Matthew 7:8-11 (NLT)
For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. You parents—if your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead? Or if they ask for a fish, do you give them a snake? Of course not! So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him?
This month is our oldest daughter’s 22nd birthday. A friend and I have been plotting and planning a surprise of gigantic proportions at least for a young adult and her teenage sisters. The big reveal was last night about a week before her birthday. Honestly, we just couldn’t wait another day. The anticipation was killing us as we would secretly whisper and sending mysterious text. This particular girlfriend is terrible about such things. She literally buys Christmas twice because she cannot wait to bless her children. She was not much support when I suggested waiting. In fact, she strongly encouraged me not to. So last night after a middle school football game, everyone huddled around the phone to FaceTime the birthday girl who was waiting with her box and scissors in hand. When she opened it, she was puzzled that it was filled with cards. The final envelope held a group of pictures. Her jaw dropped when she figured out her prize. Tickets to see Taylor Swift live in concert. Now her sisters were in shock as they looked on until I told them that they were going too. We had declared this an official girl trip and all six of us were going together. One daughter almost fainted while the other immediately called her friend to share the good news. Whenever our middle girl likes something she will call the person who facilitates it the “real MVP.” I love it. I get such accolades for shopping, cooking and Taylor Swift tickets. It is with great delight the group of friends and two totally psyched moms are now planning outfits, activities and girl time together. God is so good!
You may be thinking to yourself where did that come from. God is good! I have heard it all my life. No, concert tickets did not change my mind or cause some type of epiphany. In fact, the truth is that my husband is a bigger fan than I am. For the last four years, I have not been able to spend time with these girls like I would like to. Though I was with them as much as I could be, there was always the prevailing issue of our son’s health. But now a year later, God has opened the door to life in a whole new way in the discovery that He is good! He is always good! Just as I love to bless our children, I have decided that He is the real MVP in our life. If I want to bless these children and make them happy in every way possible, how much more must God, in His Infinite and Unfailing Love, want to do more than that for me? It’s true. The Lord didn’t save us in a near miss but complete redemption that takes away the punishment to make way for the prosperity that He always wanted us to have. Nothing has been wasted. Nothing has been lost because at the end of the day God is always good and His Intent is always to give good gifts to His Children.
James 1:16-18 (NLT)
So don’t be misled, my dear brothers and sisters. Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow. He chose to give birth to us by giving us his true word. And we, out of all creation, became his prized possession.
Our value and worth to God were predetermined. He decided to save us when He made us. God knew our potential for sin but His Prevailing Love and Desire to be with us forever caused Him to sacrifice His Only Son to save us. This puts a value and worth on every human life whether we can see the potential or not. Your life and mine was determined to be priceless when it cost Jesus every drop of His Blood to preserve it.
Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father. A few years back, our daughter wanted a new ITouch for Christmas. Too young for a phone, she would use it like a phone even tucking it in her back pocket wherever she went. We decided to give her a mini IPad instead with a larger screen and more memory. The IPad was obviously a more valuable gift. However, when she opened the box her face told the story. She was completely disappointed. She put it to the side faking a smile and weak “thank you”. I was so hurt and angry in her response. I didn’t raise a selfish, spoiled child or did I? It finally occurred to me that what she was dealing with was unmet expectation. When we expect less we do not look for more. Within a couple hours until this day, she loves her IPad. She had to overcome the disappointment of unmet expectation to see that what she received was actually better. Lesson learned. It happens to the best of us. We predetermine what it will take to bring contentment and satisfaction to our life but God has determined what will satisfy us and make us content so He keeps pushing it our way. What will it take to live in the Goodness of God? Nothing but looking around to see it. Walking His Way to have it. Living in His Presence grants us such joy evermore.
Ecclesiastes 5:18-19 (NLT)
Even so, I have noticed one thing, at least, that is good. It is good for people to eat, drink, and enjoy their work under the sun during the short life God has given them, and to accept their lot in life. And it is a good thing to receive wealth from God and the good health to enjoy it. To enjoy your work and accept your lot in life—this is indeed a gift from God.
Life is good. No really the undercurrent flowing through our life is God and His Spirit which are working His Word through our life and thanks to Jesus – it is always good! Why aren’t we happy? Where is contentment and satisfaction? Why isn’t my life good? It is all about perspective. It is influenced by the priorities placed in our life. What do we value? I didn’t value time before as I should. Having a houseful of children makes it seem like a moment of peace and quiet is all that we long for until the first one moves out. What happened to the time? Where did it go? God’s Goodness in our life is that He grants us time to work out our salvation and discover its benefits. But first and foremost we must decide to make the Lord our priority so He can make our way straight.
God gives us everything we need to have a good life through Jesus Christ. In our quest for more of this life, we often miss the blessings hidden all around us. We work. We pay bills. We keep a schedule. We have budgets. We keep chasing more. We do not see what we have and enjoy it because we are always looking ahead rather than looking right beside us. The Lord is working out every detail of our life for good. (Romans 8:28) We must only respond to these promises by believing that it’s true. God is the real MVP. He is the most valuable player in life who is able to make our dreams come true. He is the One who made us and gave us the desires in our heart that long for fulfillment. He knows exactly what will do it. We just have to get onboard with the program. We must be a team player.
Jeremiah 32:39-41 (NLT)
And I will give them one heart and one purpose: to worship me forever, for their own good and for the good of all their descendants. And I will make an everlasting covenant with them: I will never stop doing good for them. I will put a desire in their hearts to worship me, and they will never leave me. I will find joy doing good for them and will faithfully and wholeheartedly replant them in this land.
If these people who lived before the death of Jesus were considered this precious to God imagine how He feels about us now. He gave everything so we could have a good life. The kind of life that God prerecorded before we were born. (Psalm 139:16) By worshiping God and making it our purpose in life to be of one heart with Him, the Lord makes an everlasting covenant of blessing with His People. He promises His Goodness will pursue us and overtake those who dare to accept such a life. God looks at the human heart first and foremost. He doesn’t look for perfect people just perfected purpose. Those who make a conscious choice to live for the Kingdom of God today no matter how things look, what they have or how they feel will discover God’s Goodness welling up and pouring over in their life like never before. It is there for everyone but only those who go to the Source will find it.
Psalm 37:3-5 (NLT)
Trust in the Lord and do good. Then you will live safely in the land and prosper. Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires. Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust him, and he will help you.
I have really great kids. Are they perfect? Absolutely not. But neither are their parents. Throughout the whole ordeal of their sibling’s bout with cancer, they were selfless. They wanted mom at home but rallied together. They continued to do good even when they had every excuse to rebel. They were not demanding, selfish or jealous. Of course, now that it has passed I want to bless them for being good. When we trust the Lord enough to do good no matter what it always opens the door to blessing. Obedience unlocks all that is hidden in our life. Those who commit their life to live a “good” life by following the Lord will live safely in the land and prosper. Those who dare to go one step further and rejoice in the Lord always will begin to experience God’s Goodness at its fullest. He gives us our heart’s desire. We just have to get our heart and mind in one accord with His Word, Will and Way. This life chasing after God has led me on many crazy adventures. I am sure our girl trip will be one more to add to the list. I am finding that as I learn to commit everything I do to the Lord and trust Him, He has become my MVP.
Psalm 34:9-10 (NLT)
Fear the Lord, you his godly people, for those who fear him will have all they need. Even strong young lions sometimes go hungry but those who trust in the Lord will lack no good thing.
Accepting Jesus as Savior makes our life better. But those who make Him Lord – will lack no good thing. Acceptance is one thing. Obedience is another. Let’s say that you want a new car. You dream of trading in your rundown wreck for a shiny new sports car. So you go to the dealership and scour the internet beginning to car shop. The problem is you don’t have a job or any money. You are not looking for a job – you want a car. You get mad at your neighbor who just got a new car. You decide that you are buying a new car. You fill out the bank application for a car loan and it is denied as you have no income. What do you do? You can sit on the curb outside the bank made because the dealership won’t sell you a new car. You can be mad that everyone else is getting what they want but you. You can blame God for “blessing” everyone else but ignoring you or you can get a job, save money and buy a new car. What does that have to do with God’s Goodness? We want God’s Best but want it our way. We want His Goodness living in the world. We want His Blessing living in disobedience getting mad when others are living the life we dream about. If you want God’s Best, you must do your best to make Him your Lord. I wanted a new car for a long time, but until I was willing to pay the price I kept driving the old one. You want a new life – do something different. You want a better life – let go of the old one. You want God’s Best – give Him your best.
Psalm 84:10-11 (NLT)
A single day in your courts is better than a thousand anywhere else! I would rather be a gatekeeper in the house of my God than live the good life in the homes of the wicked. For the Lord God is our sun and our shield. He gives us grace and glory. The Lord will withhold no good thing from those who do what is right.
What do you want in life? Don’t look around at what others have or have not but close your eyes and ask yourself – “what is my heart’s desire?” I decided that I wanted time with my children. I cannot regain the moments long gone caring for our son. I would not trade them for anything in this world. But at the end of the day, I love all my children and want to share life with them making memories that will last long past the moment. God has provided all I need to make this a reality. I have to decide whether or not I will “pay” the price. Jesus paid for my sins to be forgiven so I could access the Presence of God and live there. Once inside the walls of my Father’s House, everything is paid for. He withholds no good thing from those who do what is right. It is God’s Desire to give us good things, bring us contentment and complete our life. Jesus gave me this thing called righteousness and it is through His Gift that I can have every other good gift that comes from God. When we transfer our life from the things of this world and accept the Goodness and Favor of God by trusting Him enough to obey His Word, walk His Way and do His Will – His Unfailing Love overtakes us in that place and we discover the true value and wealth of our life. It is in Christ alone. He is the real “MVP”!
Psalm 23:6 (NLT)
Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life,
and I will live in the house of the Lord forever.