REST IN THE LORD! – Galatians 2:20 Devotional

Galatians 2:20

“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”

A young man, a believer desiring to serve the Lord with all of his heart, worked and worked doing everything he thought would please the Lord. It took all his energy and effort, but the young man kept at it!

One Sunday evening he had finished assisting in a week-long series of meetings. Following the last service he packed up books, Bibles, and other materials until late into the night. He returned to his hotel room exhausted, threw himself across the bed and almost wept.  The exhausted man cried out, “Lord, I am through!  I can’t keep this up any longer.  I am tired to my very core.  I will still love and honor you, but from now on someone else will have to carry the load!”

He expected the Lord to be disappointed in him for quitting, but just the opposite happened.  It was as though the Lord breathed into his ear, “Finally! You have been doing things for Me that I never asked you to do. Now I can work through you to do My work.” That young man never again felt the heavy burden to demonstrate his love for the Lord by a self-imposed performance.

Are you wearing yourself out trying to please the Lord?  I implore you to give up trying to earn your salvation. Listen to Him—then do what He asks you to do. God’s work—done God’s way—will have God’s power!

May God richly bless others by your words and actions!

– – – Pastor Cecil

ALL FOR HIM!

Galatians 2:20

I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.

Pride is not ever pretty. When we consider the prayer requests offered, the vast majority seem to be self-centered.  Even the lyrics of spiritual songs and poems focus more upon ourselves rather than upon the Lord.

I recall hearing about a pastor who had delivered a powerful sermon on the danger of pride and the need for his congregation to seek after the same humility which Jesus demonstrated.  After the service he stood at the door greeting people as they left.  One little lady stopped and said, “Oh, Pastor, I am so glad you preached that sermon this morning.  I do not have many qualities that I can pride myself on, but humility is one of them.”  He went home shaking his head and muttering to himself.

As Christians we need to modify our definition of self-acceptance. The definition of self-acceptance is to recognize that God has created us with certain unchangeable characteristics that may be used for his honor and glory. It is not what’s in it for me, but what’s in it for Him!

Blessings dear hearts.  May God richly bless you as you bless others by your words and actions!

– – – Pastor Cecil  

EMPTY!

Galatians 2:20  

“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.

A minister had just preached a dynamic message on being totally committed to God and empty of self. As the congregants shook the pastor’s hand after the service, a woman approached him and said, “Pastor, please pray that God will make me nothing.”

Being a courageous and faithful servant, he looked her straight in the eye and replied, “Madam, take it by faith, you are nothing!” Her reaction revealed that she did not take well to his suggestion!

I can understand what he was saying. It was not to put her down, but rather to show that without Christ we are indeed nothing. Does that end the matter? Absolutely not! As a matter of fact, it is just the start. When our pride and self-sufficiency get out of the way, Christ is able to do His work in and through us.

Are you wearing yourself out trying to please the Lord? I implore you to give up trying to earn your salvation. Listen to Him—then do what He asks you to do. God’s work done God’s way will have God’s power!

Blessings dear hearts. Draw near to God today, trust Him completely and be a blessing!

– – – Pastor Cecil

OH NO!

Galatians 3:23-24
“Before the coming of this faith, we were held in custody under the law, locked up until the faith that was to come would be revealed. So the law was our guardian until Christ came that we might be justified by faith.

Way back in 1953 I walked into an Air Force Recruiting Station and was met by a Sgt. Swift. He told me of the positive features available if I enlisted; I trusted him and enlisted.  But that is not the end of the story — ten years later I had received my college degree and a commission in the Air Force.

My first assignment was at the training base where I had attended Officers Training School. As I looked out over the personnel that I now supervised, guess whose name I saw — Sgt. Swift! His first response was, “Oh no!” We had a good laugh about how things had changed, and he was glad that he had been honest during our first meeting.

One day we all will appear before the Judge of the universe. Every single thought or deed will be revealed. I am sure Satan will try to bring up every sinful thing in our past, but when we have confessed our sins and received Jesus into our hearts, we need not fear. Jesus was born in Bethlehem to pay the price for our sins. He has done what we could never do! Praise the Lord we never have to say, “Oh no!”

Blessings dear hearts.  May God richly bless you as you bless others by your words and actions!

– – – Pastor Cecil

FRESH FRUIT!

Galatians 5:22-23

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.

I love fruit harvest time. The blossoms of spring have given way to small buds that began to be shaped into the fruit of that particular fruit tree. During the warm months of summer the fruit grows and gradually begins to ripen until it is ready to pick and enjoy.

I once taught a large sociology class at Boise State University. With over 120 students in the class I wondered how to go about getting to know them. The first assignment for the class was to name the three things they felt most important to them. It was surprising to discover that the vast majority listed LOVE, JOY, and PEACE — and in that order.

In the next class session after this assignment I commented that I was shocked by their responses and shared Galatians 5:22-23 with them. (Since I simply commented on the responses they had given, I did not get into trouble with the administration.)

It is comforting to me that the Lord has placed within the heart of mankind to seek the fruit of the Spirit. It is this fruit that will never spoil and will only become sweeter as the years go by.

Blessings dear hearts. Draw near to God today, trust Him completely and be a blessing!

– – – Pastor Cecil

IT’S THE LIFE!

Galatians 2:20

I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.

I’ve not heard it recently, but there’s an expression to indicate something that is greatly desired: “I’m just dying to ____!”  Apparently the thing that is very much desired seems to be measured by life or death.

In a spiritual application, we are told to die to the things of the flesh in order that we can truly live for Christ. Paul goes so far as to view himself as being crucified with Christ. That means he was willing to experience suffering of the body in order to attain the life that is everlasting.

I recently heard David Jeremiah say, “We love God when we live for God.” That resonated with me and has caused me to stop and take account of the way I am living my life. Am I living for Christ or living to please myself?

If we are to live for Christ we need to consistently question the things that we do and determine if they are to please ourselves or to please God. It is vital that we begin to die to ourselves and live for God. It’s the life!

Blessings dear hearts. Draw near to God today, trust Him completely and be a blessing!

– – – Pastor Cecil