“I marvel that ye are so soon removed FROM HIM that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel” (Galatians 1:6).
And he goeth up into a mountain, and calleth UNTO HIM whom he would: and they came UNTO HIM. 14 And he ordained twelve, that they should be WITH HIM, and that he might send them forth to preach … (Mark 3:13-14).
As one reads the book of Galatians he will soon find many lessons that can be applied to his life and ministry. Good lessons at that! It is important to remember that this letter was penned to churches and Christians that had trusted Christ for salvation. These people knew God. These are saved people that Paul is writing this to.
The Galatians were not simply drifting from the grace of God; they were drifting from the God of grace. They were replacing their liberty in Christ for a legalism based upon men’s opinions and traditions. They had become infatuated with their teachers, rather than with the true Teacher Jesus.
In other words, they were a lot like us. They were becoming distracted, deceived, and because of it, they were beginning to drift from the very God who had called them unto himself.
Things really haven’t changed much over the past 2,000 years. In fact, nothing has really changed in the past 2,600 years. God’s people had the same problem during the time of Jeremiah.
Jeremiah 2:13, For my people have committed two evils; THEY HAVE FORSAKEN ME the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.
Most of us can attest to the fact that it is so easy to replace Jesus with SOMEONE or SOMETHING. If we aren’t careful, this is something we will struggle with on a daily basis!
It is important that we remember that the Gospel is not simply a way to get people to heaven; it is a way to get people to God!
If we are not careful, we can make the same mistakes the our predecessors in the past have made.
Like the church of Ephesus (Revelation 2:1-4), we can BELIEVE the right things, DO the right things, and even STAND for the right things, but we can still be guilty of having left our first love.
Revelation 2:4, Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.
More often than not, we have to admit that Jesus is prominent in our lives, but he isn’t pre-eminent!
Colossians 1:16-18, For BY HIM were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created BY HIM, and FOR HIM: 17 And HE IS BEFORE ALL THINGS, and BY HIM all things consist. 18 And HE IS THE HEAD OF THE BODY, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; THAT IN ALL THINGS HE MIGHT HAVE THE PREEMINENCE.
In other words, it’s not about you, it’s not about me, it’s not even about us, it is entirely about HIM!
And, I am afraid we could also attest to the fact that it is much easier to be “religious” than to cultivate a “relationship” with the One who has called us to himself! As one author wrote:
Christians have made the gospel about so many things—things other than Christ. But Jesus Christ is the gravitational pull that brings everything together and gives it meaning. Without Him, all things lose their value. … It is all too possible to emphasize a spiritual truth, value, virtue, or gift, yet miss Christ, who is Himself the embodiment and incarnation of all of these things. Seek Christ, embrace Christ, know Christ, and you will have touched Him who is Life. And in Him reside all truth, values, virtues, and gifts, in living color.
Another author wrote:
The critical question for our generation-and for every generation-is this: If you could have heaven, with no sickness, and with all the friends you ever had on earth, and all the food you ever liked, and all the leisure activities you ever enjoyed, and all the natural beauties you ever saw, all the physical pleasures you ever tasted, and no human conflict or any natural disasters, could you be satisfied with heaven, if Christ were not there? And the question for Christian leaders is: Do we preach and teach and lead in such a way that people are prepared to hear that question without responding with a resounding, NO!
Powerful words right there!
Every once in awhile we need to have the Holy Spirit and the Holy Scriptures give us a spiritual heart examination and ask ourselves is Jesus all we want!
“It is Christ alone that we need. A Christ supplemented is a Christ supplanted.” — J. VERNON MCGEE
Just reflecting on HIM!