Stop and thank God for being present with you today. Ask for God’s guidance as you hear God’s voice through scripture and the writer.
Galatians 4:8-20 (NRSV)
Formerly, when you did not know God, you were enslaved to beings that by nature are not gods. Now, however, that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how can you turn back again to the weak and beggarly elemental spirits? How can you want to be enslaved to them again? You are observing special days, and months, and seasons, and years. I am afraid that my work for you may have been wasted.
Friends, I beg you, become as I am, for I also have become as you are. You have done me no wrong. You know that it was because of a physical infirmity that I first announced the gospel to you; though my condition put you to the test, you did not scorn or despise me, but welcomed me as an angel of God, as Christ Jesus. What has become of the goodwill you felt? For I testify that, had it been possible, you would have torn out your eyes and given them to me. Have I now become your enemy by telling you the truth? They make much of you, but for no good purpose; they want to exclude you, so that you may make much of them. It is good to be made much of for a good purpose at all times, and not only when I am present with you. My little children, for whom I am again in the pain of childbirth until Christ is formed in you, I wish I were present with you now and could change my tone, for I am perplexed about you.
This reflection may quite possibly be a case of making a scripture fit the situation that’s bearing on your heart. If that is the case, I pray that it will still be what someone reading this needs to hear.
In the verses above, Paul was reproving the Galatians. They had had their act together for the Lord at one point, so what happened?
During Lent, a group of us at church went through a 40-day prayer class. I was reading, meeting, journaling, praying aloud, praying at a certain time, praying on my knees, praying at my window. The 40-day book is over, and so is my special time with God. Just like that!
I SO believe that our God gives us the opportunity for infinite do-overs, so I’m going to use another one. I want to get my act back together and enjoy that special closeness that focusing on my prayer life brought.
To what areas of Christian discipline are you dedicated? To which ones have you previously been dedicated, but let your dedication lapse? Maybe our Lord is perplexed about what happened to you in this respect.
Begin today to renew your focus or begin a new discipline that gives glory to our God and will bring peace to your heart.
Thank you, Lord, for being the Lord of “infinite do-overs” and for forgiving me time and time again. We are so grateful for the promise of your unending grace and forgiveness. Amen.
Go with God.