Tuesday, February 15, 2022

February 13 Sermon and Announcements


February 13, 2022

Ask, Seek and Knock

Matthew 7:7-12

Jesus is winding down the message given on that mountain side so many years ago. He is giving practical things God’s people need to do. Next week we will see the final warning given as he ends the sermon, but for today Jesus is giving us a basic understanding of how to access God. Jesus begins by simply stating, “Ask and it will be given to you.” Next, “Seek and you will find.” And finally, “Knock and the door will be opened to you.” 

One of my favorite Christian singers is Michael W. Smith. It’s probably been 20 or maybe even 30 years ago that he wrote and performed a song that had in it a very simple statement. It said something like each journey begins with a first step. A simple statement that is obvious to everyone who hears it, yet before you or I can go or do anything, we have to start. That is what Jesus was reminding those gathered on that day, as well as the church today. Before we have any reason to believe we will receive from God, we must ask. I believe scripture emphasizes the need to be specific when we are asking God in our prayers for help or wisdom or whatever it might be. 

We read earlier in the Sermon on the Mount that God knows what we need before we ask, but God wants us to understand what it is we think we want or need. Jesus is simply stating the facts that before you can be assured God will answer our requests, we need to be willing to put in the effort to ask. Jesus then in conjunction with that says, “Seek and you will find.” Jesus is saying there will be some effort on our part that is necessary, and that God will often provide the things necessary, but we need to be willing to seek them out. We are expected to do more than sit back and say, “God I have asked for help or for an answer to the problem I am facing, now do a miracle for me.” No, God will provide us at times with the tools and the resources to be involved in solving what we are facing. 

Then Jesus says, “Knock and the door will be opened to you.” Once again God expects us to do our part. When we come before the Lord with a heart open to his will, he will provide the answers and/or the solutions to what we are facing. Jesus then gives a couple of examples of how we respond to our children when they specifically ask for things. When we are asked by friends or family of things they obviously need, do we say, “Well you may want this, but I will give you that?” No, in most cases, out of love and compassion, we try to help as best we can. 

Jesus then reminds us of our sinful roots and says something we may not really like to hear when Jesus says, “If you, being evil, give good gifts to your children, how much more will our Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask Him?” 

Then Jesus closes out this lesson with what we now call The Golden Rule. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” So as Jesus wrapped this part up, he was really reminding us that, yes, we can go to God with our concerns, our prayers, and we can be confident God will hear and answer. However, Jesus is showing us God also wants us to help each other through the ups and downs of life. We not only are to ask our God for help, but we should feel comfortable reaching out to one another as well. God did not create us to be hermits living somewhere all alone. God created us to need to be involved with one another. As we all gain different experiences in life, we should use those different life lessons to help one another through the ups and downs of life. God is there with open arms, but we are to be used by God to be his hands, his feet, his arms, his mouth, his ears, and his eyes to one another. These are the life lessons Jesus wants us to understand as we face the challenges of life. We are not to take God’s place in any way, but we are to be open to God to sometimes be used to help one another through this journey we all share on this earth. Yet at the same time, we need to humble ourselves before God and with friends and family to the point that we are willing to ask, seek and knock. We all face similar challenges and with God’s help we can all reach the finish line victoriously. Sometimes God sends you and me to help and sometimes God expects us to ask and seek help from one another as well as from our Heavenly Father. 

Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day in America. A day set apart to show love to one another. In many ways Valentine’s Day is about acknowledging the fact that we need one another. We continue to read from God’s love letter to us, and the more we read God’s word we continue to see how God loves us and how we are to show love to one another. When we ask, seek, and knock, whether we are doing that with God or with one another, we are acknowledging how much we need God and how much we need each other. That is not weakness, that is a way of saying, “I love you and need you.”

Have a Happy Valentine’s Day and remember that God loves you!

Pastor Larry



Bible Study 9:30 Tuesday


Messenger subscription forms are in the back. Please give them to Carol today if you wish to subscribe.


February 26—Calling the Called event, sponsored by the IL/WI District Ministry Team—flyer in the back—please participate if you are interested.


March 9—Board meeting


District prayer calendars are in the back. Also an update page for our directory.


Offering envelopes for 2022 are available by the copier.

Offering plates are in the back of the sanctuary. Thank you for your continued giving!


Donation Box: Utilities

First Sundays: food donations for food banks


Pastor Larry Traxler- (217) 454-2362


To keep up on Church of the Brethren news:

Denomination: www.brethren.org/news Sign up for Newsline by clicking link on left side of page.

District: iwdcob.org (click on newsletter link) and on facebook

Our pages: cerrogordocob.com (printed sermon, announcements, & calendar) and on facebook

Keep in Your Prayers

Family of Galen Heckman; Debbie Leibrock; Dorthea Wood; Sonna Hall; Larry & Luana Cripe; Tina Wilhelm;  Shirley Krall; Baby Gemma; Baby Tate; Bryce Ashenfelter; Mindy Sawyer; Marlene Schultz; Randy West; Sarah Rudelick; Sydney (Nancy Gorrell’s niece); Carl and Wilma Cable; Marge Starr; Mike Gentry; Larry Albro; Mike McCleery; Mike and Carol Seidenstricker; Brittany Wright; Anna Gentry Thompson; Clyde and Nancy Fansler; Adiline Young; Kim Lehmann; Doug Fansler; Liza Yore; Candy Dobson; Anna Rose Larrick; Shawn Cain; Robert Cripe; Mayo & Darlene Hanaver; Zola Copeland; Patty Cripe; Lauren Gross; Stacie Warren; Nancy Gorrell; many unspoken requests; Coronavirus crisis; healthcare workers and first responders; the families of those who have died from COVID-19; those who are ill from the virus; school teachers, staff, and students; victims of disasters; victims of shootings; nursing home residents; the Nigerian church; Haitian Brethren; Bridgewater community

Military and Other Services and their families

Brethren Volunteer Service workers; Disaster project workers

District Prayer Calendar: Pray for the Decatur congregation and their decision to close and for the ministry they’ve had there.


Church of the Brethren vision statement:

Together, as the Church of the Brethren, we will passionately live and share the radical transformation and holistic peace of Jesus Christ through relationship-based neighborhood engagement. To move us forward, we will develop a culture of calling and equipping disciples who are innovative, adaptable, and fearless.


Our Mission Statement:

Love God, grow with others, serve faithfully, reach the lost, find peace. 


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