Luke 11:9-13 (AMP)
So I say to you, Ask and keep on asking and it shall be given you; seek and keep on seeking and you shall find; knock and keep on knocking and the door shall be opened to you. For everyone who asks and keeps on asking receives; and he who seeks and keeps on seeking finds; and to him who knocks and keeps on knocking, the door shall be opened. What father among you, if his son asks for a loaf of bread, will give him a stone; or if he asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, evil as you are, know how to give good gifts [gifts that are to their advantage] to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask and continue to ask Him!
With a child born two weeks before Christmas and then another around Valentine’s Day means the gift giving season seems perpetual around our house. Our children are blessed there is no doubt and very thankful for the things that they have. Praise the Lord our little ones have never gone without and all of the credit belongs to a Heavenly Father who has provided for us well beyond what we deserve. Right before Christmas each year as we prepare to celebrate the birth of our youngest child, she sometimes has trouble deciding what she might want as she just gave us a Christmas list. The same is true of our second daughter who must now think about what she might like for her birthday. It is literally a season of giving. As parents, we are at a loss when the children cannot think of anything that they might desire. I want to bless my children. I strive to meet their needs and as many of their wants as possible. As parents, we desire a better life for our children. It is an endless cycle of giving that includes mind, soul and body. If we in our evil, sinful, weakened state still have these drives and desires concerning our own children, just imagine how God feels about us!
The Word of God tells us to keep asking and maybe we have with no response. It tells us to keep seeking but we haven’t found what we are looking for. It instructs us to keep knocking but the door never seems to open. If God truly is the gracious giver that His Word tells us that He is, why are we not experiencing the fulfillment of well-cared for children? When Jesus Christ died on the Cross for our sin, He left giving His People instructions to wait for the Holy Spirit. The ones who did were filled with God’s Spirit – the Living Breathing Being of our Lord gaining access to His Kingdom and the Empowerment of Almighty God. But some chose to ignore God’s Power and simply continue to observe God’s Law trying to find their way to Heaven. The Holy Spirit was sent to give God’s People access to His Power and Authority. He unlocks the Gates of Heaven with the Keys of the Kingdom allowing all who call on the Name of Jesus Christ to live in the Presence of God. Without the Spirit, life is a struggle. You can never be satisfied because something is missing vital to your soul. Have you asked God for His Spirit? If not, you have forsaken the unfair advantage that His People are given and most likely will never have His Very Best!
John 14:16-20 (AMP)
And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, and Standby), that He may remain with you forever—The Spirit of Truth, Whom the world cannot receive (welcome, take to its heart), because it does not see Him or know and recognize Him. But you know and recognize Him, for He lives with you [constantly] and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans [comfortless, desolate, bereaved, forlorn, helpless]; I will come [back] to you. Just a little while now, and the world will not see Me anymore, but you will see Me; because I live, you will live also. At that time [when that day comes] you will know [for yourselves] that I am in My Father, and you [are] in Me, and I [am] in you.
Who is the Holy Spirit? Why is He so important? Man tried to reunite with God and failed miserably. God sent His Only Son – Jesus to make a way for all to return to the Father. When Jesus left this world, He promised to send a Comforter (the Holy Spirit) to His People. The Spirit of the Living God is to be our counselor, helper, intercessor, advocate, strengthener and standby. He was intended to escort every believer through life into Eternity just like He did Jesus Christ. Only those who call of the Name of Jesus can receive this amazing gift. God is a Triune Being – Father, Son and Spirit. Now you may not fully understand how this works as many of us do not, however you must believe that it is true for it is the character of the God that we serve. All three parts are required as the embodiment of God. To refer to the illustration by many Sunday school teachers over the years, an egg requires the yolk, white and shell to be an egg. The yolk is the egg. The whites are the egg. The shell is considered to be the egg as well. Each part is exclusive but inclusive when referring to an egg. What seems so simple is divinely complex when it comes to a God who could not bear to see His Beloved Children perish so has invested all to the satisfaction of sin and fulfillment of salvation. To accept Jesus Christ but refuse the Gift of His Spirit is to choose a lonely life of asking, seeking and knocking but never fully experiencing all the things that God has promised.
Acts 2:38-39 (NLT)
Peter replied, “Each of you must repent of your sins and turn to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. This promise is to you, and to your children, and even to the Gentiles—all who have been called by the Lord our God.”
The Holy Spirit is for everyone. No matter if you choose to accept the Gift of Jesus or not is up to you. Just as we are to repent from our sin and turn to God being water baptized in the Name of Jesus Christ symbolic of the forgiveness of sin, it says, “You WILL RECEIVE the Gift of the Holy Spirit.” It is a promise for you and to your children. It is up to us whether or not we accept this amazing Gift from the Lord or return it unopened and unused. My youngest daughter loves Vera Bradley handbags and accessories. During the Christmas season, I bought her a small case for her IPod. It was an amazing deal. I knew in my gut that she would not like the color but thought she might use it anyway. The day after Christmas she came to me with her eyes cast down walking slowly with her hands behind her back. I asked her what was wrong and she thrust the case in front of me. She expressed appreciation for the gift but that she really did not like the color. As tears welled up in her eyes, she said, “But I didn’t want to hurt your feelings!” I hugged her tightly kicking myself. I knew it was not the one that she wanted but trying to save a few dollars I compromised. I went back to the store and got her the design that she wanted spending only a few dollars more. How many times have we compromised for earthly satisfaction? My Heavenly Father knows exactly what I dream and desire. He has every intention and the ability to give me His Very Best. Have I accepted less than God’s Best in my life? What blessings have I missed? There will be a long list of such opportunities for those who do not accept the Holy Spirit and use Him in their life!
Acts 10:44-46 (NLT)
Even as Peter was saying these things, the Holy Spirit fell upon all who were listening to the message. The Jewish believers who came with Peter were amazed that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles, too. For they heard them speaking in other tongues and praising God.
Coming up in a very strong southern Baptist church, the Book of Romans and Hebrews wore thin in my Bible. It seems like we were constantly studying these two books over and over. However, if you were to look at the Book of Acts, it is as if the book is brand new and unopened with flawless pages. To study the Book of Acts and deny the Holy Spirit is impossible so the subject was avoided. Growing up in this denomination, we were definitely taught the Word of God but sadly missed its power. Even though I read the Bible, I didn’t understand it. Although I tried to live for the Lord, I failed miserably. I just couldn’t seem make a complete connection and experience the Promises of God. Many years later, I was introduced to the Holy Spirit and invited God’s Spirit to become an active participant in my life. That is when everything changed. Commitments I had tried to make as a young person became easy. God began moving through our life and miracles have happened. When I ask, God answers. When I search for Him, He is easily found. When I knock on the door to His Presence, it swings wide open. But for many Christians like the Jewish believers – religion can hinder one’s ability to receive God’s Spirit and allow Him to fully operate in their life. They did not acknowledge the Holy Spirit in their life but saw the power being poured out in the Gentiles. They heard them speaking in other tongues and praising God! If you ever want to experience God’s Power, it will require His Spirit! Read the Book of Acts for it is as relevant today as every other God-Inspired verse in the Bible. His Spirit is in you as a believer – He just needs to be stirred up and acknowledged in your life.
I Peter 1:2 (NLT)
God the Father knew you and chose you long ago and his Spirit has made you holy. As a result, you have obeyed him and have been cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ.
God’s Spirit empowers us to be holy. He demonstrates our right to holiness. Struggling with sin, you will never escape the bondage of sin without the Holy Spirit who makes us able to formally separate from the darkness of this world by God’s Grace and Mercy. Mercy comes to us through the Spirit of God living inside of us. We cry out for mercy but will not have it if we ignore His Spirit. “Just think how much worse the punishment will be for those who have trampled on the Son of God, and have treated the blood of the covenant, which made us holy, as if it were common and unholy, and have insulted and disdained the Holy Spirit who brings God’s mercy to us.” (Hebrews 10:29) We need the Holy Spirit to allow us to be holy as we are called to be in the Lord Jesus Christ. We need His Mercy in order to continue striving for righteousness. Without the Spirit of the Living God as our Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener and Partner our cry goes unanswered, what we seek will never be found and the doors of Heaven will remain closed because God does not recognize us as His People.
2 Corinthians 1:21-22 (NLT)
It is God who enables us, along with you, to stand firm for Christ. He has commissioned us and he has identified us as his own by placing the Holy Spirit in our hearts as the first installment that guarantees everything he has promised us.
The Holy Spirit identifies us as God’s Children. We cannot enter the Presence of God without His Spirit. The Holy Spirit is God’s Guarantee of EVERYTHING that He has promised us. We need His Spirit to access God’s Will, His Way and His Word in our life. God’s Promises are imparted by His Spirit including Jesus Christ. (Matthew1:18) He is God’s Empowerment of His People. (Luke 24:49) In order to be a new creation in Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit is required. Don’t take my word for it – Jesus said it! (John 3:5-6) How can anyone deny the Holy Spirit or His Power when God and Jesus both affirm His Presence completely?
Hebrews 2:1-4 (NLT)
So we must listen very carefully to the truth we have heard, or we may drift away from it. For the message God delivered through angels has always stood firm, and every violation of the law and every act of disobedience was punished. So what makes us think we can escape if we ignore this great salvation that was first announced by the Lord Jesus himself and then delivered to us by those who heard him speak? And God confirmed the message by giving signs and wonders and various miracles and gifts of the Holy Spirit whenever he chose.
Humanity’s inability to live a holy, righteous life made the sacrifice of Jesus Christ necessary for man to be reunited with God. His Grace and Mercy made it possible for us to reenter the Presence of God and not die due to our sinful nature. However, without God’s Spirit we return to the same dead-end life that brought us to the Altar of God. Signs, wonders and miracles were all the result of God gifting mankind with His Spirit. But after Jesus Christ died and conquered death, hell and the grave – God made His Spirit available to all mankind. “Once we, too, were foolish and disobedient. We were misled and became slaves to many lusts and pleasures. Our lives were full of evil and envy, and we hated each other. But—“When God our Savior revealed his kindness and love, he saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit. He generously poured out the Spirit upon us through Jesus Christ our Savior. Because of his grace he declared us righteous and gave us confidence that we will inherit eternal life.” (Titus 3:3-7) Do you feel as though you are drifting? Are you always wavering between good and evil or sin and salvation? You will never fully experience salvation or your new life in Jesus Christ until you accept the Lord’s Gift of His Spirit as an active, cooperative member of your mind, soul, body and life. God’s Spirit now lives on the inside of you. Make Him welcome and you will suddenly have an advantage on the enemy as His Kingdom opens to you and the Lord’s Presence permeates your life. Your questions will be answered. You will find what you have been searching for. His Kingdom will be open to you and become your dwelling place! All things will become new! You will find joy in your salvation once more!
Psalm 51:10-12 (NLT)
Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me. Do not banish me from your presence, and don’t take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
and make me willing to obey you.