"THE GOSPEL OF MATTHEW"
The Virtue Of Perseverance (Matthew 7:7-11)
1. Why do some people…
a. Succeed in having their prayers answered?
b. Have a greater understanding of the Bible?
c. Reach more souls for Christ?
— Is it skill, genius, or luck?
2. The answer is suggested by Calvin Coolidge:
"Press on! Nothing in the world can take the place of perseverance.
Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with
talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb.
Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts."
3. In His sermon on the mount, Jesus talked about the virtue of
a. Especially in its relevance to prayer
b. Giving us motivation to persevere in our service to God
[Our text is Mt 7:7-11, in which we find Jesus teaching about…]
I. THE PRINCIPLE OF "PERSEVERANCE" (Mt 7:7-8)
A. PERSEVERANCE IS IMPLIED IN THESE VERSES…
1. By the tense of the Greek
a. It is the present tense, which most often stresses
b. Literally, then, Jesus is saying:
1) "keep on asking," and it will be given to you
2) "keep on seeking," and you will find
3) "keep on knocking," and it will be opened to you
2. By the progression of the terms themselves
a. "asking" is one level of inquiry
b. "seeking" suggests a step up, as one goes about to find
what they ask (asking plus action, Hendricksen)
c. "knocking" is another step up, as one persists in finding
that which they seek (asking plus action plus persevering,
B. PERSEVERANCE IS PARTICULARLY RELEVANT…
1. To the matter of "prayer"
a. As later implied in Mt 7:11
b. Jesus often stressed persistence in teaching on prayer
1) In the parable of "The Persistent Friend" – Lk 11:5-8
2) In the parable of "The Persistent Widow" – Lk 18:1-8
2. To the matter of "Bible study"
a. Many people give up too soon in their Bible studies
b. But those who persevere in their studies are the ones who
benefit from the blessings God’s Word provides –
Psa 1:1-3; Psa 119:97-104
3. To the matter of "evangelism"
a. Many do not bear fruit because they give up too soon
b. But we reap what we sow; the more persistent we are in
sowing, the more we will eventually reap
[If we desire success in any venture, but especially in prayer, Bible
study, and evangelism, then we must adopt "The Virtue Of Perseverance."
To encourage us to do so, Jesus goes on to provide…]
II. A MOTIVE FOR PERSEVERANCE (Mt 7:9-11)
A. GOD DELIGHTS TO GIVE GOOD THINGS TO HIS CHILDREN…
1. To illustrate, Jesus gives a simple argument (from the lesser
to the greater)
a. I.e., men give good gifts to their children who ask
b. How much more so, will our Father in heaven!
2. Jesus stressed this Fatherly attribute of God in His sermon
a. In regards to our physical necessities – Mt 6:31-32
b. And now in regards to things that are good for us – Mt 7:11
B. THIS IS ESPECIALLY TRUE IN REGARDS TO PRAYER!
1. As Jesus promised to His disciples in Jn 15:7
a. Conditioned upon our abiding in Him
b. Conditioned upon His words abiding in us
2. As the apostle John wrote in 1 Jn 5:14-15
a. Conditioned upon our asking according to His will
b. Which assumes we know His will for us (i.e., His word is
abiding in us)
3. And as James wrote in Ja 4:3
a. Presuming we are not asking for personal and selfish gain
b. But many do not enjoy God’s favor, simply because they do
1. To persevere, then, is a noble virtue, especially in regards to
a. We have a Father in heaven who is not untouched by the persistent
pleas of His children
b. Providing we do not ask amiss, persistent prayers will not go
2. If we desire to receive, find, and have doors opened to us, then let
a. Keep on asking
b. Keep on seeking
c. Keep on knocking
…not only in regards to prayer, but in all ventures worthy of
Christians (e.g., Bible study, evangelism)!
Have you asked, sought, or knocked today…?