If your life was getting off track, what would it take to get straightened out?
If your family was getting off track, what would it take to get straightened out?
If you city or community was getting off track, what would it take to get straightened out?
If your state or province or country was getting off track, what would it take to get straightened out?
Today’s reading begins speaking to what Babylon’s part was in trying to get things straightened out. It speaks the role Babylon played.
How severe would it need to be in the questions posted above to get things straightened out? Would it have to be life or death level? Would it have to impact the good and the bad? Would you have to be riddled with fear or weakness? Would the threat have to be so severe that it might get your attention? What would it take to get you or people in general to turn back to God and align to His ways?
Would it have to be so bad and so terrifying for to get your attention? Or could a sign of heaven get your attention and get you to turn back to God?
What behaviors need to stop? What activities need to stop? What actions need to stop?
What behaviors need to be swapped out? What needs to begin? What needs to get restarted?
Do you see the bloodshed taking place? Innocent blood? Guilty blood?
What will it take for people to turn back to living life God’s way? What will it take to turn things around so that we are living lives of love? Loving God! Loving people!
Invite God into your life! Invite Jesus into your heart! Ask for forgiveness! Live as humble servants!
From top to bottom, from bottom to top, how will we align so that we will live with God rather than apart from God? Will we live lives of servant leadership? Will we humbly come before the throne of God? There is power in the name of Jesus! So will you confess, will you bow down before you are forced to? Will you accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior?
So let’s reflect on the questions as we read from Galatians together…
1What I am saying is that as long as an heir is underage, he is no different from a slave, although he owns the whole estate. 2The heir is subject to guardians and trustees until the time set by his father. 3So also, when we were underage, we were in slavery under the elemental spiritual forces of the world. 4But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship. 6Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” 7So you are no longer a slave, but Godʼs child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.
Paulʼs Concern for the Galatians
8Formerly, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those who by nature are not gods. 9But now that you know God—or rather are known by God—how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable forces? Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again? 10You are observing special days and months and seasons and years! 11I fear for you, that somehow I have wasted my efforts on you.
12I plead with you, brothers and sisters, become like me, for I became like you. You did me no wrong. 13As you know, it was because of an illness that I first preached the gospel to you, 14and even though my illness was a trial to you, you did not treat me with contempt or scorn. Instead, you welcomed me as if I were an angel of God, as if I were Christ Jesus himself. 15Where, then, is your blessing of me now? I can testify that, if you could have done so, you would have torn out your eyes and given them to me. 16Have I now become your enemy by telling you the truth?
17Those people are zealous to win you over, but for no good. What they want is to alienate you from us, so that you may have zeal for them. 18It is fine to be zealous, provided the purpose is good, and to be so always, not just when I am with you. 19My dear children, for whom I am again in the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed in you, 20how I wish I could be with you now and change my tone, because I am perplexed about you!
Hagar and Sarah
21Tell me, you who want to be under the law, are you not aware of what the law says? 22For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the slave woman and the other by the free woman. 23His son by the slave woman was born according to the flesh, but his son by the free woman was born as the result of a divine promise.
24These things are being taken figuratively: The women represent two covenants. One covenant is from Mount Sinai and bears children who are to be slaves: This is Hagar. 25Now Hagar stands for Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present city of Jerusalem, because she is in slavery with her children. 26But the Jerusalem that is above is free, and she is our mother. 27For it is written:
“Be glad, barren woman,
you who never bore a child;
shout for joy and cry aloud,
you who were never in labor;
because more are the children of the desolate woman
than of her who has a husband.”
28Now you, brothers and sisters, like Isaac, are children of promise. 29At that time the son born according to the flesh persecuted the son born by the power of the Spirit. It is the same now. 30But what does Scripture say? “Get rid of the slave woman and her son, for the slave womanʼs son will never share in the inheritance with the free womanʼs son.” 31Therefore, brothers and sisters, we are not children of the slave woman, but of the free woman.
–from Galatians 4
Let’s live out our lives as children of God! Let’s cry out to our Abba Father!