Those people are zealous to win you over, but for no good. What they want is to alienate you from us, so that you may have zeal for them. Galatians 4:17
Most people want everyone else to be on their side. They do not want to be set apart as different and become isolated.
In order to gain everyone’s approval, they will either change their ways to fit in with everyone else, or they will have extreme zeal to get everyone to change to their ways. More often they are fighting to get everyone else to change. Very few people want to change themselves.
After describing some people who were zealous for following the law of God, but not the Spirit of God, Paul says that those people are zealous to win the believers over. They want to separate them from true believers in God to have zeal for them and their ways.
Throughout the church there are many people who focus upon the legal laws of God. They focus on what they should do or not do and impose those laws upon others legalistically. Focus is put on how to dress, what can be done and not done, how much they pray or read the Bible, what day they go to church and many more laws, rather than the heart of service to God and for God.
Jesus had not come to enforce more legal laws upon the people, but to change the heart to love God and want to serve and obey Him. He had fulfilled the law of God, so that anyone who had faith in Him could be saved.
Stepping back into focusing on the law, destroys what Jesus did on the cross. Every believer must have salvation by faith in Jesus, not by following the law.
There will be some who will tell you what you can and cannot do in order to be saved. Doing or not doing things does not save you. Salvation is only by belief in the work of Jesus.
The works that you do are to be done out of love and thankfulness of what Jesus has already done for you. Do not allow yourself to be caught up in the zeal of following the law and separating yourself from a true follow of Jesus.
Be zealous for believing Jesus and following Jesus. Be zealous to obey God because of what He has done.
Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will have faith in what Jesus did for you; that you will serve God out of love for what He has done; that you will be zealous for a relationship with God; and that God will keep you from being led astray.
So those who rely on faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith. Galatians 3:9
Everyone has at least some faith in something. Most people have faith in a chair, that when they sit down on it, it will hold them correctly. Very few will test the chair each and every time to determine if it will be safe to sit upon it.
The more someone uses something, the more faith he will have in it. The things someone has never tried before weakens his faith in it. He questions its reliability, until he has tried and proven it.
Paul begins talking to the Galatians about the difference of faith and works. Relying upon faith will cause one to be blessed as Abraham was.
Faith is trusting in something that cannot be directly seen. One can see a chair, but until he sits in it, he cannot know for fact that it will hold him. He has to have trust (faith) that it will hold him. If he puts extra supports on the chair prior to trying it out, he does not have faith in the chair.
Many people claim to have faith in Jesus, but then work hard to gain God’s support. They do many good works to look good to God. They focus on the do and don’t of the law, rather than the relationship and faith in what Jesus did. They immediately condemn themselves when they slip up and sin, rather than trusting Jesus and repenting.
Jesus promised forgiveness of all sins when one would repent. He promised to give the believer life, eternal life, just by believing in Him and obeying Him.
Those who rely upon their faith in Jesus and what He did will be forgiven and saved for eternity. It does not take anything else.
Ask yourself what are you relying upon for your salvation. Are you working hard to gain God’s approval? Or are you trusting in what Jesus did?
Trust in Jesus, have faith in Him and then step out in obedience to what God has said to do. Your faith will save you. Your obedience and works show that you have faith and trust Him.
One way is believing in self and works, while the other is relying on faith in what Jesus did and proving your faith. Are you being blessed as Abraham was?
Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will have faith in what Jesus did and promised; that you will rely upon faith in Jesus; and that you will know the blessings of having faith in Jesus.
They only heard the report: “The man who formerly persecuted us is now preaching the faith he once tried to destroy.” Galatians 1:23
Reports come out about famous people all the time. They talk about what the person is doing. Often the news is about something negative that occurred, drunk driving, drugs, divorce or more.
Rarely is the news about a complete change of character or actions. Most people do not go through a change of lifestyle large enough for people to sit up and take sudden notice of it. Usually it is a slow gradual change, if there is any.
Paul says that the people in the churches of Judea did not know him at all, but had heard reports about him. Those reports were that he was a completely different person.
Every person has a report about them. People who have met them do talk about them. The question is what are they saying? For the majority of people, life is always the same, day after day, year after year. There are very few major changes in their lives.
There are very few things in their lives that stick out as amazing or to catch the attention of everyone else. Most often the major change is a marriage/divorce, birth of a child, a new job, or a new move to a new location. Very seldom is it a change of character.
The person who becomes a believer, should go through a complete change of character. He is becoming a new creation in Jesus Christ. The old ways of thinking and doing things are to be gone.
This should be such a change that people are talking about it. While many believers don’t really change and still look like the world, the true believer should. He should have a complete change of character that has people noticing.
Take a moment to look at your life and listen to what people are saying about you. Is there a complete, radical change in your life that can be seen by others? Or do you still look and act like the world?
Allow God’s Holy Spirit to fill you and change you from the inside out. Become a new creation in Christ Jesus that will turn heads and get people to talking.
Do not allow yourself to look and act like the world, but to look and act like Jesus.
Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that God will guide you in turning away from the world and sin; that people will see you are a follower of Jesus; and that God will create you into a new creation.
For he says, “In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.” I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation. 2 Corinthians 6:2
Procrastination is something that many people like to do. They want to put things off until the last minute or until they have to be done, with no choice.
The real challenge with procrastination is that often things come up at the last minute blocking a person from accomplishing the task desired, since it was put off for so long.
Paul quotes Isaiah in talking about God’s favor and salvation. Then he says that now, today is the time of His favor and the day of salvation.
One of the things that many people put off is repenting of sin and turning to God. It is common to hear of people who say that someday they will begin to follow Jesus, but not today.
This is often done, because they want to still live in the world and have the sinful fun of the world. They do not want to change.
While it may seem that a person has all the time in the world to make a choice to follow Jesus, this may not be true. Today may be looking good for one’s life, but tomorrow he may end up dead in an accident or something else, removing his chance to follow Jesus and be saved.
Doing something right away, when one has a chance, removes the chance of not being able to do it at all. Nothing is more important than the salvation of the soul. Salvation is something that effects someone in the here and now and also for all eternity.
You may or may not be a believer, but today is the day of salvation. Do not put off becoming a follow of Jesus and do not put off repenting of your sins.
You do not really know what the next moment holds for you. God may choose to take your life in the next moment, not giving you any more chances to be saved. Grab onto the salvation while you can, while it is still today.
Do not allow yourself to procrastinate on the most important event of your life. If you choose not to believe and you lose your life, you will end up judged in hell for all eternity. Today is the day of salvation.
Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that God will strengthen you to turn from sinful ways today; that you will not put off another moment to follow Jesus; and that you will know God’s favor as your follow Him.