June 23 – Father’s Day 2020 – Matthew 7

Read Matthew 7:7-11

Good dads give good gifts!

I suppose that we should qualify that last statement. If your dad did/does not give you all that you ever asked for, that doesn’t necessarily make him a bad dad. Good dads have a way of assessing the needs and wants of their kids. Even though we may have described everything as “essential,” they have the challenge of discerning between wants and needs. And when it comes to the wants, they do their best to discern the feasibility and implications of fulfilling the desires of their children.

I am glad that I had a dad like that. Our family income was pretty low, but because of my parents’ loving provision, we never lacked the essentials of life. Dad never tried to substitute the ridiculous (stones and snakes) for the required (bread and meat). Additionally, he seriously considered the other optional and, at times, extravagant requests that we, his children, had. He granted my desire for a model airplane, but he turned down my request for a TV for my bedroom. Thanks, Dad!

Regardless of your experience with your father, Jesus uses this general parental experience to teach us about our Heavenly Father. If an imperfect earthly father knows how to give good gifts to his kids, “how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!”

There are two good takeaway principles from that statement in verse 11. The first is this: God loves for you to ask. That is the thrust of the entire passage. It is introduced in verse 7 with the threefold invitation to “ask, seek, and knock.” For some reason, God finds pleasure in hearing the requests of His children. Even though He is omnisciently aware of all of your wants and needs, He loves for you to acknowledge and verbalize them to Him.

The second takeaway is this: God loves to tell you, “Yes.” I know that He has all of the resources necessary to meet the need or provide for the request. I have, however, at times, perceived Him as some kind of stingy multi-millionaire. According to my imagination, He has to be begged, bribed, and persuaded against His will to respond. That is certainly not the picture that is given here. Instead, He is one who loves to give good gifts even more than a generous, caring dad here on earth.

Don’t delay in taking your requests to your Father Who loves to have you ask and Who loves to say, “Yes!”

Steve Kern

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