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Spoiled Rotten

Spoiled-Rotten

Don’t act like you don’t know what I am talking about.  That kid who thinks the whole world owes him something. I immediately think back to that Tom Hanks movie: A League of Their Own and the character Stillwell.  That kid was spoiled-rotten. His face was always covered with chocolate because his mom knew he loved chocolate. She never disciplined him. She bribed him with chocolate bars as long as he would stop throwing a fit.

These are the kids who know that all they have to do is ask for something and they get it.  If they don’t, here comes the screaming fit, then they get what they want. Reward with no expectation of responsibility produces a spoiled-rotten kid.  I hope I was never like that. Was I Mom? Children who are spoiled get what they want as a bribe to stop negative behavior, but there is never an expectation of good behavior, only non-negative behavior.

Well, the worst thing we could ever be is a spoiled-rotten Christian.  In fact, that term may be an oxymoron. A Christian is someone who has taken on the name of Christ because they have chosen to follow the way of Christ.  To follow this way, we must accept responsibility for our actions. Nevertheless, there are those Christians who may act for a time like a spoiled-rotten Christian.  They want the Heavenly chocolate bars because we feel we deserve them because we haven’t done any of the really bad stuff. We haven’t lied, cheated, had an affair, or yelled at anyone….at least, not lately.  So then when we ask the Lord for something, we expect to receive and when we don’t, here comes the screaming fit 🙂 And that brings us to the Verse of the Day:

 

Matthew 7:7

7 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.

(NIV)


 

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In His first sermon, Jesus combines some principles that we don’t always like to combine together.  First, He teaches us that if we want something from the Lord, we must ask. Ok, no problem with that one.  Even spoiled-rotten kids ask for what they want. But then He teaches us that along with asking, we must seek.  

We are to seek God, not the gifts of God, but God Himself.  In fact, the gifts are wrapped up in His person. We cannot experience any of His gifts unless we are near to Him relationally.  The closer we are to Him, the more we experience all of the gifts He has for us. So we ask, but then we must pursue communion, relationship with Him.  We do this through prayer, through the Word, through reading devotionals such as this one, through worship as we give a sacrifice of praise. To seek Him, however, requires repentance, holiness, and good deeds done to His glory.  How can we be near to God when our sin keeps us at a distance. We ask, but then we must pursue His presence which requires turning from our sin and pursuing the work of God.

Finally, He teaches that we are to knock.  Well, if you have ever done door-to-door selling as I have, you know that knocking means waiting.  We must ask. We must seek. And we must wait. Waiting on the Lord requires an increase of faith. Seeking changes in our behavior, but waiting changes our faith.  To have faith that God will answer a prayer today requires faith, but if He hasn’t answered in a week, it requires more faith to keep praying. I had a lady in my church who prayed for her husband’s salvation for over 30 years. Just a few days before he passed, he accepted the Lord.  What faith it must have taken to keep praying and not give up.

Ask. Seek. Knock.

How are you doing with these three principles Christ lumped together to teach us how to receive from Him?  It can be a struggle especially when you haven’t received the protection or blessing you thought He would give you.  But as we keep asking, seeking, and knocking, He will keep His Word!

 

Hosea 6:3

3 Let us acknowledge the Lord;

let us press on to acknowledge him.

As surely as the sun rises,

he will appear;

he will come to us like the winter rains,

like the spring rains that water the earth. ”

(NIV)

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