When I was a young child, I recall feeling somewhat disappointed when I heard this Bible verse. It was building up to a grand conclusion, “If you then, being evil know how to give good gifts….” Then I expected, “How much more will your heavenly Father give even greater gifts to those who ask!”
Again, as a child I thought about all the greater things God could give. When the passage continued, it somehow wasn’t quite what I had in mind: “How much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him.”
I soon realized that there is no greater gift than the Holy Spirit!
Earthly fathers can give us only earthly gifts: food, clothing, a home, and other things to enjoy in this life, but all such things are temporary. Through the Holy Spirit, however, our heavenly Father can give gifts that last forever!
Let’s take a few moments then to remember blessings that make the Holy Spirit the ULTIMATE gift from our heavenly Father.
The Spirit gives the most precious possession of all—Jesus Christ. Without the Holy Spirit we can’t even confess that Jesus is our Lord (1 Corinthians 12:3). Without the Holy Spirit we do not belong to Christ (Romans 8:9). But by the Holy Spirit we were baptized (1 Corinthians 12:13) and through baptism we “have put on Christ” (Galatians 3:27).
When we have Christ as our Lord and Savior, we have forgiveness of all sins. With our sins forgiven we have escaped condemnation. With all condemnation removed, the arms of our Father are open to receive us. “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God… and if children, then heirs–heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ” (Romans 8:14&17).
What more could we ask for? Yet there IS more! Jesus is teaching believers, who already have the Spirit, to pray for the Spirit and receive from Him a multitude of additional gifts. The Holy Spirit is the Divine Distributor of all the gifts and blessings Jesus won for us on the cross. “One and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills” (1 Corinthians 12:11).
The Ultimate Gift!
Through the Spirit we receive the “fruits of the Spirit” which are “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23).
These are the gifts that make life truly meaningful and worth living. Pray for the Spirit to give these fruits in greater abundance.
Do we want to be great in God’s Kingdom? Jesus teaches that greatness in His kingdom comes through humble service. The Holy Spirit gives the “spiritual gifts” which enable us to serve in a meaningful way.
- “The manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: For to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit…” (1 Corinthians 12:7). With this wisdom we can truly help one another and give good counsel.
- “To another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit…” (v. 8). With Spirit-given knowledge we are able to teach His Word to others (the greatest gift we can give!).
- “To another faith by the same Spirit…” (v. 9) This is not speaking of the saving faith (that all believers already have) but of a greater faith to trust God in all kinds of adversity and to share that confidence with others in their times of weakness.
These are just a few of the Spirit’s gifts which enable us to serve one another and thus to promote the growth of God’s Church. The Holy Spirit gives the power to really make a difference—to be able to “give liberally,” to “show mercy,” or to give “exhortation” (Romans 12:8).
God also gives the Holy Spirit as the seal of our Christian faith.
“…Having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory” (Ephesians 1:13).
All this is just a sneak peak at what the Spirit can do for us! Do we want the power of Pentecost to continue in our lives? Pray for the Spirit. Let us pray for the gifts we need to resist sin and be useful participants in God’s kingdom.
Pray for the Spirit, and God promises to give the ultimate of all His gifts!