If You Know
If You Know... James 4:1-10 Matthew 7:7-12
“If you... 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)
God is the source of everything. Everything we see in the world and everything we can’t see... both in the world, and in the universe... God made. The sun, the moon, the stars... as well as every molecule and atom that makes up every single thing. God created it all... including the very air we breathe, and the lungs, and muscles it takes to breathe it in. God is the source of life, and the giver of every good thing.
Of course, as you and I depend on God as our source for life... and as creator of everything, there are four foundational truths you & I need to remember.
First of all, everything... everything in life... is a gift from God.
Nothing you and I have, has been “earned” in-and-of our own strength and merit. Many things take our strength and determination and effort - but not alone! It’s all ultimately a gift of God’s grace. Because, if God didn’t want to give it, you & I wouldn’t have it.
The Bible tells us in James 1:17, “Every good and perfect gift is from above” (NIV). That’s why the Lord’s Prayer in the third phrase starts with the word “give.” “Give us this day our daily bread.” Why? Because it is a gift. God is the source. God gives us what we need.
Second, there’s nothing you and I need, that God cannot provide. Absolutely nothing.
None of us can see the future. We can make plans for what we think or imagine the future holds. We can prepare ourselves with “nest eggs” - we can buy life insurance - and stock up on supplies... But ultimately - we have no idea what tomorrow will bring.
But God knows... and whatever our need is... God has the power to supply it.
The Bible says this in Philippians 4:19: “God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.” In other word: God will give you and me everything we need, in Christ, from the richness of his glory. God has unlimited resources.
Of course; spiritually God blesses us with the giftings of the Spirit... things like love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Christ has blessed us with salvation... the greatest gift of all.
But the “riches of God’s glory” extends to the physical, too. God blessed the starving children of Israel with Manna in the wilderness, because they were physically hungry. Of course, they had to bend-over, and actually pick it up the Manna. God blesses... but he requires us to do our part, too. There’s plenty of food and other necessities to go around, and with the Strength of Christ within us, you and I can join-in the blessing process, by doing our part - by working... by sharing from our abundance, etc.
Third, God desires to give you and me everything we need.
Matthew 7:11 says, “If you… 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!”
The truth is... God loves us so much... that he wants to meet our needs. He desires for each of us to know and experience “full and abundant” life, according to his Word.
How many of you are parents or grandparents? Have any of you ever wanted to give your children things that were bad for them, that were destructive - or counter productive? OF COURSE NOT!
We want what’s best for our children... for our families. And God is no different. God wants the best for his children.
And sometimes - wanting what’s best for you & me... means saying, “NO!”
When it comes to our own experience... our own children, how many times did we say “no” - not because we were trying to be mean - or to bring harm... but because we knew that “no” was for the best. “No, you can only have one cupcake... if you eat 12 it’ll make you sick!” Sometimes as parents & grandparents, we know what’s best... so we say “no.”
And God is no different. As our Heavenly Father, he sometimes understands situations and circumstances from a much broader perspective than we do... and so he protects us from ourselves, and our desires.
George Muller once said, “God not only orders our steps, he orders our stops.”
*And, here’s the fourth thing: God is actually waiting on us.
If you & I have needs in our life that are not being met, it’s not God’s fault. You’re not waiting on God. He’s waiting on you!
The problem is not that God doesn’t want to meet your need; the problem is that you never ask him for it. James 4:2 says, “You do not have because you do not ask God.” So many of us like to stop right there... and say, “well, I have asked God to help me win the lottery, or to provide me with a brand-new Corvette, or a house on the beach!” And we blame God when things don’t go our way, or when we don’t seem to get what we ask for. But in doing so... we’re ignoring verse three: “When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives...”
God is often waiting on us, to align our will, with his will.
To whom are you looking to meet your needs?
What have you been waiting to ask God for that you honestly, truthfully, need?
How does knowing that God knows your every need for the rest of your life affect how you pray?
“If you 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!”