to glorify God... one thought at a time

to glorify God... one thought at a time

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Galatians 2 (part 1)

Welcome back, I hope you read Galatians 2 and are ready to go.  Last time we talked a lot about religion verses righteousness.  I love Paul's story, however, sometimes he can talk in a way that makes you want to read it more than once.  Keep reading and pray that God will give you discernment, He is faithful if you ask, I promise.

As Paul writes Galatians 2, something cool is uncovered.  In about 47 AD, Paul heads to Jerusalem to see the leaders of the church.  He travels with Barnabas, but they also take someone else this time, Titus, who was considered uncircumcised.  His purpose was to meet with the leaders to give them the revelation of what God has given him to share with the uncircumcised.  Ok, can we just park her for a minute?  What does the bible mean by circumcised and uncircumcised?  Basically, circumcised means the Jewish people.  Uncircumcised is considered the Gentiles, or not Jewish.  According to Ephesians 4:18 Gentiles are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of their ignorance because of their hardness of heart.

Paul's ministry was to share the gospel of Jesus Christ to the ones who didn't live the church life.  The closest thing that they could call church was saint mattress of the box spring with father pillow presiding.  The people he went to see were upstanding in the church, pillars according to verse 9, though it also tells us that their titles meant nothing to him because God shows no partiality.  Did you ever tell someone to pray for you because you thought they were closer to God than you?  Let me assure you that God has no favorites.  He is jealous for each of us to have a heart that pursues Him.

So as Paul shared this revelation, which is the gospel, with the leaders.  He also brings up an interesting point in verse 4.  Paul tells us that people snuck in to try to basically lure them into slavery.  I don't know about you but I used to think that because people went to church, that meant they were christian, they were safe.  But let me tell you that God has shown me otherwise.  He has taught me so many lessons on this topic.  There are wolves in sheep's clothing out there as Matthew 7:15 tells us.  We need to be very careful to guard our hearts and protect our minds because different ideas will come from lots of places, trying to steer us away from the truth (Proverbs 4:23).  There are many who still believe that our ticket to heaven is based on what we do to earn it or the rituals that keep us on that track.  The gospel proclaims that the ticket to heaven is solely placed on our belief, our faith.  John 3:16 tells us that God loves us so much and if we believe Jesus was born to take our sin and hang it on the cross with Him, than we will not perish.

Paul writes that these pillars of the church were not teaching him, yet when they saw the grace of God on his ministry, James, Peter, and John gave Paul their approval.  They knew, at that moment, that maybe ministry goes beyond the walls of the church.  They all agreed, however, that they should work together with the poor.  Each of us have been given gifts and talents.  It would be silly to think that we are all gifted in the same gifts.  We need to trust God in whatever place He has us.  We need to take Paul's advice and not compare ourselves to anyone else.  This will not further God's plans.  I have had personal experience here.  I have spent the last year of my life trying to figure out what God would have me do.  I had plans for my future, maybe not the same ones that God has, and I wanted to get them going.  Through an extremely tough season, I have learned that God has me exactly where I am supposed to be.  Maybe it doesn't look anything like I expected, but I trust Him and will put all I have into this present season.

Ok, there is more to this chapter but I am going to stop here for now.  I pray that you will continue in Galatians so that we can walk this road together.  Let's pray!

"Lord, I lift up all of the readers today.  God I pray for wisdom to understand what we are reading.  I pray for discernment of what God is saying to each of us individually.  But most of all, God, I pray for changed lives.  I pray that in some small way, you can allow deeper growth for everyone reading.  Thank You Father for Your word.  It's in Jesus name that I ask these things-Amen"