Lent Devotional: Matthew 7:7-11
by Jonathan Haefs
Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are 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!
I am blessed to have an amazing father. I don’t know if that has been your experience or not. I know it was not his.
My own father grew up in an orphanage with no dad or even a good model of what a father should be like. For this reason, I have often wondered how he turned out to be such a good dad. Don’t get me wrong, he’d be the first to admit he has faults, but overall he wins “#1 Dad” in my book.
So how did that happen? How did a man with no father, end up being a good father?
The simple answer… God.
My father became a believer near 30 years of age and having God as his own Father completely transformed him!
But here’s the deal… as great of a father as he became… it was only because God is that much greater! At the end of the day, all fathers, myself included, are lacking because we are broken and sinful. Yet, we know how we should be and act toward our children (even if we don’t always do it).
HOW MUCH MORE…
How much more does God know how to be and act as your father! That is Jesus’ argument in Matthew 7. If fleshly, broken, sinful fathers can do well by their children… how much more of a Father is God!
Specifically, Jesus points out that God stands ready to provide all we need to live the life to which he has called us. Ask and you shall receive! That doesn’t mean ask for just anything. No. With just a little more context we quickly understand that he is offering to provide us with what we truly need, with what is best. We may sometimes ask for stones and serpents… things that are not for our ultimate good… and our Father may refuse those requests, but only because he stands ready to provide the bread and fish we need to survive and thrive!
And what is it that we need to live the life to which he has called us? Luke 11:13 is a parallel passage that makes our heavenly Father’s all-sufficient-good-gift explicit! “If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the HOLY SPIRIT to those who ask him!”
Your Father gives you and empowers you with his very Spirit! Truly he gives us the best gift! The only gift we need for all things! He gives you himself!
You have the best Father!