“Is God Your Genie in a Bottle?” – Matthew 7:7-11

Matthew 7:7-11

“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. Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!”

The prospect of a genie in a bottle to grant three wishes always draws an audience. Who would pass up the opportunity? Maybe the philosophical intellect that argues the peril of three dangerous wishes, but, even with the danger, I’m game.

If you think about this text, it seems that Jesus is our genie offering unlimited wishes. Yet, from experience, we know that is not the case. In verse 11, Jesus says He gives us good things. Some things I ask for may bring me pleasure, but may not be good. He also says to ask anything in His name or according to His will, so we cannot assume God gives everything we desire.

The emphasis of this text is less on what we request and more on the fact that we have an open invitation to ask. We have access to God. Christ is calling us to close communion with our divine Father. He wants us to know that He loves us, He is listening to us, and He is ready to answer us with His goodness.

Is there something that you need to ask from God? God will give a response and it will be an appropriate, holy response.

While using the HEAR method (see below) consider the following questions: 
  • Have you ever asked for something from your parent(s) and didn’t receive it because they knew better?  
  • What is something that you desire, but might not be the best thing for you? Why? 
  • Has there been a time when you asked God for something, but what He gave you was different, and better? 
Highlight – what words or phrases jump out at you? 
Explain – what does the passage mean? 
Apply – how does the passage intersect with your life today? 
Respond – how is God leading you to respond?
Pastor Stephen Williams

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