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Galatians 4 (ESV)
Paul's Concern for the Galatians
8 Formerly, when you did not know God, you were enslaved to those that by nature are not gods. 9 But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how can you turn back again to the weak and worthless elementary principles of the world, whose slaves you want to be once more? 10 You observe days and months and seasons and years! 11 I am afraid I may have labored over you in vain.
12 Brothers, I entreat you, become as I am, for I also have become as you are. You did me no wrong. 13 You know it was because of a bodily ailment that I preached the gospel to you at first, 14 and though my condition was a trial to you, you did not scorn or despise me, but received me as an angel of God, as Christ Jesus. 15 What then has become of your blessedness? For I testify to you that, if possible, you would have gouged out your eyes and given them to me. 16 Have I then become your enemy by telling you the truth? 17 They make much of you, but for no good purpose. They want to shut you out, that you may make much of them. 18 It is always good to be made much of for a good purpose, and not only when I am present with you, 19 my little children, for whom I am again in the anguish of childbirth until Christ is formed in you! 20 I wish I could be present with you now and change my tone, for I am perplexed about you.
- Now Paul turns from rebuke to love as he reminds the believers of their love for him and his love for them. Then in v19, Paul even appeared in the role of a mother who willingly undergoes the ordeal of pregnancy and delivery all over again in order to secure the well-being of her children. The goal of Paul’s ministry is to see “Christ …formed in” the believers. Paul labored, but it is God who gave the growth (1 Cor 3:6).
- God uses the raw material of our lives – circumstances, family, and personality – to conform us to the image of Christ. We can choose to continue to depend on the do’s and don’ts to pursue perfection, or we can choose to rely on the Holy Spirit and allow Christ to rule every aspect of our life, to reflect Christ’s image, Christ’s character and Christ’s beauty through us.
- Every time you cry to God with the simple prayers: “Lord, I belong to you / Lord, help me / Lord, have mercy on me a sinner / Lord, I thank you / Lord, I love you / Come, Lord Jesus”, it shows that you choose to rely on the Spirit.
Now and in the coming week cry out to God with the above short prayers to tell God and yourself that you love Him and you choose to rely on Him for every day of your life.