It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm then and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. Galatians 5:1
A look of disgust then, “You call yourself a Christian?”
An imperfect one.
One who messes up and gets it wrong.
A Christian who sometimes doesn’t look or act like a Christ follower.
The yoke of slavery Paul speaks of isn’t sin, it’s legalism.
You who are trying to be justified by the law have been alienated from Christ, you have fallen away from grace. Galatians 5:4
Paul is speaking to the religious – those puffed up by their own interpretation of rules and regulations.
Worthy in their own sight.
People who look down on others for not doing what they do.
People equating the outward practice of circumcision with being godly, respectable, one of them.
Paul says you missed the point – by making it about external stuff you alienate yourself from Christ and fall away from grace.
It’s not what I do, it’s what’s been done.
On that day many will say to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ did we not prophesy in Your Name, and cast out demons in Your Name, and do many might works in Your Name? And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.” Matthew 7:22-23
I tithe and serve, attend Bible study yet neglect justice, mercy, faithfulness.
External stuff with no internal commitment.
Abundant in food and careless ease, I ignore the poor and needy.
My heart is far from Him.
“Depart from Me, I know you not”.
Sheep listen to the shepherd’s voice – they know Him and follow.
Do what He does, love what He loves.
The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.
Love always gives.
Love doesn’t take or stone or condemn.
Jesus gave His life, all He had – to redeem you and reclaim me.
The veil is torn, chains broken, grace given.
I want to make it about me and what I do.
The do’s and don’ts and thou shall nots.
My comfort zone of what Christian looks like – people who look and dress and think like me.
Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the door of the kingdom of Heaven in people’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to. Matthew 23:13
When I make it about me and my beliefs, I become a blind guide.
A camel swallowing gnat strainer.
I shut the door in the faces of those who want to enter.
People who don’t look or act like me.
People made in God’s image.
People Jesus died for.
God in His Word says…My ways are not your ways.
I use the weak to display my strength.
Foolish things to shame wise.
I use prostitutes, adulterers, drunks and thieves – you call them Bible heroes.
Jesus came to set captives free – free from the law, sin slavery and death.
His life for mine.
If I choose, I can exchange my chains for His yoke – one that’s easy and light.
One that gives freedom.
One that gives rest to my soul.
He wants all of me – not just my Sunday morning.
He gently clears debris from my heart and mind.
Grows what is good and prunes what must go.
Following isn’t a straight street – it’s a path that weaves and winds, climbs mountains, dips low.
Sometimes it’s green and lush, sometimes dry and dusty.
It’s near and far, hot and cold.
Dysfunctional relationship is still relationship.
Finger pointing comes back to bite me – I do the same things even if I think I don’t – even if I can’t see it.
Let those without sin throw the first stone.
A disciple is not above the teacher – Jesus came to serve, not be served.
Love my neighbor as myself.
Welcome those weak in faith.
Make room for sinners and saints.
Padlocks of judgment block the way.
Love hands people the key.