FIRSTHAND

“I assure you, brothers, the gospel I proclaimed to you is no mere human invention. I did not receive it from any man, nor was I schooled in it.” –Galatians 1:11-12

Unlike St. Paul, we have received the gospel from other men and women. Most of us have been schooled in it, possibly having gone to Catholic school eight, twelve, or more years. Like Paul, however, we must base our personal relationship with Jesus not on what others have said, but on who we say He is (Mt 16:15). We must not just know about Jesus; we must know Jesus. Many of our Catholic school graduates know hundreds of facts about Jesus. (And it’s good they do.) Nonetheless, those facts do not come alive until they know Jesus personally. We may know hundreds of things about a celebrity, politician, or superstar. Yet that completely differs from knowing them personally.

A famous evangelist once visited a church that was sick, had stopped breathing, and died (1 Kgs 17:7). He remarked: “What this church needs is someone who has a first-hand experience of God.” They were singing and praying from their prayer books, but not from their hearts or personal experience. The Lord has pity on the neediest of all, those who do not know Him personally. He wills to touch the coffins of their lives and bid them get up (Lk 7:14).

PRAYER: Jesus, may I seek a deep personal relationship with You. May You be more real to me than my very self.

PROMISE: “God has visited His people.” –Lk 7:16

PRAISE: Praise You, risen Jesus, our Brother, for raising us to new life in You. Thanks be to God!

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