Reading: Galatians 1: 6-12
Paul opens his letter to the Galatians with some strong language and some hard words. His words carry some emotion and urgency. The church he founded there has begun to drift away from its origins and he does not like the change. Paul taught them the gospel he received directly in a revelation from Jesus and it is important to him that the Galatians continue to hold dearly to the original message. Paul knows that the message does not have to change much to really affect their faith.
All that Jesus taught and did in the Gospels can be boiled down to a few essentials. First, love God completely. Recognize Him as supreme, as Lord, as king of kings. Second, love neighbor as Jesus first loved us. His sacrifice on the cross let us know how much He loves us. Now Jesus tells us to go and do the same: put others and their needs first no matter the cost to us. Third, grace wins. God’s love and His mercies never fail, making all who call on Him as Lord and Savior new creations every morning. Our grateful response to this amazing love and mercy is to offer our lives daily in service to God.
Paul knew how essential the pure message of the gospel was. He knew that our faith would lead to action. He knew if the gospel message was changed or distorted, we would begin to follow our own way more than Jesus’ way. Our belief really does lead to action. When our belief is correctly rooted in the message of Jesus Christ, then our lives bear fruit according to this message. May we cling tightly to the truth found in Jesus Christ, living daily as authentic witnesses to His light and love.