“You fathers—if your children ask for a fish, do you give them a snake instead? Or if they ask for an egg, do you give them a scorpion? Of course not! So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him.”
Luke 11:11-13, NLT
Do you believe that God wants to give you good gifts? Do you believe that He wants to give you everything you need to grow closer to Him because He loves you? Do you believe He wants good gifts for others, too?
Jesus started this whole story with a key character who’s less than willing to give generously out of the goodness of his heart. Then Jesus looks at us, striking our parented and parental hearts. If parents—flawed and imperfect—strive to do the best for their children, how much more does God want to fill our lives with abundance of good things?
But our lives...they can only hold so much.
Sometimes, we have to let go of one thing before we can receive another. Sometimes this feels like a good riddance. Sometimes these things feel like the most painful sacrifice. To let them go feels like death. And sometimes, it is a death, a true loss we must take the time to grieve. It’s okay. God is patient. He knows that sacrifice is painful—He watched Jesus hang from a cross.
Sometimes, the biggest prayer we can pray is this: Help me live life abundantly. We know, deep down, that living life abundantly means living for more than ourselves. We know that living the life Jesus has for us means sometimes sacrificing our own desires. It means living outside our comfort zone. It means following Him to places we never expected to go. This can feel scary. We like our plans. We like to get what we want. We like to have control—or at least feel like we do.
But we’re letting go of what’s good for something that’s even better. We’re not trading fish for snakes or eggs for scorpions. God is not against us.
God is for us. He’s for us receiving good gifts. Sometimes, we just have to make space for them in our lives first before we’re able to gather them.
Ask God: Is there something You want to give me, but I can’t yet receive because there’s something I need to let go of first?
What are some of the good gifts God has given you? Spend some time giving thanks.
Jesus, help me to know to the depths of my bones not only that You are good, but that You give good gifts. Show me if there is anything in my life that is obstructing my ability to receive what You have for me. Amen.
Run with it
Ask someone what it means to them to be “For Austin.” How would someone know that that our church is really for Austin? What God-given gifts do we have that we can share with the larger community of Austin?