Hair balls?

No, this is not a hair ball.

 (Mark, sorry for using Navy in the e-mail, but she hasn’t hit the air waves for a while.)

Readings  Galatians 1

 Dear family,

 I am starting to read through Paul’s letters in the order he probably wrote them.  Previously I had started and went through Galatians.  Today I am starting over again and will do a chapter a day.  The schedule is in the attachment, if you would like to follow along.   As we go through Galatians I may skip some of the earlier thoughts I had.  They are on our Church blog site from several months ago.   Here we go again.  Hopefully you are in the Word and sharing with someone on a regular basis.  There are so many around that can have a misunderstanding of life, that need to hear the truth.  That includes me.

 Galatians 1:15-16 (NIV)
15 But when God, who set me apart from birth and called me by his grace, was pleased
16 to reveal his Son in me so that I might preach him among the Gentiles….

There have been some difficult days lately.  Having our dog spit up a gross looking hairball between us in the middle of the night, staining our sheets, and grossing us out was the least of them, but probably the most fun to talk about later.  I will spare you by not showing you a picture of it(no I did not really take a picture of it).  It was not nearly as impressive as the hairball, that our old cat spit up and I saved in a baggy in the refrigerator for weeks.  Some of you may have had the privilege of seeing that. 🙂

 Work has been very busy, friends have been very ill, people all around are struggling, dying, lying, buying.  There are so many problems everywhere you turn.  Is this what life is all about? 

 Why did God send His Son to become flesh and dwell amongst people?  Why did God redeem you (that is if you are in Christ), by sending His Son, Jesus to take yours and my punishment upon Himself on the cross?   

Was it so that we could have a life free of troubles?  Or was it that in the midst of our troubles we could enjoy the Fruit of the Spirit, God Himself, and have Him revealed through us?  When we depend on Him alone, then we will enjoy love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
gentleness and self-control.  Even in the midst of crisis, we will be able to enjoy Life, that is the Way, the Truth, and the Life!  If we depend on ourselves we will “enjoy” the opposite!  Do I want the opposite of love, of joy, of peace, of……..?

 What’s our choice going to be?

 Galatians 1:15-16 (NIV)
15 But when God, who set me apart from birth and called me by his grace, was pleased
16 to reveal his Son in me so that I might preach him among the Gentiles, I did not consult any man,

It appears that Paul realized that it was ultimately to have Christ live in and through him, so that Jesus would be revealed in Paul.  Not so Paul would be lifted up and praised, but that God would be praised.  Not so that Paul would have this perfect life,  but that Christ would be perfectly exalted in his life.

 Galatians 1:24 (NIV)
24 And they praised God because of me.

Is it any different for me and you?  Don’t get caught up in distinctions between clergy and lay people, between professional ministers and those in the congregation, between “full time” Christian workers and secular job holders, between the Apostle Paul and little ol me and you.

 There is not to be a distinction!  All of us in Christ are to have Christ expressed in us.  We are to let the Light shine in us so that those around will glorify our God!   We all are to enjoy the Spirit of God within us!

 Are you and I living with a different purpose than for Christ to be revealed in us?  Everything else is secondary to this purpose. 

 Galatians 2:20 (NIV)
20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

Are you and I living by faith in the Son of God today?  Have we stepped out into an arena that we alone can not handle, or reached out to someone that we can not love on our own, or give more than we have?

Is Christ being revealed in me today?

Love,

 Steve

If you have any comments, please feel free to share.  

Romans 12:1 (NIV)
1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God–this is your spiritual act of worship.

Somehow we turn the truths of this verse around: 

 Thank you Jesus for the sacrifice of your body, so that my body might enjoy the good things in life.  I pray that today my eyes and hands and mouth and feet and all those other parts will enjoy beautiful sights, soft comforts, listening ears, and gentle warm paths.  I want you, God to be completely pleasing to me, for You set me apart, and Your reasonable responsibility as God is to serve me and Your people.  After all didn’t Jesus come to serve and give His life as a ransom for many!?  Isn’t this life really all about me?  He is preparing a place for me.  He says He is coming again, for me.  He wants me to enjoy Him……….

 Romans 12:1 (NIV)
1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God–this is your spiritual act of worship.

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