Top Shelf First
”What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son but gave Him up for us all, how will He not also with Him graciously give us all things?” (Romans 8:31-32).
The verse quoted above is one that I have, over the years, pondered again and again. And even now, it leaves me full of wonder when I consider the overwhelming generosity of God. How so? Let me explain.
Last week we celebrated Valentine’s Day, a day on which many purchased cards or candy or flowers for a special someone in their life. I did, and I’m pretty sure that you did as well. And, for some budding relationships it was the first gift exchange of many yet to come.
Let me continue in that vein. Generally speaking, as a relationship grows between a man and a woman, so does the value of the gifts exchanged between them. It begins with a card, some candy, a bouquet of flowers and so on. If the relationship continues to deepen, one day the man will present the love of his life with a diamond ring, probably the ultimate gift for which his sweetheart was longing.
Now, let’s compare that scenario to the verse quoted above. Considering God’s gift giving, the passage tells us that He went to the top shelf first, giving the very best that He had, His only begotten Son. The writer then asked, if God gave us the best that He had to give first, would it then make any sense for Him to withhold from His children any good thing? Stop here a second, this question demands an answer!
Our Father in heaven is not a miserly skinflint who has to be cajoled and bargained with to break loose of His gifts and blessings. He is a generous Father, of whom Jesus said, “If earthly fathers know how to give good gifts to their children, how much more is our gracious heavenly Father willing to give?” (Matthew 7:11).
The last half of Matthew 6 speaks about material things that our heavenly Father knows that we needs, but instead of first seeking the things, Jesus said, “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added to you” (Matthew 6:33).
So, when you lay your petitions before the Lord, come before Him with full assurance, remembering, He’s already emptied the top shelf for you.