Friday, October 7, 2005

God Gives Good Things

Ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him! Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets. (Matthew 7:7-12)
Our way with God is always to be this: ask, seek, knock. It has already been promised that we will receive what we ask, find what we seek, and have the door opened to us. Why? Because God is a good Father who gives His children good things.
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down for the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. (James 1:17)
When we go to Him, we can always count on Him to give us good things. Always. For there is not variation or shadow of turning with Him. That is, He does not change.
For the Lord God is a sun and shield;
  The lord will give grace and glory;
No good thing will He withhold
  From the who walk uprightly.
(Psalm 84:11)

Who satisfies your mouth with good things,
So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
(Psalm 103:5)
God does not deceive, He does not compromise, He does not hold back. If we ask for bread, He will give us bread. He won’t try to trick us with a stone that looks like bread. He won’t try to pass off a serpent for a fish. God may work in mysterious ways, but He doesn’t work in deceitful or stingy ways.

Even though we may be flawed fathers on earth, we still know how to give good gifts. How much more, then, will our Father in heaven, who is perfect in every way, give good things to us when we ask?

Now, Jesus adds something very interesting to the mix: “Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” We know this as the “Golden Rule.” Notice that it is preceded by the word “therefore.” An old saw in Bible interpretation says that, whenever you see a “therefore,” find out what it is there for. “Therefore” connects us to this passage on asking and receiving.

If you want to receive good things, are you willing to give good things? For our receiving comes not only from God, but from men as well. In Luke’s rendering of this sermon (in the same position, following “Judge not”) Jesus says this:
Give and it will be given to you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you give, it will be measured back to you. (Luke 6:38)
God is a good Father who gives good things to those who ask. Therefore, ask, and expect to receive good things. But remember that it will be measure back to you in proportion to the measure by which you give to others. You can be quite free to do that because you have the assurance that you will receive what you ask, find what your are seeking, and the door will be opened widely before you.

The Kingdom of Heaven on Earth

The Kingdom of Heaven on Earth
Keys to the Kingdom of God
in the Gospel of Matthew

by Jeff Doles

Preview with Amazon’s “Look Inside.”

Available in paperback and Kindle (Amazon), epub (Google and iTunes) and PDF.

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