God's Overflow
"For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks" – Luke 6:45

“Ask and You Will Receive” – Mary Southerland


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This article was discovered on Pastors.com, and it’s a great reminder that we can ask God for anything!

“I have always loved giving gifts to my children – all kinds of gifts. I’ve given them hugs, kisses, time, and love – as well as material things such as toys, books, and clothes. When the kids were young, we didn’t have much money, so the gifts were small, but the kids didn’t seem to mind. I often scrimped and saved in order to buy a certain item for a birthday or for Christmas and loved every minute of it.

Dan and I now have two grandchildren – twins, a boy and a girl – and I am in so much trouble! I want to give them everything. I know that love is the most important gift I can give them, but I find myself in the same predicament as I was when our son and daughter were babies – little money but a big desire to give.

I recently took our daughter-in-law and the twins shopping. Shopping for these babies has become a love-driven passion for me. I had a list of items I wanted to purchase but was disappointed when I found only half of the items on the list. It was getting late and the babies began to “tell” us that they were ready for dinner and bedtime. So we checked out, loaded the babies into the car, and headed home.

When Jodi, my daughter-in-law, leaned over to kiss my cheek and thank me for the gifts, I looked at her and said, “You are so welcome, honey, but it’s not enough!” She chuckled, but I was serious! I know. I am totally ruined, but I am going to try very hard not to ruin Jaydan and Lelia. (The projected success rate does not look good right now, but I promise to work on it.)

On the way home, I began to analyze my heart. I fully realize that material things won’t satisfy the deepest needs of our grandchildren and am committed to investing time in their lives in order to help them find Jesus Christ and discover his plan for their lives. I don’t really know how to explain what I feel for Jaydan and Lelia, but it is sort of like watching my heart walk around outside my body. I love them in so many ways, but I always want to give them more.

The Father’s heart

Our Father has the same heart – a giving heart – when it comes to giving his children good things. The problem is that we don’t really believe it. We tend to measure his love and benevolent heart by how much we have done or accomplished or even by what we haven’t done and promise not to do. The reality we are missing is the truth that God’s love simply cannot be measured. God doesn’t love us because we are so lovable. God loves us because he is love.

One of the most tragic results of our unbelief is an ineffective prayer life. We pray, not really believing that God wants to or really will answer those prayers. Jesus addresses this issue in Matthew 7:7-11 when he says, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him.”

Jesus is teaching about prayer and about the very nature of God. He relates it to something we all can understand, the child-parent relationship. The son has been out in the fields working all day long and by the time he comes home, he is starving. His family is seated at the dinner table and dishes of steaming, delicious food are being passed around. I can almost see that tired and hungry boy’s eyes zeroing in on the food, salivating in anticipation of the meal before him.

Then imagine that the Father, seeing the hunger of his child, picks up a rock, tosses it to his son and says, “Here! Eat this!” Jesus is driving home the truth that good fathers want to give their kids good gifts. Now if this is true of earthly parents (and grandparents), imagine what our Heavenly Parent wants to give us if only we would ask.

The childlike faith to ask

No one’s voice sounds sweeter to God than your voice, friend. Nothing in the universe could keep him from giving you his full attention when you pray. In fact, he longs to hear your prayer. In Psalm 34:8, we are invited to “taste and see that the Lord is good.” In this verse, “Lord” means “Jehovah, Abba Father.” In other words, your Abba Father, Dearest Daddy, is inviting you to come to him in childlike faith, with a hungry heart so he can fill it with the gifts of peace, contentment, and a satisfied spirit.

Don’t think you have to figure out a way to steal a blessing from God. Don’t think you have to trick him into giving up what he would rather keep for himself. It is God’s very nature to give to his children. He has made all of his resources available to you. Do not doubt for a moment that he is a giving God with a heart that longs to bless, to encourage, to empower, and to love you. God is not only able to answer your prayer, but God wants to answer your prayer. Ask and you will receive.”

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