|This week we’ll spend time simply stirring up our affections for God. God has designed us to see him, to know his character, and to let the truth of his goodness lead us into deeper relationship with him. Augustine wrote, “Thou hast formed us for Thyself, and our hearts are restless till they find rest in Thee.” In seeing God for who he is, our hearts are naturally stirred to find rest in his goodness. May your heart be stirred at the revelation of God’s wonderful character.|
|“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.”|
|Garments | Cory Asbury|
|One of my favorite parts of God’s heart is his desire to give us amazing gifts. James 1:17 says, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” Every good gift you receive is because God loves you. His love for you is so great that he looks for every opportunity to give you a gift. He desperately wants you to know that you are loved and valued by him. He so deeply wants you to know that he is not distant from you but, rather, is working in your midst to lead you to abundant joy, peace and life. |
Matthew 7:11 says, “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!” I love how God has chosen to be known to us as a Father. And because God has chosen to reveal himself as a Father, we can more tangibly understand the love of God by looking to good earthly parents. God longs to bless you the way a good Father would. And at the same time he loves you more deeply and powerfully than any earthly parent ever could. Our heavenly Father far outdoes any example an earthly father gives us. What gift are you longing for today? Do you long for friendship? Do you need a greater sense of being loved? Do you just need to know that he is with you?
God’s gifts may not look like a present you opened for Christmas last year, but they will be exactly what you need when you need it. If you need a friend, ask God for one! He’s promised you his friendship, and he loves to guide his children into community with others. Do you need to know you’re loved? God so longs for you to know the depth of his love that he sent his only Son to die for you! He’d love to pour his love out on you right now. Do you need to know that God is with you? Just ask for his manifest presence. Ask the Spirit to give you eyes to see all the ways he is working in your life. Ask God to reveal to you the ways he was, is and always will be with you. Do you need financial provision? Ask for the leading of the Holy Spirit in your finances! Ask God to provide for you what you need. Whatever gift you need from God today, his word promises in 1 John 5:15, “if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.”Your God hears you today. What’s more, he will respond to you perfectly.
God’s gifts are much more life-giving than anything an earthly parent could give. He gives the gift of a beautiful sunrise because he knows you have a longing to gaze upon beauty. He gives the gift of his presence because he knows you need the peace that only he can bring. He gives you the gift of friendship because he knows you aren’t made to do life alone. He provides your finances because he cares about everything you need and desires to use you to bless others. Spend some time today reflecting on the amazing gifts he has given you. Thank him for his desire to bless you. Worship him because he is good. And open your heart to receive all the gifts your heavenly Father longs to give you today.
|1. Take a minute to reflect on all the good gifts you’ve been given by God. |
2. Now thank God for everything you’ve been given. Thank him for your friends, family, job, church—anything that you love. Let thanksgiving stir your affections to know your heavenly Father more.
“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”1 Thessalonians 5:18
3. Now ask the Spirit to open your eyes and heart to see and receive all the gifts God has in store for you today. Often to know a gift comes from God, we must be in tune with the Spirit. For a sunset to tell us of God’s love, we must be sensitive to God’s presence in our lives.
|Thanking God for what he’s already given us is a powerful way to position our hearts to be receptive to what he will give us in the future. Life is so much better when we acknowledge what God is doing in our midst. Knowing you are loved, liked and cared for is better than any material possession you could receive. You have a heavenly Father who gives amazing gifts. Celebrate his love today. And receive all that he longs to give you. |
Extended Reading: Matthew 7 or watch The Bible Project’s video on Matthew 1-13.