Yesterday, I went to two parties. I attended my friend’s baby shower in the morning, and then took Ben to his friend’s 5th birthday party. Both were brilliant: at the baby shower, we had brunch, pampering and lots of cake. At the 5th birthday party, there were games, loud music and lots of cake.
We love parties, and we especially love gifts. Giving them, wrapping them, receiving them… In fact, my 4 year old is already talking about the presents he would like for his 5th birthday, which isn’t for another three months.
Our Mummy Meditations verse was fitting for this week, then:
“If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him.” Matthew 7:11
This, and most of the other verses we will study this month, is from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. It’s a brilliant collection of Jesus’ teachings. We’re focusing on goodness this month, and Rachel chose this verse. In fact, if you pop over to her blog, we’ve got a special project running in our Mummy Meditations community which is all about good gifts!
Jesus is pretty brutal in the first part of this verse: ‘though you are evil.’ Before we all start taking offence, let’s just remember that he’s about to compare us to God. We are not God, not even close. We are sinners and fallen – it’s only by Jesus’s grace that we are saved.
But actually, that doesn’t mean that we can’t be good. We “know how to give good gifts to (our) children.” We give them gifts that they will enjoy, that they will learn from and benefit from. We wouldn’t give them something that could harm them.
God’s good gifts
We know God gives spiritual gifts, but he also gives material or physical gifts. Everything we have ultimately comes from Him. If we link that to the first part of the verse, I find this a bit mind-blowing. I want my children to have the very best of everything. I can’t manage to give them the most expensive things or always exactly what they want (because I don’t want two spoiled brats on my hands!) but I want them to have the best opportunities and the best facilities.
If I want that for them, and I’m only human, how much more does God want for me?
God’s gifts are good. They are not going to harm us or take us further away from Him. In studying this verse, I’ve been so encouraged: God really does want the best for us!
But… We have to ask Him
There’s a caveat to all of these gifts. ‘To those who ask Him.’ Now, I don’t know about you, but I feel a bit awkward presenting a list of requests to God in my prayers! But Jesus is really clear that we do have to ask God.
Sometimes, just like when my child asks me for a Lego set that costs “£1000,” (his words, not mine), God says no. Or not yet. Sometimes He changes our hearts through things. Perhaps He knows that to receive that gift wouldn’t actually be the best thing for us.
But actually, this verse has reminded me that it’s good to ask God for things. He is a good father, and his generosity is overwhelming. He really does want to give us good gifts. I’m going to spend time this week praying about that.
Next week, our verse is Matthew 5:16: In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.