Day 149 – Most Useful Gift
On: March 29, 2015 | By: admin
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“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!” Luke 11:11-13
It’s tempting, at first reading, to take this as a promise from Jesus that God will always give us nice things rather than nasty. And if you link this to yesterday, it’s a short step to a prosperity gospel, where all we have to do is ask and Santa Claus is on his way with a sleigh full of toys. But that is not the experience of most Christians and it’s not what Jesus is saying here.
Jesus is talking about what is good for us, not what we might fancy. He promises, quite specifically, that if we ask our Father in Heaven for the Holy Spirit, our request will be granted. And this is a big promise, for the Holy Spirit will be a better companion in life than Jeeves and Superman combined!
I don’t want to get tangled up in a discussion about whether the sign of having received the Holy Spirit is that we are given the gift of tongues. That is but one manifestation of many, and (according to Paul in 1 Corinthians chapters 12-14) not the most important.
What we will receive as we are filled, daily, with the Holy Spirit are gifts (abilities) to serve the church and reach out to others, strength for the day, help to commune with God and speak to others, guidance for life … the list goes. Compare this with the aspirations of the worldly mind – fortune, fame, fancy piles, flashy cars, fashionable frocks – and you start to understand how the Kingdom of God has an entirely different focus to Earthly kingdoms.
If serving God and following Jesus are our key priorities in life, the Holy Spirit is the most useful gift we could ever ask for.
Father God, fill me today with the Holy Spirit that I might overflow to others and point them to Jesus. Amen