Thoughts and musings on faith and our mighty God!

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Do Good

Reading: Galatians 6: 1-10

Verse 9: “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up”.

Paul is writing to the church in Galatia. He founded it and he nurtured it. Now it is struggling a little bit. The folks are not acting as brothers and sisters in Christ. The loving community has splintered a bit due to quarreling and to some thinking themselves better than others. Paul wonders if they have lost their capacity to love one another fully and unconditionally.

Chapter 6 in my Bible is titled, “Doing Good to All”. Paul begins by encouraging us to lovingly help one another in our battles with sin. Then Paul reminds us to bear one another’s burdens as the need arises. He closes this little subsection by encouraging each of us to “test his own actions” so that we can keep focused on walking in God’s ways. All of these things involve loving in truth.

In verse 7 Paul returns to a familiar illustration. He begins by reminding us that “a man reaps what he sows”. Sin equals destruction and pleasing the Spirit leads to eternal life. It is quite simple. Sow seeds of faith and live faithfully and our fruit is life forever with God in heaven. Paul knows this is not an easy road to walk. In verse 9 he writes, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up”. In 2nd Timothy 4 he calls this fighting the good fight. He encourages us not to give up in the battle because living a life of faith requires a constant effort. It is easier to allow sin to enter in and to walk with the world. But this would not be pleasing to the Spirit. Instead we must sow good seeds.

Paul closes our section for today be encouraging us to do good when we have the opportunity. Paul believes Christians should do good for all but especially for our brothers and sisters in Christ. These are great words to live by. Today, may we do good to all.

Prayer: Lord, help me today to seek to love first and always, striving to do good and not harm. Reflect in my eyes the beauty and depth of your love so that as I have opportunity today, I may share your love with others. Amen.

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Reading: Galatians 3: 23-29

Paul’s message to the Galatians is first and foremost that they are “Christians” – heirs to the promises of God.  Paul in implying that they are heirs to all of God’s promises.  He does not delineate to just a few of them but he implicitly states that as those baptized into Christ they are blessed with all of His promises.  This too is our view as contemporary readers of the Bible.  We see all of the promises made to Abraham, Moses, … as promises that apply to us as well.  Christians are not just a New Testament people, but a people of the whole Bible.

The people of Paul’s day felt a little conflicted about the full application of the Law.  We too walk this middle ground today.  We read and apply some of the Old Testament and the Law, such as tithing and most of the Ten Commandments, but we certainly do not follow all of the Old Testament.  For example we do not follow most of the dietary restrictions or the Sabbath laws and we do not celebrate the festival’s such as Passover.  We hold onto many of the promises and some of the Law however.  Those things that Jesus emphasized or instituted are followed – baptism, communion, serving the needy, and the two great commands.

At times our churches and we as individuals can function much like the faithful Jews of Paul’s day.  We can exclude or be non-welcoming to people who do not fit into our boxes or who do not conform to all of our expectations.  For some that’s how they dress and for others it is what part of town you’re from.  For some it is your ethnicity and for others it is your style of worship.  Our bottom line, though, is still the same: we are all children of God and therefore heirs to His promises of forgiveness of sins, eternal life, … and all are called to love all as Jesus loves us: unconditionally.  May we come to see all as welcome in His kingdom and may we live and love accordingly.