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The Good Gifts of Our Good God (Matthew 7:7-12)

First Baptist Church http://fbcbartow.org

“The Good Gifts of Our Good God”

(Matthew 7:7-12)

Series: God’s Fulfilled Promise [on screen]

Rev. Matthew C. McCraw, EdD

First Baptist Church, Bartow, Florida

February 10, 2019

The Passage

Matthew 7:7-12

7 “Ask, and it will be given to you. Seek, and you will find. Knock, and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. 9 Who among you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask him. 12 Therefore, whatever you want others to do for you, do also the same for them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.

Introductory Comments:

How many of you like to receive gifts? 

Illustration: I love to receive gifts. I have with me one of my favorite gifts that I’ve received. This is a Kershaw pocket knife with a woolly mammoth tooth handle. Pretty cool, huh? I’ll get back to the knife later.

How many of like to give gifts? I love to give gifts as well. My wife and I both like to give gifts so we have to keep each other in check so we don’t give away all that we have. 

Today, we’re going to hear from Jesus about asking God our Father for gifts. We’re also going to hear about how God gives gifts. 

Jesus, in the Sermon on the Mountainside, is telling us how to really live as a faithful follower of the Father. 


In this passage, He gives us more insight on how to pray to God the Father, particularly when it comes to asking for good gifts from our good God. 

So, let’s pray together and then see what Jesus is teaching us. 

(Prayer)

Remember, Jesus has already spoken to us about prayer starting back in Matthew 6 verse 5 and going through verse 13. 

However, in this passage Jesus zeros in here on this aspect of petitioning God for good gifts. How do we ask God for good gifts?


Well, today we’re going to see three actions that we are to take when it comes to God’s good gifts.

Here we go. 


First, . . .

  1. Ask a goodGod (7-8) [on screen]

Look at verses 7 and 8 again. 

7 “Ask, and it will be given to you. Seek, and you will find. Knock, and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

We see here from Jesus this instruction to actively ask God for His blessings.

Jesus gives us three specific types of soliciting God for His gifts: ask, seek, and knock

We are to ask. That’s simple enough to understand, is it not? We simply ask God for His blessings. 

We are also to seek. When you seek something, you intentionally look for it. You go out to find it because you want it so much. 

We are also to knock. Knocking means that we want to come in somewhere. We know that we need permission, so we seek that permission. We seek permission to enter!

Jesus says, “Ask. Seek. Knock.”

Sometimes we teach our children not to ask people for things because it’s not polite to ask for things all of the time. I think it’s right to teach that to kids. However, there are some situations where the person is letting everyone know that they have something to give away and if someone wants it, all they have to do is ask for it. 


Jesus is giving us permission to ask! He is telling us that gifts are available and all you have to do is ask for them, and seek them, and knock on the door to enter into them!

God is a good and generous God!

Notice also that we are actively involved in this process of receiving the gifts of God. He doesn’t just automatically give them to us. He is the author and the giver of the gifts, but we are involved in this process. We must ask, we must seek, we must knock. 

How do we ask, seek, and knock? We primarily ask, seek, and knock through prayer and Bible reading. These are far and away the most effective ways to speak to God, hear from God, and find what God has in store for us. 

God wants to hear from us. God wants us to seek Him. God wants us to knock on His door. 


If we do, we will receive, we will find, and the door will be opened to us, which takes us to our next action from this passage. 

Second, . . .

  1. Receive God’sgifts (9-11) [on screen]

Jesus not only says we will receive, we will find, and the door will be opened. He goes further by giving us this earthly illustration by which we might understand more fully what He is saying. 

Look at verses 9-11. 

9 Who among you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask him.

Jesus talks about bread and rocks, and then fish and snakes. Last week it was splinters and logs, and pigs and dogs. Now we have these items and animals. 


Here’s Jesus’ point: a child may ask for these things that are commonplace in their culture, particularly for basic sustenance; bread and fish. As a child asks for these things his or her parent would not give them something that is harmful in place of something that is not only desired by the child but is needed by the child!

If a child wants bread, the parent won’t give the child a stone. 


If a child wants a fish, the parent won’t give the child a snake. 

If your child wants a juice box, you won’t give him or her a quart of motor oil.

If your child wants toothpaste, you won’t give him or her Elmer’s glue. 

We as parents and grandparents and responsible human beings care for those who are dependent on us. We want to help them, not harm them. We take joy in helping them and providing for them. 


Watch this: as we enjoy that and take delight in our role of providing for those we love, God loves that role so much more and He is much better at it. 

Jesus says, “If you then, who are evil . . .” do this; that is “you who possess a sinful nature;” how much more will God provide for us and bless us with what we need and ask?

He is perfectly holy, perfectly generous, perfectly loving, perfectly providing, perfectly righteous, and perfectly wise!

God will surely give us these gifts if we ask and seek and knock!

(pause)

The question is, what kinds of gifts are Jesus talking about?

Is Jesus talking about money, power, fame, good looks, good health, a great family, a big house?

Well, let’s go back to the context of all that Jesus has been telling us in the Sermon on the Mountainside. 


Listen to some of these words from Jesus. 

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for the kingdom of heaven is theirs.” (Matthew 5:3) [on screen]

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” (Matthew 5:6) [on screen]

“Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Matthew 5:48).[on screen]

“Therefore, you should pray like this: Our Father in heaven, your name be honored as holy. Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:9-10) [on screen]

“Don’t store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves don’t break in and steal.” (Matthew 6:9-20) [on screen]

“No one can serve two masters, since either he will hate one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” (Matthew 6:24)[on screen]

“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you.” (Matthew 6:33) [on screen]

If we think that Jesus is speaking of monetary riches or earthly gifts we are sadly mistaken!

That which is truly valuable is not measured by the standards of this world. It’s measured by the standards of God. 

God wants to give us the good stuff: that which is truly valuable!

Furthermore, isn’t God better at determining what we really need?

Illustration: Think back with me to my pocket knife. Although this is a great gift for me (a human gift nonetheless, but a gift), would it be a good gift for me to give to my two-year-old son? No! We would have boo-boos all over the place in no time; his boo-boos and my boo-boos! A good father wouldn’t give a pocket knife to a two-year-old!

Do you see where I’m going with this? 

Sometimes we’re asking God for the wrong thing. A good Father doesn’t give a bad gift. Sometimes we’re asking for the stone. Sometimes we’re asking for the snake. God doesn’t want us to have that gift!

There’s no greater Father than our Heavenly Father. He knows what we need, and He gives us good gifts. We must continue to ask Him for them, and trust Him that He will give us what we need. He will bless. 


Do you trust that He can bless you? Do you trust Him to give you what you need?

There is no greater gift-giver than God and there is no greater Father than God. 

Finally, the last action we can take is to . . .

  1. Model God’sgoodness (12) [on screen]

Look at verse 12. 

12 Therefore, whatever you want others to do for you, do also the same for them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.

This is beautiful. Watch this: when God the Father gives us the good gifts that we really need, for which we have asked, and sought, and knocked on the door; we can then have love and treat others as we would want to be treated. 

We can now love them as we want to be loved!

We can now be generous towards them as we want others to be generous towards us!


We can now forgive them as we want to be forgiven!

We can now be full of grace towards others as we want to receive grace!

As a result of receiving the good gifts of our Father, we can now also give away good gifts, as our Father does. How beautiful is that?

Because we have been made new with the deep love of God, we can treat others as we want to be treated. 

Jesus says that if we do this, we are doing all that the law and prophets teach. 

This means all that Moses taught, all that God revealed to the Israelites, all that the prophets prophesied during their time can be fulfilled by our loving others. That’s pretty cool!

This is what we’ve come to know as the “Golden Rule.”

We can’t truly practice the Golden Rule without the proper gifting from God. 

We can try all we want to treat others like we want to treat others, but without the grace of God in our lives, we will ultimately be spinning our wheels. 

We need the good stuff from God to give away the good stuff to others. 

We see this truth in the composition of this verse. 

What’s the first word in verse 12? It’s therefore. When we see therefore we have to see what it’s there for. 

It’s there because it’s connecting verses 7-11 with verse 12. Because God is the good Father who gives good gifts, therefore, we should treat others as we want to be treated, and we are now able to treat others as we want to be treated. 

We do this because we’ve received good gifts from God which implies that we should be good towards others and because we are now enabled by God’s good gifts in us to share good gifts with others. 

So, ask God for the gifts and live for Him. Live as He has called you to live, which, in part, involves you giving away His good gifts to others. 

Concluding Thoughts:

Make no mistake, church: every good gift comes from God. So, go to God for all gifts. 

More than anything else, go to God for the good stuff. Go to Him for forgiveness, and faith, and grace, and love, and show it to others!

Here’s our bottom line for this week:

Bottom Line: Our goodGod will give us goodgifts. [on screen]

(repeat)

Pretty simple, right?

He’s a good God, He gives good gifts, so go to Him. 

Challenge yourself this week in these ways:

Weekly Challenge: [on screen]

  1. Identify the gifts that you are seeking. [on screen]

Which gifts are you seeking?

Are you searching for the best gifts? The ones that your good Father loves to give you.

  1. Ask God to give you the goodstuff. [on screen]

Part of that may be asking God to change our hearts so we want the good stuff. 

Ask Him to give you what He knows you need and trust Him!

  1. Give away the goodstuff. [on screen]

Once God has filled you with the good stuff, give it away!

Do you want forgiveness? Give away forgiveness! Do you want love? Give away love! Do you want grace! Give away grace! 


Treat others as God has treated you. 

Closing:

Ask God for the good stuff and live a changed life. 


Have you received God’s greatest gift? Have you received the forgiveness of God, found in Jesus Christ?

(Gospel Presentation)

(Closing Prayer)

Invitation Song – Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus 

Benediction:

If you have any sort of spiritual decision that you would like to make, you can contact me or Pastor Richard and we would be glad to talk to you anytime.

Join us again tonight at 5:30 as we continue our study of world religions. Tonight, we will study Sikhism. See you at 5:30!

Let’s dismiss by singing the Doxology. 

(Sing Doxology)

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