April 2, 2015

Today you should read: Galatians 6:11-18

Paul closes out the letter to the Galatians with an accusation and an exhortation which we would do well to heed.

The accusation was that the false teachers were more concerned about getting people to follow their ways in order to receive accolades from others and from God.  Verses 12-13 says they desired to have men circumcised so that they may boast about it.

In verse 14, Paul said he never wanted to boast about anything other than the cross of Christ.  In this he exhorts the reader to consider that it’s the cross of Christ who provides the only source of rescue and they can never take credit for others being rescued.  It’s Christ alone who rescues so boast in Him and what He has done.

When it comes to sharing the gospel, discipling believers, ministering to kids, serving students, etc., may we never be accused of doing it for our own gain.  May we never be accused of doing ministry and trying to reach people for Christ in order to get another “notch in our belts.”  When our ministry becomes about personal gain and accolades, we’ve missed the point.

As we consider our personal ministries, let’s be quick to remember the cross of Christ, depend on His ability to save, and simply boast in what He has done and is doing in our midst.  If someone places their faith in Christ or takes a step forward in becoming a true disciple of Christ, beware of the temptation to take the credit.  Instead, follow the exhortation to boast in Christ and praise Him.

In closing, I pray you will experience Paul’s blessing from verse 18 today and in your ministry:  “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brethren.  Amen.” When we experience and know the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ throughout our day, our hearts will overflow with a desire to make Him known and give all praise to Him.

Posted by: Rich Duffield

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April 1, 2015

Today you should read: Galatians 6:1-10

Bear One Another’s Burdens…

We aren’t made to do life alone.  Sometimes things fall apart – sometimes we lose it – sometimes we make mistakes that cost us big.  We need each other.  Sometimes we need a hug – sometimes a kick in the seat of the pants.  Sometimes we need a hand – sometimes we need a shoulder.  It’s a reciprocal thing – this week it can be me – next week it may be you.

Paul instructs on how to do this – how to bear one another’s burdens.

 

1. Remain spiritual

Nothing is worth laying down our spirituality for.  It’s easy to do.  I’ve done it – you’ve done it – too many times.  We allow our temper to get the best of us, or we look down our nose at someone in pride.  Stay spiritual – act godly in the situation.

 

2. Restore Restore Restore

The goal in any situation is restoration.  It’s helping someone back up and back into the game.  God has a heart to restore – we must too.  This can be accomplished through encouraging words, helpful actions, and prayer.

 

3. Be gentle

This means we can’t be in a hurry – we must be patient and kind.  We must express the character of God as we help.

 

4. Be humble

so that you too will not be tempted. Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall.  1 Corinthians 10:12  Have a humble attitude and spirit as you assist.

By doing this we are fulfilling the law of Christ…

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’  Matthew 22:37-39

Always look for an opportunity to do good – especially to other Christians.

So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith. Galatians 6:10

Posted by: Tim Parsons 

March 31, 2015

Today you should read: Galatians 5:16-26

Indwell

• To be permanently present in (someone’s soul or mind); possess spiritually.

the Holy Spirit descended to indwell the believers”


Have you ever stopped to think that the Holy Spirit lives inside of you? He has possessed you and breathed life into you if you are a believer. All of us start out dead because of our sin and then God through his spirit brings us to life. However, this leaves us with an internal battle where the Spirit is at war with our flesh. 

Our passage today is not only a commentary on the reality of the battle but a game plan as well. The Spirit’s desires are against the flesh and this is where we get the feeling of conviction. When we want to sin the Spirit checks us and we feel the weight of the choice. Conviction is a fruit of the Spirit and we should rejoice when we are convicted because it is an indicator to help us walk faithfully with God. 

Now if you are like me you want to allow the Spirit to win the battle against the flesh but I am not always successful. The problem is that our flesh is part of us, so we don’t always see our sin objectively. Thankfully Paul gives us a list of the sinful desires of our flesh that we can be aware of in verses 19-21. All of us can identify with something on this list and if we see patterns of these actions or desires we know that it is a result of our sinful flesh. Also, when we see the fruits of verses 22-24 we can know that it is God living in us and winning. We do not have to work to produce the fruit of the Spirit we just need to work at killing our flesh through repentance. 

Do you want to kill the flesh?


Posted by: Chad Wiles

March 30, 2015

Today you should read: Galatians 5:1-15

The message of the cross can actually be offensive. Maybe for you, the idea that you need a Savior, or that there is nothing you can do to add to your rescue, is a little hurtful. Truth is, in our culture, one of the greatest obstacles to sharing our faith is the sobering message that we cannot save ourselves. People don’t like to hear that. While it may be disheartening or offensive to some, it is truly the most beautiful, freeing message we can ever share. This passage illustrates the process of God liberating us from the obligation of keeping the whole law. Circumcision, before the time Paul was writing, was the way to separate the righteous from the unrighteous. It’s what made a person “good enough” to be a covenant member of God’s people. After Christ, though, circumcision was a mere tradition; it didn’t have the same effect. Also, any person who becamea member of God’s people through circumcision bore a certain obligation to produce moral characteristics and uphold the law. Paul iterates here that if you maintain the belief that circumcision is part of salvation, then you obligate yourself to uphold the whole law.


Christ came and sacrificed himself, paying ultimately the debt that each person owed. Now, because of his death and resurrection, righteousness is through faith in the blood of Jesus, not in any act or tradition we uphold. This is good news for us! If we choose to stay our hearts on any other hope except salvation through Christ alone, whether it’s hope in other people or ourselves, we are fooled by empty promises and are “severed from Christ,” (v. 4). What a great truth that we are justified, made right through Jesus’ death (our debt paid), and given new life and freedom from the shackles of performance through his resurrection!


Paul explains here that no one is righteous apart from Christ. No amount of religious practices or good deeds will save anyone. We must remind ourselves of the “offense” of the cross:  we are not good enough; he is infinitely worthy. Our hope will not be in ourselves; it’s in Jesus. Obligation to the law is slavery; justification by faith in the grace of God is liberty. Paul once said he decided to know “nothing except Jesus Christ, and him crucified,” (1 Cor. 2:2). I don’t know a better message than this:  Christ died, he arose, and salvation is in no other name.


Maybe you have experienced the pain of carrying a load that’s far too heavy for you to bear. That’s what “saving ourselves” would be. You know that there is no life for us in that pursuit. There is only slavery and death unless we place our faith in the all-satisfying Treasure–Jesus,whose sacrifice atones! One thing I know:  Christ satisfies. He is worthy, and there is REAL life in Him.

“O, the wonderful cross, bids me come and die and find that I may truly live.”


Posted by: Taylor Gilliam- Ministry Intern; West campus