Have the sermons been confusing to you lately? Have you struggled to ‘get’ what Galatians is about? Have you walked away from Sunday discouraged and not knowing what to do next? Why do I ask? Let me explain.
The resounding feedback Rob and I are getting about our study of the Book of Galatians lately is this: “I ‘get’ grace, but what else do I have to do in my relationship with Jesus? Give me something practical.” Here’s the deal. On the surface, this sounds very Christian. I say to myself, “Now that I’ve received God’s grace I actually want to follow Jesus. So, in order to get what’s changed in my heart to come out through my hands I need some practical help. Give me a plan. Give me action steps. Hold me accountable. Set the bar and I’ll make sure to jump over. Tell me what to do and I’ll promise to do it. Don’t just leave me hanging man without any direction…IDON’T WANT TO MESS THIS THING UP.”
To all of us who are struggling to receive God’s amazing grace…what if Jesus told you they are no lists anymore? What if Jesus told you there’s no bar to jump over? What if Jesus told you that you matter how cool of a Christian you may think you are…you’ll never measure up to the standard of the Christian life that God had for you. INSTEAD, when you weren’t able, He stepped in for you and did what you couldn’t do. In that place of embarrassment and bondage, Jesus said, “You’ve already messed this thing up, BUT now that I know you, I want you to know that because of me, you can never mess it up again.”
At the heart of the gospel is God’s declaration that my Christian life is not about me anymore. Instead, it’s all about Jesus. In step with Galatians 4:8-20…which tells me that I’m free from my slavery to sin because I know that I’m known by God…Paul calls out our legalistic, religious, works-focused, me-obsessed Christianity by saying:
“If we have died with him, we will also live with him…if we are faithless, he remains faithful” (2 Timothy 2:12)
Let’s try something different this week. Stop trying to follow Jesus. We fail at it all the time, we’re beating ourselves up for our failures, and when I make my Christian life about my obedience I end up disappointed and ashamed each and every day. Instead, it’s time to put my faith in Jesus’ obedience for me and receive his undeserved and unconditional AMAZING GRACE. You will fail. But He won’t. Turn to Jesus and ask Him change your heart, not your hands this week and watch what God will do!