The Gospel Coalition

     What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent; or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him! Luke 11:11-13

     Dear heavenly Father, it's been almost fifty days since Easter Sunday. That makes this upcoming Lord's Day Pentecost Sunday---the Lord's Day when we celebrate your faithfulness and generosity in sending the promised Holy Spirit to your people. You did not lie; you have given us your Spirit, and like ignoring a houseguest, we can take this honored heart guest for granted. We repent, especially as we reflect on what a special Person he is and remember everything he does in our hearts and your world.

     Blessed, God the Holy Spirit, your ministries are as multiple as they are magnificent. Though invisible, the evidence of your work is everywhere. It's because of you we even believe the gospel. If you hadn't caused us to be born from above, convicted us of our sins and given us faith in Jesus, we'd would still be dead in our sins and trespasses. We praise you for the new birth and new life in Jesus! And yet you've done so much more...

     You've sealed us forever as the Father's possession. You're the firstfruits of our final redemption---the guarantee that one day we'll live with the whole family of God in the new heaven and new earth. You are the wedding ring wrapped around our hearts---securing us for the Day when Jesus returns for us, his beloved Bride.

     It's by you we hear the Father tell us we're his beloved child---that there's no condemnation left for our sins. It's by you that we hear and learn more of the glory and grace of Jesus, for you are always drawing attention to him. It's through your power that we're able to put to death everything in us that contradicts the gospel. It's through your work that good and lasting fruit is being produced in our lives. We're becoming more and more like Jesus because of you, O glorious Spirit of Christ.

     We can pray and worship acceptably only because of you. In fact, you're praying inside of us right now, and you continue to do so even when we're too undisciplined or too broken to pray. It's by you that we have been gifted for service and empowered for mission. How we praise you for your multiple graces in my lives!

     Father, we take Jesus' promise seriously. Today, we ask for more of the Holy Spirit's work in our lives. We love fish and eggs, but what we need and want is the gift of your Holy Spirit. Free us from our stereotypes. Free us from a mere correct-yet-notional theology of the Spirit. Free us from being held hostage to theological distortions of the Holy Spirit. We are thirsty enough to be done with being cool and being in control. Break us, melt us, fill us, mold us, use us, all for your glory. So very Amen we pray, in Jesus' exalted and loving name.