals, godly principles, clothing style, or participation in flirtatious conversations.

Are you sliding into compromise in your life? Ask God to reveal any areas of compromise that you may not be conscious of. If there are any, ask God to fortify you against these things that can lead to destruction.

Monday, January 16, 2006


NOTE;=I find the article below so helpful a reminder how to conduct ourselves when we find ourselves in disagreeable circumstances with someone or something. We need to pray for real discernment to know what to follow. To make the distinction between what God says and what is the 'wisdom' of this world. The author of this article experienced that what is taught in so-called "Christian Seminars" may not be so Christian after all. Highlight importance of Acts 17:11=need to search the scriptures everyday to see what is said, what is taught is really the word of God.


"Live creatively, friends. If someone falls into sin, forgivingly restore him, saving your critical comments for yourself. You might be needing forgiveness before the day's out." Galatians 6:1 MSG

I recently heard from a woman who had just finished attending a Christian seminar on relationships, and living the Christian life. She told me that since the seminar, she had become more confrontational, and
she could no longer ignore or tolerate what she considered unacceptable behavior from her husband. She said that she was hurt and discouraged, and she was tired of being mistreated in one form or another. She asked
for prayer for wisdom to do what was right, because she didn't think she could take living with her husband one more day.I prayed for this woman, and I shared with her how just a year or so before, I had read a book that was very similar to the seminar she had attended. I told her that after reading it, I was so upset with my
husband that I almost caused us to get a divorce, even though we had been married for nearly 30 years! I've discovered that sometimes, methods to "improve" ourselves and our relationships can do more harm than good. It's up to us not to allow a program or book to stir up a hornet's nest in our household. I advised this lady to go to God, and to ask Him for HIS perspective in the matter. Then she could approach her husband, but only with an attitude that would enable her to "speak the truth in love." (Ephesians 4:15) I told her that if we remember that we ALL have an abundance of faults of our own, we will not be so likely to be so critical of others, especially those we love most.

The apostle Paul wrote: "Brethren, if any person is overtaken in misconduct or sin of any sort, you who are spiritual [who are responsive to and controlled by the Spirit] should set him right and restore and reinstate him, without any sense of superiority and with all gentleness, keeping an attentive eye on yourself, lest you should be tempted also." (Galatians 6:1 AMP) Notice that Paul's emphasis here is on restoration. Christians who are sensitive and obedient to the Holy Spirit's leading will not lash out at those who are disobedient or
spiritually immature, but will gently instruct and correct them, so as to draw them closer to the Lord and His will for them. When we harshly criticize others, we demonstrate an attitude of haughtiness and superiority, traits that are highly offensive to God. The Message Bible translation of this verse says: "Live creatively, friends. If someone falls into sin, forgivingly restore him, saving your critical comments for yourself. You might be needing forgiveness before the day's out." (Galatians 6:1 MSG) I like this version because it's a painful reminder of our own faults, and our own need for forgiveness on a daily basis.Paul also tells us: "For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: 'Love others as you love yourself.' But if instead of showing
love among yourselves you are always critical and catty, watch out! Beware of ruining each other." (Galatians 5:14-15 TLB) Our attitudes and actions have the power to restore or ruin. Anyone can bring ruin to a life or a relationship. But only followers of Christ are equipped with Holy Spirit power to bring healing and Restoration. Yes, there are times when we need to deal firmly with the sin of those around us. But it should always be done in love--the kind of love that Paul describes here. Let's not be so hasty to toss our loved ones aside because they don't meet our expectations or standards. Instead, by God's grace and wisdom, let us seek to cherish and preserve those relationships that are precious in the Lord's sight.

Lord, forgive me for the times that I've been too quick to criticize or judge others. Give me the spiritual discernment I need to confront and correct others according to Your will and timing. Give me a spirit
of humility, so that I will never have a haughty or superior attitude. Thank You that by Your grace and power, I will bring restoration instead of ruin wherever I go!

A Challenge to do something

NOTE;= It is so natural to want to take a break, to rest for a while after some tenure of service, especially when the going was tough and the fruits are not evident. It is also common that those who take such rest seldom return to active service. So, read this article and be challenge to stick it out and be counted. Be useful in HIS hands, rather than be rotting elsewhere. Choose the narrow path of the faithful few, rather than the wide path that many are following. God bless.

"I have yet to speak on God's behalf." -- Job 36:2

We ought not to court publicity for our virtue, or notoriety for our zeal; but, at the same time, it is a sin to be always seeking to hide that which God has bestowed upon us for the good of others. A Christian is not to be a village in a valley, but "a city set upon a hill;" he is not to be a candle under a bushel, but a candle in a candlestick, giving light to all. Retirement may be lovely in its season, and to hide one's self is doubtless modest, but the hiding of Christ in us can never be justified, and the keeping back of truth which is precious to
ourselves is a sin against others and an offence against God. If you are of a nervous temperament and of retiring disposition, take care that you do not too much indulge this trembling propensity, lest you should be useless to the church. Seek in the name of him who was not ashamed of you to do some little violence to your feelings, and tell to others what Christ has told to you. If thou canst not speak with trumpet tongue, use the still small voice. If the pulpit must not be thy tribune, if the press may not carry on its wings thy words, yet say with Peter and John, "Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee." By Sychar's well talk to the Samaritan woman, if thou canst not on the mountain preach a sermon; utter the praises of Jesus in the house, if not in the temple; in the field, if not upon the exchange; in the midst of thine own household, if thou canst not in the midst of the great family of man. From the hidden springs within let sweetly flowing rivulets of testimony flow forth, giving drink to every passer-by. Hide not thy talent; trade with it; and thou shalt bring in
good interest to thy Lord and Master. To speak for God will be refreshing to ourselves, cheering to saints, useful to sinners, and honouring to the Saviour. Dumb children are an affliction to their parents. Lord, unloose all thy children's tongue.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

I'm rich enough

CONTENTMENT - - - by Max Lucado

A businessman bought popcorn from an old street vendor each day after lunch. He once arrived to find the peddler closing up his stand at noon. "Is something wrong?" he asked. A smile wrinkled the seller's leathery face. "By no means. All is well."

"Then why are you closing your popcorn stand?" "So I can go to my house, sit on my porch, and sip tea with my wife." The man of commerce objected. "But the day is still young. You can still sell." "No need to," the stand owner replied. "I've made enough money for today."

"Enough? Absurd. You should keep working." The spry old man stopped and stared at his well-dressed visitor. "And why should I keep working?" "To sell more popcorn." "And why sell more popcorn?" "Because the more popcorn you sell, the more money you make. The more money you make, the richer you are. The richer you are, the more popcorn stands you can buy. The more popcorn stands you buy, the more peddlers sell your product, and the richer you become. And when you have enough, you can stop working, sell your popcorn
stands, stay home, and sit on the porch with your wife and drink tea."

The popcorn man smiled. "I can do that today. I guess I have enough."

I'm rich enough—a phrase on the verge of extinction. Wise was the one who wrote, "Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income" (Eccles. 5:10 NIV).

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions

Ever wonder how many decisions you make in a day? Take a moment and think about it. The obvious ones come to mind first -- what to wear, what to eat, what work needs to be done first at home, school or in the marketplace. I am not a big fan of grocery shopping (but sometimes I do it with an ulterior motive of course, to get stuff I want!), but gee whiz, recently trying to buy cereal for my Tuesday morning Bible study was a decision-maker's nightmare. There is fat-free with sugar, fat-free low sugar, low-fat, high sugar, wheat versus oat, and on and on! Then the milk, good heavens -- .5%, 1%, 1.5%, 2%, 0% , whole milk, butter milk, milk with something I can't spell added to it, and so forth. Argh! Decisions, decisions, decisions.

The above decisions are not life-changing or even monumental. What about all the what I call the "defining moment" decisions? What about the seemingly gray-area decisions that affect our walk with Jesus, and in
my opinion, more importantly affect the people around us that may be less mature spiritually or even just spiritual seekers? The kids around my church are wearing these "WWJD" (What Would Jesus Do?) bracelets. And I think it is a great question to ask before making any decisions, but gee sometimes, I ask the question "what would Jesus do," and I get a cloudy answer. Maybe its because the answer I get is not the answer I want to hear. : )

So, in studying 1 Corinthians Chapter 10, three principles jumped out at me - and from these principles, three decision-making questions stood out for me. Let's take a look at them. 1 Corinthians 10:24 (NASB) Let no one seek his own good, but that of his neighbor. Paul is telling his readers: Live unselfishly. Don't live just to satisfy yourself, but to seek good for your neighbor. It's the same thing some of you have heard me say many times before, "Love God; Love People." We are all doing the Lord's business 24 hours a day, and folks, the
Lord grants no vacation time from His business.

1 Corinthians 10:16-17 (TLB) When we ask the Lord's blessing upon our drinking from the cup of wine at the Lord's Table, this means, doesn't it, that all who drink it are sharing together the blessing of Christ's blood? And when we break off pieces of the bread from the loaf to eat there together, this shows that we are sharing together in the benefits of his body. No matter how many of us there are, we all eat from the same loaf, showing that we are all parts of the one body of Christ. The principle here is that we must maintain our unity and witness in living for Christ. God calls us to be separate from the world, to be holy. But God does not call us to be monks or hermits, living away from the lost sheep in the world. God expects us to be His light and His salt. Salt standing alone and tucked away in a cabinet does nothing. The salt must get alongside of the food to make a difference. So should we. We must develop relationships with our unchurched neighbors, co-workers, fellowstudents, ect. But we must never compromise our fellowship with the Cross. We communion with Christ; we communicate with the world.

1 Corinthians 10:31 (NASB) Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. This verse says it all for me. Whatever you do, not sometimes when you do some things, but everytime you do something, do it to the glory of God. We should have a single-minded focus on glorifying God in all that we do. That is our purpose in life in a nutshell, to bring glory to God. So, what are the three questions I ask in addition to "WWJD" before making a decision? Glad you asked.

1. Is what I am about to do a stumbling block to other people? Are my actions going to cause someone around me to have a reason to slam Christianity? Are my actions going to cause a young Christian to question the value of Christianity? The biggest beef non-Christians have against us is that we are just a bunch of hypocrites. Let's don't prove them right.

2. Can I ask the Blessing of Jesus Christ on this action? Can you honestly pray to Jesus and say, "Lord bless this action I am about to take?" For lack of a better example, let's say you are on a business trip, and you client wants to take you to a "topless" bar. Can you ask Jesus to bless that? Heavens no!

3. Can I do this and glorify God? Will this decision honor God or dishonor God? Will I be upholding the family name of being a Christ Follower by making this decision in this manner?
Okay, there you have it. Three questions for all these decisions. My prayer for you is to apply these questions to your life and honestly answer them as you feel the Spirit leading you. Decisions, decisions, decisions... what would Jesus do?
Father, we praise You and honor You on Sundays. Help us to bring Glory and Honor to You Monday through Sunday, twenty-four hours a day. Forgive us for missing the mark, for dishonoring You, for causing others to stumble and for doing things the Jesus would never bless. Help us to be sensitive to all our decisions and how they affect You. Father, thank You for this wonderful road map for our lives called the Bible, and mostly we thank You for Your Son Jesus, who took our place on that Cross, so that we may live, In His name, Amen.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Prayers for a Wayward Boy Scout

Prayers for a Wayward Boy Scout

I grew up outside the church, but when I learned about the God and Country award in the Boy Scouts, I wanted it. If that meant going to church, then that's what I determined to do. Each week I walked from my house to the little church building in the next block. I walked past the Rinards' home every time, and later, I worked for the Rinards, doing yard work. I attended that little church on the next block just long enough to get the award, and then I quit. Twelve years later, after I became a Christian and a preacher, I learned that Mr. and Mrs. Rinard were in a nursing home nearby. Out of friendship for the family, my wife and I decided to pay them a visit.After a delightful visit, Gail and I turned to leave. I don't remember which one of them spoke, but I'll never forget what they said: "Do you remember when you used to walk to that little church? We've not missed one day since, praying that God would do something in your life." For 12 years, this elderly couple prayed for me, every day—prayed that God would one day do something in my life. I had no other Christian influence at that time, but eventually I became a Christian and a preacher. I was prayed into the kingdom. There is simply no other explanation.


Sunrise by Rachel Branch

I sit and stare at the sunrise every morning.
And inside I cry for I can see it for all its wondrous beauty.
And pity the people to concerned with complaining and disagreeing
to look up and almost swear you can see
God's marvelous face smiling back.
You can be happy or you can be depressed
but even the slightest glance at the morning sky
can fill you with unspeakable joy,
that only God can give.
So share God's gift of love
with every one you meet and they will share it with others



God has given you ONE life with daily opportunities to INVEST for eternity. EACH day the prayers you pray, the LOVE you show, the THINGS you DO for others in Christ's name, the WITNESS you speak, and the FINANCE you GIVE are an ETERNAL INVESTMENT if done because of LOVE for christ.

Since you live but ONCE: Make some eternal investment each day. Invest time. You have the same number of hours as everyone else. Much of what you do is SPIRITUALLY NEUTRAL. It is necessary, but no special investment for eternity, EXCEPT as all you do consciously is done to God's glory.But you can make a DELIBERATE investment of TIME.

First in importance is PRAYER TIME for others and for God's work.

Second is TIME GIVEN to bless others just because you LOVE Jesus and them.

Invest Love. Do something you would not need to do, just because you want to SHOW the LOVE of Jesus to someone who needs it. SHOW LOVE to a child, a christian in need, or an unsaved friend.

Invest Words. You will be judged or rewarded in eternity for WHAT YOU SAY as well as what you FAIL TO SAY. Don't be a silent witness. Say something for Jesus EACH day. Say, "God bless you." "Isn't God giving us a beautiful cay?" "I hope you are getting as much joy out of life as I am since I gave my life to Jesus."
find something to say to someone each day.

Plan your Priorities. What is MOST important for you to do while you still live? Is it to WIN your loved ones?
Then plan how to LOVE them and LEAD them to Christ. Is it to help your church? Then pray for your PASTOR each day and plan ways to WIN and bring NEW people into the church fellowship. There are MANY THINGS YOU CAN DO to strengthen the church even if you do not have officially assigned positions.

Plan your giving. Do you want to INVEST a major proportion of your GIVING where it is needed most?
Where it will accomplish most? Then plan how you will give to missions. Some missions are not worthy of your help. Are they TRUE to the Bible? Are they well supervised?. . .You give each gift only one time.
God will reward your good intention, but be sure to GIVE to groups WHERE your funds are not wasted
and where God is greatly blessing.

You are another day nearer the END of your sowing and the BEGINNING of your eternal reaping.
Do God's will NOW! You have NO PROMISE of tomarrow. God has given you TODAY! Plan for tomarrow.
Plan for your family. Above all, plan for WHAT YOU WANT TO DO for God. But if you can do it today,
do not put off till tomarrow what you know God wants you to do. Satan's great SNARE is to get you to DELAY
and then perhaps FAIL to accomplish what you could. You can BEGIN a real prayer investment from today on. You can start sharing love, witness and new financial investment in souls now.Ask God's help and guidence, but ACT AT ONCE! The FINAL decision is yours. It is your life.
You can live a happy life, caring for your own and family needs, but always putting God FIRST in daily use of your time,your love and your possessions. THIS IS YOUR ONLY CHANCE to invest life for God.
You live but once, but YOU WILL LIVE ON FOREVER! Live so that you will have great eternal reward.