23. Good Gifts
It really is a coincidence that this is the day before my birthday, and this is titled "good gifts" and that this is the 23rd post on my blog. January 23rd is the day I was born!
Matthew 7:9-11 “Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent?
If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask Him?”
The example given by Jesus is of a father and his son. It is not a neighbor’s son, it is the father’s own son. There was a special relationship between a Hebrew father and his son. Hebrews had generational thinking at their core taught to them through God’s law and the prophets and their own dads. They considered the next generation very carefully. This was an easy thing for Jesus’ audience to grasp. It was a given that each dad would give his own son the food they needed. This is the example Jesus used to show His Father’s relationship with His children, Israel.
Who is doing the asking? The son and anyone who asks the Father. And the giving is done by the dad and The Father.
What gifts can a man/dad give his son? Even if the dad is evil (being a sinner, someone who is capable of being hurtful or vicious), he knows how to feed and offer good things to his son. It is part of being a father to provide food for his children. It would be a wickedly cruel man to substitute anything else for the necessary needs of his own. The children here, are only asking for real food, not twinkies, or ice cream or other junk foods. This example is for needful sustenance. Bread and fish are examples we see eaten throughout the new testament. That was real food. It is what Jesus blessed and gave to the people with in the two instances of feeding the multitudes in the gospels.
If you see your own son, or daughter to the point of hunger to ask for food, would you even think to give them anything else? Of course not! Especially not a rock or a snake. How much more will God your Father, give you what you need as you are in need of them.
So, what are good gifts? James 1:17 says: Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with Whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.
Whatever the good gifts are, they come from God. He not only knows what we need for our bodies, souls, minds, and spirits, but also knows how to give the gifts. He is benevolent. He gives out of His goodness. His heart motivation is good; and it is for our good.
Good gifts that only God can give are:
The gift of life
A personal relationship with and through Jesus Christ
And The spiritual gifts, to name a few
The good gift and perfect gift comes from above, from the Father of Lights…
Good gifts are gifts that are gifts, presents or offerings. Perfect gifts actually means the act of giving. Our Father knows how to give. Think about what He has given to us all. Think about what He has given to you. He is benevolent, kind and He knows what will bring you to the place He knows you need to be. His gifts show that love, His gifts help you grow in Him, His gifts make you better person in the long run.
Do you have a situation that you find yourself in that isn’t necessarily what you would like? Or is it the place, your work, your house/neighborhood that is displeasing to you? Or the thing you have in your hand to deal with that seems it should be someone else’s problem, not yours? Could these be “good gifts” and “perfect gifts from above?” Maybe you weren’t asking for these gifts but that is where you find yourself with unpleasant things or even people to manage.
Last week we saw in verse 7-8 that we are to ask, seek, and knock. It might just be time to do just that now. God, would You show me how this is a good gift and a perfect gift that you have given me? Would You show me how this is an answer to my requests? The answers might astound you!
One way God answered my prayer was so exquisite to me that I have never forgotten it. I will share it with you now. We had been praying for a residential property. We thought it was perfect for our needs. One day God closed that door even though everything had been a go before that. I cried out to Him, poured out my heart, like I have seen David do in the scriptures, I was empty and spent. At the end of my deluge, I finally asked without thinking, “How do you want me to feel about this?” The answer came so loud and so clear that it shut my mouth!
“It’s the best thing that ever happened to you.”
It didn’t make any sense. I wanted God to see it from my perspective. I wanted a bit of sympathy from Him! Instead I got this statement that didn’t match my thoughts/emotions at all. It had to be from Him because it was so extreme to where I was. And I also got this peace that passed all my understanding at the time.
I decided that was my answer to all that inquired about our not getting the property. It made no sense, but I kept at it. And I embraced it. It wasn’t a year later that the floods came, and the fields of the property and the house was under a foot of water. And we also saw it happen again the following year. And even a few years later. God knows what a good gift and a perfect gift is, and I can trust Him with all of this.
If I had not sought the Lord and poured out my emotions to Him, I would not have had peace when it looked like He took something good away from us.
If we had bought that property, we would not be able to insure it nor the house because it was in a flood zone. No one knew this before we agreed to buy it. Also, all of the pasture land and the house was engulfed in moving waters. We would have been looking at new flooring, dry wall, and furniture on the first floor, two years in a row. We wound up using our monies to buy investment properties to rent, and that was a much better gift!
Ask, Seek, Knock. Bring your emotions to your Father that knows how to give good gifts and perfect gifts to those who ask Him.
Does God give you good gifts? And perfect gifts?
Share one of your stories of good gifts from God in the comment section!