May 9

Luke 11:8,13 8I tell you, though he will not get up and give him the bread because he is his friend, yet because of the man's boldness he will get up and give him as much as he needs

13If 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!"

Jesus told a parable about a man who had a guest arrive late in the evening. In the Middle Eastern tradition, the community is to see that its guest is well received. The reputation of the community is at stake. Is the community hospitable or hostile? The man went to a neighbor who was sleeping. He asked for bread to set before the guest. We may have a problem with translation at this point. The word translated "boldness" is, in the original language, the negative of shame. The person of Middle Eastern tradition would lose face if he did not get up and provide the bread. He would have been letting down the entire community.

When we look at the passage in this light, it may be teaching us something other than persistent knocking on God's door. The man who is without shame may be the one who was in bed. It may be telling us that God has a reputation. He has His name to defend. If an evil man will get up for the reputation of the community, how much more will God respond to your prayers for His great name's sake. If you, an evil person give good things to your children because it is expected of fathers and mothers, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!

Do you want to walk with God? Do you desire to live a life pleasing to Him? You just need to ask your gracious, loving Father, and He will surely give you the Holy Spirit. It is the presence and power of the Holy Spirit in our lives that empowers us to be more like our Father in our words and actions. Have you stumbled in an area? Ask the Father to give you the Holy Spirit to help you crucify the flesh and walk in holiness. He will give you Himself, not because you are bothering Him, but it is His very nature to do so. It is His character to give good things to those who ask. Expect the answer to come in an even greater measure than your original request. Why? Because God is the giver of all good things. His name is on the line. He is always true to His nature.

Remember: If you ask for good things, you can expect God to answer. Take a moment to ask for good things.