Text: Matthew 7:7-11
“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!” (Matthew 7:11 ESV)
In December of 2000, Cindy and I wrapped up two positive EPT tests and gave them to our parents as Christmas gifts. Seeing the look on their faces as they unwrapped these unconventional presents made my heart dance for joy. They were going to be new grandparents. I was going to be a rookie dad. This awesome reality was still setting in.
I loved Stephanie before she was born. Everything in our house was rearranged to serve the needs of this new main attraction in our lives. Preparations were made to accommodate her safety, her physical needs, her play areas, and her exploratory pursuits. The day she was born I held her teeny form next to my side, amazed at the wonder of God’s design in this precious little 8-pound creation. We videotaped her every move and snapped endless photos of her royal cuteness. I found myself singing new songs to the rhapsodic tunes of Miss Patty Cake and VeggieTales. I was a proud new daddy. I think the bliss of looking into those innocent eyes of my own offspring coupled with the deep wound my biological father left, fueled me to be the best father I could possibly be.
Looking back over the years of fathering three children, I realize I couldn’t have loved my children any more deeply. Did I make a lot of mistakes? Yes. Could I have done some things better? Absolutely. Would I do some things differently if I could go back and hit the reset button? Sure. But could I have loved my children any more? Not in a million years.
A Perfect Heavenly Father
As much as I have loved my children, it has flowed out of an imperfect nature. Yet our heavenly Father loves us from a perfect nature. Jesus said, “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!”
Jesus didn’t use this as an opportunity to compare our earthly Fathers to our heavenly Father; he used it as a stark contrast—a contrast in natures. No matter how loving we are as earthly fathers, we still fall short due to a sinful nature. God’s nature is altogether different. It is perfect and flawless.
Our heavenly Father arranged the cosmos long before we were ever born to accommodate our most intricate needs. He predetermined the times you would live in and the places where you would live (Acts 17:26). God’s eyes saw you when you were formless… all the days of your life were ordained and written in His book before you were ever graced to see a sunrise (Psalm 139:16). God never makes a mistake. He is not only a master planner; our Creator is the perfect Father.
Whether our earthly fathers have been nurturing or negligent, caring or calloused, tender or abusive, engaged or disengaged, present or distant, labeled as good or bad, Jesus would have us to know that our heavenly Father is different from all of them. He is perfect. God loves us unconditionally, eternally, and immutably, from a holy and unfailing nature. Though His love cannot be fathomed, His heart can always be trusted. He is a good, good Father. And no matter what your relationship may be with your earthly father, the nature of that human relationship will always fall short of the wholeness of God’s fatherhood in our lives.
Perhaps this is why an old king named David, after years of Godly heroics fused together with many regretful mistakes, charged his son Solomon to, “Know the God of your father and serve him with a whole heart and with a willing mind” (1 Chronicles 28:9). In other words, get to know the God of your ancestors intimately—learn His nature and worship Him with a whole heart.
May all the highs and lows of fatherhood, the successes and failures of being a daddy, remind us that there is only ONE perfect Father. There is none to whom we can compare Him. He is always the contrast. His ways are holy and He alone is to be worshiped. Think about that as you seek to abide in your ‘Abba Father’ this week.
Heavenly Father, help me to realize that you chose me before the foundations of the world to live in a relationship with you. You are a perfect Father with a master plan. Your nature is without comparison. You are holy and set apart from all of your creation. Help me to know your love more intimately, to serve you more willingly, to approach you more boldly, to ask more confidently, and to worship you more fully. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
He is a good and perfect Father. There is none to whom we can compare Him. He is always the contrast, meant to be worshiped. Tweet this
Questions for Reflection and/or Family Discussion:
- What are some of your fondest childhood memories of your father? (If you didn’t have a father, was there a father figure you looked up to?)
- What motivates parents to want to provide for their children?
- According to Matthew 7:11, what is true about the character of even the best human parent? What is the likelihood of God giving His praying children what they need?
- Even when our earthly parents are the most loving and nurturing, in what ways can we be encouraged by God’s nature being a stark contrast to theirs?
- What will you ASK your perfect heavenly Father for this week?
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