(Galatians 3:26-4:7)…Paul begins these passages talking about the fact that as followers of Christ we are all the same, all one, under God. We are all given the gift of being children of God when we follow Christ. In fact, as followers of Christ we actually become not only children of God, but heirs to God.
I think today with such a variety of “Christian” churches, it can be easy think of one group as better than another. The Jews and the Gentiles were very different groups, yet Paul was stressing that they were all equal under God. In many of Christ’s teaching He stressed that fact that we are not to judge, how easy it is for us to fall short of that. As follower of Christ we can become so wrapped up in the “right-way” to follow Him, that we lose sight of following Him with a true heart.
We are all sinners, we’re going to fail as we try to follow Christ’s example, however God still loves us, still gives us a second chance. God knows our true heart, there is no hiding alterer motives from Him. If we fail in how we follow Christ’s example I believe that God will show compassion on us and work to correct us. That is what a parent is like.
When we think about the fact that God offers to make us one of his children, and even on top of that an heir, I feel in awe and truly humbled. Being a child you feel special in the sight of you parents, and you generally feel loved, and looked out for. How awesome to have God as a parent! Beyond just a child we are given the gift of being an heir as well. I don’t know what that all means for us, other then many blessings in heaven. On Earth being and heir makes you entitled to everything the one you are heir to has. I can only assume that this in some way means that we will have access to all that God has to offer when we go to be with Him. With everything that God can do, and everything that He is, I can’t even begin to imagine what great things will be in store for us in heaven.
It is so easy to get caught up on judging those around me. I am called to rise about that and focus on loving all those around me. I know that I don’t have it all together as Christian, and I can’t expect and more from anyone else. My desire is to love and not judge.
(Galatians 3:1-25)…It amazes me how even today churches fail in the same areas as the early churches. Paul was always bringing to light the missteps of those early churches. Here the church in Galatia was trying teach that people had to follow the Law if they were to be believers in Christ. Paul explained that if you try to live by the Law then you will be condemned. The Law was given prior to Christ’s coming, and even Christ preached that we have all fallen short of the Law. Christ came to save us from the Law. Actually, the Law points us to our need for salvation, our need for Christ’s sacrifice. If there was no Law it would be harder to see our need for salvation.
You might wonder about all those people that lived before Christ’s coming. Was there no salvation or them? Actually we know that God gave the promise of a coming Messiah a long time prior. Those before had the opportunity to believe in the coming salvation, as they too saw their need for freedom from the bondage of the Law. When God gave us the Law He knew we could not live up to it, but he already had the coming of Christ and a way for salvation planned out.
I think it is easy as Christians to get the lines blurred between living under the Law and living under the salvation given to us from Christ. If we are truly going to be followers of Christ, then we need to live as He did, we need to follow His example. I think it is so easy for us to limit our own ability to fully follow Christ’s example because our own selfishness gets the better of us. My desire is to live my life as a true follower of Christ. In one way, He gave us the most important command was to love each other as ourselves. This is a harder calling than we might want to admit. I know there are many times I come into contact with people that are hard to love. Christ calls me to love them anyways. This is the challenge I see before me.
(2 Chronicles 7:11-22) God lays before us many promises in Scripture. Some promises are filled with blessings, and yet others are consequences for not following Him. The later is one of the promises that God layed out before Solomon. We can actually see today how God carried out those promises as we look at the nation of Israel, as it stand today.
God has unconditional love for us, but His promises are not the same as His love. Our heavenly father is very much like an earthly father. Even in times of punishment there is still great love. And all of God’s promises come out of His amazing love for us. I am always amazed at how His forgiveness never ends, and His constant molding hands never stop working on us. I’m so thankful for a God that doesn’t give up on us. All of His promises hold true for all our lives. That is the amazing love of God.
(Genesis 4:1-16) As far back as Adam and Even we can definitely see that there are consequences for our actions. Even more so there are good and bad consequences for the good and bad in our lives. If we choose to go against God, turning towards sin, there unpleasant consequences ahead. When Cain killed Abel and the Lord cast him out Cain thought the worst, that others would find him and kill him. However, God showed mercy on Cain, He made it so that Cain would be marked so that no one would attempt to kill him. Cain received punishment, and he wasn’t happy with that, but like a loving father, God didn’t take the punishment to extremes.
I believe that there are also good consequences, good things that happen that are blessings for living a life pleasing to God. Are we going to take into consideration the consequences of our actions before we act? I do think ultimately if we desire to live the life God has called us to we are free’d from living a live only out of looking at the possible consequences. There will be times however where our weekness will cause us to take into consideration if we are proceeding in a direction away from God and what those consequences will be. At those times we need to look to the Holy Spirit to guide us and keep us strong in the faith.