From the Archives! Luke Sermon Manuscript: Luke 11:5-13

I like reading sermon manuscripts! So, I thought it might be helpful for some if I shared some various manuscripts of messages I have preached from time to time. Now, I am not going to do the work of editing them, so please be patient with the presentation, as I type them a certain way to make it easier for me as I preach. It may be a bit annoying for you, but it would take way too long for me to edit! You can listen to the audio here. I preached this message on the first day we moved into our new facility as a church and it’s about being persistent in prayer.

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All right.

Well.

This is a big day for us.

And it’s just so good to be here.

And this is obviously an answer to prayer for us.

And so we are just thanking God, for the way He’s shown us mercy and allowed us to have this place to meet. And we are looking forward with anticipation, to what He’s going to do, even here, in this place in the future.

Because.

We’ve got big hopes.

You know.

We are not just passing time.

We’ve got big hopes.

And.

Really.

We are wanting to see impossible things happen.

In this place.

Like people being saved.

For one thing.

Obviously.


That’s a miracle.

We can’t accomplish.

  

We don’t have the ability to make that happen, and yet, we have a kind of confidence, even as we’re here, this is part of why we’re here, we are longing, and hoping, to see many people, in this place, go from a state of spiritual death to spiritual life.

From, hating Jesus, to loving Him. 

And.

Really for their whole lives to be transformed as a result, and you know, not just their lives, but ours as well.

We are wanting, people to be changed in this place.

We are wanting to be changed.

In this place.

Which is.

Also.

Actually kind of impossible.

We are wanting , impossible things to happen in this place.


People being saved.


People being changed.


And that’s impossible, for people by themselves.

Because.

People don’t normally change.

Really, fundamentally, and yet, you know, one of the whole reasons we are getting together, week after week, is because, we are longing, and hoping, that people with significant problems.

People.

Like you and me.

Will.

Undergo some fundamental, core level, whole person, radical, kind of changes.

Because of what goes on in this place, and not just in this place, but in this church.

And, I am talking.

About, people, with marriage problems, who are, maybe wanting to get divorced.

Being helped.

And coming to the place where they have a really solid, God-honoring marriage.

And people.

Who are completely selfish.

Self-centered people, living for this world and, the here and now, becoming, self-sacrificing people.

And.

You know,

We could go on and on.

We are talking.

People who are wanting to commit suicide, being filled with hope; people who are depressed, becoming, people with an inexpressible joy, and people characterized by anger, becoming known as peaceful people.

Peacemakers, even.

And I am saying.

This is all a big part of why, we are here.

We are not just here. 

To do the kinds of things, we can do.

By ourselves.


Raise money.

Or.

Have a nice little entertaining afternoon.


Start a club.

For people who think alike.

No.

We are excited about getting together, as a church.

And.


We are looking forward to the future.

Because we are wanting to see impossible things happen in this place. And honestly, we are actually, kind of confident, impossible things will happen in this place and in the life of this church.

And one of reasons.

We are confident.

Is because of what Jesus is teaching us in Luke 11.

About prayer.

For me.

This is just so perfect.

How God set this up.


That we are here, in this passage today.

Because we’ve been spending a couple of months now, looking at what Jesus has to say about prayer.

And specifically.

We’ve been mostly looking at what Jesus tells us to pray.


In Luke 11.

Verses 1-4.


Where.

He gives us a model prayer.

And we’ve seen.

Jesus’ helping us even know what to ask of God.

When we pray.

Which is important for us as a church.

Because, we want to be, wanting the right things, obviously, as we go to God, in prayer.

And this afternoon.

We are going to be looking at.

Verses 5-13.

Which is.

The next section.

In this passage.

Where.

Jesus.

Is.

Taking one more step and helps us understand why.

We can go to God with these kinds of prayers.

Or even better.

Why we can go to God.


With an expectation, a confidence, that He will answer these kinds of prayers.

For help.

And so.

It’s like.

Really.

Over the past few weeks, we’ve been seeing what we should want as a church, as we look to the future..

Which is.

For God to be glorified.

Hallowed be your name.

And.


For.

His plan to be accomplished.

Your Kingdom come.

And.


For  us to have what we need to serve Him.

Give us this day our daily bread. 

And.


For our sins to be forgiven.

And for us.

To be spiritually protected.

“And forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation.”

And.

Now.

That we know what to ask, God, having looked at this model prayer, Jesus is moving on to tell us.

Why.

When we go to God, asking for those kinds of things, we should go to God.

With.

Confidence.

That He actually wants to listen to us.

And that He actually wants to do us good.

Quoting.

Jesus.

In verses 9 and 10.

“And I tell you, 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 the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.”

And.


While I know this is in the middle, of this passage, and we normally start, with the very first verse.

I am reading this.


At the beginning.


Because.

This is.

The key.

To the whole thing.

The way this passage works.


You’ll see.


Jesus tells two stories.

And.

One in verses 5-8.

And the other, in verses 11-13.

And.

Yet.

Both those stories hinge on verses 9 and 10.

Where.

It’s kind of like Jesus, is, putting the application to the stories.


In the middle.

Meaning.

This is the big idea.

He wants us to take away.

From all this.

“And I tell you, ask and it will be given to you, seek, and you will find, knock and it will be opened to you.”

And.

Each of those words.

Obviously.

Ask, seek and knock.

Are, basically referring to prayer.

Praying is asking, it’s seeking God, it’s like knocking on the door, and wanting God to open.

Up.

And.

While Jesus is commanding us to do that, and, to continually do that.

To keep on asking, to keep on seeking, to keep on knocking.

He’s also giving us assurance.

At the same time.

Here.

That God will respond.

That.


God will answer.

These impossible kind of prayer requests, and, that’s the essence of all this.

Really.

You see.

Jesus doesn’t just want us to ask, seek and knock, he wants us, to do all that, with a sure confidence, that God is gracious, and that God wants to answer our prayers.

Which.

Is what I want you to be hearing today.

That’s my burden.

As we sit here, as a church, we are obviously, looking to the future, and we’re wanting great things to happen.

And.

I want us to be motivated to pray.

For.

Those great things.


Like.

God being glorified.


And.

I want us to be the kind of church that is constantly.


Asking, seeking, and knocking.

For all these things.


That.

Jesus is telling us to be speaking to God about.

To be doing that.

With.

This absolute confidence, that God wants.


To do us good.


On the basis.

Really.

Of the fact.

That Jesus gives us that assurance.

Here.

This passage is a call to bold, confident prayer.

And we see the way Jesus emphasizes, the kind of confidence.

We can have.

Twice.

Verse 9, again.

Ask and it will be given to you, seek and you will find, knock, and it will be opened to you.”

And.

As if that’s not enough.

Verse 10.


Again.

“For everyone who asks, receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.”

And.

You know.

I think the reason Jesus has to give us that assurance twice, and really devote this whole section, to helping us, find that assurance.

As a church.

Is because he knows.

That.

Having that assurance.

Is.

Kind of shocking.

Really.

That’s the thing.

I mean.

We are wanting great things to happen.


I said that.

And we have confidence they can happen.

Not because.

We’re looking at us.

But because.

Because we can go to God in prayer.

And yet.

The question is.

Really.

Why?

Why would we think.

That.

God.

Would want to answer.

Our.

Prayers?

And.

Now.

We are getting a little closer to our text.

Because, we’re, looking at verses 5 through 13.


Where, Jesus tells two stories.

And, I am wanting you to understand why Jesus tells these stories, and I think many people, have a little trouble understanding what’s going on.

Here.

Initially.

Because.

Prayer seems kind of normal.

To them.

You know?

And.


So.

They are not wondering.

About, God answering prayer.

Actually.

In fact.


The opposite.


They are more wondering.


About unanswered prayers.


That’s what bothers them.

They have a problem with unanswered prayer, why isn’t God answering me, and while I can understand that, I guess, to a certain extent.

If you are thinking straight.

I am convinced.

A much bigger problem.

Than unanswered prayer.

Is the problem of answered prayer.

Really.

I mean.

That’s what this text is about.

The problem of answered prayer.

Because.

You know.

If we just think about kind of generically.

For a moment.

We’re talking about talking to God,.

In prayer.


The One who holds the universe in the palm of His hand, and so.

This is someone who is massive.

And wise.

And so important.

And.


It’s like we’re walking into His throne room, in prayer, while He’s busy governing the universe, and He’s got all these angels around Him, and they are so beautiful and awesome.

And we’re just walking past them, up to His throne.

And.

In prayer.

And.

We are saying, this is what I would like to have happen, and that’s.

I think.

Shocking.

Like, how could we ever think, we get to do that?

That we could knock on heaven’s door and have it open.

Where does that kind of confidence come from?

And.

If you have any question about why that is shocking.


You can just get on a plane.

And fly over to the United States.

And.

Go to the White House.

And try to walk in on Donald Trump, while he’s having a meeting.

To ask him something.

And you’ll see how important people normally respond to people like us making requests, and those important people are nothings to God.

They are.

So small.


In comparison.

And yet.

Jesus is clearly teaching us to pray.

And.

He’s teaching us to pray with confidence,  expecting God will be gracious and want to answer our prayers.

And if that’s shocking.

In general.


It’s especially shocking.

If you’ve just been paying attention.


To what.


Jesus has told us to pray.

In.

Verses 2 through 4.


I think, coming out of the Lord’s prayer, in verses 2 through 4, you’ll understand why Jesus.

Has to.

Add verses 5-13.

Because.

You remember.

Jesus.


Told us.


To start off.


Prayer.

Thinking about God.

And.

Saying  hallowed be your name, which.

Is.

A reminder of God’s holiness.

Basically.

His beauty.

His majesty.

And.

How much better He is than us.

And.

So.

It’s like.

We’re looking at God and saying.

“You deserve to be worshiped.”

And.

We’re longing for everyone else to worship Him, as well, which is why.


We pray.


Your kingdom come.

Hallowed be your name, your kingdom come.

Which is a reminder.

That.

It’s not all about us.

And.

That.


There’s this massive plan, God’s gotten started, that we read about, throughout the Scriptures, in which He’s glorifying Himself.

And.

That’s where.


This universe is headed.

Actually.

And.

As we are praying these kinds of things, we’re remembering, God’s glory and God’s sovereignty.

And God’s plan.

And.

It becomes.

Clear.

It should.

How.


Different God is than us.   

It’s like.

We look at Him and we see He doesn’t have any needs, and.

Then.

We.

Look at us.

And.

We’re..

One big need.

Really.

And.

That’s like.

All we have.

Is.


Need and sin.

That’s us.

Need and sin.

Physically.

We’re needy.

We’re beggars.

Jesus says, and he wants us to remember that.


Which is why ask.

Give us each day our daily bread.

Meaning.

God.

We want to serve you, but we can’t even provide for ourselves, and, so we come.


To You.

Asking for a hand out.

And.

It’s not a handout, we deserve, either.

Because as we look at ourselves, not only are we so weak physically.

We’ve sinned against God.

Continually.

We’re sinners.

We’re not just beggars, we are debtors, as well, which is why we come to God, over and over.


Saying.

Forgive us our sins.

And what’s maybe, even the saddest thing about, it all, is that, even after we’ve done all that.

And.

We’ve recognized, how dependent we are on God, physically.

And how much we need from God, spiritually.

We.

Still.

Look at ourselves, and know.

That even if God answers our prayers.

And provides for us and forgives us.

If he doesn’t go on, and protect us.

If he doesn’t strengthen us, empower us, we know, for certain, in the days ahead, that, in spite of all He’s done for us.

We’ll.

Run away from Him.

Next chance we get.

Which is why the Lord’s prayer ends.


Lead us not into temptation.

Or.

Help.

Which.

I am saying.

Is part of what makes, us sitting here, with confidence, thinking, that God will really, want to answer all these prayer requests.

We’re making.

So.

Shocking.

It’s like bold.

It’s.

Audacious.

And.

Obviously.

In verses 9 and 10.

As believers.

Jesus.

Is saying.

We are supposed to have confidence.

That’s the point.

And yet.

The question.

Is why?

Why would we have that confidence?

That’s the thing.

And.

To answer that question, Jesus is telling some stories. 

That’s verses 5-13.

And.

The first .

Story.

Is.

Beginning in verse 5.

Where Luke tells us,

“And he said to them.

‘Which of you who has a friend.”

And, it’s kind of like he’s making this personal.

As in.

Put yourself in this position.

“Which of you?”

And, actually the way Jesus is expressing that, is important.

Because.

There are some translations that have it, suppose one of you.

Has a friend.

And that’s not quite the best way to put it.

Because.

This is a common way we find Jesus speaking.

Throughout the gospels.

“Which of you.”

And every time, Jesus begins a question in this particular way.

It’s a big old hint.

He’s expecting.

A negative answer.


Like.

“Which of you?”

Ok.

Obviously.


None of you.

Which means.


While Jesus is asking a question here in verse 5 that is going to go down all the way down to verse 7.

It’s a long question.

And.
You have to stick with it.

But.

Even.

With, just the way the questions, begins, we already know, the, answer.

At the end.

Is going to be something like.

No one.

Or maybe.

None of us.

We might translate this.

“None of us.”

If we have a friend, and go to him at midnight and say to him,

‘Friend.

Lend me three loaves, for a friend of mine has arrived on a journey, and I have nothing to set before him.”

And.

Now.

Obviously, Jesus is not saying, that, if this happened, none of us would go and ask our friend.


For help.

That’s not the part people in Jesus’ day would have a hard time understanding.

Because in those days.


That culture.

Hospitality was a big deal, and so.

If someone came.

And surprised you.


After a journey.

Even.

In the middle of the night.

And especially if he was your friend.

It was.

Like.

A moral duty actually.

For you.

To open up your home and provide for them.

More like Africa, actually.

Than where I come from.

I think where I come from, this is a harder story to understand, because in America where I come from.

We.


Totally could refuse this guy.

If someone showed up.

We might say.


What are you doing?

Go get a hotel or something.

But that’s not how it would have worked in Jesus’ day. At all. If you showed up at someone’s house, and they weren’t expecting you, they still, had an absolute responsibility to care for you.

It was a matter of honor, really.

And so.

I think.

You can imagine this scene.

Better than I can.


Because.

Here.

Someone’s come, from a long way, and is tired, and he’s has shown up, unexpectedly, at your house, and you have nothing.

To feed him.

And.

So.

You are feeling terrible about that, and yet, it’s not like there are grocery stores open, for you to get something.

For him.


Quickly.

And so.

What do you do?

If you are living in a village back in Jesus’ day, even though it’s late.

It’s the middle of the night.

And.

He emphasizes that.

Because.

He wants you to feel.

This is a very inconvenient time, and yet.

In spite of that, he knows, you would pretty much feel like you had, to go over to another friend’s house and ask for help.

For maybe, some bread.

Which of course, we know, is going to make that friend’s life a little more difficult.

As well.

The one you are waking up. It’s like you are taking your problem, and making it his problem.


And Jesus.

Gives us some of the excuses a person in that situation might be tempted to give.

In verse 7.

“And he will answer from within”

And.

I know.

That makes it sound a little like Jesus is saying, this is how he will respond.

He will say this.

But I don’t think that’s the right way to hear this story.

I don’t think that’s Jesus intention.


Instead.

This is the part of the question, that’s connected to the which of you.

At the beginning.

Like.

Which of you would.

Would ever expect a friend to respond like this?


The answer being.

None of us.

  

In terms of how this story goes here, verse 7 is not the actual answer the friend gives.

Verse 8 is what he does.


But verse 7 is kind of setting the scene by reminding us of some of the reasons he might be feeling inside as to why he wouldn’t want to respond.

This way.

Like.

It’s late.

‘Do not bother me”


While.

Maybe.

We’re friends.

I don’t like waking up in the middle of the night, and this is your problem, not mine.


Besides.

“The door is now shut.”

And.

I guess.


Many people had some sort of bar over the front door, which seems like it would have been a hassle, to undo.

Like us with all our gates.

Messing with all those keys, you know.

And.

On top of that.

He says,

“My children are with me in bed.”

And he’s able to answer.

The door.

From bed.

Because it’s just a one room house, he’s living in.

That would have been common.

And so it’s like he’s.

Thinking.

Listen.

Man, do you know what you are asking?

The kind of trouble this is going to be put me through.

If I get up, I am going to wake all my children up.

As well.

And if you have children.

You know.

You never want to wake a baby up.

That’s like a rule in our family.

We used to say to our children, whoever wakes the baby up, gets to stay up, with the baby, because once you wake a baby up, it sometimes takes forever.

For them to get back to sleep.

And.

Yet.

Back to the story here.

The whole point is.


That even with all those possible excuses, a person might be feeling, for not wanting to get up out of bed, and answer, his friend’s request.


As Jesus is asking this question, he knows, that every single person, listening to him.

Can’t.

Imagine a friend responding.

To someone like that.

It’s like.

Out of the realm of possibility, for them.

I mean.

Which of you if you have a friend and you go to him in the middle of the night because you have a real.

Problem.

You are not just asking him to play cards, or something.

This was an issue that would have mattered to all of them.

Hospitality.

And.

Actually.

The whole community would have been shamed if someone came, and you didn’t treat him.

Right.


And so.

The only reason.

You are only waking your friend up is, because you need his help, and.

Which of you.

Jesus is asking.

Can imagine that your friend is going to respond and say.

Sorry.


Man.

I can’t help you.

It’s too much trouble.

I don’t want to wake my children.

Up.

I mean.

I think.

Everyone  in Jesus day, hearing that, would be almost laughing.

Because.

There’s no one.

That would never happen.

In.


America.


Yes.

We could imagine that.

It’s too late, that’s an excuse that works over there.

But in Jesus’ day, in the Middle East, with hospitality, as important as it was, and just read through the Old Testament, or you know, even just a couple chapters back, when Jesus sent the disciples into that Samaritan village looking for a place to stay, you remember, Luke 9, and that village turned them away.

What did the disciples say?

They said.

Lord do you want us to tell fire to come down from heaven and consume them?

Which means.

Obviously.

This was a big deal.

Hospitality.

They were like, yes it makes sense, God should damn them, because they didn’t show us hospitality.

And so.

This would have been absolutely be outrageous for someone to say, which is why Jesus adds.

In.

Verse 8.

“I tell you.”

And that’s.

Like.


You know this.

“I tell you.

Though he will not get up,”

And it’s equally possible to translate that.

“If he will not get up.”

Which I think is maybe better here.

Like.

Even.

If.

Worst case.

This is a just bad guy.


Your neighbor.

And he doesn’t care about his relationship with you, and so even if he wouldn’t get up because he is your friend.

And most people would

But even if he wouldn’t.

In the end.

You know.

He’s still going to get up.

In Jesus’ words.

“Because of his impudence he will rise and give him whatever he needs.”

And.

That’s.

Is a hard little word.

Actually.

Impudence.

His impudence.

And.

I think the impudence of the person asking, not the impudence of the person getting up. 

But.

What does impudence.

Mean?

That’s the thing.

Because.

It’s easy to assume that what Jesus is talking about is persistence, here. Like, the friend keeps on asking. And that’s why he finally gets up.

And that’s what people think impudence means. So, he doesn’t get up because he’s a friend, but because the friend won’t stop, asking for bread.

And that’s, pretty much, how this story throughout the ages has typically been interpreted.

And it is the point of a very similar story Jesus tells in Luke 18, and it’s initially what I thought was the point of the story here.

And yet.

That’s not really what the word.

Impudence means.

That’s the problem.

Anywhere else.

Ever.

It’s used 258 times, in ancient Greek texts.

Outside the Bible.

And.

It’s amazing.

People know that stuff.


And.

They do.

And apparently.

Scholars say.

There’s no example, anywhere, except where people were struggling with what Jesus might possibly have mean here, where anyone else.

Ever used.

The word.

Impudence.

That way.

Because.

It doesn’t really mean perseverance, or persistence.

In fact.

As one scholar puts it.

“The point can be stated categorically…that the traditional translation as persistence is incorrect and should be assigned once and for all to a short paragraph among the historical oddities of biblical mistranslation.”


Because.

.

Instead.

The word.

Impudence.

Literally means without shame.

It’s.

You could say, “a lack of sensitivity to what is proper.”

Or.

Another definition I found was “recklessness.”

Or.

Even.

“Obtrusiveness.”

Or.

“A disregard of consideration by the one making the request.”

In other words.

It’s being bold.


But more in the negative sense.

Actually.

Like.

Being rude.

It’s like.


This friend.

You know.

Who.

Is not embarrassed by what should embarrass him, and so he just does stuff, where, you are always like, oh man.

Why?

Why would you do that?

Like.

Actually.

Kind of.


The person in this parable.

Even though.

We can see, why he feels he has to do it.

What’s he is doing.

Normally.


Is.

Rude.

It’s the middle of the night.

And his friend is sleeping.


And he has children.

And he’s going to wake everyone up.

And that’s.

Normally something people might consider inconsiderate, and even the friend in verse 7, is kind of thinking.

Obviously.


We saw.

This is crazy.

The children are with me.

The door’s locked.

And.

This is a whole bunch of trouble.

And.

Yet.

Even knowing all that,  doesn’t stop.

The man.

The friend.

Asking.

He’s bold, and doesn’t let, the possibility of his friend being upset stop him.

And so.


He just goes.

And knows.


His friend.

Is going to help him.

Even if, he doesn’t want to.

He’s still going to help him.

If for nothing else, just because of the fact, that he was bold enough, to come, in the middle of the night, knocking..

And.

The point is.

That’s how we should be with God.

In prayer.

Bold.

And that’s something we see illustrated, throughout the Scripture.

I think of those men.

Who had that paralyzed friend, and brought him to Jesus, and while Jesus is teaching.

They literally break through the roof.

To lower him down.

To him.

And.


That’s.

Bold.

Interrupting Jesus in the middle of a sermon.

Or that woman.

You know.

Who had the discharge of blood for all those years, and who was considered unclean by everyone else.

And.

Yet.

Was willing to risk.

Everything.

Just to touch the hem of Jesus’ garment.

And that’s bold.


It was a trembling bold, but it’s bold.

Most religious leaders would have been throwing stones at her.

Or.

The blind man, who was sitting by the roadside begging.

Later in Luke.


And hears the crowd going by, and asks what it means.

And finds out.

It’s Jesus.

And.

So.

He just starts crying out.

“Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”


And.

You know.


Everyone else.

Is like be quiet, man, stop yelling, and, they even rebuke him.

And.

He only cries out all the more.

“Son of David, have mercy on me!”

And.

That’s bold.

Or even.

Maybe this is one of the best specific illustrations. If we go all the way back to the Old Testament.


And.


Think of Abraham.

After he’s told by God, that God’s going to destroy Sodom.

The text says.


“Abraham drew near and said, ‘Will you indeed sweep away the righteous with the wicked?

Suppose there are fifty righteous within the city.

Will you then sweep away the place?

Far be it from you to do such a thing?

Shall not the Judge of all the earth do what’s right?”

And.

That’s bold.


And.


You know God says.

“If I find at Sodom fifty righteous in the city, I will spare the whole place for their sake.”

And you know, Abraham?


He’s like.

Ok.


But.

What about forty-five?

Bold.

And God.

Says.

I will not destroy it for the sake of forty five.


And Abraham, you know, he’s not stopping there?

Forty?

Thirty?

Twenty?

Ten?

Bold, bold.

Shameless.

Even.

That’s.


Impudent.

Prayer.

And.

Obviously, there are all kinds of reasons, we might be able to come up with, why it is just not appropriate.

For people to be saying.


Things like that.

Or.

For people like us to be asking God for anything.

Like that.

And.

Yet.

Back in Luke 11, Jesus is encouraging us not to let those feelings of shame or inadequacy stop us, from pleading with God, and going to God and asking.

And.

The first way he encourages us, is by reminding us.

That if they all know.

A sinful human being is going to get out of bed in the middle of the night, to grant the request, of a friend, he, kind of, thinks is rude.

God’s so much better than that.

And if you are making requests, according to His will.

He’s not going to be thinking.

This is so much trouble.

He’s going to take those requests seriously.

And.

That’s verses 9 and 10.

“And I tell you, 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 the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.”

That’s the application to the story.

Obviously.


Some people.

One of the problems they have, is that they are just selfish, and so, when they are praying, they are not even asking God for things, that, actually, matter.

And.

This promise.

Ask, seek, knock.

Isn’t for stuff like that.

Like God, you know.

I want that Lamborghini or something.

Instead.

This is.

An encouragement to go to God confidently about the stuff, He’s said matters, because, you know, that.

He’s not like that sleeping friend.

In anyway.


He’s not reluctant.

You can ask confidently.


Even impudently.

Because he’s not just some sinful, human next door neighbor.

He’s your.


Perfect.


Heavenly Father.

And.

This is story number two.

Verse 11.

“What father among you?”

Jesus says.

Which is similar of course, to which of you, in that it’s expecting a negative answer as well.

“What father”

Out there.

And.

There’s none.

“If his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent; or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion.”

  

And.

That would obviously be a seriously twisted father.

If he did that.

Because.

Even out and out pagan, fathers, tend to have compassion for their children.

And.

Even if it’s not a lot of compassion, at least, most fathers, aren’t going to intentionally harm their kids, when they are asking them for help.

And God’s.


Our Father.

Remember.

That’s the nature of our relationship.

As Christians.

That’s how we started the Lord’s prayer, back in verse 2.


Father.

And.

So yes.

It’s true.

He’s great and glorious God.

And, we are needy and full of sin, and we need to think about all of that, but as we do, we can’t lose track of this new, amazing, relationship we have with him now.

As believers.

Because.


We are His children.

Because of Jesus.

And so as we go to Him in prayer, of course, we have to remember, we are going into the presence of someone who is almighty, and eternal and great and majestic, and like a consuming fire, in His holiness.

Someone who has.

All these angels around Him, covering their eyes and feet, and crying out Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God Almighty.

An.

That’s frightening, and that’s awesome, and we have to remember that.

And yet.

At the very same time.

We also have to be remembering, He’s our Father.

That God.


Is our Father.

Not naturally.

But.

Through salvation.

Through adoption.

Which means.


As Jesus explains.

That we can be confident.


Because.

If sinful human fathers know how to give good gifts to their children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him.

And that.


For me.

Is so convicting.

This is a how much more kind of argument.

If you are not afraid to be rude with a sinful neighbor, because you know, he’s going to help you, and if you expect sinful human fathers, to show compassion.


How much more.

Should you think.

God’s going to be gracious and good.

And.

For me that’s convicting.

Because I think a big problem I have sometimes had with prayer, is that I don’t always..

Believe God wants my best.

And.


That’s sad.

Like.

I am afraid to ask.

Because.

I’ve got this question mark in my mind.

That.


The problem is God doesn’t want to answer my prayer.

And that’s not just sad.

That’s wicked.

How could I ever think that?

How could we ever think that?

It’s like we have more confidence in our sinful neighbors than God.

Or human fathers.

What do we think God is worse than our next door neighbor?

Or worse than a human father?

He’s so much better than that.

And I just.


Think.

How our lives.

And our prayers would change.

If we could only realize, deep down in our hearts, that this holy, glorious God with this amazing eternal plan, is now truly, FOR US.

If we could only realize.

That when we pray, now, as believers, it’s a like child going to his father.

And.

As Martyn Lloyd Jones.

A great preacher.

Once put it.

“As the father cares for the child and looks at the child, and is concerned about the child, and anticipates the needs of the child.

So is God with respect to all those who are in Christ Jesus.

He desires to bless us very much more than we desire to be blessed. He has a view of us, He has a plan and a programme for us. He has an ambition for us, I say it with reverence, which transcends our highest thought and imagination.

He’s a Father.”


And what a Father!

A perfect Father!

A holy Father!


An all powerful Father!

Who is able to do much more than we could ask or think.

And.

As we pray.

Jesus is saying.

Verses 5-13.

We need to have confidence.

That.

Our Father.


Is.

Good.

And.


Gracious.

And wants our best.

As Lloyd Jones says it again,

“You have to get rid of this thought that God is standing between you and your desires and that which is best for you.”

Which is how a lot of people view prayer.

Actually.

It’s.


Like me versus God.

And.

So.

It’s.

How do I move God out of the way so I can get to what I want?

When.

Instead.

The reality.

Is.

If you are a believer.

God’s more committed to your long term good than even you are.

It’s.


Like a father with his child.

And so.

It’s not God who is the obstacle to your long term good as a believer. If anything, it’s more you, you are the obstacle actually.

You are the one who keeps getting in the way of what’s really good for you.

And.

So.


In prayer.

We are not moving God out of the way so we can get to what we want, as much as He’s moving us.

So we can want, what we are supposed to want.


And so.

He can give us.


What’s really best.

And.

That’s one thing, we don’t know a lot about the future, but if you are a Christian, that’s one thing, you can be so confident about.


It’s done.

In fact.

He’s.

Already.

Purchased your ultimate good in Christ.

And.

So.

If He was willing to do that.


You can be sure.


He’s happy to give you.

The spiritual blessings.

You need.

Or.

I guess.

In the words of Jesus here.

Luke 11:13.

He’s happy to give you.

The Holy Spirit.

Who here.

I think.

Is pretty much a pointer to everything we want most.


Right.

Now as a church.

Because.

We are sitting here, in this new place, looking forward and wanting these impossible things to happen.

And.

We’ve got these big hopes.

That.

Are totally impossible for us.

Because.

They are not hopes.


Like.

Getting a super nice building.

Or having this really fancy church.

The kind of stuff, maybe we could do.

They are hopes.

That have to do with, all the stuff, we can’t do.

Like.

And saving people and changing people.

And.

Yet.

Even though, we know, we can’t do all that, we are confident, we are expectant, because we are bold.

Because.

God’s given us.


This great privilege.


Called prayer.

And.

Even though it seems so shocking, that people like us, small, sinful people, can go to God, and ask for such, big, awesome things.


Like the Spirit.

Like His Spirit.

Working in us.

We know we can. Actually. We know we must.

Because.


While there are many things, we don’t have specific promises about.


In the Bible.

In terms of our future.

As a local church.

One thing.

We do have a promise about.


One thing. 

We can count on.

  

Is that.

God’s happy.

When come to Him.


Asking.

And.


Seeking.


And.

Knocking.

Not.

Because.

We are anything special.

Or even because we are all that great at praying.

But because He’s good.

He’s better than our neighbors, that’s for sure, and he’s even better, than sinful human fathers.

We never need to fear.

Whether God really wants our best.

If we are in Christ.

If we are believers.

He’s got all kinds of spiritual blessings, in store for us.

Only.

He wants us to learn to be bold.

And to ask.

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