Galatians 1: A Complete Turn Around
“But they were hearing only, “He who formerly persecuted us now preaches the faith which he once tried to destroy.” And they glorified God in me.” (Galatians 1: 23- 24).
Have you ever been in a car and someone went the wrong way? They then have to turn around and head the opposite way- turn around. We have all had a turn around point in our lives. It may be when you became a Christian or maybe when you got off the path a little and had to get back on track. Paul had a turn around point on the road to Damascus (Acts 9). He was struck blind and was like this for three days until he was in Damascus and had met and talked with Ananias. If you ask me that was a pretty major turning point for someone to go through. Some people found it very hard to believe that this man who had at one time tortured and killed Christians now was one. For others, however, this situation really stood out and made them praise God.
When we have that turn around point in our lives we need to first make sure it was for the better. When most people see someone who has been one way for so long and they suddenly change and are happy they want whatever they got. They want to be happy and we can help them along. Let’s try to use our turn around point to get others to praise God.
Galatians 2: Let God Take Control
“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20 NIV)
Have you given your life to Jesus? If so think about your everyday life- at home, school, work. Does it show that you are a Christian? We are all sinners. What do you do when you sin? Do you repent? We have to let Jesus take control. One way of doing this is by repenting. He’s got to know that you know you sinned. I pray in a different way than most. I write my prayers down in a journal. I can be very specific in my prayers this and I am able to go back and look at anything and everything I have prayed for. I can look in there and see the last time I repented and why I did. I encourage everyone to try a prayer like this. It’s a way that I let Jesus take control. I know that every night I pray for these things and that I repent. When you repent of something you are getting it away from you. I’m going to try an analogy. You have a firefly in jar. One day you finally decide to let it go. Our sins are a lot like this. We keep them bottled up inside and then we finally free ourselves by repenting.
How else can you let God take control? We’ve already discussed repenting. How about something simple- Let Him lead you. I gotta admit that this is hard sometimes. An example of something that I need to let God take control of in my life right now is college. Picking out a college is so hard. You have to look at this and then at that. It’s hard and confusing. I can barely even decide on a major. Everytime I think I know what I want to do I learn more about it and change my mind. It’s now pretty obvious to me that I just have to let God decide. He know what I am supposed to do with my life- I just have to let Him show me what to do. I’m going to pray about it and leave all the doors open.
There are two simple ways to let God take control- repent and let Him lead. Try it.
Galatians 3: Love vs Hate
“You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus,” (Galatians 3:28 NIV).
So there is someone that all of us dislike (hate). I would like for you to think of that person and why you dislike them. I mean really think about why you dislike them. It’s probably a really stupid reason. Does God hate us? I don’t think so and as far as I’m concerned He has every right to. “You are all sons of God.” All of us. So when we dislike this person we dislike our brother or sister and for stupid reasons- she lied to me, he took that away, she said this about me. It’s stupid really. Why can’t we just love them? God loves us. He loved us so much that he sent Jesus for us. People make fun of Him. People don’t care about Him. But does God hate them for it? If He can love everybody then there is no reason for us to dislike people like we do. Where would we be if God hated us? He has the power to say bye and we are gone! We can’t do that- we have to deal with these people.
We all, myself included, have to stop holding grudges. We have to start loving people instead of disliking them and making ourselves miserable. It’s hard but I hope you can challenge yourself as I have to love people instead of dislike. Love and hate is a terrible battle. If we only would look at what/ who we dislike and see the positive- everything would be so much better then.
“Have I therefore become your enemy because I tell you the truth?” (Galatians 4:16 NKJV)
I had a pretty good friend who did not attend church. This friend know that I was a Christian and attended church- that was fine until one day I simply invited this person to church with me. Three, maybe four months have passed and this person will not talk to me.
Has this happened to you? All I did was invite them to come to church with me. Have you ever sat down with somebody and simply explained about the life of Jesus Christ? If so did they listen to you or get angry with you? I have had it happen both ways.
Some people would say that Christians are not made fun of today. I personally feel that these people are wrong. When issues such as abortion are brought up it will most of the time cause a fight- 9 times out of 10 what was a simple argument ends up almost a fight and mean words are being exchanged. When a Christian prays or reads their Bible in public, sometimes they are made fun of.
I say all of this to say one thing- If you believe in Jesus Christ then you will be made of and some people may not like you. Some people will be rude towards you or maybe just not talk to you anymore. If this has or does happen to you how will you react? I will tell you how I believe we should react and I try to be like this: Be kind, give a smile, and pray for them. I will very quickly admit that this is not always easy to do. Sometimes you will just get so upset and maybe even angry. You have to remember one thing though- WWJD. If you remember those four simple letters I think we could all make and impression on non-Christians and make ourselves less miserable.
Galatians 5: Fruits of the Spirit
“But the Fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self- control. Against these there is no law.” (Galatians 5: 22- 23 NKJV)
Have you ever heard that you are like a tree? Well, you are. We are God’s trees and we should strive to have good and healthy fruits.
Take out a sheet of paper. Write down the following words and skip a space between each: Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self- Control. Now think about all of your friends and family. For each of the Fruits (words we just wrote) pick one person for each and write their name down for the characteristic they really glow with. Try to use each name only once.
The activity I just asked you to do is something our Acteens group did one night. I am looking at my sheet of paper right now and it is so easy to see the characteristic each person really shines with. I want God’s tree for myself to have each of these fruits. Think about the impact we could have on the world if we just applied each of these to our lives. We could love everybody and have no enemies. We could always be happy. We would have peace with ourselves and others. We would be patient- slow to anger. Be kind to people as well as do good for others. We could be super faithful to God. We could have a gentle attitude towards people. We would also have self- control- not lashing out.
A challenge I extend to you is one I will be participating in. There are nine Fruits of the Spirit. For the next 18 days spend two days a piece striving to accomplish a certain Fruit of the Spirit. It’s not going to be easy to be kind to everyone, but try. What can it hurt? On the 19th day apply all of the Fruits of the Spirit to your day. Think about the person you could really be. I hope you will participate in this challenge with me.
Galatians 6: Doing Good
“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” (Galatians 6:9 NIV)
Have you ever done good deeds over and over again and it seems like it just won’t pay off? Have you ever been picked on for always doing the right thing- being good? We all have. These kinds of things can be discouraging and at times we may want to give up, but should we?
I enjoy singing. There is an honor’s choir that people can audition for. Last year I auditioned and did not make it. It was extremely disappointing. I had worked very hard for quite a while. Did I just give up? NO, I didn’t. I tried again this year. I worked twice as hard as the year before an guess what. I made it- I did extremely well. The success and accomplishment I felt blew me away. All my hard work paid off. “We will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” (Galatians 6:9). I didn’t give up and in return I got an amazing experience.
Good deeds or doing the right thing is like this. If we give up we will never reach what we are working for- Heaven , God’s glory, knowing. Giving up will only make you wonder- what would of happened if I didn’t give up, if I kept on doing this. Try not to become discourage and give up. Keep doing good and pressing on.