Daily encouragement

Video by

Ruthie Smith

dive deeper

Psalm 145:16

“You open Your hand and satisfy the desire of every living thing.”

Behind the Scenes

In his book, “Spirit and Sacrament,” Pastor Andrew Wilson claims, “Christian theology is a theology of gift.” In support of this statement, Wilson makes a quick survey of the entire Old Testament, pointing out God’s many gifts, from the plentiful gifts of creation to the gifts of covenants to the gifts of the law and prophets. The gift-giving continues into the New Testament as God gives himself as a ransom for his people. Being himself a gift to mankind, it’s fitting that Jesus spent a lot of time talking about God as a giver. Wilson observes the following from Jesus’ parables:  

“His parables, strikingly, reinforce the picture of God as an irrepressible giver…Once there was a farmer who scattered seed so liberally that most of it didn’t take root. Once there was a king who gave remittance for a debt of ten thousand talents. Once there was a vineyard-owner who gave people far more than their work was worth. Once there was a father who gave away half of his estate to his rebellious son (and then gave him a feast when he came crawling back, having wasted it all). Once there was a nobleman who gave three month’s wages to all his employees, and then went on a foreign trip. Once there was a landowner who gave his vineyard over to tenants. Once there was a king who gave wedding invitations to every undesirable in the country.”

Wilson concludes this laundry list of parables by saying, “it is hard to think of a parable in which a God-figure features and he is not characterized by giving away far more than he should.” Our God is a generous giver of good and extravagant gifts, and he wants his people to know it. He wants us to know that we don’t have to look anywhere but to Him for complete satisfaction.  

Make it Real

James tells us God is the giver of every good and perfect gift. Paul wrote to the Philippians that God would supply all their needs, and he told the Ephesians God is able to do far more abundantly than all they could ask or imagine. Do you believe that? Do you believe God is generous and satisfying? Or do you seek fulfillment outside of him?  

Wilson wraps up his chapter on gifts by observing, “God is continually giving gifts to his people. Whenever he does, the most appropriate response on our part is to thank him for them, worship him through them, make good use of them, and seek more of them.” When I first read that final point, it made me uncomfortable. It seems almost greedy to dare to ask for more from God. But the more I thought about it, I realized that reaction is more an indictment on me and my own stinginess than an accurate picture of how God wants us to approach him.  

I am often overly cautious about how much of myself I give to the people around me. I am prone to hoard my energy and carefully manage my emotional expenditure. Jesus, on the other hand, welcomes us to ask, seek, and knock, promising our Father in heaven will give good things to those who ask (Matthew 7:7-10). God, as his parables make clear, operates in abundance. He doesn’t seek to withhold himself from us; it actually gives God great joy to satisfy our desires.

Pastor John Piper coined the phrase, “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him.” Because of this, Piper says, “It is our duty to pursue full and eternal pleasure in God.” When we don’t turn to God to satisfy us, we end up turning elsewhere. And, as Piper puts it, “When we are indifferent to God as our supreme satisfaction, we will not be able to glorify God from the heart as we should.”

Paul prayed the Ephesians would know this kind of supreme satisfaction in Christ. He prayed they would be filled with all the fullness of God (Ephesians 3:19). Have you asked our generous God to fill you with all his fullness? Perhaps you’ve told yourself you’re content when really you are apathetic. He wants to satisfy your desires out of his great love and abundance. Will you ask, seek, and knock? Will you pray, “Holy Spirit, if there’s more, I want it”?

End in Prayer

Father in Heaven, you open your hand and satisfy the desire of every living thing. You are the giver of every good and perfect gift, and you invite me to approach you with my needs and with the desires of my heart. Thank you, Jesus, for the ultimate gift of life in you. Please help me to know your love that surpasses all knowledge, that I might be filled with all the fullness of God. So often, I turn to the world for instant gratification instead of seeking the ultimate satisfaction that is only found in you. So often, I settle for less, but Holy Spirit, if there is more, I want it. Amen.

Written by

Hailey Schroeder

ACF Devo Team