December 30, 2014
The Sixth Day of Christmas
I am writing to you, [believers], because you know him who is from the beginning.
God’s gift to me is relationship. I can experience relationship with God any time I want, just by interacting with him.
It is an “inter” action, a two-way exchange.
I am never alone. Never isolated. I can speak to God. And I know he listens.
Knowing that is the gift of faith. It is a gift, not an achievement. Those have it who were “born of water and the Holy Spirit”; that is, “not of blood (by natural reproduction), nor of the will of the flesh (through any human desire) nor of the will of man (by any human decision), but of God” (see John 1:13; 3:5).
“Grace” is the “favor” of sharing in the divine life of God. Those who to have it live with the assurance that their interaction with God is real. That is an experience of real relationship.
We can ask God for help and know he will give it. Knowing that is the divine gift of hope.
This hope is based, among other things, on Jesus’ words: “If you then… know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask him!... On that day you will ask nothing of me. Very truly, I tell you, if you ask anything of the Father in my name, he will give it to you (Matthew 7:11; John 16:23).
In believing what Jesus says, we experience the gift of faith that gives hope. But we don’t experience it unless we exercise it.
Hope is a gift, an action of God himself in our hearts. Paul wrote (Romans 5:5): “Hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.”
Because we have the gifts of faith and hope, we can interact with Jesus whenever we want and know it is a real interaction. We know he is there, listening, responding. We may not know exactly what he is saying or doing in response, but we know something is taking place. We know we are in a real relationship with him.
And that is a “mystical experience.” On ground level.
Pray frequently: “Lord, be with me!”
Practice: Interact with Jesus all day long.