September 1, Sunday

Today’s devotional, provided by Pastor Peter Yoon of Kairos Christian Church (San Diego), was originally posted on May 25, 2014.


Spiritual Food for Thought for the Weekend

Is God a Taker or a Giver?

John 3:16 

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son . . .” 

Do you sometimes feel that God is a taker and not a giver? That He takes away from you things that actually make you happy, or at least He withholds them from you? Maybe we feel as though there are so many things that we need to “give up” for God, making our lives less convenient, less prestigious, less practical because God keeps taking things from you.   

But we need to know that our Father is a Giver and not a taker. His desire is not merely to provide for our needs, but to lavishly give. 

One day, as I was getting into the car to go to a staff meeting, my 6-year-old son runs up to me and asks me, “Dad, on your way back home, can you stop by Target?” When I ask him why, he says, “Can you just buy me a toy?” Naturally, the good and proper parenting side of me said, “NO!” 

That day was not his birthday, nowhere near Christmas, not even Children’s Day: It was just a normal Tuesday. Neither had my son completed reading a list of books, raked the backyard leaves, nor helped with any other household chores to deserve a reward. A parent recognizes that caving in to such random requests would only move a child closer towards becoming a rotten spoiled kid. And I abhor the thought that our family would be the next family for a visit from “Super Nanny”!

Rationally, all of those reasons make sense. But there is something in a father’s heart that wants to say, “Yes son, I will stop by Target and I will bring you that box of Lego’s that you’ve been eyeing. When I get home let’s build it together. I know it’s not any special day, and you haven’t done anything to deserve it. But, of course, I’ll stop by Target.” 

That sentiment is a tiny echo of our Father in Heaven’s heart: God is a Giver. And the gifts that He gives are “good and perfect” (James 1:17): He gives wisdom (James 1:5); He gives peace (John 14:27); He gives spiritual gifts (Rom 12:6); and He gives us grace (James 4:6). Ultimately, the Father gave His one and only Son. 

Today, ask God the Father to give to you His good and perfect gift that He’s already prepared in advance for you. It may not be your birthday nor any special occasion; you may have done nothing to deserve it today. Nevertheless, ask the Father, for He is a Giver, not merely a Provider. 

Prayer: Father, thank You for loving me even though I haven’t done anything good.  Thank You for loving me even though I’ve done many wrongs. Thank You for loving me out of Your own goodness.  I am so blessed to have You as my Father in Heaven. Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: Acts 24

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