Ricky Smith’s 14-year-old daughter Nevaeha had found the perfect dress for her school dance, but her family simply could not afford it. Ricky took on additional hours at his three jobs so he could purchase it. He hid the dress in a garment bag, bringing it to the fast food chain where he was working. When Nevaeha opened the bag, she jumped into her father’s arms, hugging him and sobbing in joy. “To see the look on her face was priceless,” said Ricky.
If good parent’s desire to give their children good gifts, how much more does our heavenly Father desire to give good things to His children? Today’s verse follows a discussion with Jesus’ disciples about how to pray to their heavenly Father.
The Lord’s Prayer, often said corporately in churches, provides an order to the way we communicate with our heavenly Father. We acknowledge who He is and His purpose in our lives (v. 2). We ask for His provision (v. 3) and express our dependence on Him. And, finally, we ask forgiveness for our sins and confess our willingness to forgive others (v. 4).
Jesus tells His disciples to ask God, their heavenly Father, to supply their needs. As God’s children, we are to ask with boldness and confidence. Consider the illustration in verses 5 through 8. The owner gives bread because of the “shameless audacity” of the request (v. 8). Jesus assures us, “Ask and it will be given to you” (v. 9).
As our Father, God wants to give us good gifts that will help and not harm us. If we ask for an egg, He will not give us a scorpion. Best of all, He has given us the Holy Spirit (v. 13), not as a temporary gift that will pass away, but as One who will abide with us to preserve and protect us.
Dr. Jonathan Armstrong serves as the director of the Center for Global Theological Education. Please pray that God will provide him and his team with many opportunities to use their gifts, training, and resources in His service.