"Your Father's Good Pleasure"
One of the great joys of life involves knowing that we possess the means and capacity to please our loved ones. Their smiles and grateful response provide some of the best experiences of our lives, confirming the words of the Lord Jesus Christ - "It is more blessed to give than to receive" (Acts 20:35).
Our Savior not only spoke the words, but even more, lived in devotion to the true joy to our hearts. He also died that we might know the living God in such personal terms that we find our pleasure in Him and in the gifts He gives. Our Heavenly Father possesses the capacity to please His loved ones. One of the great joys of His life involves administering His generosity, even as the Lord Jesus told His disciples: "It is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom" (Luke 12:32). Thus, we realize that any sensibility of joy we find in giving originates in the One who "giveth to all life and breath and all things" (Acts 17:25). We must perceive our Lord in these terms in order to rightly relate to Him, and to trust Him in a manner that positions our hearts to receive and enjoy His gracious generosity.
Of course, we must also be grateful that God administers His abundance in perfect wisdom. Again, He gives that which elicits "true joy" in us. Some gifts, while providing temporary happiness, might actually cause great harm to our spiritual well being. Our Father purposes to conform us to the spiritual and moral image of the Lord Jesus because this alone constitutes genuine life, peace, and joy. The writer of Hebrews declares our Savior to be "anointed with the oil of gladness above Thy fellows" (Hebrews 1:9). Therefore, to the degree we grow in Christlikeness will be the degree to which we grow in genuine joy. God's administration of His abundance flows with the current of this purpose, and is itself the most generous gift He freely gives to trusting hearts. We thus expect our Father's pleasure in providing for us, but always in accordance with our best interests, namely, the Christlikeness that results from receiving God's perfectly administered grace.
Whatever joy we find in receiving our Heavenly Father's provision pales in comparison to the joy He finds in giving. Indeed, the truth that "It is more blessed to give than to receive" originates in the heart of God Himself. This is who He is as the love that seeks to benefit of others rather than itself (I Corinthians 13:5). Our own pleasure in pleasing loved ones begins in God. We must know Him thusly in order to know Him rightly, and to respond in the reception that not only pleases us, but changes us.
"Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God."
(I Corinthians 2:12)
Weekly Memory Verse
The invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and godhead, so that they are without excuse."