February 24
Read Galatians 3:2.
2 This is the only thing I want to find out from you: did you receive the Spirit by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith? 3 Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?
One translation phrases the question this way: ‘Let me ask – how did your new life begin?’
So let me ask you – ‘how did your new life in Christ begin?’
Let’s review some options: You were so smart you figured it all out on your own and that’s how you got your new life as a son or daughter of God. No? How about this one: You are really loaded and bought your way in! Nope? Well maybe cause you really know a bunch of Bible verses and helped out at church a whole lot – maybe even helped with junior high ministry!! – so God figured you deserved a bonus and called you His own! Nope? Okay – let’s try this – you are and have always been so nice, kind, good etc so much so that God knew it would look bad on His record if He wouldn’t let you in His family and kingdom. Is that how you received a new heart and the Spirit of God in your new life? Think not. I’ll answer for you – you aren’t – and weren’t. Well maybe you inherited the Spirit from your parents!! Naah can’t do that. I know – you got your new life as a result of sitting in the same pew for longer than you can remember and listening to a quota of sermons that would make a saint out of a rock! Nope.
Alright let’s go back to the Apostle’s question ‘how did your new life in Christ begin?’ How did you end up a Christ follower? He gives a hint – well more than a hint in verse 3. Your new life came to you as a miraculous work of the Spirit of God in you. Period. So what do you make of Paul’s suggestion that follows – if that’s how you got that new life – why on earth would you ever think of living it by any other means? If becoming a new creation in Christ was and could only be the result of a miraculous, Holy Spirit initiated work of God – why oh why would anyone think that from there on the living and progressing and growth in that new life was going to happen as a result of our hard work, sincere effort and commitment to do better? Good question don’t you think.

  Talk to God today about that wonderful gift of new life He has given. Especially talk to God the Spirit today and maybe an apology is in order if you have been trying to live your new life apart from a deep connection and deeper reliance upon His work and power and guidance in your life. Pray for Four Mile that we would be a church community filled with the Spirit because we rely upon the Spirit – in all things. Jesus made it real clear – apart from abiding in Him – kingdom fruit simply will not ever see the light of day in or through our lives. Pray about that. And consider the possibility of shifting some of your time away from the ‘trying harder’ realm and into the abiding deeper one.