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.
There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work. 1 Corinthians 12:6
The world is filled with hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of different types of jobs. Each job has its own peculiarity and task to be done, that none of the others can do.
Each one has their own level of importance, with none more important than the other in the grand scheme of the whole world. Yet, many people think that one job is more important than another. In doing this, they often cut down people with the ‘lesser’ job.
Paul points out that God has given different gifts and methods of service for people to do. Although the services are different, it is still only one God.
Just as it is in the world, there are many different types of jobs for people to do in the church. There are also different types of works of the Holy Spirit being manifested in the works of service for each person. God has these different works for a purpose.
What is needed in one situation may not be needed in another situation. God uses what is needed in the moment, with whoever is there willing to be used by Him in His way.
However, just like the world, many in the church look down upon others who do not do the same ministry or do it in the exact same way. Some will feel that the other person is not holy and really following God, if he does not do ministry a certain way.
Every believer needs to work in unity with each other, since they are all serving one God. Each one is given his own task and method by God in serving Him in this world. One is not better than the other, but are all equal in God’s kingdom.
You may have a ministry that does not look as good as someone else’s or you may have one that appears to be better than someone else’s.
Do not let pride overcome your heart. Know that your ministry of service is just as important as others.
Allow God to fill you with His Holy Spirit and use you in the way He needs you to be used, doing the work that He needs you to do in the moment.
See what God can do, when you work in unity with the Holy Spirit and others.
Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will be filled with His Holy Spirit; that you will use the gift of the Holy Spirit He has given you; that you will do a service for God; and that you will work in unity with other believers.