Tag Archives: ask

More Than A Story: Persistence

More Than A Story: Persistence

[Friend at Midnight: Luke 11:5-13 / Persistent Widow: Luke 18:1-8]

“Prayer is not an exercise. It is the life of the saint.” – Oswald Chambers

1 Thessalonians 5:16-17“Rejoice always; pray continually.” [NIV]

Pray without ceasing, pray constantly, never stop praying, continually be prayerful

     UnceasinglyAdialeiptós (ad-ee-al-ipe’-toce) – unceasingly, without remission, without intermission

Philippians 4:6“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.” [NLT]

     Everythingpas (pas) – all, the whole, every kind of, each / every part that applies

Luke 11:8“I tell you, even though he will not 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.” [NASB]

     ShamelessnessAnaideia (an-ah’-ee-die-ah’) – shameless persistence, no shame, unembarrassed boldness, without embarrassment, shameless audacity, impudence, importunity, sheer persistence, refusal to take a denial – used only in Luke 11:8

   “stand your ground, knocking and waking all the neighbors” [MSG]

Luke 18:5Yet because this widow keeps pestering me, I will give her justice, so she doesn’t wear me out by her persistent coming.” [HCSB]

Constant requests, continually coming, keep coming, constantly coming, unending pleas

     Beaten black-and-blue by her pounding [MSG]

“There is not in the world a kind of life more sweet and delightful, than that of a continual conversation with God; those only can comprehend it who practice and experience it.”
– Brother Lawrence (The Practice of the Presence of God)

BIBLE STUDY QUESTIONS

More Than A Story: Persistence

[Friend at Midnight: Luke 11:5-13 / Persistent Widow: Luke 18:1-8]

1) In the parable of the Friend at Midnight, the friend in need knocked and his friend answered, “Do not bother me…”

                What were his excuses?

                How is this different from how God responds to us?

                Has there ever been a time when you felt like you were bothering God? Why?

2) In Luke 11:9, the Bible says—ASK and it will be given, SEEK and you will find, KNOCK and it will be opened.

                What does this mean to you? What does this say about prayer?

                 How can we apply this to our lives?

3) Luke 18:7-8 says, “And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”

               What does this mean?

               How does it involve you? What can you do to take steps in the right direction? What does this look like?

more than a story

More Than A Story is a 12-week Sermon Series and Bible Study focused on the parables of Jesus.

Richness
Forgiveness
Persistence
Fruitfulness
Obedience
Humility
Compassion
Responsiveness
Repentance
Readiness
Faithfulness
Kingdom-Focused

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You Don’t Know

“Your hands shaped me and made me. Will you now turn and destroy me? Remember that you molded me like clay. Will you now turn me to dust again? Did you not pour me out like milk and curdle me like cheese, clothe me with skin and flesh and knit me together with bones and sinews? You gave me life and showed me kindness, and in your providence watched over my spirit.” – Job 10:8-12 [NIV]

You turn on me ruthlessly; with the might of your hand you attack me.” – Job 30:21

“You have become cruel (NLT) – basically saying God changed toward him.

1) God does not change

Malachi 3:6a says, “I am the LORD, and I do not change.” (NIV)

Job realized that God was gracious, kind, and his Creator

But thinks God changed because of his situation.

2) God does not think like us

“’My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,’ says the LORD. ‘And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.’” – Isaiah 55:8 [NLT]

“Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; And in Your book were all written The days that were ordained for me, When as yet there was not one of them.” – Psalm 139:16 [NASB]

3) We cannot understand everything

“Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end.” – Ecclesiastes 3:11 [NLT]

“I realized that no one can discover everything God is doing under the sun. Not even the wisest people discover everything, no matter what they claim.” – Ecclesiastes 8:17 [NLT]

“God’s riches, wisdom, and knowledge are so deep that it is impossible to explain his decisions or to understand his ways.” – Romans 11:33 [GW]

“Just as you cannot understand the path of the wind or the mystery of a tiny baby growing in its mother’s womb, so you cannot understand the activity of God, who does all things.” – Ecclesiastes 11:5 [NLT]

4) Ask – Show me Your ways

Moses said to God, “If it is true that you look favorably on me, let me know your ways so I may understand you more fully and continue to enjoy your favor. And remember that this nation is your very own people.” – Exodus 33:13 [NLT]

“Now show me Your glory” (v. 18)

I want to KNOW YOU

I want to SEE YOU

I want to BE IN YOUR PRESENCE

Psalm 103:7, the Psalmist writes,

He made known His ways to Moses, His acts to the sons of Israel.” [NASB]

God’s ways must be MADE KNOWN.

  • He MADE KNOWN them to Moses
    • Ways – Intimate Relationship
    • Know God (Hosea 6:6)
  • To the Israelites He taught them by His actions, but his words were concealed. The relationship wasn’t the deep relationship like that He had with Moses.
    • Works – Observation – What God does
    • Parting Red Sea / Water from Rock / Walls of Jericho

“You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.”

– Jeremiah 29:13 [NASB]

Come close to God, and God will come close to you.” – James 4:8a [NLT]
“I long to look on the face of the One that I love
Long to stay in Your presence, it’s where I belong”

(Jesus Culture “Show Me Your Glory”)

Download You Don’t Know Outline

Acts: Prayer

Acts: Prayer

[Acts 4:23-31, Acts 12:1-19]

1) Made In Faith

See Mark 9:14-29 –“I believe; help my unbelief!”

“Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.” – Mark 11:24-25 [NIV]

2) Forgive Others

3) Abide in Him

To remain or abide in God means to obey His commandments. Love God. Love Others. (See John 15:8-12)

If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” – John 15:7 [NASB]

“and whatever we ask we receive from him, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him.” – 1 John 3:22 [ESV]

4) In Jesus Name

“You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father. Yes, ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it!” – John 14:13-14 [NLT]

5) For God’s Will

“When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.” – James 4:3 [NIV]

“We are confident that God listens to us if we ask for anything that has his approval. We know that he listens to our requests. So we know that we already have what we ask him for.” – 1 John 5:14-15 [GW]

6) Persistent and Bold

Ask, Seek, Knock – Continuous (Not Single Request – Present Tense)

“Don’t bargain with God. Be direct. Ask for what you need. This isn’t a cat-and-mouse, hide-and-seek game we’re in. If your child asks for bread, do you trick him with sawdust? If he asks for fish, do you scare him with a live snake on his plate? As bad as you are, you wouldn’t think of such a thing. You’re at least decent to your own children. So don’t you think the God who conceived you in love will be even better?” – Matthew 7:7-11 [MSG]

This is one of the 4 part Acts series:

Acts: Prayer

Acts: Possessions

Acts: Persecution

Acts: Proclamation

No One Asked

I once heard it said that if you don’t ask for something, you aren’t going to get it. How is someone going to know if you want something if you don’t ask for it? If you are driving and get lost, you won’t get directions from someone unless you stop and ask.

Today’s verse refers to a time when God was ready to do something for his people, but his people weren’t looking to him. He was “ready to respond” but the people were not asking him for any help. They had their eyes elsewhere.

God is always ready to do things for his people. Many times we just don’t ask. Many times we have our eyes elsewhere. The Bible says if we ask we shall receive, but often we do not take the time to ask. God is always ready to be found. He’s not hidden but sometimes we hide him behind other things in our own life.

“The LORD says, ‘I was ready to respond, but no one asked for help. I was ready to be found, but no one was looking for me. I said, ‘Here I am, here I am!’ to a nation that did not call on my name.’” – Isaiah 65:1 [NLT]

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Trusting the Power of God

This weekend I had the opportunity to teach two classes, one on trusting God and another on the power of God. These two topics are so vital to each of our lives, and yet we all have some difficulties in these areas.  Recently, the husband of a friend of mine was in dire need of a liver transplant. With a congenital liver disease weakening his body, many people would have considered that hope was lost. Family and friends joined together in prayer.  The Bible says that we must ask and believe, and then we will receive (Mark 11:24, James 1:6). The family organized a group, continued to stand firm in their faith, and clung to God during the storm. As family and friends trusted God, uniting together in prayer, they were able to see the power of God at work. He received a new liver and doctors were amazed at the miraculous transition they witnessed, something that couldn’t be explained except as the power of God.

These people trusted God to provide, but we all have moments when we have a problem with trusting God. To trust God, it means that we abide and rest in His goodness—that we trust that He protects, embraces, and surrounds us with His compassion and His favor. It is important to understand that if we draw near to Him, He will draw near to us (James 4:8). It is important to remember the many promises of God—promises we can only know about if we read His Word. Psalm 34:10 says that those who seek God will “lack no good thing.” Yet, why are we so tempted to seek elsewhere, to try our own methods, to think that we could have something better doing things another way?

In the wilderness, Jesus was tempted three times. Each of these temptations represents temptations that we each face, temptations of: power, prestige, and possessions. Each time, He responded to the devil by saying, “It is written.” It is so clear to see the power of God’s Word at work.  In Ephesians 6, we are told to stand firm and put on our spiritual armor, which includes the “sword of the Spirit, which is word of God” (v. 17). Do you have your armor on? Are you daily arming yourself with this sword?  See each of us has the ability to tap into the power of God. We have His Word. We as believers have His Spirit. Yet it is apparent that so many people do not use what is right before them.

Is it a trust issue? Do we not trust the character and promises of God? Do we think we know better? Do we not have the time to read God’s Word? Do we believe we are fine as we are? There are so many possibilities, but each answer is simply an excuse—an excuse to not accept the love, grace, mercy, protection, favor, direction, comfort, and will of God.  As we make these excuses, complaints and grumbling follow. When will we get it? When will we reach forward to the hand that God extends to us?

I told my students this weekend that we must not simply remember “it is written,” but we must also remember another short and powerful statement made by our Lord and Savior. We must remember “it is finished.”  We have victory thru Christ, “for everyone born of God overcomes the world” (1 John 5:4). We need to live right now as if we have this victory. We need to stop allowing the world to get the best of us, and cling to this victory that we already have in Christ. We need to trust Him and trust in this victory. In doing so, we would live very differently. We need to learn not only to trust God’s character and the promises in His Word, but also to live by them each day of our lives. As Burl Ives sang, “O victory in Jesus, My Savior forever. He sought me and bought me with His redeeming blood.”  The song goes on to speak of singing a song of victory one day in heaven, but I think we should start singing this song today, as we trust God, as we cling to Him and His Word, as we hold tight to the power of God. Surely, we have victory. Let us trust in Him and open our eyes to His power which is at work even today.