by Tony Nester

Asking for God's Best Gift
Tony Nester
Luke 11:5-13

What do you want from God? What do you ask for when you pray?

Many of you have asked God for forgiveness; you know that you've acted contrary to God's will and God's law - and you're grateful that in Christ all of our sins, every one of them, are forgiven.

Some of you have asked God for guidance. You've wanted to make the right choice about a career, or a move, or how to resolve a difficult moral dilemma in your life.

I know that all of you who have children have prayed for each of your children - that God would protect them and lead them into a good and blessed life.

When our loved ones and friends are ill, we pray for God to send them healing strength.

Today, all across the Missouri River basin, there are prayers being prayed that ask God to give fortitude, deliverance, patience and peace of mind in the face of the rising water levels.

But what is God's best gift? All of God's gifts are valuable, but is there one that God most wants to give us? The answer is yes. God's best gift, the gift God most wants to give, is the gift that was given on what we now call the Day of Pentecost. God's best gift is the Holy Spirit. This is the gift that Jesus told us to ask for, and to keep pursing: "Ask for it, seek for it, knock at the door for it."

I want to say right up front that we're not convinced that the Holy Spirit is the best gift God can give us. Stop and think about the prayers we pray, and the prayers you hear others praying, and I'm guessing that asking for the Holy Spirit isn't at the top of most people's prayer lists. We are much more likely to be praying for health, or love, or money, or a job, or a car, or some favorable change in our circumstances.

So, you see, we have a basic difference of opinion with God. GOD WANTS TO GIVE US HIS SPIRIT - he did so with great power on the Day of Pentecost. Jesus wants us to ask, search, and knock at the door for the Spirit. He insis ...

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