Our children are old enough that when it comes time for Christmas and birthdays we simply ask them what they want so that we can buy it for them. There are times, in fact, when they go with us so they can guide our selection. It may remove all the surprise and some of the thrill of giving gifts, but it allows us to give them what they want without error.
As part of “The Sermon on the Mount” Jesus talks about giving gifts. What does he say about our ability to give what is correct and good? What examples does he use? What does this show us about God?
It doesn’t take a genius to give a nice gift to someone. If a person asks you for bread, you give them bread. If they want chicken for dinner, you give them chicken. If your child wants a new MP3 player you DO NOT give them a transistor radio instead.
Jesus points out the obvious. We, as humans and mortals, are smart enough and caring enough to give those we care for those things they desire. The only exception to this is that we would not give a gift that may cause harm to the one we love.
If we are able to give good gifts, then we should be able to realize that God – who is able to love more than we can love, who is wiser than we are – will give truly good gifts.
What’s the catch? Well, Jesus uses the words “good gifts.” The gifts we receive from God may not be exactly what we want because God knows what is best for us. We must trust that God is able to give good gifts to us. We must see that what we receive from God is good.
Second, Jesus concludes this teaching with the words “those who ask him.” If we desire good gifts from God we should be so bold as to ask God for them. Our motivation, however, should be that we trust God in His goodness and we desire those things that are beneficial to the kingdom of God and not just those things we desire with a selfish attitude.
DAILY CHALLENGE: What good gift will you ask God for?