Take 5 (January 19-23, 2015)

take5

Chad Cowan • Pastor of Care Ministries

Monday: Will the Real Apostle Please Stand Up!

Galatians 1:1

Bishop, prophet, apostle, if you watch television for very long, ultimately you’ll hear someone refer to themselves by one of these titles, but how do you go about telling the real from the fake? In the case of the title “apostle” Paul makes it very clear in Galatians 1:1 who is and isn’t an apostle. The beginning of the Book of Galatians is not typical of how Paul would start out one of his epistles. As one who had seen the risen Christ, and was called by Him as well, Paul knew that this gave a special kind of authority to the words he was about to speak to the Galatians. For this reason, “apostle” is not a title that one can assume by their own authority, but only those appointed by Christ Himself, or by those appointed by Christ Himself.

For Today: Look out for impostors!

Tuesday: The Idolatry of People-Pleasing

Galatians 1:6-10

Have you ever confronted someone? If you have, you know this isn’t always a pleasant task. Maybe it was because of something they did to you, themselves, or someone else, but the matter you are aware of has continued to bother you because you have not confronted it. In Galatians, Paul has set himself upon the task of confronting the people in the Church of Galatia in regard to their adoption of a false gospel. In verse 10, he makes it clear that he is not concerned with pleasing anyone but the Lord. As a result, he speaks the truth in love to a people who are being led astray. Do you need to speak the truth to a friend that has wandered from the truth? Or are you too concerned about whether or not you’ll still be liked afterwards?

For Today: Be a good friend, and speak the truth in love.

Wednesday: Do You Believe God Can Use You?

Galatians 1:11-24

Oftentimes, I am haunted by voices from the past. Things that I have said, things that I have done, that if I allow them, will speak into my life today, and attempt to render me useless to the tasks that God would have me do. In Galatians 1:11-24, Paul tells his readers that he’s well aware of the sins that he has committed in the past. Paul, who in his own words was, “savagely persecuting the Church of God and trying to destroy it,” is now spoken of as the one who, “[proclaims] the good news of the faith he once tried to destroy.” We have all committed sins that we wish we hadn’t, but through grace, God can still use us to proclaim the good news of the gospel. Isn’t that wonderful?!

For Today: Enjoy God’s grace and proclaim His good news!

Thursday: Disputable Matters

Galatians 2:1-10

I can’t believe others do/don’t homeschool! Can you believe the movie they watched?! There are many issues that have arisen in American Evangelicalism that have been sore spots among believers, but should they be allowed to divide us? In Galatians 2:1-10, Paul deals with the issue of circumcision and belief. Influential leaders in Jerusalem had insisted that new converts to the faith must be circumcised. Paul relentlessly refused to make this an issue and, according to verse 5, didn’t surrender to those adding circumcision to the gospel.

In our efforts to live in obedience to God’s Word, let’s not forget that others may enjoy freedoms we don’t, and still not be in sin.

For Today: Are you using a measuring rod that God has not?

Friday: Turkey Baster Righteousness

Galatians 2:15-21

My roommate didn’t appreciate it when I told him that I had used his turkey baster to take the brake fluid out of my car, but it was such a handy tool at the time that I just couldn’t resist not doing it. Turkey basters are very hand for extracting something from item A and then injecting into item B, so that the contents of item A are now in item B. Did you know, that in a sense, God has “injected” you with the righteousness of His own Son? For those of us who have been justified by faith, we have received the righteousness of Christ. When God sees us, He no longer sees our sinfulness, but the righteousness of His own Son.

For Today: Don’t succumb to guilt, but live as one fully justified by grace through faith in God!