DATE WRITTEN: Monday, 2020-07-06
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL
BIBLE REFERENCE: Galatians 4:18-19
TRANSLATION: The Message (MSG)
BIBLE TEXT: 18-19 It is a good thing to be ardent in doing good, but not just when I am in your presence. Can’t you continue the same concern for both my person and my message when I am away from you that you had when I was with you? Do you know how I feel right now, and will feel until Christ’s life becomes visible in your lives? Like a mother in the pain of childbirth.
OBSERVATION: It seems appropriate to act Christ-like while at church and around such friends as pastors, Bible teachers and church leaders, but what happens when you’re around those friends who always led you astray, or the ones that always jeered at you when you tried to straighten up and fly right? Paul seemed to have labored over the maturity of the Galatian church. Do you suppose that your pastor has reason to do the same over you? May the God who sees all things, at all times, open our minds to the truth of His Word as we meditate on these verses today.
APPLICATION: Pastors may look over their congregation each week and I’m sure there are times that their hearts well up with pride as they see parishioners who seemingly leave all their burdens of the week aside and concentrate on their time of corporate worship to the one true God. However, I bet there are times that our pastors will look at us and wonder if he is really seeing a sincere relationship with God, after being so rude and obnoxious to him over recent days. That’s an easy, but very real, example that compares to the concern that Paul shared, but what impact does your actions like that have on folk you were hoping to witness to? You know, the coworker who seems uncaring about knowing Jesus? She has seen both aspects of your character, and she is definitely confused about what you actually stand for. Are you a Christian who happens to mess up from time to time, or are you a hardened sinner who tries to impress others that you could be good, if you want to? I believe it would behoove each of us to always remember that God not only hears our every word spoken, but He also know about our good, bad and questionable acts, plus our very own thoughts. Although I used an example of what our Christian leaders may see or encounter with us, yet it’s the Lord God Almighty that we are answerable to. If Paul was so hurt by what he was hearing from his church members from miles away, imagine how God must feel? Remember, He laid down the life of His precious Son so that we might be saved from the filth of sin and be assured of heaven one day with Him. Imagine how He must feel when we deliberately turn away from God, or deliberately disobey His commandments, or when we become so manipulative that we carelessly and uncaringly hurt others to get our own way. To Paul, he envisioned that his pain was similar to a mother in childbirth. What about God? To love us as much as He showed on the cross, and as much as preparing a place in heaven just for us, and protecting us from harm and hurts just because He loves His creation, yet for us to totally ignore all that and continue in sin anyway. It must tear the very heart out of our Master, for the hurt He must feel is unequaled to anything else that we could imagine. Dear friend, let’s not forget that God sent His very own Son to die for us, in spite of the ugliness and bad that enveloped our lives. With outstretched arms, Jesus showed us how much He loved us. Don’t you think that the least we could do is to say yes Lord, thank You for loving me. Please forgive me of my sin and come into my life. Fill me with Your love and amazing grace, so that I may overcome the temptations of sin and that I may love and respect even those who persecute me, because of the love You gave to me through Your Holy Spirit who came to dwell in me. Please strengthen me to overcome sin and the temptation to return to my former life. I’m Yours Lord, and I want You to be my Guide, my Deliverer, my Strength and my Wisdom each and every day, in every circumstance of life, until the day You call me home to be with You in glory. People need the Lord, so they need to see You in every aspect of my life, and not any weak aspects of my simple life.
PRAYER: I was introduced to You through the help of an old friend, and led by an old saint who served in leadership at my church. At the conclusion of that conversion experience, I believe the Two gentlemen were convinced that I had honestly surrendered my life to Christ. I could only imagine the disappointment they must have felt if they ever saw me deep in sin and following my old ways. But more than that, I cannot imagine the hurt You must have felt, precious Lord, each time that I failed You and turned aside to the ways of the world. After all, You gave up so much to show how much You cared about me, and my ultimate trip towards the glories of heaven. Please forgive me Lord when I‘ve failed along the way, for I know that I not only disappointed friends who prayed for me and cared for me, but I also showed total disregard towards You. I could only imagine that some of my readers may have faced similar days, so Lord I pray that You will touch the hearts of many today as they read the Scripture and as they are reminded by this humble blog. May You rule and reign in our lives each and every day, and may it be evident to a lost world that needs Jesus. AMEN!
FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog at https://NuggetsFromGodsWord.org that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading or listening to this devotional, please go to the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and see all of my posts, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!