By Doug Bing, Washington Conference president, and administrative team
Jesus tells a series of stories illustrating that we are to ask for one thing: the Holy Spirit.
When I was a child, I looked forward to seeing the Christmas catalogs come in the mail.
My sister and I would sit for hours looking at all the latest and greatest toys that were featured in those glossy pages. We made our wish lists, and then began the process of persuading our parents with all the reasons that we needed those items. Sometimes our list was fruitful, and other times the ever present socks, pajamas and clothing items (that were never on the list) were the only thing that made it under the tree.
Luke 11 tells the story of a man who had one thing on his list: bread. Three loaves of bread to be exact. He went to his neighbor and asked. And kept asking until finally his neighbor was tired of the asking and gave him bread. This story is immediately followed in Luke 11:9-13 by Jesus telling us to also ask.
In fact, ten different times we are told to ask in some form for a very special gift of God. The illustration is given in verse 10: “If a son asks for bread from a father among you, will he give him a stone?” The answer is: “Of course not.” Then the main point comes out in verse 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!”
So what is this one gift that we are to continually ask for? It is the gift of the Holy Spirit. God wants us to have the very present gift of the Holy Spirit in our lives. At Christmas we rightfully celebrate the amazing gift of the baby Jesus. Yet when Jesus left this earth, He promised another gift and that is the gift of the Holy Spirit who will lead us through this life. He wants us to persist in asking and He will give it. This is a promise. If it is on your list to ask for, it is on His list to give.
As you celebrate Christmas and the baby Jesus, we invite you to continue to seek the Holy Spirit. May God bless you and your family as you celebrate this Christmas and New Year’s season.