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Devotional - week of September 26, 2010


message from galatia

 

My little children, for whom I labor in birth again until Christ is formed in you.  Galatians 4:19

 

Paul is telling the churches of Galatia the agony he is in over their spiritual condition. His analogy of being in the pain of childbirth reveals the depth of his concern.

 

Consider some things Paul was not in agony about. There is nothing in his letter about a lack of witnessing, prayer, church attendance or worship. There is nothing about the size of the churches, the number of baptisms, church growth, strategies or motivational techniques.

 

Galatians 3:1-3 explains the cause of Paul’s agony.

 

O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed among you as crucified? This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh?

 

Paul had led the Galatian Christians to salvation in Christ and had taught them how to walk in the Spirit. False teachers were telling them to live by the law, which is walking in the flesh. The Galatian believers were being tempted to do things for God rather than trusting God to do things in and through them.

 

When Christians live out their oneness with Christ in crucifixion, burial and resurrection, they will be available for God to express Himself through them in their particular areas of ministry.

 

Like Paul, all teachers of grace grieve when one of their disciples turns from the life of power, freedom and victory to a life of bondage and failure.