March 17

Bible Reading: Luke 11

Luke 11:13, “If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”

The person of the Holy Spirit is set forth by Jesus as the preeminent example of God’s readiness and ability to give good gifts to those who ask of Him.  Of all the gifts given by God to minister to His children and their needs, none is more necessary or precious than He.

Jesus’ disciples were troubled at the news of His pending departure (John 13:36-14:1).  He spoke to them comforting words, including this surprising statement: “it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you.  But if I go I will send Him to you” (John 16:7).  Jesus’ departure would actually be advantageous to them because it would open the door for the Spirit’s coming!  How precious, then, must be the provision of the person of the Holy Spirit!

The Spirit’s work in the believer’s life is all-encompassing.  It is by the Spirit that we are made aware of our sin and pending judgment (John 16:8).  It is by His work that we are born again (John 3:5-8; 1 Corinthians 12:13).  It is by His presence that our new identity as a child of God is confirmed (Romans 8:16).  It is by Him that our eyes are opened, that we might understand and know the truth (John 16:14-15; 1 Corinthians 2:12; 1 John 2:26-27).  It is by Him we are made to realize the glorious nature of our inheritance and immeasurable greatness of His power (Ephesians 1:16-19).  Again, it is by His revelation that we are given the strength to comprehend the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge (Ephesians 3:14-19).

It is the Spirit who intercedes for us in our prayers (Romans 8:26).  It is by Him that our minds are renewed (Ephesians 4:23), sin is put off (Romans 8:13; Ephesians 4:22), and Christlikeness progressively attainted (Ephesians 4:24).  It is by Him we have received spiritual gifts through which to serve God (1 Corinthians 12:4-7).

The Spirit of God reveals Christ to us, in us, and through us (John 16:14).  He is ever working, patiently and relentlessly, to conform us to the image of Christ (2 Corinthians 3:18).  His presence in our lives is made evident in the glorious fruit He bears.  Supernatural, Christlike, virtues—love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control– blossom and bloom where there once was but barren ground and noxious weeds (Galatians 5:22-23).

The parched soil of our need is met with His abundant and overflowing provision of “living water” (John 7:37-39).  God’s provision of salvation and all its benefits are realized only in the Spirit.  The commands to be filled with the Spirit and to walk in the Spirit are of preeminent concern to us.  The gift of the Spirit is treasured to the extent that we wholeheartedly submit ourselves to His leading and empowerment (Ephesians 5:18). We are commanded to walk in Him (Galatians 5:16) and to not quench Him (1 Thessalonians 5:19) or grieve Him (Ephesians 4:30).

The ministry of the Holy Spirit is oftentimes overlooked or misunderstood.  And sometimes dubious activities are even attributed to Him (speaking gibberish, laughing revivals, being “slain” in the Spirit, false healings, etc.).  But the glorious nature of His true ministry transcends such frivolous things.  The transformation of the believer in Christ into the very image of Christ is a miracle of God that is at the heart of His ministry.  It is a work that cannot be accomplished apart from Him.  J. C. Ryle once said, “The Holy Spirit is beyond doubt the greatest gift which God can bestow upon man.  Having this gift, we have all things—life, light, hope and heaven!”  Praise God for His good and perfect gifts, and especially for the gift of the Spirit (James 1:17)! 

Let us treasure this precious Gift as we work, by God’s grace, to fully depend on the Spirit to lead and empower us in all that He is doing in and through us!

Open my eyes that I may see
glimpses of truth thou hast for me.
Place in my hands the wonderful key
that shall unclasp and set me free.
Silently now I wait for thee,
ready, my God, thy will to see.
Open my eyes, illumine me,
Spirit divine!

Author: looking2jesus13

Having served as pastor at Lewis and Clark Bible Church, in Astoria, Oregon, for almost three decades, my wife’s cancer diagnosis led to my retirement and subsequent move to Heppner to be near our two grandchildren. I divide my time between caring for Laura and working as a part time hospice chaplain and spending time with family and spoiling my chocolate lab.

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