Updated 03.02.2011 – mp3 audio file links for this message are available for download at my other blog, Psalm 37:4.
Do you recall the last time that you were searching around for your car keys? Was it just the other day that you were hunting around for your cell phone because you could not find where you had last put it down? Maybe it was your wallet, where you keep your driver’s license. Don’t leave home without it! For those times you misplaced your glasses, you really struggled finding them because your eyesight is the reason you had to get glasses in the first place!
All of us have lost something that we need to find as soon as possible in order to be able to continue with our day, or even just feel better because what you thought was lost was not really lost at all. The process of searching for something can be a very casual search, or a frantic search where you are flipping seat cushions and bed covers, or something in between.
While none of us looks forward to searching for a lost item, we should relish looking for those things that reveal truth in the midst of a very confusing world. The search for truth can be relatively straightforward, for example, it occurs to you while you are looking for your keys that you left them in your coat pocket, and while your keys are not yet located, you know where to go to find them. Some searches for truth for some of us are not as simple. There are still others where the search for truth is hampered by constraints of the world. Their search is one of futility because they do not know where to go or which way to turn next. The search process is now fraught with disappointment and despair. The search for truth can be as simple as the search when you absolutely know where to look, or it can be utterly mystifying and confusing.
A search requires effort on your part. Searching for truth requires effort, as well. Jesus certainly knew that there would be many people today seeking the truth about Him or the truth about salvation and what it means to trust in Him as your personal Savior. With all of this, He provides us with some guidelines as we search for truth in this world. Let’s “search” the Scriptures in seeking his advice.
“Keep asking, and it will be given to you. Keep searching, and you will find. Keep knocking, and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and the one who searches finds, and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
The search for truth has some basic components that are within the search process. The first of these is relatively straightforward…to ask for information. We must be prepared to ask questions in order to receive answers that will guide us into truth. In the process of asking questions, we should always challenge ourselves to make sure that we are in the proper learning environment. All of us would agree that we would want the best possible environment for our children when it comes to education. We would not want to settle for anything less than a quality education for them. If that is the case, then why would you settle for a church that is short on teaching ability and that does not provide that same quality for you? You make the distinction and determination that you are in the best learning environment in church by asking questions. Once you hear the answers, now you can note them and test their veracity as you are challenged to do according to God’s Word:
As soon as it was night, the brothers sent Paul and Silas off to Beroea. On arrival, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. 11 The people here were more open-minded than those in Thessalonica, since they welcomed the message with eagerness and examined the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so. 12 Consequently, many of them believed, including a number of the prominent Greek women as well as men.
Asking questions during bible studies or Sunday school classes will most certainly confirm, with the proper scriptural fact checking, whether or not you are in the proper environment for seeking God’s truth in His Word. The Spirit guides us into truth if we are paying attention to Him. Jesus promises that when we ask, we will receive the answers that we need through the Spirit.
“When the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth. For He will not speak on His own, but He will speak whatever He hears. He will also declare to you what is to come.”
Jesus also advises us to seek what we are looking for, and there will come a point where what we are looking for will be found. Notice that Jesus does not immediately proclaim that you are to seek Him directly, but what you will find is that the more you actually search through the Scriptures, the likelihood is that you will come to the same conclusion:
You pore over the Scriptures because you think you have eternal life in them, yet they testify about Me.
This verse points to the fact that while you may be studying scripture and asking questions, it is important to note that you could be looking directly at Jesus Christ and missing the important message that He is trying to communicate. Matthew Henry’s commentary of this verse is that even though the Jews were scholars and believed that they had everything they needed because they had God’s Word in their hands, they still neglected God’s true message and had lost their love for God. Many may believe they are very religious, and yet they sadly do not love or even know Jesus in a relational way.
It is important to not only seek, but to keep seeking—to continue to look for the truth. It may take several attempts before you make the discovery, but the key to all of this is persistence. Persistence requires a desire to get to a place in your search where you are completely satisfied with the results. In order to get to that point, you must keep seeking…keep looking for answers. The answers come from Scripture, and as we seek the truth, we should have the desire to seek it even more.
How happy is the man who does not follow the advice of the wicked, or take the path of sinners, or join a group of mockers! 2 Instead, his delight is in the LORD’s instruction, and he meditates on it day and night. 3 He is like a tree planted beside streams of water that bears its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.
The search for truth requires asking for information, seeking answers to your questions, and another act of persistence, knocking. The act of knocking, specifically in Matthew 7 on a door, is to create a sound that brings attention to the one who is creating the noise. To knock on the door is to alert someone on the other side that you wish to obtain entry to a place that you cannot readily access without the door being opened for you. Logically, if you could open the door and enter the room, there is no need to knock.
Why the reference of knocking and the door will be opened? This is also an example of persistence and also endurance. The door being knocked on is considered to be an obstacle. The obstacle can be perceived as a small thing, or it can be a very great trial. Of the commentaries that you may review in looking at this verse, there are references to the combination of prayer to God, persistence, and endurance with the act of knocking on the door. You continue to knock on the door until it is opened. Let’s look at the parallel verse, which gives a more detailed example of this:
5 He also said to them: “Suppose one of you has a friend and goes to him at midnight and says to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread, because a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I don’t have anything to offer him.’ 7 Then he will answer from inside and say, ‘Don’t bother me! The door is already locked, and my children and I have gone to bed. I can’t get up to give you anything.’ 8 I tell you, even though he won’t get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence, he will get up and give him as much as he needs. 9 “So I say to you, keep asking, and it will be given to you. Keep searching, and you will find. Keep knocking, and the door will be opened to you.
The opening of the door allows you to enter into a place of rest and security in the Lord. An open door after persistent knocking brings on a sense of relief and satisfaction. If you notice closely in the verse that the Lord promises that He will open the door…not that he might open it or could open it…He will open the door. This is a promise that He gives to each of us who remain persistent in seeking Him, endure hardships to fellowship with Him, and look for ways to understand Him in the best way possible.
Notice that this is exactly what Jesus Christ wants you to do in your efforts to seek Him. To keep asking questions, to keep seeking understanding, to continue to pray in earnest through your hardships until the time He responds to you. Seeking the truth means that you are doing much more than just learning about Jesus Christ—you are learning that the actions of asking, seeking, and knocking mean that you are seeking a living Christ…the Messiah…the God who knows all about you while you are continually learning more about Him, learning how to love Him as He already loved you.
But God proves His own love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us!
For God loved the world in this way: He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.
1 John 4:9-10
God’s love was revealed among us in this way: God sent His One and Only Son into the world so that we might live through Him. Love consists in this: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation (sacrifice) for our sins.
Seeking truth is all about seeking Jesus. We are to never cease from seeking Him, for the more we learn about Jesus Christ, the more wisdom, knowledge, and understanding that we will receive from Him through the presence of the Holy Spirit.
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
Copyright © Melvin Gaines. For more content, please see melvingaines.com and melvingaines.blogspot.com.