December 05th, 2023

PASTOR’S CORNER: Mark Cress, Lead Pastor, First Southern Baptist Church, Liberal


As a parent of four kids and foster parent of three more, I recently realized I can tell which kid is at my bedroom door based solely on the quality of their knock. When a typical sounding knock is heard at my door, I know it’s my oldest, Gavyn, who is self-aware, respectful, and accommodating. When a heavy handed, somewhat obnoxiously loud knock is heard at my door, I can be sure that it’s my middle son, Elijah, who waits until something is urgent before knocking and is still figuring out his own strength. When a tiny, almost imperceptible knock happens, I know it’s my precious 2 year old little girl, Eve. And then there’s my youngest son, Ricky, who at 13 doesn’t knock… ever. 

In Luke 11, Jesus is asked by his disciples to teach them to pray. Jesus accommodates the request by giving them a model for prayer we know as the Lord’s Prayer. He follows it up with a scenario that teaches His disciples to ask God for whatever it is they made be in need of, and then Jesus ends His teaching on prayer with these words:  9 “So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. (LUKE 11:9-10)

In the Greek, the words ask, seek, and knock are written in an imperfect form, which means they are to be understood as continual actions. Don’t just ask once, keep asking. Don’t just seek once, keep seeking. Don’t just knock once, keep knocking. The idea is that we would come to God in prayer again and again and again… 

I wonder, does the Father know your knock? 

In Revelation 3:14-22, Jesus has some pretty harsh words for a church in Laodicea. Laodicea was famous for its wealth, its medical treatment for eyes, and its clothing industry. People from all over the ancient world would travel to Laodicea to encounter its luxury first hand. However, when they arrived, they would be disappointed to find that Laodicea had a water problem. They didn’t have access to natural springs, so they had to pipe the water in from outside communities. Water was brought via aqueduct from the cold springs of nearby Colossae, and the hot springs of nearby Hierapolis. As the hot and cold water mixed in the aqueduct, it would arrive in Laodicea as a disgusting lukewarm mixture that was neither refreshingly cold nor beneficially hot. 

Jesus’ reference to their water problem was the perfect analogy for the spiritual condition of the city of Laodicea. It was so disgusting that Jesus would rather spew the water (or in this case “Christ Followers”) out of his mouth than deal with the tepid condition of their dedication to His Father. 

Even with that graphic picture, Jesus ends his words to Laodicea with hope. In Revelation 3:20 Jesus says, “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.”

I wonder, do you know Jesus’ knock?