Monday, March 9
Scripture: Deuteronomy 13-15, Galatians 1
Galatians 1:6–7 I am shocked that you are turning away so soon from God, who called you to himself through the loving mercy of Christ. You are following a different way that pretends to be the Good News 7 but is not the Good News at all. You are being fooled by those who deliberately twist the truth concerning Christ.
Here is the crux of the issue behind this letter: Paul has introduced them to Jesus, they believed, and then they began to “turn away” from God and “follow a different way.” They were “being fooled” by those who twist the truth about Jesus.
Paul was shocked that they were doing this—he was astonished, amazed by this. Why would you turn away from grace to law, from the free gift of salvation in Jesus to the burden of trying to earn it by circumcision and law-keeping? Why would you abandon a life-giving relationship with Jesus?
Recently, some high profile Christian celebrities have “deconstructed” their faith. They have turned away, abandoned their faith in Jesus and have “deconverted” and are no longer followers of Jesus.
People are understandably shocked—I am too! But perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised. This has been happening since the very beginning—clear back to the Galatians (thought to be one of Paul’s earliest letters).
The truth of the gospel isn’t changed because someone refuses to believe or chooses to stop believing.
When someone “turns away” it should shock us: shock us into prayer for them. Shock us into reaching out to them and appealing as Paul did in this letter. Shock us into redoubling our efforts to strengthen our own faith and the faith of those we love.
But it shouldn’t shock us into doubting our faith or giving up. Just because someone else lost their faith doesn’t mean I should doubt mine.
Prayer: Lord, I’m praying for those celebrities who recently recanted their faith in Jesus—turn their hearts. I’m praying also for everyone who was shocked by this. Use the shock to strengthen their faith, not to deconstruct it!