Galatians 3:24-6:18; Acts 15:1-21
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I love Paul's teachings today in Galatians chapter 4 verses 3 through 7! "And that's the way it was with us before Christ came. We were slaves to the spiritual powers of this world. But when the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, subject to the law. God sent him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us as his very own children. And because you Gentiles have become his children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, and now you can call God your dear Father. Now you are no longer a slave but God's own child. And since you are his child, everything he has belongs to you." Do you believe these teachings of Paul's to be true? Are you a child of God? Has God sent the Spirit of Jesus into your heart? Do you today call God your dear Father? Do you believe that everything God has belongs to you because you are his child?
Bible.org's commentary on today's readings in Galatians titled "The Contribution of the Mosaic Covenant" is at this link, "The Inferiority of Immaturity" is at this link, and "Paul Gets Personal" is at this link. Below is a great image for Galatians 3:28 from today's readings:
Galatians chapter 5 is a great teaching on our freedom in Christ! Verse 1 is so very powerful: "So Christ has really set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don't get tied up again in slavery to the law." Has Jesus set you free? Has He set you free from the slavery of sin? Has He set you free from the slavery of the law? If you are not yet free, today will you hand over the controls of your life to Jesus and let Him once and for all set you free!
I also love verses 5 & 6 - "But we who live by the Spirit eagerly wait to receive everything promised to us who are right with God through faith. For when we place our faith in Christ Jesus, it makes no difference to God whether we are circumcised or not circumcised. What is important is faith expressing itself in love." I like that thought of eagerly waiting to receive everything promised to us who are right with God through faith. Are you eagerly waiting for everything promised? Do you have the hope of glory? And then the last sentence of what is important is powerful - faith expressing itself in love! Not faith expressing itself in hate.... Faith expressing itself in love. Is your faith expressing itself in love? This reminds me of the old song - "They will know we are Christians by our love. By our love. Yes, they'll know we are Christians by our love." Amen!
Bible.org's fantastic commentary on today's readings in Galatians titled "The Goal of the Gospel" is at this link. Below is a great image for Galatians 5:6 from today's readings:
I love Paul's teaching in Galatians 5 verses 22 & 23 today - "But when the Holy Spirit controls our lives, he will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control." It is incredible I think for each of us to really meditate on this question - does the Holy Spirit control your life? I think so often - even after coming to faith in Christ - we still try to hold onto the controls of our life! I know I do. And yet, when I finally realize that I should instead "let go, and let God", my life gets 100 times easier. I don't stress and worry about things any more. When I let myself be controlled by the Holy Spirit I finally realize that this is where true LIFE is at! It's not in hanging on so tightly to the steering wheel... Then, as we truly let the Holy Spirit control our lives, we begin to see amazing fruits being born in us! Do you see these fruits in your life today? Love? Joy? Peace? Patience? Kindness? Goodness? Faithfulness? Gentleness? Self-control? How are you doing on letting the Holy Spirit control your life these days? Who is holding on to your steering wheel - you or the Holy Spirit? Will you now let go of that steering wheel? Will you "let go, and let God." Will you let the fruits of the Spirit fully grow in your life?
Bible.org's terrific commentary on today's readings in Galatians titled "The War Without And the War Within" is at this link. Below is a great image for Galatians 5:16 from today's readings!
We finish up Paul's letter to the Galatians today. Paul's letter to the church in Ephesus begins tomorrow! We read some powerful teachings in Galatians chapter 6 today. I love verse 1: "Dear brothers and sisters, if another Christian is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself." This is such a great teaching. And one that I have a hunch we do not follow often enough... When was the last time you gently and humbly helped someone who is overcome by sin get back on the right track? I know for me that it has not been recently. And I know I've missed some opportunities in this regard. The last sentence in this verse is powerful and reminds me that we need to be particularly careful around sexual sin I think - to make sure we don't fall into the same temptation ourselves. One important note for all of us is to not discuss with someone of the opposite sex their struggles with sexual sin! It is foolish to do so I believe. Men can discuss and counsel men in the area of sexual sin. And women, women. But I think it is just way too risky for men to discuss or counsel women in the area of sexual sin - and vice versa. I think we just open ourselves up potentially to temptation if we do this. I'm sure there are exceptions to this, but generally speaking, don't go into a discussion on personal sexual sin struggles with someone of the opposite sex! While I'm on the topic here of sexual sin, does anyone have any good book recommendations for anyone who struggles in this area? A good book I've read in this area is Josh Harris' "Sex is Not the Problem (Lust Is): Sexual Purity in a Lust-Saturated World."
Bible.org's excellent commentary on today's readings in Galatians titled "Bearing Burdens: How One Sinner Relates to the Sin of Another" is at this link and "Sowing and Reaping" is at this link. Below is an image for Galatians 6:14 in today's readings:
Peter's teaching at The Council at Jerusalem in Acts 15 verse 11 is one of the most important verses that all of us should really meditate upon and know and believe: "We believe that we are all saved the same way, by the special favor of the Lord Jesus." Do you believe Peter here? Do you believe this to be true? Does this simple message of this little button below ring true to you?
Bible.org's commentary on today's Acts readings titled "The Jerusalem Council: The Gospel Defined and Defended" is at this link.
Worship God: Based on my Galatians 5 verse 6 reflection above, you knew I'd find "They'll Know We Are Christians By Our Love" on YouTube right? :) Here's the song performed by Jars of Clay set to a powerful video with U.S. and worldwide poverty statistics and some related Scripture verses. Please watch this video and see if God speaks to you in any new ways about loving others who are living in poverty:
Is God's precious love flowing through you to others? Click here if you haven't yet received God's saving love!
Please join us in memorizing and meditating on a verse of Scripture today: "There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus." Galatians 3:28 (NIV)
Prayer Point: Pray that you truly are living as if you know that you and all of your fellow Believers are one in Christ Jesus. Pray that you don't discriminate against anybody in any way, even subtly or subconsciously. Pray that you truly know that there is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for all who are one in Christ Jesus.
Comments from You: What verses or insights stand out to you in today's readings? Please post up by clicking on the "Comments" link below!
p.s. Download our monthly Small Group study notes for our Chronological Bible readings at this link.
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