16th October 2012

Adam Is Trifle

 “Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? If you then, being 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 7:9–11 (NKJV)

My wife and I have been blessed with three sons, the oldest now 40 years old, the youngest 32. All live within a 35 mile radius so we are also blessed to see them and their families regularly. Sometimes they all come on the same day, such as Christmas, Easter and family birthdays. Sometimes it is just one of them and their family coming to dinner. When only one is coming I always know which one by the pudding my wife makes. Eldest son Adam likes trifle, middle son Paul likes chocolate mousse and youngest son David likes raspberry torte.

Since we don’t normally have puddings and I like all three it is always a pleasure to welcome them. Each one gets their special pudding because their mother loves them and expresses her love in this simple and practical way. I am sure many other mothers express their love in this and other ways for both sons and daughters.

So how does that link to the scripture quoted above? Well it’s a simple reminder that most parents will give good gifts to their children within the limits of what they are able to do according to their individual circumstances. It highlights the point made in the scripture above.

But it also brings alive the fact that God’s gift to us is far above what any human parent, however generous, can give. Through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, God gave the life of his son. Jesus, fully God and fully human, willingly gave his life so that the penalty of our sin, and the sins of all humanity, death, was paid in full. God also gives us the gifts of faith, of repentance, of eternal life and the gift of the Holy Spirit which leads us into understanding his word.

We also have the gift of our prayers being heard. We can ask for whatever we want for ourselves and for others, as the scripture makes clear. But elsewhere in the Bible it also makes clear we must ask in accordance with God’s will. Sometimes as human parents we have to say ‘No’ or ‘Not yet’. So we must remember that God knows best and he too may say ‘No’ or ‘Not yet’. But as the scripture above makes clear, God is a giving God. He wants to give us what is good and appropriate for us. Hebrews 4.16 tells us to come boldly before God’s throne of grace. Whatever we ask for in prayer, we can be absolutely confident that the prayer is heard, though it may not be answered in the way we want or expect.

Prayer
Father, as we express our love for our children as we are able, help us to appreciate your love for us in giving the life of your son to pay the penalty for our sins.
Amen

Study by Keith Hartrick

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