This is a 31 day journey. I missed Day 6. Not because I am lazy but because life happened and, well, day 6 was full of homeschool lessons, cooking dinner for a pregnant friend on bed rest, helping prepare for a ladies fellowship at church, and choosing to go to bed early for much needed rest instead of trying to compose a post at 10pm.
So, now it’s 6 am on day 7. I had to get up to take my son to his first day of his first real job. He’s growing up and, frankly, it’s just too fast for me. I’m going to blink and we will be taking him to college. As I read over today’s passage in Galatians – combined with yesterdays – time passing is on my heart. We are in Galatians 2:1-10. It opens with Paul telling us that 14 years have passed. I have to wonder all that he did in those years….
No doubt he was preparing for and doing ministry. Here’s the passage:
1 Then after fourteen years I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, taking Titus along with me. 2 I went up because of a revelation and set before them (though privately before those who seemed influential) the gospel that I proclaim among the Gentiles, in order to make sure I was not running or had not run in vain. 3 But even Titus, who was with me, was not forced to be circumcised, though he was a Greek. 4 Yet because of false brothers secretly brought in–who slipped in to spy out our freedom that we have in Christ Jesus, so that they might bring us into slavery– 5 to them we did not yield in submission even for a moment, so that the truth of the gospel might be preserved for you. 6 And from those who seemed to be influential (what they were makes no difference to me; God shows no partiality)–those, I say, who seemed influential added nothing to me. 7 On the contrary, when they saw that I had been entrusted with the gospel to the uncircumcised, just as Peter had been entrusted with the gospel to the circumcised 8 (for he who worked through Peter for his apostolic ministry to the circumcised worked also through me for mine to the Gentiles), 9 and when James and Cephas and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given to me, they gave the right hand of fellowship to Barnabas and me, that we should go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised. 10 Only, they asked us to remember the poor, the very thing I was eager to do.
I love that, in this letter to the church at Galatia, he just talks to them. Yes he is sharing the gospel. But he’s not “high and mighty”. He is sharing life with them. He wants them, and us, to know that he takes other along with him. Titus, Barnabas…and they see James and Cephas and John. It’s fellowship. It’s encouragement in the gospel. He also wants to be sure that his efforts in the gospel are not in vain. I’ve always loved how he compares this to running a race. I’m not a runner but I do like to manage my time well. I think that’s his goal. He wants to be sure that how he spent his time, what he was doing, was not in vain.
Paul is still dealing with circumcision. How can he not. It was part of the covenant for the Jews and their faith. Yet Galatians is all about the gospel being for anyone and everyone. Across the span of time. There is still circumcision but it’s of our own hearts.
There were obstacles that Paul faced. Though they are not the same, we face obstacles too. Satan loves to keep us quiet, to distract us from telling the gospel. Or better yet, he loves for the gospel to be presented falsely. It’s hard to fathom that someone, in today’s world, could be “secretly” spying out our faith for ill will. Then again, we just have to watch the news to know that persecution of Christians is VERY real in our world today.
This passage gets exciting……for me anyway……around verse 6. Paul says, “…what they were makes no difference to me; God shows no partiality”. Isn’t that good news? The gospel was made available to all. Jews and Gentiles. Sinner and saint. You and me. It’s for ALL!!
Paul ends sharing that his friends, who were preaching to the Jews, asked them to remember the poor. He says he was eager to do so.
This has me wondering how often I truly remember the poor. I serve at the local soup kitchen on occasion and we contribute to world hunger funds or donate to the local clothing shelter. But do I really remember the poor? Do I care enough to help feed their souls? To share the gospel with them? This is something I have to commit to prayer. Something I know I need to be “eager” to do.
Until tomorrow……Joy to You!