Friday, June 24, 2016

Conclusion: Galatians 6:11-18 NLT

"Those who are trying to force you to be circumcised want to look good to others. They don’t want to be persecuted for teaching that the cross of Christ alone can save." (Galatians 6:12)

For the false teachers roaming Galatia, it's all about appearances. Not much has changed in two thousand years, has it? We are still all about appearances.

When I go to the grocery store, I inevitably stand in line for several minutes to pay for my groceries. And do you know what I see there? I see magazines full of women in bikinis. There are celebrities who are screwing up in life (like we ALL DO) and (lucky for them!) the media has caught images of it for all to see. There are recipes, diets, and cleanses that promise to make you look better just in time for summer. There are even decorating ideas for homes and gardens and the like.

As humans, our eyes always want more. Solomon even says so in Ecclesiastes: "Everything is wearisome beyond description. No matter how much we see, we are never satisfied. No matter how much we hear, we are not content." (Ecclesiastes 1:8)

What if we all did something crazy? Instead of desperately looking for the next thing that will make us feel good, what if we leaned into the promise of Jesus and breathed in his deep joy in our lives just like Paul has been telling us to do throughout all of Galatians? What if we embraced the freedom He has already given us and stopped trying to be better all of the time?

And I don't mean that we should allow entropy to take over to just waste away- because why bother? I mean, why can't we stop competing with each other and just realize that we are already awesome the way God made us? Why can't we just embrace who God made us to be and get better at the things God already put inside of us?

"As for me, may I never boast about anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. Because of that cross, my interest in this world has been crucified, and the world’s interest in me has also died. It doesn’t matter whether we have been circumcised or not. What counts is whether we have been transformed into a new creation. May God’s peace and mercy be upon all who live by this principle; they are the new people of God." (Galatians 6:14-16)

This! Let's do this instead! Let's boast to one another about how amazing Jesus is. Let's share our stories without worrying what everyone thinks because, seriously! How amazing is my Jesus that he took a sad and angry pregnant, divorced teenager (me!) and redeemed all of that?! It doesn't matter what the world thinks of me. It matters what Jesus thinks of me and he says that I'm pretty amazing. And you know what? He says that you are amazing too despite anything you have done or will do!

Remember Romans 8:38-39: "And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord."

We are LOVED PERIOD! Loved for who we are, who we were, and who we will one day be simply because we are God's children.

" From now on, don’t let anyone trouble me with these things. For I bear on my body the scars that show I belong to Jesus." (Galatians 6:17)

This is my desperate prayer today- that we can forget what the world is telling us we should be and embrace who God already says that we are. We are free to love Jesus and that is an amazing thing! I can't think of any better way to end this post than with these words straight from Paul written two-thousand years ago:

"Dear brothers and sisters, may the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen." (Galatians 6:18)

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