Wednesday, June 26, 2013

June 26 - Galatians 1

Today's reading in our daily plan is Galatians 1. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.

SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)

  • This is another letter written by Paul. It was sent to churches in Galatia, which is in modern day Turkey. We'll see that Paul is writing to address a serious problem. The Galatian churches were reintroducing Jewish practices such as observing feasts and practicing circumcision. Paul knew that by over-emphasizing these religious practices, the Galatians would soon devalue what Jesus had done and start trusting in their  own human effort to gain acceptance by God.
  • Paul typically starts his letter with some praise for the recipients, but here Paul is mad because the Christ followers in Galatia were turning from God and to a different message than the true gospel.
  • Paul talks about his life before and after becoming a ChristianBefore becoming a Christian, he was zealous for the traditions of his Jewish fathers, and often persecuted followers of Jesus. But eventually Paul met Jesus and became a Christian. He didn’t study under any teacher but God took him into Arabia and then to Damascus for three years before meeting Peter. He gives this explanation to show that the gospel he preaches about Jesus is not just a teaching from men but came straight from God.

SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)

  • Teaching and believing the true gospel is critically important. A twisted gospel is no gospel at all. We need to know the Bible so we can teach accurately, and never be deceived by a false message.
  • Paul is able to point to God's activity in his life, and share it with others.  We should be able to do the same.

NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)

  • In what ways does your autobiography show that God exists? In what ways was God active in your life before you even realized it? In what ways has God shown you His personal care and provision, and used your life for His purposes?
  • How have you been able to share what God has done in your life with others? Who could you share your personal experience of God with this week? How could it encourage them or help them to take another step closer to God?