Living the values of heaven 2

2015-12.2

Matthew 7:7-12

TUESDAY, MARCH 24, 2015

A Father who likes His children to ask

Bread or stones? How we relate to God as Father has a bearing on what we receive from Him.

Matt. 7:7-12
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.
“Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 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! So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.

YESTERDAY’S nugget of Jesus’ teaching warned against slipping into judgmental personal criticism. At the same time it fulfilled Jesus’ intention to show us God’s kingdom, God’s order, God’s way.

This Sermon on the Mount teaching can seem at times like setting a pretty high standard. It can leave us wondering if it is attainable. But look at it like this: Jesus is not just urging us to live graciously and generously, in a way that stands head and shoulders above the world’s attitudes – He is showing us what the Father is like. It is a call to live by His values.

Our Father is not critically judgmental, but entirely just and totally discerning. He is also generous, both in spirit and in practical ways. He is the God who sees our needs and provides – but the emphasis of this passage is how He wants us to approach Him and ask boldly. Asking with expectation releases what God was always intending to give!

We don’t like to ask in a demanding way. Not in Britain, anyway. But this is about a realisation of the Father’s heart to us, His children, and our needs and wants. If we are voicing our need, which corresponds to a need already recognised in heaven, a need already assigned – that changes the perspective. “Call down what your Father has for you” is the thrust of Jesus’ teaching. This looks for a bold expression of faith, not a tentative one.

The follow-on point here is about having the same generous spirit towards others, as we learn to live in the Father’s generosity to us.

CHECK IT OUT

  • Are you at times hesitant to ask – to really ask expectantly? Why is that?
  • How would you like your children to come to you for something already promised?
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