Galatians 2 Devotional – Day 4

By August 12, 2021Daily Devotional

ADORATION – Reflect on God’s Greatness

GOD IS OMNIPOTENT
God can do all things that are consistent with His character. God is all powerful. 

Job 38:4-5
Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding. Who determined its measurements?

Praise God for His Omnipotence
He created from nothing. He sustains the world with no help or effort. He does the impossible. He has saved you and by his hand rescued you from a life of bondage to sin. Speak words of thanks and praise to him for his mighty power.

CONFESSION: Confess your sins to God and receive his continued mercy.

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9

THANKSGIVING: Giving thanks to God for his specific blessings in our lives.

“Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.” Psalm 100

SUPPLICATION: Bringing our requests to God.

  • Bring your personal prayer requests to God.
  • Pray for Christian Challenge as the school semester begins. Ask God to use our college ministry to bring students to faith in Christ.
  • Ask God to speak as you read and meditate.

SCRIPTURE READING:

Galatians 2 The Message

What Is Central?
1-5 Fourteen years after that first visit, Barnabas and I went up to Jerusalem and took Titus with us. I went to clarify with them what had been revealed to me. At that time I placed before them exactly what I was preaching to the non-Jews. I did this in private with the leaders, those held in esteem by the church, so that our concern would not become a controversial public issue, marred by ethnic tensions, exposing my years of work to denigration and endangering my present ministry. Significantly, Titus, non-Jewish though he was, was not required to be circumcised. While we were in conference we were infiltrated by spies pretending to be Christians, who slipped in to find out just how free true Christians are. Their ulterior motive was to reduce us to their brand of servitude. We didn’t give them the time of day. We were determined to preserve the truth of the Message for you.

6-10 As for those who were considered important in the church, their reputation doesn’t concern me. God isn’t impressed with mere appearances, and neither am I. And of course these leaders were able to add nothing to the message I had been preaching. It was soon evident that God had entrusted me with the same message to the non-Jews as Peter had been preaching to the Jews. Recognizing that my calling had been given by God, James, Peter, and John—the pillars of the church—shook hands with me and Barnabas, assigning us to a ministry to the non-Jews, while they continued to be responsible for reaching out to the Jews. The only additional thing they asked was that we remember the poor, and I was already eager to do that.

11-13 Later, when Peter came to Antioch, I had a face-to-face confrontation with him because he was clearly out of line. Here’s the situation. Earlier, before certain persons had come from James, Peter regularly ate with the non-Jews. But when that conservative group came from Jerusalem, he cautiously pulled back and put as much distance as he could manage between himself and his non-Jewish friends. That’s how fearful he was of the conservative Jewish clique that’s been pushing the old system of circumcision. Unfortunately, the rest of the Jews in the Antioch church joined in that hypocrisy so that even Barnabas was swept along in the charade.

14 But when I saw that they were not maintaining a steady, straight course according to the Message, I spoke up to Peter in front of them all: “If you, a Jew, live like a non-Jew when you’re not being observed by the watchdogs from Jerusalem, what right do you have to require non-Jews to conform to Jewish customs just to make a favorable impression on your old Jerusalem buddies?”

15-16 We Jews know that we have no advantage of birth over “non-Jewish sinners.” We know very well that we are not set right with God by rule-keeping but only through personal faith in Jesus Christ. How do we know? We tried it—and we had the best system of rules the world has ever seen! Convinced that no human being can please God by self-improvement, we believed in Jesus as the Messiah so that we might be set right before God by trusting in the Messiah, not by trying to be good.

17-18 Have some of you noticed that we are not yet perfect? (No great surprise, right?) And are you ready to make the accusation that since people like me, who go through Christ in order to get things right with God, aren’t perfectly virtuous, Christ must therefore be an accessory to sin? The accusation is frivolous. If I was “trying to be good,” I would be rebuilding the same old barn that I tore down. I would be acting as a pretender.

19-21 What actually took place is this: I tried keeping rules and working my head off to please God, and it didn’t work. So I quit being a “law man” so that I could be God’s man. Christ’s life showed me how, and enabled me to do it. I identified myself completely with him. Indeed, I have been crucified with Christ. My ego is no longer central. It is no longer important that I appear righteous before you or have your good opinion, and I am no longer driven to impress God. Christ lives in me. The life you see me living is not “mine,” but it is lived by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I am not going to go back on that.

21 Is it not clear to you that to go back to that old rule-keeping, peer-pleasing religion would be an abandonment of everything personal and free in my relationship with God? I refuse to do that, to repudiate God’s grace. If a living relationship with God could come by rule-keeping, then Christ died unnecessarily.

Copyright © 1993, 2002, 2018 by Eugene H. Peterson

SCRIPTURE REFLECTION:

Have you hoped that someday you would have a miraculous experience that would permanently “fix” your faith and remove your struggles? Perhaps you have thought it would come through a certain insight, revival, or by obtaining a level of knowledge or experience. Often Christians become bored and disillusioned with the Christian life because their expectation is that there will come a day when it will no longer be a long walk or a struggle but it will suddenly become easy, the struggle will be gone. This is just not going to happen and why would it? What kind of Father would God be if he allowed his kids to become lazy, apathetic, content with passivity? He is too good a Father to contribute to us becoming “experience junkies.” He does want us to “experience” Him but in mostly normal, day to day living. He does not want us to chase the special, the miraculous, the abnormal. Miracles were special in the New Testament because they were rare. They are the exception for most Christians who lived in the times of the New Testament and now. Miracles were called “signs” because they signified something other than themselves. They pointed to Jesus. You don’t need a sign to point you to Jesus, you need only look his way and love him. “Blessed” Jesus said, “are those who have not seen signs, and yet believe me.” Be blessed. Believe and love and follow. You don’t need anything special or spectacular to live a blessed life. Jesus is special and spectacular.

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