“Ask, and you will receive.  Seek, and you will find.  Knock, and the door will be opened for you.  Everyone who asks will receive.  Everyone who searches will find.  And the door will be opened to everyone who knocks, . . . for God is ready to give good things to people who ask.”

Matthew 7:7-8, 11


Notes for Contemplation as You Use this Devotional:

  • In this wisdom from the “Sermon on the Mount” by the Gospel Writer called Matthew, Jesus encourages his followers—and us—to direct our attention to God in both prayer and action. He reminds us that we’re God’s beloveds, worthy and deserving of all God has.
  • Additionally, Jesus teaches that we must be receptive and willing to do the work of asking (requesting), seeking (searching), and knocking (directing our attention), if we expect our needs to be met.
  • Expectations, whether positive or negative, are beliefs about the future. They help us hypothesize (guess) about what might occur, without making baseless assumptions. They also connect to our faith in ourselves and our hope in positive, forward momentum.
  • Furthermore, expectations have energy. Like faith, they flow as we direct them. So, when we tune into our still, small voice, our intuition, we often can sense which expectations are healthy and realistic.  Then, we can define abundance and success for ourselves and discern how best to meet our needs.
  • Demonstration is your evidence of what does or doesn’t work in your life, so be honest and realistic about what you truly need for your well-being. It’s magical thinking to look into the sky and expect God to drop your needs into your lap. Likewise, you can’t just pray away difficulties.  You must act on our own behalf.  For instance, you might wish for a Ferrari, but if your real need is for safe, reliable transportation, you might need to carpool, or use Lyft or public transit to commute to work.
  • Receptivity and healthy expectations also help you assess what’s real and avoid what’s foolish. For example, keto gummies alone are unlikely to support weight loss, though you may still want to try them as a supplement. Similarly, someone who continually ghosts you isn’t ready to commit to a loving, long-term partnership.
  • As Rev. Dr. Johnnie Colemon teaches in an inspiring collection of her sermons, It Works If You Work It, “Start expecting the best by knowing that consciousness, [your awareness and mindset], is the only reality. . . . If you have a consciousness of success, then that is what you expect, and that will become your experience. . . . Work on building the awareness you deserve, nothing but the best, and expect to receive it.”


Contemplation Questions:

As you reflect on your life and circumstances, ask yourself:

  • In what ways am I open to receive what’s best for me?
    • List, word map, or illustrate all the ways.
  • What are my currents needs?
    • List, word map, or illustrate all your needs. Include everything from paying your bills, to healing an illness, to planning for retirement, to reconciling a relationship.  Be sure to distinguish wants from necessities.
  • What are my expectations about fulfilling these needs?
    • Without judgment, list, word map, or illustrate everything which applies.
    • Note which expectations are positive and which are negative, marking “P” or “N” by each.
    • Next, determine whether any negatives can be transformed. If not, eliminate them.
    • Then, create a new list, word map, or illustration of your positive expectations.
  • When I reflect on my positive expectations:
    • which are magical thinking and unrealistic?
      • List word, map or illustrate whatever they are.
      • Then, note whatever you’re willing to do to transform them or release them.
    • which are healthy and realistic?
      • List word, map or illustrate whatever they are.
  • When I reflect on my healthy, realistic expectations, what am I willing to do to meet my needs?
    • List, word map, or illustrate all you’re willing to do, no matter how small or insignificant it seems.

As you use this devotional and contemplate the nature of God, avoid making God a mean, withholding dictator or a dazzling superhero.  Instead, let God be your loving, compassionate source and sustenance.  Affirm that you are a wise, wonderful, worthy, divine child of God, just as Jesus was.  Trust your intuition to guide you, and keep your eyes, ears, mind, and heart open.  As you do your work, also leave room for the activity of God, Holy Spirit, to do its wondrous work in, around and through you.  Especially, celebrate and give thanks as you receive what you need.

© 2023 – Rev. Jennifer L. Sacks – All rights reserved.

Photo by Martin Gstoehl from Shutterstock.

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