God Gives Perfect Gifts
“If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?” (Matthew 7:11)
Have you ever spent a long time trying to find just the right gift for someone? It may have been for Christmas, for a birthday, or for another special occasion. Sometimes you buy gifts, and sometimes you make them; but you still put time and thought into what you decide to give. Your dad has to get just the right tie, and your mom needs the best-written poem. Your sister can’t get just any game. It’s so exciting to watch your loved one's face as he or she opens up that good gift after you have put so much into choosing or making it.
Have you ever asked for something for months – and then finally received just what you'd been wanting? What a great feeling! You definitely feel loved when you get that specific thing you’ve been wanting for so long. Imagine that for months – like starting in the summer – whenever your family members ask what you want for Christmas, you say you would really like a new electronic game system. Over and over they hear you say it: A new game system. Now imagine that Christmas morning finally arrives, and there under the tree is a new game system! Wow! For you, that would be a good gift!
You love to give and to get good gifts. But the Bible talks about a big difference between just good gifts and perfect gifts. The apostle Matthew wrote that if a son were to ask his father for some bread to eat, no good father would give him a stone to eat instead. Similarly, no good mother would give her daughter a snake to eat if her daughter were to ask for some fish. Parents often seem to know how to give pretty good gifts. They know you well and try to get things for you that you need or will like. They also know what you don’t need to get – sometimes they know that better than you do! You’ve probably experienced that kind of parental goodness before, too – some time when you didn’t get something you’d asked for because your parents knew that it was not the best thing for you to have.
As good as your earthly parents might be at giving good gifts, the heavenly Father is the only One Who can give perfect gifts. James 1:17 says, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights.” Now that’s exciting! Even better than your earthly loved ones, your heavenly Father knows exactly what you need and don’t need. He can make sure you receive the right things. You can trust His perfect goodness and His perfect gifts.
We may know how to give good gifts, but God knows how to give perfect gifts.
» Am I looking to earthly good gifts to make me happy, or to God’s perfect gifts?
» How can I help others hope in God Himself?
Truth In Real Life
“Amazing grace! How sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me!”
John Newton was born in London, the son of a hardworking shipmaster. Because of his father’s influence in his life, John Newton knew that he wanted to work on a ship one day.
John’s mother was a wonderful Christian lady who taught him much about God and the Bible. Unfortunately, John would not listen. This choice would cost him greatly as he grew older.
The life of a man who lives on a ship is often very difficult – and life for the young John Newton was no exception. In fact, things became so difficult, that he actually ran away. He was captured and sold to a slave ship were he was treated very harshly by his commander.
Once, during a terrible storm, John Newton knew that he was going to die. The waves crashed against the ship and everything was hopeless. He went to his cabin and wrote in his journal, “Lord, have mercy upon us.” Miraculously, he was spared. On May 10, 1748, God took hold of his heart and saved him. Ever after that, John would always speak of May 10, 1748, as the day that changed his life. He celebrated May 10th every year. He gave up drinking alcohol, gambling, and cussing. He spent his time studying the Bible and learning everything he could about his God.
A friend of John Newton’s father eventually rescued John and gave him the opportunity to own his own slave ship. He kept the ship for only a short time before he came to realize that the slavery trade was wrong. He chose to believe instead that every person has been made by God, every person is equal before God, and every person ought to be treated as a creation of God.
John Newton is most famous for writing the hymn “Amazing Grace.” He considered it the song that best described his own experience of God’s grace. What song most closely describes your Christian testimony?
John 9:25 – He answered and said, “Whether He is a sinner or not I do not know. One thing I know: that though I was blind, now I see.”