Daily Reading: 6-24-16
Galatians 4:8-20 GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)
Some days it is more difficult than others to hold onto a positive attitude, isn’t it? We can get weighed down with the daily issues of life and forget the power of Abba–Father God–who actually forms all of our futures as His children. We say we believe God loves us and has a great plan for our lives, but do not always display that belief in our attitudes.
When we are focused upon God and His purposes for our lives (this is called worship) we are filled with His love and joy. We can be the most positive folks around; our spirits are full of Light and Life and our souls (mind, will, emotions) respond accordingly. This is what it means to spiritually dominate. Remaining (spiritually living) in His loving presence and radiating His holy principles each day brings an infilling of the Spirit that is experientially tangible to ourselves and others. Jesus modeled this devotion to Abba so beautifully when he prayed for God to take care of us as His followers, “I come to You; I told them many things while I was with them in this world so they would be filled with my joy. I have given them your word (principles for living). And the world hates them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. I’m not asking you to take them out of the world, but to keep them safe from the evil one.” (John 17:13-15 NLT). When we shift our focus from God and living in the joy of our salvation and choose instead to absorb the culture of the world it can drag our otherwise positive attitudes into the stagnant pool of negativity. This is where Satan desires to drag your joy, so be on guard.
The Apostle Paul has to write a letter to the church at Galatia in order to rebuke their negativity and misguided priorities. They have allowed the world’s customs and the expectations of religious tradition to rob them of their joy. Paul reminds them of how positive and free they were at one time as they lived in the principles of God in the power of the Spirit.
8 When you didn’t know God, you were slaves to things which are really not gods at all. 9 But now you know God, or rather, God knows you. So how can you turn back again to the powerless and bankrupt principles of this world? Why do you want to become their slaves all over again? 10 You religiously observe days, months, seasons, and years! 11 I’m afraid for you. Maybe the hard work I spent on you has been wasted.
What Happened to Your Positive Attitude?
12 Brothers and sisters, I beg you to become like me. After all, I became like you were.
You didn’t do anything wrong to me. 13 You know that the first time I brought you the Good News I was ill. 14 Even though my illness was difficult for you, you didn’t despise or reject me. Instead, you welcomed me as if I were God’s messenger[a] or Christ Jesus himself. 15 What happened to your positive attitude? It’s a fact that if it had been possible, you would have torn out your eyes and given them to me. 16 Can it be that I have become your enemy for telling you the truth?
17 These people who distort the Good News are devoted to you, but not in a good way. They don’t want you to associate with me so that you will be devoted only to them. 18 (Devotion to a good cause is always good, even when I’m not with you.)
19 My children, I am suffering birth pains for you again until Christ is formed in you. 20 I wish I were with you right now so that I could change the tone of my voice. I’m completely puzzled by what you’ve done!
Prayer: Lord, I want to release a positive attitude about life with You. Holy Spirit, please put a watch over my soul and help me to cast down any negativity that tries to exalt itself over your beautiful Presence in my life. In Jesus’ name. Amen.