We couldn't find what you are looking for. Try searching for something else.
...we know that a person is made right with God by faith in Jesus Christ, not by obeying the law. - Galatians 2:16 (NLT)
Ever run into an autocorrect fiasco when texting? You intend to type one thing, but your phone tries to correct your spelling, hijacks your text message, and causes any number of inadvertent faux pas. Some worse than others.
The intent to text, “No, I don’t,” changes tone quickly when it comes through as, “No, idiot.” Might cause a moment of conflict, right? In a similar vein, there might be a little explaining to do when a text that was supposed to say, “We’re going to Disney,” is autocorrected to read, “We’re going to divorce.” And can you imagine the look on the recipient’s face when they get your text message, “I’m eating grandpa for breakfast!” when you meant to say “granola”?
Most of the time we can easily excuse a confusing, unexpected, or strange word choice that comes across at the mercy of autocorrect. And it often leads to a few laughs. But sometimes it takes some real explaining to make things right.
However, any necessary intervention for our mistakes is done for us when we become part of God’s family through faith in Jesus. He stands up on our behalf. Not just as some kind of Divine Defense Attorney, but as the One who took the punishment we actually deserved for our sin. His intervention justifies us—and, through Him, we are made completely right in relationship to God. The writer of Hebrews 10:14 even goes so far as to declare we’re made perfect forever in God’s sight, even while we’re in the ongoing process of being transformed by His work in us.
Make no mistake. We’re good with God. Because of His grace and by His offering, we are forgiven and cleansed. Through faith, not by obeying any rules, regulations, or laws. Through trust in Him, not through any amazing actions we can accomplish on our own.
We couldn’t do it for ourselves. So He did what it took to save us. He removed our sin and satisfied the requirements of the law for all of us. Give me a shout if you’d like to learn more!Share Tweet
...we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we might be made right with God because of our faith in Christ, not because we have obeyed the law. - Galatians 2:16 (NLT)
Are you a thrill-seeker? An adrenaline junkie? Feeling fairly fearless today? Well, let me say: Do not try the following at home. I never thought the words extreme and yoga would be found together. But one young practitioner of extreme yoga nearly died recently after falling 80 feet from a ledge as she performed a pose that involved balancing over the balcony rail of her apartment in Mexico. A moment intended for relaxation and rest led to a near-death experience... multiple broken bones including a broken back. Doctors think she will likely begin to walk again in about three years.
God doesn’t want us to be foolish and foolhardy, but fearlessly confident in His deep love for us. He wants us to understand how secure we are in His love. We step into this place of courageous relational confidence in Him through a response to the debt He has paid for us. Through belief in His sacrifice, Hebrews 10:22 (NLT) reminds us we can, “go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting him.” When we recognize our position of honor, our place in God’s heart, our certainty of His fatherly attention and affection... we can walk boldly, confidently, fearlessly into the presence of God. We are accepted.
As shocking as it may seem, our behavior gets removed from the equation… we no longer bargain through obedience, trying to get God to love us, like us, welcome us. This doesn’t mean we just go do whatever we feel like, whenever we feel like it. Instead, it is a very real removal of the fear of our acceptance being granted or withheld based on our performance, good or bad. When we truly understand this, there’s no need to try modifying our own or other’s behavior through fear of consequences or repercussions. Instead, we are inspired through the truth of the Good News to live out a response of gratitude for the freedom that is ours through Jesus.
Our lives can be lived in full confidence through Jesus. Send me an email so we can chat about it!Share Tweet
For no one will ever be made right with God by obeying the law. - Galatians 2:16 (NLT)
Sometimes the system backfires on you. Case in point, a man in California who recently amassed over $12,000 in parking tickets. It all started with his big idea to obtain a custom license plate with the word “NULL” emblazoned across it. In theory, whenever he got a ticket, the computer system would read the null and assume there was no value entered in the license plate field of the database. Unfortunately, he didn’t anticipate the fact that his next parking ticket would cue the entire system to assign his name and address to every null value waiting there which had never been billed, and, naturally, never paid. Oops.
Fool around with the law by trying to find a way around it and it may come back to bite you. God knew we were in a similar predicament. It was a no-win situation for us: Over 600 laws, passed down from teacher to student, memorized by the best and brightest, and observed in its entirety by no one… ever… until Jesus showed up on the scene.
Romans 3 tells us the law was given to show us it couldn’t be done and to reveal our need for God. Not to be cruel or make you feel smaller; not to leave you with a sense of lacking ability, value, or potential. But to nudge us toward the source of life we so desperately need and can’t provide on our own… Himself.
Jesus didn’t just obey the law. He fulfilled it. All its requirements and its purpose. And by doing so He brought us into a close relationship with Himself so we could stop trying so hard to impossibly “win” our way into His favor. What we do, say, or think no longer serves as “evidence” for or against us. Instead, as God’s Spirit works in us, what we do, say, and think reflects the overflow of our relationship with Him.
Doing life with Jesus eventually produces new things in us. Gratitude spills out of our hearts. Kindness and grace flow from our lives. Gentleness, generosity, and self-control fill our emotional world. And much, much more. Which of these is God doing in you? I’d love to hear about it!Share Tweet
...I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. - Galatians 2:20 (NLT)
Sometimes you run across an idea that sounds so preposterous, you kind of dismiss it out-of-hand without further thought. That’s the way I felt when I read an NPR story about a guy named Silvio Gesell. He came up with the idea of launching a currency with a time limit for its use. That’s right: Expiring money. He’d experienced a terrible financial collapse in the 1890s and was convinced the suffering he and others experienced was due to the tendency for some people to use currency to amass and store wealth. A few people hoarding huge amounts of resources created scarcity for others. But money that “expired” would encourage it’s spending, thereby spreading the wealth, creating a win-win for all.
Gesell was accused of everything from being a socialist to insane, but still… he might have been on to something. Because guess what... Currency, self-importance, worldly success, prestige, perceived power—it all expires in the end. When the game of Monopoly is done, the pieces, properties, and playing board all go back in the box. And the “game” of life? Same thing.
This life is an experience in which only a few things truly matter. And we eventually discover that they aren’t tangible things. They’re relational and heart-centric. One of these is knowing God. Another is loving people. In these areas, we can mature in ways that will travel with us forever.
When we remember we’re in process, we can stop being so impressed with ourselves and the things that expire. In this life, we’ll never “arrive” at some proverbial finish line. Even that which looks like the most final of finish lines—death—is, in Christ, merely a starting line for forever. We are eternal beings. There is a part of us that exists now, is eternally alive, and will be forever. Let that knowledge focus your attention on what matters: Loving God and people. Period.
I do not treat the grace of God as meaningless. For if keeping the law could make us right with God, then there was no need for Christ to die. - Galatians 2:21 (NLT)
Imagine you’re in prison. Living in captivity, the daily routine being forced upon you. No control over what you wear, where you sleep, when you rise, what you eat, who you’re with. Got a picture in your mind? Next, imagine being set free after living this way for years. You walk out of prison, return home to your family, and hit the first item on the bucket list you’ve compiled. But then, imagine at the end of the day, you return to the jail, knock on the door, and walk back into the cell you left behind that morning. You don’t want to be locked up again. You’ve just grown accustomed to the feel of the bunk, the echo of the walls. You’re free, but you voluntarily walk back into the place of captivity.
Ludicrous, right? But we do it all the time. We have been set free through Christ, but we find ourselves returning again and again to a place of slavish obedience to the law that was merely intended to expose the sin that held us captive and reveal our need for God to save us. But sin is no longer your master. And the law no longer applies. Condemnation is gone. All because you’ve been set free from the power of sin that leads to death! (Romans 8:1-2)
So why do we return to captivity? The same reason we did in our story above. Because we’re used to them. They’re routine, habitual patterns. But these can be changed by God’s work in our lives! We don’t have to go back to those places. If you are a believer, a follower of Jesus, you have been set free. Now God wants to show you how to live freely. Liberated from the burden of the law, performance, striving, and trying so hard to be accepted, secure, significant—living as though we were 100% free—because we already are!
If the law has been fulfilled for you through your belief in Jesus and His sacrifice, its purpose in your life is finished. Now grace wins. Want to talk further? Or share your story? I’m right here!Share Tweet