Mountain Life Church/Life Pack/September 28, 2014
Knocking on Heavens DoorSermon Notes
September 28, 2014I. Background
A. The Lords Prayer (Luke 11: 1-4)1. Followed by the parable of the Friend at Midnight2. Followed by the teaching about asking, seeking, knocking
B. Whats My Motivation?1. Jesus wants me to know I can ask God shamelessly for
what I need2. Jesus wants me to know I will be rewarded for persistence
and praying specifically3. God is my father4. God gives good and perfect gifts
C. Middle-eastern Hospitality1. Lavish2. More food than enough to eat communicates warm
welcome3. Most families borrowed from one another often
D. Judean Homes & Travel1. Everyone typically slept in one room2. The animals were brought in at night during the winter3. Most travelers did so early in the morning or after 4pm
II.The Friend At MidnightA. The Friend
1. Persistent2. Shameless3. His love for his traveling friend
B. The Neighbor1. Not moved by friendship2. His reputation matters3. Shamelessness4. A purposely weak picture of God responding to us
we are to be persistent in prayer.Elements of the parable
The Jewish home and hospitality of the day. A man has just received a traveler and has no bread to give him. Here is a major problem for the host. The traveler is tired and hungry. He cannot simply explain away his lack of bread with a shrugor a wave of the hand. He is constrained by the rules of hospitality to move heaven and earth to get some food for his friend. The town is small, and the host would be aware of who had baked that day. He puts that knowledge together with his emergency situation and decides to forego any compunction he may have had and make the midnight call upon his neighbor.A midnight arrival not unusual. The traveler came at midnight, but we should not think of this as an unusual event, and certainly not attach any eschatological significance to the time given. Because of the heat and its effects on both man and beast, Judean travelers in that day and age would find it very convenient to depart for their destination later in the day, planning on an early evening arrival.
The dark house of the friend. The door is shut and locked and the master of the house is in bed with his children. The house we may envision is a one-room home with the children and parents all on mats or on a raised platform bed. When he says, My children and I are in bed he means it literally. To get up would be a major inconvenience disrupting everyone. However his friend has already disrupted everything and probably everyone in the small house is now awake. The hassle factor here is really more than the neighbor should be expected to bear.
PersistenceThe Chinese [gardeners] plant the bamboo seed, water and fertilize it, but the first year nothing happens. The second year they water it and fertilize it and still nothing happens. The third year again they water and fertilize [it] and still nothing happens. The fourth year they water and fertilize [it], and yet nothing happens. But in the fifth year, in a period of roughly six weeks, the Chinese bamboo tree grows roughly 90 feet. The question is obvious: Did it grow 90 feet in six weeks or was it 90 feet in five years? A little reflection will make the answer obvious: It was five years, because had there been any year when they did not water and fertilize it, there would have been no Chinese bamboo tree. (Zig Ziglar)
The Friend at Midnight ParableBy Pastor John E. Dubler
Luke 11: 5-13The model prayer is followed immediately by the Parable of the Friend at Midnight. The model gives us major areas for which to pray daily and the parable teaches us to be persistent in prayer.
The Parable of the Friend at Midnight is one of two major parables on prayerthe other being the Widow and the Unrighteous Judge from Luke 18: 1-8. It is found only the Gospel of Luke.
Meaning of the parable
If persistence can obtain three loaves of bread from a reluctant neighbor at midnight, then certainly our earnest prayers will receive our Fathers complete attention and His answer at the perfect moment. The parable reveals Gods character of a loving Father who hears and answers, and our need of persistence in prayer.
Understanding the ParableContrast vs. Comparison. Some parables are meant to compare one figure with another to give us understanding. For example the parable of the treasure hidden in the field, (using the comparison word like) compares the kingdom with a treasure. The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in a field which a man found and hid again. And from joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field, Matthew 13:44. A parable offering contrast is what we have here. God, in His goodness is not like the unwilling neighbor, but infinitely more willing. He is not like the unrighteous judge who is in danger of being worn out by the persistent widow (Luke 18:1-8), but completely loving and earnestly attending to our prayers. Therefore, God, in this parable is contrasted to a reluctant neighbor.The neighbor is reluctant to answer his friend and give him what hes asking for, but because the neighbor is persistent he will capitulate and give him the bread which he requests. God, by contrast, is far more willing. We do not have to twist His arm; He is ready to answer us when we pray. If even the unwilling neighbor will answer, we can be very certain that God will answer us. Thus,
III.Ask, Seek, KnockA. The Greek Implication
1. Ask, and keep asking2. Seek, and keep seeking3. Knock, and keep knocking
B. The Promise1. Everyone who keeps asking shall receive2. Everyone who keeps seeking will find3. Everyone who keeps knocking will have the door opened
IV.The Father Heart of GodA. Ask Specifically
1. Good fathers give what is asked for if it is in their power2. Your heavenly Father loves you with much greater love
B. Gods Motivation1. To give us the greatest gift - the Holy Spirit2. He longs to give us anything we need - specifically3. When we receive what we ask for specifically, we know
who gave it to us!
IV.And forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtorsA. Acknowledge my sin and thank God for forgiving me
through Jesus sacrifice on the crossB. Forgive and release others for their sins against me
1. Acknowledge that someone sinned against me and hurt me
2. Give the memory of the violation to God3. Cut them loose from all debt they owe me4. Acknowledge that bitterness has NO HOLD on me5. Lavish love on them and pray for God to bless them
V. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evilA. Put on the whole armor of God (Put on the Lord Jesus Christ)
1. The belt of truth (Mentally accept Gods truth over lies I have been hearing)
2. Breastplate of righteousness (Thank Jesus for giving me His righteousness which enables me to boldly enter His presence)
3. Shoes of preparation (readiness) of the Gospel of peace (Take time to digest the scriptures - committing them to memory)
4. Shield of faith (Step out on Gods truth for my situation)5. Helmet of salvation (Thank God that He has saved me
and remember that I am different than the world. Satan has no power over me except the power I give him by believing lies.)
6. Sword of the Spirit (Apply the Word to the lies I hear, and the situations I find myself in today.)
B. Run to the Lord for protection (You are my refuge, my fortress, my God in whom I trust!)1. I set my mind on things above, not on things of the earth2. God has set His love upon me3. He knows my name and will never leave me or forsake
meVI.For Yours is the Kingdom and the power and the
glory foreverA. Make your faith declarationsB. Return to praise
This outline inspired by Henry Blackaby & Larry Lea
Life Group Questions for September 28, 2014
Message = Knocking at Heavens DoorIce Breaker: Tell about one of the most surprising non-Christmas gifts you ever received.
Read Luke 11: 1-13.
1. What stands out to you about this passage?
2. How does this parable compare and contrast with the parable we looked at last week in Luke 18: 1-8?
3. Luke 11: 8 says this: 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. In the Greek, the word persistence is defined shamelessness. Have you ever thought of being shameless before God in asking for something? Talk about what this may mean.
4. As you think about people who approached Jesus, can you think of anyone who was shameless in their approach to him? In each of these cases, how did Jesus respond?
5. Have you ever asked God for something persistently and specifically and received it? Tell the group about it. Did you ever receive something else other than what you requested? Tell the group about that too.
6. Tell what you think verse 13 means. Discuss it as a group.
7. Pray for one another.
I. Our Father in Heaven, Hallowed be Your NameA. Picture Calvary and thank God you can call Him
Father by virtue of the blood of JesusB. Hallow (lift Him above everything in your life) the
names of God corresponding with the five benefits in the New Covenant and make your faith declarations
II. Your Kingdom come, Your will be done (God, what are you doing? How can I (others) get in on what You are doing?)A. Myself
Give me awareness of how to meet others needs today I choose to take the initiative to love others
B. My family (spouse, children, other family members)C. My church (pastor, oth