March 20, 2015

Today you should read: Galatians 1:11:24

You know what I was like when I followed the Jewish religion…(v. 13) 

 And they praised God because of me…(v. 24) 

These two phrases compromise the beginning and ending of a good testimony. he power of 

someone’s story should always look like this. Paul had an amazing story. If you don’t know 

Paul’s story I encourage you to read the book of Acts and find out but basically it’s this:  

  • He was a religious zealot (Jewish religion)  
  • He was on a self-proclaimed mission to destroy Christianity and all its followers 
  • He was ok with and even participated in the deaths of Christians 
  • On his way to do that very thing he and Jesus met face to face and it changed Paul’s life forever 

This story of a miraculous 180 degree change of life was and is amazing. Paul went from being a 

danger to and the fear of Christians to being one of the greatest advocates and witnesses for it. 

As you go throughout history and event in everyday people’s lives you can find story after story 

of lives that have been changed because of a face to face encounter with Jesus.  

The second part to the story was that this change moved people to worship God. his is critical 

in one’s testimony. A testimony without the gospel is just a good story. he gospel is key in 

turning your testimony into an opportunity for others to “praise God because of you”. People 

could easily pat you on the back and say “good job” and “way to go” about your testimony and 

all of a sudden something that God did has now been passed as something you did on your own 

strength and merit. Your testimony was given to you so others could “ praise God because of 

you”. Don’t waste this amazing opportunity God has given you. As often as you can share your 

story. ell people who you used to be and how you used to be. And don’t feel that is you were 

saved very young that you don’t have a story to tell. Your story is one of grace in delivering you 

from so much sin and sadness and heart ache by placing you in a great home or in a great 

church. Your story is amazing too. hen, when you share, point it all back to God so that, when 

you share it, they “praise God because of you”.  


March 19, 2015

Today you should read: Galatians 1:1-10

Today, we begin the book of Galatians, which is a small book that is packed with a strong message of freedom.  In order to understand this book and really grasp what Paul is saying, we must understand the context in which it was written.  The letter will make much more sense by understanding why Paul is writing.  Let me encourage you to search for an “Introduction to Galatians” to get a more full grasp of the context.  In the meantime, here’s a very basic intro to the book.  


Who: The letter was written by Paul to the churches in Galatia.

What:  This was a letter that exhorted the believers that it is through faith alone in Christ alone that saves.

Why: Paul had heard that the Galatian believers were being taught a different “gospel” by legalist Judaizers, which was causing the believers to fall into a works-based theology.  Paul wanted them to understand that they were justified by faith, not works.

Overall Theme:  Freedom by faith in Christ alone


In vs. 1-2, Paul introduces himself as an apostle of Christ, not an apostle of man.  That introduction sets the stage for the intention of the letter.  The Galatian church was being swayed by Judaizers who preached another “gospel.  They were preaching a man-made gospel, and Paul is making it clear that he is an apostle of Christ, the author of the TRUE gospel.

In vs. 3-5Paul gives the church a greeting of grace from the Lord Jesus Christ (vs. 3), and then he gives a description of what Jesus had done for them (vs. 4).  It’s almost as if Paul said to himself when he wrote this, “If they read nothing but the introduction of this letter, at least they’ll get the point of what this letter is about.” It was Christ alone who gave Himself for our sins and rescued us according to God’s will for HIS glory.


The Judaizers were convincing the Galatian believers that the traditions of men were the real avenues to God.  Some believers were buying into the false teaching.  In vs. 6, Paulcalled out the swayed believers and said that he was amazed that they had so quickly deserted God, who had called them by grace, for a different gospel. I can hear him asking himself, “How could these people, who have experienced the goodness of Christ, be so easily deceived?”


It’s easy to look at the Galatians and ask, “How could they be soeasily swayed?”  Well, I can ask myself the same question today.  Why am I so easily swayed?  Why do I often give into other “gospels” of religion, self-righteousness, and performance-driven ministry? I’m not so much different than the Galatians, and sometimes I just need to be called out and reminded of this.  

If you are like me, stay tuned because the book of Galatians contains a message of freedom.

Posted by:  Rich Duffield