Tuesday, January 22, 2008


"You crazy Galatians! Did someone put a hex on you? Have you taken leave of your senses? Something crazy has happened, for it's obvious that you no longer have the crucified Jesus in clear focus in your lives. His sacrifice on the Cross was certainly set before you clearly enough.

Let me put this question to you: How did your new life begin? Was it by working your heads off to please God? Or was it by responding to God's Message to you? Are you going to continue this craziness? For only crazy people would think they could complete by their own efforts what was begun by God. If you weren't smart enough or strong enough to begin it, how do you suppose you could perfect it? Did you go through this whole painful learning process for nothing? It is not yet a total loss, but it certainly will be if you keep this up!"
Galatians 3 from The Message by Eugene Petersen

When I forget what Christ has done for me, it has repercussions in my life. Like the Galatians, it would be very easy for me to lose clear focus on Christ. It is His beaten, bloodied and crucified body that brings me back to spiritual sanity. Paul shakes the Galatian church by the scruff of the neck by emphasizing God's sacrifice, that Jesus "became a curse and at the same time, dissolved the curse." The whole point of the Gospel is not what we do, but what Jesus has done for us, and continues to do in us and through us.

How did your new life begin?

Did it begin by good deeds like showing up in church every Sunday? Trying to attain good standing with God by doing things you think He would appreciate? Having everyone like you? Agreeing with everyone else all the time? Daily quiet times? Working yourself to death in order to be the good person that you want to be? Trying to be positive all the time and stuffing those negative feelings down inside where you never want to look at them, much less let anyone else?

Or did it begin with hearing about Jesus dying on a cross for sins that you could never make up for, to clean you from dirt that you could never wash yourself, to give you a chance to know God intimately in a way you could never know Him on your own?

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