February 27, 2015
Then Jesus said to them, “Suppose you have a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread; a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have no food to offer him.’ And suppose the one inside answers, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is already locked, and my children and I are in bed. I can’t get up and give you anything.’ I tell you, even though he will not get up and give you the bread because of friendship, yet because of your shameless audacity he will surely get up and give you as much as you need.
“So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
“Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”
Three words capture today’s text. Did you hear them? I’m not referring to, “Ask, Seek and Knock.” For me, the three words are, “How much more?”
Jesus seems to have one major agenda in his teaching about prayer. It’s not about technique. Jesus singular agenda is to reveal what God is like. You remember a few days back when Jesus said this:
No one knows who the Son is except the Father, and no one knows who the Father is except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.” Luke 10:22
This is what he’s up to here.
Example #1: A friend comes to your house in the middle of the night needing help. You can’t help but you know I can so you come to my house. I don’t want to go to the trouble to get out of bed– even though I am supposedly your friend. The only reason I ultimately get up and help is because you are so stinking, shamelessly loud that you are going to wake up the entire neighborhood.
The point? God is nothing like this. If this friend who doesn’t really care gets out of bed to help– how much more will our Father come to our aid. No need for shameless audacity. Just ask, seek and knock.
Example #2: No Father, even the worst, wouldn’t give their child poison when they asked for milk. So even if the worst will do good for their children how much more will our Father in Heaven.
Jesus wants us to share his confidence in his Father and ours. He’s basically saying, “God, our Father, is so much better than the best you can possibly imagine, I can’t possibly fully get it across to you because you don’t even have the categories to process it. How much more?”
“How much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?”
Our Father gives us daily bread, forgiveness, peace, protection, deliverance and more, but how much more will he give us the Holy Spirit, the gift of Himself, His presence, nearer than our breath. Again, our Father is better than the best we can possibly imagine and even better than that.
So I ask you, “Have you asked him to give you the Holy Spirit?” Today?
The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption as sons and daughters. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Romans 8:15-16.
If we listen to Jesus we will ask our Father to give us the Holy Spirit. That’s the call to action today. Same thing tomorrow. And the day after that.
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