Devotional times are the blessed dumping grounds of the Most High...and occasionally He just straight up drops an acrostic in your lap for a book of the Bible. Jesus has been blowing my mind and causing joyful tears to flow these days. He's mostly been using Galatians to stir me up, and it's been awesome!
Here is what I shared as a staff team devotional earlier this week:
2 Corinthians 3:6 "He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant--not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life."
Philippians 3:1-3- 1 "Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord! It is no trouble for me to write the same things to you again, and it is a safeguard for you. 2 Watch out for those dogs, those men who do evil, those mutilators of the flesh. 3 For it is we who are the circumcision, we who worship by the Spirit of God, who glory in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh…”
G – GOSPEL – 1:1-24
àPaul’s Passion for the Person of the Gospel – JESUS – 3-4 -“Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, 4 who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, 5 to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.”
àPaul’s Passion for the purity of the Gospel, 6-7- “6 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel-- 7 which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ.”
àPaul’s Passion for the preaching of the Gospel, 23 -“They only heard the report: "The man who formerly persecuted us is now preaching the faith he once tried to destroy."
A – ACCEPTED as an apostle (Paul) - 2:1-10
L – LIFE IS NOT IN THE LAW – 2:11-21 – 16a, 19-21 “know that a man is not justified by observing the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ…For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God. 20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I 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!”
A – ABRAHAM BELIEVED AND WAS BLESSED – 3:1-14 – 6-7 – “6 Consider Abraham: "He believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness." 7 Understand, then, that those who believe are children of Abraham.”
T – THROUGH A PROMISE WE INHERIT – 3:15-25 – 18 – “For if the inheritance depends on the law, then it no longer depends on a promise; but God in his grace gave it to Abraham through a promise.”
I – IN CHRIST AND CHILDREN OF PROMISE – 3:26-4:31 – 6-7, 28 – “ 6 Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, ""Abba", Father." 7 So you are no longer a slave, but a son; and since you are a son, God has made you also an heir…28 Now you, brothers, like Isaac, are children of promise.”
A – ABOLITION OF SLAVERY – 5:1-15 – 1, 11, “1 It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery… 11 Brothers, if I am still preaching circumcision, why am I still being persecuted? In that case the offense of the cross has been abolished.” àIn the Greek “offense” literally means stumbling block.
N – NO LAW AGAINST THE SPIRIT – 5:16-26 – 16-18, 22-26 – “16 So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. 17 For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law…22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, 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 sinful nature with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.”
àThere is no law against the Spirit, but how prone I am to choosing and creating new laws rather than asking did I bear His fruit today in my life.
à26 – If I’m not living by the Spirit and keeping in step with Him, the fruit of my heart will be prideful conceit, and this will provoke and cause envy in my relationships with others. I may also feel provoked or be envious of others, while trying to build myself in the flesh.
S – SOW TO PLEASE THE SPIRIT – 6:1-18 – 8-9, 15 - “8 The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. 9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up…Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything; what counts is a new creation.”
àWhen we are not sowing to please the Spirit, we are sowing to please the flesh. In the case that Paul is most specifically addressing in Galatians, it is one of religious or self-justification, through circumcision. Sowing to please the flesh in this instance, feeds pride and leads us to a self-dependence, which leads us away from Christ.
àSowing to please the Spirit, doesn’t mean we won’t grow weary. We might not see instant results, as we would with circumcision; therefore, we are called persevere with the knowledge that we will reap a harvest if we don’t give up.