The Promised Gift
by Diane Ward
About 49 AD Paul wrote an urgent letter to the Galatian’s in which he dealt with serious problems. Galatia was a large Roman province extending coast to coast through the mountains and plains of central Turkey.
Paul’s basic issue concerned “teachers who insisted the Gentile Christians must keep the Jewish law.” For Paul, there was only one thing worth glorying in; the power of the cross of Christ to re-create and transform human lives. We are saved by God’s grace alone and we appropriate that by faith, by placing all our confidence in what Jesus has done for us. It is a staggering gift, a “get out of jail free card.” Paul taught there is responsibility with our spiritual freedom as well, to use our freedom in a way that honors the One who made us free. As Jesus loved us, so we should love one another.
The mystery of the Spirit – “The wind blows where it wishes, where it wills, free and unconstrained. It is by the will of the Spirit and not of man. (John 3:8) I stood at the bedside of (my patient my friend,) watching his last breath. Only I and a friend were with him. His friend had
begun praying in what sounded like an old Indian dialect. Suddenly a strong wind blew through the room leaving quickly and I knew Jesse had gone home.
“The first gift of every Christian existence is the Holy Spirit.” It is not one of many gifts, but rather the fundamental Gift. The Spirit is the gift Jesus promised to send us. Without the Spirit
there is no relationship with Christ and with the Father, because the Spirit opens our hearts to God’s presence and draws us into a vortex of love that is the very heart of God.” The Spirit is the gift that Jesus promised to send us. --Pope Francis
Give us wisdom to seek your word and your truth each day of our lives. Remind us how we are saved by grace alone. We can take this truth to the grave.