Read: Luke 11:1-13
“Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 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 the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”
Gifts for Our Good
In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
As she ripped the wrapping paper off the present, her eyes were full joy and excitement. Who doesn’t like opening presents?! Then, a puzzled look, as she pulled out a dirty, stinky pair of socks. She tore into the next present, hoping it was better, only to find a half-eaten, moldy piece of cheese.
Eeww! Those are not great gifts—who would ever ask for THAT?! Can you imagine someone who loves you giving such an awful gift?
They wouldn’t, would they? Your family and friends want to give you good gifts. When you give a friend or someone in your family a gift, you want to give them something good. We like to give and get good gifts!
When we talk to God about all the things going on in our lives, about the people in our lives, and about the things we need, God gives us a wonderful promise. He says that he will hear and answer all of our prayers! So does that mean that God will always give us exactly what we want and asked him for?
Today’s Bible verses tell us that God knows the best way to answer all of our prayers. In the same way we know our parents and those who care for us want to give us what is best for us, God too will give us what is best for us.
So, what if we really want something, and we ask God for it—but that thing that we really want would actually be bad for us? Worse, what if it would be something that could hurt our faith? What if it is something that would lead us away from Jesus? Or what if it would get in the way of God giving us something even better? Then that thing we might really want wouldn’t actually be good for us to get—kind of like dirty, stinky socks or moldy cheese!
Instead, because he loves us, God gives us what is best for us. He has given us the Holy Spirit, who created faith and keeps us in our faith. He has given us Jesus, who forgave all our sins. He has given us promises that he will hear and answer all our prayers with what is best for us! And that brings joy to our heart!
Lord, you know how to give good gifts. Help me to trust that your answers to my prayers are what are best, even when I don’t see it. Amen.
The questions below are to help families discuss this devotion. The questions are divided by age group as suggestions, but anyone could reflect on any of the questions as they desire.
Questions for Younger Children
- What is the best you’ve been given? What made it great?
- What is the best gift God has given you?
Questions for Elementary Age Children
- How does God know what is the best way to answer our prayers?
- Does knowing that God is going to listen to your prayers and answer them help you talk to God more? Why or why not?
Questions for Middle School and Above
- Why is the Holy Spirit a great gift from God?
- Take a moment and think of something that might at first appear to be a good thing, but later could be bad for you.