1 Paul, an apostle (not sent from men nor through the agency of man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised Him from the dead), 2 and all the brethren who are with me, To the churches of Galatia: 3 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, 4 who gave Himself for our sins so that He might rescue us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, 5 to whom be the glory forevermore. Amen.
Examine / Explain
Paul establishes his authority at the beginning of this letter to the churches in Galatia that he planted. Paul reminds us that his assignment was directly from Jesus and began on the road to Damascus. And because of this encounter, he is part of the family of God. Co-heir with Christ by faith and through grace. Which he is emphasizing next. We have grace according to the Father and through the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. He willingly took our place for sin and took the wrath that we deserve so that we might accept His gift and have peace. Without this acceptance, we will not have peace, not even in eternity.
How do I apply this in my life?
Where do I not have peace in my life? I bet that wherever I don’t have peace, I am not allowing God to control that part of my life. Again, I have the current American culture on my mind. There are so many people struggling to find peace. We insist that everyone accept our worldview, and once they do that, we will finally find peace because we are finally accepted. I’m not sure that will work. I’m a people pleaser, striving for others to like and love me. Even if they told me or showed me that they did, I still wouldn’t believe them. So even though people accepted me, I still would not have any peace in my life. It wasn’t until I started accepting that Jesus loves me so unconditionally that He took on the eternal separation of God, knowing full well that I would fail Him. I would fail Him over and over again. And even though I was due God’s wrath, I received His grace because I put my faith in Jesus and what He did on the cross. Now I have an assignment. I am taking this grace and exemplifying it. I am to fix my perspective and see humans for who they are. Wonderfully created by God and to have a chance to accept His grace as I did. I am to live a life that reflects my place in salvation and work through it so that I can minister to other people so that they can gain the knowledge of grace through faith. Do I put all my faith where it should be? Again, I question where I do not have peace in my life. We are incapable of living outside of our belief system. So if I don’t have peace in whatever areas of my life, my beliefs tell me that God either can’t have that area or that I don’t believe He can take care of me. Wild! I must change my mind! I must change my beliefs! How do I do that? Is it as simple as I think it is? Just start believing? Salvation was that simple. I just started believing Jesus is who He says He is.
What is my response?
Father, anxiety and restlessness have skyrocketed recently. Unfortunately, I have fallen victim to it as well. I see the news and videos of a world and hurt people who are hurting people. I know we all long for peace in our lives, and some of us can’t find it. I know I am in You and there are still days that anxiety takes over. Just because I am a Christ follower doesn’t mean I won’t have feelings or emotions to deal with, but it does mean that you will always be there for me in those moments. Thank you for sending Your Son so that we may be saved. Thank You for the miracle that is salvation and grace. The ability to accept a free gift and it brings to the presence of God is an absolute miracle. Where would we be without it? Thank you for peace and Your lovingkindness. Amen.