Doing the right thing never gets old. While the rewards may not always be seen right away, they are always built into the act of goodness. Galatians 6:9 says, Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. No matter what the outcome, we must never get tired of doing what is right and good to please God by serving others. Our reward may not be realized in this lifetime, but it will come.
One of my favorite passages of the Bible is Galatians 5:22-24, 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by listening to the Holy Spirit and feel His presence in our lives, only good can come out of it. God wants us to experience all the good things in life. Not that we won’t experience difficulty, but what come out of our lives in all circumstances reflect the goodness of God.
One of the most powerful passages in scripture is Galatians 4:7 So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir. When Christ died on the cross for us and we accepted His gift of salvation, we were no longer slaves to the law and working to be good in His eyes. We must never take this truth for granted.
I always love reading Galatians 3:28 because Jesus is the great equalizer, There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. When Jesus came as a sacrifice for our sins He also made us all equal heirs. Why is this so hard for so many believers to understand? I will leave this passage up to each of you for interpretation, but to me it is clear what Paul is trying to say. I would love to hear your thoughts on this.
One of the key tenets of our faith is that through Christ and Christ alone we are saved. Galatians 2:20-21 says it as clear as anywhere in the Bible, 20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 21 I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!” If we could do anything by our own power, then Christ died on the cross for nothing.
I saw this picture yesterday and I just needed to post it. You see, I have been waiting on God to show me what I need in order to be truly happy. I keep looking for what I need in my life to reach the place where God can bless me and use me fully. The truth is captured in the picture below; we never reach the top and we never stop learning and growing. It is all about the continuous relationship building we have with God. Instead of being frustrated in that thought, I should celebrate that God will always give me more.
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Today we begin the book of Galatians. This book was written by Paul and is meant to refute teachings to the Galatian gentiles that they must follow Jewish law in order to be saved, calling all believers to faith and freedom in Christ. Galatians 1:10 says, Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ. Paul would not have gone through all he had if he simply wanted to please men. Life was easier when Paul lived for the approval of Jewish leaders and did not have to face their persecution. When we seek God’s approval we must be prepared to face the disapproval of man. We see it today even in the way other believer sometimes disapprove of each other. Our obedience to Christ is not meant to be understood by anyone else but Him. Our reward comes from God and not by the approval of men.
In today’s reading, as we see God with Paul and Silas in prison, we see Him reassuring them that He is capable of releasing them from their pain and suffering whenever He chooses to act. This is such a great reminder to me. God can release me from my pain and my suffering whenever He wants. He does not leave me in my pain for His pleasure, but in all things God must be glorified. Paul and Silas were released ultimately for God’s glory and not simply to comfort them, though in the end God was glorified and these men were released, justified, and cared for by God.
It is interesting to read about the things the early church struggled with. Especially whether to following the law or not. It is interesting because we still struggle with the same issue. As a modern church we still try to emphasize working to become more like Christ. Christ does not want us to change first, He wants a relationship that changes us. We must remember to keep this in the right order.
Patience is tough. Waiting on someone else’s timing can be excruciating. But when we wait on God’s timing it is always worth it. James 5:7 uses a great analogy, Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains. Just as a farmer knows the wait will be worth it, so should we know how much better God’s timing is than ours.