Good Gifts (Luke 11:13)

“If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will [your] heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?”

Luke 11:13

Matthew renders this statement as If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him! (Matthew 7:11). While calling the Holy Spirit what is good is accurate, it is not the whole of Who and what the Holy Spirit is and does. Since whole treatises have been written on the topic and since I am no theologian, I will leave the unpacking of Who and what the Holy Spirit is and does for those better and wiser than myself.

What I notice is an argument from the lesser to the greater. If you begins with the lesser. If mere mortality; if imperfection; if selfishly motivated I can bring myself to care enough for my own progeny to give them good things, then why would I think that my Father in Heaven would do less? Why would not immortality; perfection; and altruism Himself not give so much more and better than ever I could?

I notice also that what my Father in Heaven gives me is the Holy Spirit. When Paul writes to the church in Galatia, he enumerates the fruit that comes with the Holy Spirit — love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control — and that fruit is very good. What Jesus tells me the Father will give is the Spirit Who brings with Him all of those things. And those things are the very things for which my soul yearns. Everyone, without exception, wants at least some of what that list contains. Do I want love? God is love and He will give Himself to me liberally. Do I want peace? God promises that I can come to Him with my worries and cares and burdens and exchange them for His peace.

In this season wherein we run mad trying to find the perfect gifts for one another, God offers to give Himself. He offers to give me Himself and all that He entails — love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. And He offers Himself for the asking. Will I ask Him for still more of Him? I need Him. As the hymn says, I need Him every hour.

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