Galatians 5:1-12 – Don’t Open Up That Can of Worms

Read Galatians 5:1-12

You may have noticed that you read verse 5:1 two days in a row. You’re not imagining things. This is one of Paul’s “transition” verses. In some translations, it begins “therefore. In New Living Translation (the one this post links to), it’s “so.” Same idea. What follows in this text is connected in reference to everything that Paul has said in the preceding section. In other words, “in light of what I just said, here’s how to apply it, and why it matters.

“So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law.” This doesn’t give us free rein to do whatever we want, because that would put us back in chains. But it is pulling on Paul’s preceding message of what we should be doing to stay free. To stay free, we must trust in Jesus as the way to salvation.

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Zephaniah 1:1-13 – Swept Away

Read Zephaniah 1:1-13

God has spoken. He will “sweep away” everything; “wipe humanity from the face of the earth”, “reduce” the wicked, “crush” and “destroy”.  

This sounds serious. God was angry. I think as much angry, he was hurt and a bit perplexed. Sinfulness is a like a disease that infests and takes control. How could these people (us included) take all his blessings and still turn away, to worship other idols? 

Idols. Ours today may not be Baal or Molech or even golden calves, but they are just same at keeping us from God. Money. Power. Success. I believe God desires for us to experience the good things in life, but not at the expense of a relationship with him. 

Hypocrisy. We may say we are followers of God, but do we really follow? Going to church on Sunday does not make us a true follower. What happens on the other six days of the week? How are we prioritizing the most important relationship we have? This passage should be our wake up call to examine our hearts and minds and get right with God.

God’s anger is unleashed here on his people. Do we think we’re immune because of Jesus? While Jesus is our redeemer, we should not take for granted our “get into heaven free” card. If we are truly devoted, we will see the err in our ways.

Let’s be BRUTALLY honest. Are we being complacent in our sinfulness or are we truly repentant? What is keeping us from total devotion? Take time today to reflect on your goals and dreams. Where is God?

Let’s pray. Father, forgive me when I forge ahead on my own course. Forgive me for my selfish heart. I lack confidence right now and question every move I make. I feel crippled and lost. Wash away my fear and doubt. Help me to wipe away the tears so that I can see clearly the path you have set before me. I want my journey to be toward you and honoring to you along the way. Use me Lord as your light. Give me the words I need to say and the wisdom to know when to use those words. In Jesus’ name. Amen.