Friday, May 3

8 But in the past, since you didn’t know God, you were enslaved to things that by nature are not gods. 9 But now, since you know God, or rather have become known by God, how can you turn back again to the weak and worthless elements? Do you want to be enslaved to them all over again? 10 You are observing special days, months, seasons, and years. 11 I am fearful for you, that perhaps my labor for you has been wasted.

12 I beg you, brothers and sisters: Become like me, for I also became like you. You have not wronged me; 13 you know that previously I preached the gospel to you because of a weakness of the flesh. 14 You did not despise or reject me though my physical condition was a trial for you. On the contrary, you received me as an angel of God, as Christ Jesus himself.

15 Where, then, is your blessing? For I testify to you that, if possible, you would have torn out your eyes and given them to me. 16 So then, have I become your enemy because I told you the truth? 17 They court you eagerly, but not for good. They want to exclude you from me, so that you would pursue them. 18 But it is always good to be pursued in a good manner — and not just when I am with you. 19 My children, I am again suffering labor pains for you until Christ is formed in you. 20 I would like to be with you right now and change my tone of voice, because I don’t know what to do about you.

Galatians 4:8-20

Summary: 

As Paul continues in his theme of pointing the Galatians, and us, to the true gospel he uses the terms “weak and worthless” to describe the versions of the gospel we have a tendency to turn to. We can often place ourselves under the bondage of a works based, “cause and effect” relationship with God – but this is moving backward, not forward. By writing “turn again”, Paul shows that the Galatians were not turning to a new error, but coming back to an old one; the idea of a works relationship with God. He uses the term “weak” because these beliefs over no strength. He uses the term “worthless” because they offer no true value. All these anti-gospel beliefs will bring us to is bondage.

Reflection:

The theologian John Stott provides this thought, ““If you were a slave and are now a son, if you did not know God but have now come to know Him and to be known by Him, how can you turn back again to the old slavery? How can you allow yourself to be enslaved by the very elemental spirits from whom Jesus Christ has rescued you?” Jesus is the source and perfecto your faith, don’t turn inwards to try and prove you deserve the gospel that saved you.


Prayer:

God remove any tendencies I have today to look at myself instead of Jesus when it comes to my standing with You. Convict me, change me, and grow me. In that process help me understand that I am fully qualified and forgiven, even though I’m still a work in progress.


Pick Four More Activities

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  • Listen and Worship.

  • Pray a Psalm.

  • Read a Book.

  • Retell the Gospel to Yourself.

  • Take Some Notes on Today's Devotional.

  • Pray for Yourself, Your Family, Your Church, and the Lost.

  • Memorize a Verse.

  • List Five Things You're Thankful For.

  • Encourage Someb