Today's Foundations Devotional: The teaching of Jesus
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?”
Yesterday, we saw how Jesus told His disciples: “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! “ Again, in John 7:38 Christ says:
He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.
In the first half of the next verse these “rivers of living water” are interpreted by the writer of the Gospel as referring to the Holy Spirit, for he says:
But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive (John 7:39).
In both these verses it is clear that the gift of the Holy Spirit, bringing forth rivers of living water from within, is to be received by those who are already believers in Christ. It is something which they should go on to receive after believing in Christ.
Christ teaches the same truth again in John 14:15-17, where He says:
If you love Me, keep My commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.
In this passage the Helper and the Spirit of truth are two different designations of the Holy Spirit. Christ teaches here that the gift of the Holy Spirit is not for the unbelieving people of this world, but for Christ’s own disciples who love and obey Him. This confirms, therefore, that it is the privilege of God’s believing children, Christ’s disciples, to go on to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit as they meet God’s conditions. These may be summed up in one all-important requirement: loving obedience to Christ.
Lord Jesus, I want to be fully obedient to You, so as to qualify for the fullness of
Your Holy Spirit! Overflow me Lord, with power from above to honour Your name
and to live in constant obedience to what You have said. Amen.