Prayer: O God, through your Word you give us direction and guidance; guide us today, in Christ. Amen.
The power of persuasion
7 You were running well; who prevented you from obeying the truth?
Paul challenges the people of Galatia. He tells them that Jesus was not responsible for their persecutions. They needed to obey the truth which truly made them free and that it is not because of their good works that they are saved, but because of Jesus’ grace.
They can’t do good works to save themselves and earn credits from God. No, it is only through the saving sacrifice of Jesus death and resurrection that has set us free from the Law, which depended on our actions. Our salvation is only from grace. Our devotion writer says; “We can stop wondering what our actions will earn in God’s eyes. We have been set free to respond to God’s gracious love through the love we show to our neighbors. We can take risks in including those whom society would rather ignore. We can be bold in welcoming strangers, feeding those who are hungry, and sheltering those who have no home—not because of what such actions will gain for us, but because others will experience Christ’s love through us.”
Because of God’s saving grace we are free to not worry about our own works. We are free to share with others and obey the truth that God’s love will prevail.
Prayer: “Loving God, thank you for the freedom we have in Jesus. Help us to live in his truth. Amen.”
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
7 You were running well; who prevented you from obeying the truth? 8 Such persuasion does not come from the one who calls you. 9 A little yeast leavens the whole batch of dough. 10 I am confident about you in the Lord that you will not think otherwise. But whoever it is that is confusing you will pay the penalty. 11 But my friends, why am I still being persecuted if I am still preaching circumcision? In that case the offense of the cross has been removed. 12 I wish those who unsettle you would castrate themselves!