Today’s Reading: Galatians 5:1-6
“Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.”
Imagine that you have a friend that needs to travel overseas for a very important family occasion, but he does not have the funds to cover the travel expenses. So, that friend begins to take up multiple side jobs, odd jobs, whatever is paying in order to purchase the plane ticket. But his car has a tire with a slow leak, a busted water pipe in his home that needs repair, and two of their side jobs ends up letting him go.
You see your friend’s struggle, knowing that he cannot make it on his own. So, you and a few of your mutual friends pitch in to take care of your friend’s tire and his busted pipe. And not only that: you and your friends have purchased a round-trip ticket for your friend’s trip overseas, you have booked his accommodation, and because of your connections, you were able to secure your friend a brand new job at a place that will take care of his needs when he returns.
Now, imagine that you give your friend all of this great news, but instead of accepting these gifts, he takes off the new tire and tries to get by on the old leaky one until he can purchase a new tire on his own; he stops using water until he can save up enough to pay the friend who replaced his water pipe; and instead of taking the ticket to go to his family event, your friend looks for even more side jobs to try to pay for his own way there. There is no way he will be able to make it on his own, but he is going to try anyway.
Does this sound crazy to you? That is because it is crazy! But this is what happens when people try to earn their way into Heaven when God has already paid for their way through Jesus’ death on the Cross. In his letter to Galatian Church, Paul reminds the believers that they cannot work their way into Heaven, but they can accept Christ’s work done on their behalf.
Instead of being burdened with doing good works to earn our salvation, Paul is saying that believers should be freed from that works-based faith that seeks to justify one’s self, and instead stand fast in the freedom for which Christ has set us free, that we may express our love for God through our faith and our works. That is freedom in Jesus.
Heavenly Father, thank You for making me free in Jesus. I am so grateful that You saved me when I could not save myself. And even though I did not deserve Your grace, You paid for my salvation through Jesus’ death on the Cross. I am so grateful to You, O God. I pray that You would help me to live a life that stands in the freedom Jesus has given to me, a freedom to love You and to live for You. Instead of doing works to please myself or to please others, help me to do works to show You my love in response to the wondrous love You first showed me. I love You, Lord. In Jesus’ name I pray, AMEN.
Thru the Bible in a year (credit: Biblestudytools.com):Galatians 5:1-15; Lamentations 5; Psalm 147