I`m going to pose to you that age old question: what would you ask for if someone gave you three wishes?
I ask you that because I’ve been looking at one of those passages in the Bible that, with a casual reading, could be understood to be suggesting just such a thing. Matthew 7:7-8, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.” Jesus goes on to say that if we, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to our children, how much more will our heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him.
But that’s not the end of his thought. The very next verse is where you find the Golden Rule. And lest you think the two are not connected, that verse begins with the word “Therefore”, meaning that based on what I’ve just told you (ask and you shall receive) now apply it in this way (do to others what you would want them to do to you).
When you put the two teachings together you get a radical, profound picture of what Jesus intends the lives of his followers should look like. I expect most of you are like me in that when that age old question is posed my first thoughts are of myself. Jesus’ first impulse is to ask how can I serve others.
Believe me, that doesn’t come naturally but I know a few people who are beginning to more and more live this out. It seems that most of them are people who have gone through profoundly painful trial and have learned to depend deeply on Jesus for each day.
Like a friend of mine whose wife recently lost a long and gruelling battle with cancer. I have been amazed at the depth of his faith when the pain in his eyes is so obvious. His neighbor is a lady who lost her husband a couple of years back and is left struggling to raise their young son.
Recently the muffler on her husbands’ old diesel fell off. It was her only means of getting to work and she couldn’t afford to get it fixed. What’s more she was now getting fumes into the cab.
My friend, recognizing he had some money put away, gave her his truck for the day and took hers in to get fixed. Why? Because he could and it’s what Jesus would have done.
So ask yourself that question again, but first ask God the give you the heart and mind of Christ.