Monday, February 02, 2009

Galatians 4:1-11

If you didn’t see last Saturday’s devotional, you really should go back and read it. Marvelous!

As to today’s reading, one of the dominant themes of the book of Galatians is clearly freedom. The old battle cry “Live free!” might well characterize Paul’s purpose in writing this book. We’d have to add two words, however:
“Live free IN CHRIST!”

Because for Paul, the only way a person can truly be free is through faith in Jesus Christ. Otherwise, we are always anxious and afraid that we are not doing the right thing to please God. We engage in religious practices hoping to somehow put ourselves in God’s good graces.

The alternative, as Paul has made clear, is to trust that Jesus has already done that for us. Of course we still engage in religious practices, but now we are free to do so from the love that is in our heart. That is very different than by being enslaved by religion to do certain things in the hopes of getting rid of guilt and fear.

What still holds you and I captive to our old ways of thinking and behaving? How do we need to be freed from the guilt, fear, and shame that do not bring us into God’s presence, but actually keep us from it?

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