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From the Pastor’s Pen:
“Blessed...” (Matthew 7:9-11)

Zachery Byrd

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“Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? 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 7:9-11)

Human fathers point us to the goodness of God in the same way that the shadow of the majestic oak gives us broad contours of its beauty. How many times have we received good things from the hands of our father? Typically, fathers provide. Our fathers labor to make ends meet today so that their children will have a better tomorrow. They do this because they care for us, because they delight in us. It’s easy to say that about our parents, but can we say that God delights in us?

Let’s be honest though - none of our fathers are perfect. Many souls have spoken to me of harsh treatment and neglect at the hands of earthly fathers, and we have a tendency to impute the characteristics of our earthly father to our heavenly Father, don’t we? “God will fly into a rage at me, God will forget me, God let me down - just like dad.”

If you feel this way, let me remind you that Jesus didn’t fall off the turnip truck yesterday. He Himself says, “You who are evil know how to give good gifts.” Yet look at how Jesus handles this, for he says, “How much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?” “How much more” - what a consolation to our wounded souls. The very words “in heaven” should remind us that God’s goodness, power, wisdom is beyond our comprehension, yet “Father” reminds us that he is near to us.

Trust me, I hear the revolt in your hearts. I’ve been there. I hear the cries and the questions. “God, good to me? You don’t know what I’ve been through! You don’t know the fear, the anxiety, the depression that I wrestle with daily. How can you stand up there and tell me that God is good?” Don’t you see how much this wrong belief robs us of our prayer life?

Elizabeth Eliot talks about the weeks after her husband was brutally murdered by the South American tribe. She would spend nights rocking her 10-month-old baby to sleep by singing, “Jesus loves me this I know.” Put yourself in her shoes. Can you imagine singing about the love of Jesus to a child whose father was brutally murdered on the mission field? The sorrows of this world seek to rob of us the right belief in God, but sing the rest of the song with me. “Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so.”

The Bible tells us that our Father sent His Son that we may receive the adoption of sons, that He sent the Spirit of His Son that we may cry “Abba, Father” and have the inheritance of a son (Gal. 4:4-7). What gift could be of greater value, what act could be of greater love than the giving of the Son for sinners? If He will do that, will He not also answer our prayers?

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