(This message may be used as an individual sermon or as part of the series.)
Matthew 7:7-12 – IMPACT
#21 – SERMON ON THE MOUNT
I am sure, if you think about it, there are Christians who have impacted your life. Perhaps it was a parent, a friend, a brother or sister, a member of this church, or some other person who influenced you positively for the cause of Christ.
What about you? Does your life have impact for the Lord Jesus? Does it count in a positive way for Him? In order for it to have impact, you first know Jesus as your Savior.
When you trust Christ as Savior, He expects you to have an impact for Him. John 15:16, Colossians 3:17, Ephesians 2:10
Now you might be asking, “How can I have impact for the Lord Jesus? I’m not a speaker. I’m not a Bible teacher. I don’t consider myself to be very gifted.”
As we continue in the Sermon on the, I believe that the Lord Jesus shows us two ways to have impact for Him.
We find in this brief passage, we can be
IMPACT PRAY-ERS and
IMPACT PRAY-ERS – Vss. 7-11
Let me ask you a question.
The question is how obedient are you to the teachings on the Sermon on the Mount?
- Are you more humble, totally reliant on God, poor in spirit since we started?
- Are you a better peace maker, since we started?
- Are you obviously acting as the salt of the earth and the light of the world?
- Have you sought forgiveness from those who have something against you?
- Have you truly forgiven everyone who needs forgiveness?
- Are you as pure on the inside as you appear to be on the outside?
- Do you go about your religion without trying to make it obvious to others that you are religious?
- Are you praying sincere prayers, using the Lord’s Prayer as a pattern?
- Are you laying up treasure in Heaven instead of on earth?
- Are you seeking first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness?
- And just last week we talked about being judgmental. How are you doing not passing judgment on others, especially fellow Christians?
- We also talked about taking 2 by 4’s out of our own eyes before we try to take splinters out of the eyes of others.
- And in a few minutes we will make it worse by talking about treating others as we want to be treated. How are you doing at that?
We can’t impact our world for Christ unless we are living by the Sermon on the Mount. How are you doing?
Believe it or not, I am not trying to lay a guilt trip on you.
I have a long way to go in my own practice of this sermon.
As other pastors have pointed out, Matthew 7:7-11 are located here for a reason.
Jesus knew how difficult it would be for you and I to live by the Sermon on the Mount, so He tells us how to obey it.
We are to ask for help.
Matthew 7:7 – Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:
You already know to pray for the physical needs of others and your own physical needs.
You may also know how to pray for the Spiritual needs of others.
But how much praying do you and I do concerning our own Spiritual development?
You know that God tells us to ask according to His will, and He will grant us our requests. 1 John 5:14-15, John 14:13-14
Every one of Jesus’ teachings in the Sermon on the Mount is God’s will for your life. He wants you to obey these teachings, not to earn your way to Heaven, but because as a Christian, you are a citizen of Heaven!
Because these teachings are God’s will for your life, you can ask God to empower you to obey.
And these verbs in the Greek, ask…seek…knock, actually mean, keep on asking…keep on seeking…keep on knocking.
The teachings in the Sermon on the Mount are so important and impossible to obey in our own strength, that we need to be continually asking God for help.
Do you really want to obey the Sermon on the Mount?
When you really want something, you will ask more than once.
In Luke 11 you will find the same teaching about asking, seeking, and knocking. And just before this teaching Jesus tells a story about a man who had surprise house guests, and no bread to offer. He knocked on a neighbor’s door, and wouldn’t take “no” for an answer until the neighbor finally got up and gave him the requested bread.
When we know something is God’s will, we can keep on asking, knowing that the answer is not “no” but “yes”.
Matthew 7:8 – For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.
Why do we fail to obey the Sermon on the Mount?
We fail to obey the Sermon on the Mount because we are not barraging Heaven with requests that we will have the power to obey.
Matthew 7:9-10 – Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone?  Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent?
Jesus is giving an example here.
He mentions that there wasn’t a father among them that would give a stone to his child instead of bread or a snake instead of a fish!
Matthew 7:11 – If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?
We as men have sinful natures.
We are sinners by birth and sinners by choice.
And yet we know how to do good things for our children.
Our Heavenly Father is sinless and perfectly righteous.
How much more will our Heavenly Father give good things to His children when they ask Him!
Christian, what part of the Sermon on the Mount do you struggle with the most?
What is it that you know is God’s will, but you are not doing?
Your home work assignment this week is to continually asking God to help you obey that teaching, no matter how hard it may be.
Begin your day with asking God for strength to obey that teaching.
At breakfast time, give a silent prayer for help in obeying.
Do the same at lunch and dinner time.
And before you go to bed, pray again, asking for help.
There is another ingredient that must be part of your prayer.
That ingredient is faith. Mark 11:22-24
Think of your disobedience to a teaching in Sermon on the Mount as a “mountain”.
By faith, ask God to remove that Mountain, and believe that He will.
Make sure, as you pray, to confess all known sin to the Lord. Psalm 66:18, 1 John 1:9
Ask God to help you obey His teaching. Your prayers will impact your life.
BE AN IMPACT PRAY-ER and
BE AN IMPACT PLAYER – Vs. 12
In sports, and impact player is so influential that he changes the outcome of the game.
In his hey day Jerome Bettis was such a player as he would run for big gain after big gain.
Christian, your life can have an impact on others for God.
Matthew 7:12 – Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.
Notice what Jesus DOES NOT say:
He does not say, “Do unto others, because they did it to you.”
He does not say, “Do unto others before they do it to you.”
He DOES say, “Do unto others as ye would have them do unto you.”
Jesus is saying, “Treat others the way you want to be treated”
And when treat others the way we want to be treated, we have basically fulfilled the law and the prophets, the Word of God.
Like all the other teachings in the Sermon on the Mount, this is impossible to do in our own strength.
We are selfish.
We want our own way.
We want to be comfortable.
We consider ourselves more important than others.
We are constantly “Looking out for Number 1”.
We look out for what is best for ourselves, not what is best for our neighbors.
How can we ever treat others the way we want to be treated all the time? That is, how can we treat others the way we want to be treated 24/7?
First of all, it takes prayer. You need to be an impact pray-er!
Secondly it takes a servant’s heart. It actually takes the heart of Jesus! Mark 10:42-45
Jesus came to serve!
Not only did Jesus wash the feet of His disciples in service to others.
But Jesus also healed in service to others.
Jesus also taught in service to others.
Jesus also gave His life in service to others. Philippians 2:5-8
We are also to act and think as Servants, Mark 23:11, Philippians 2:4