Daily Reading 12-19-16
Galatians 4:8-20 New Living Translation (NLT)
It is the calling of spiritual guides and leaders to teach the truth of God’s Word to receiving hearts until Christ is fully developed in their lives. Humans can get sidetracked and lose focus on the most important things. That is why we must follow Christ. As we place our faith in the work of the Word, spiritual maturity is developed and we become more like Jesus. Because of the Light Christ brings, we can love God and others in a purer way. We can be filled with joy!
As we are learning, we may not like everything spiritual leaders say about our attitudes or actions. However, we need to receive correction and allow a time to examine our hearts. Then, we can invite the Spirit to bring the necessary change. In our passage today, we realize the Apostle Paul is not real popular with some of the people in the early church at Galatia because he has corrected them, but he is going to tell them the truth, anyway.
Galatians 4:8-20 Paul’s Concern for the Galatians
8 Before you Gentiles knew God, you were slaves to so-called gods that do not even exist. 9 So now that you know God (or should I say, now that God knows you), why do you want to go back again and become slaves once more to the weak and useless spiritual principles of this world? 10 You are trying to earn favor with God by observing certain days or months or seasons or years. 11 I fear for you. Perhaps all my hard work with you was for nothing.
12 Dear brothers and sisters,[a] I plead with you to live as I do in freedom from these things, for I have become like you Gentiles—free from those laws. You did not mistreat me when I first preached to you. 13 Surely you remember that I was sick when I first brought you the Good News. 14 But even though my condition tempted you to reject me, you did not despise me or turn me away. No, you took me in and cared for me as though I were an angel from God or even Christ Jesus himself. 15 Where is that joyful and grateful spirit you felt then? I am sure you would have taken out your own eyes and given them to me if it had been possible. 16 Have I now become your enemy because I am telling you the truth?
17 Those false teachers are so eager to win your favor, but their intentions are not good. They are trying to shut you off from me so that you will pay attention only to them. 18 If someone is eager to do good things for you, that’s all right; but let them do it all the time, not just when I’m with you.
19 Oh, my dear children! I feel as if I’m going through labor pains for you again, and they will continue until Christ is fully developed in your lives. 20 I wish I were with you right now so I could change my tone. But at this distance I don’t know how else to help you.
Prayer: Father, please help me to be receptive to the correction of your Word as, by faith, I lean on the Holy Spirit’s work to develop Christ in me. In Jesus’ name. Amen.