July 18, 2015

Paul and the Galatians: Redirecting

Galatians 1:1-10

I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel—which is really no gospel at all.

—  Galatians 1:6-7

Paul begins his letter to the Galatian church with his traditional greeting of grace and peace. But he soon launches into the main reason for his letter. He has heard reports of disobedience and false teaching. His disappointment and frustration continue throughout the book. How could the Galatians he loves have wandered so far? Why have they turned their backs on his teaching? Paul laments, “You were running a good race. Who cut in on you to keep you from obeying the truth?” (Galatians 5:7).

This must have been a difficult letter for Paul to write. But he rebuked the Galatian church because he loved them. They were his spiritual children. If he didn’t care about them or their salvation, he would not have written the letter. Paul was angry with the false teachers who had led the Galatians astray, and he was passionate about helping those he loved.

We all have a tendency to wander from God’s truth. We need people in our lives who love us enough to confront us and redirect our bad behavior. Sometimes the people we love wander from the truth they once knew. Will we choose to persist with them and love them enough to redirect them?

Lord, help us to love enough to confront and redirect oth-ers back to you. Place people in our life to call out our bad behavior and draw us back into fellowship with you. Thank you, Jesus, for loving us and restoring us to you. Amen.

About the author — Steven and Deb Koster

Steven and Deb Koster have a passion for marriages, families, and spiritual growth in the home. Both are ordained ministers in the Christian Reformed Church in North America. Steven formerly served as editor of Today and director of ReFrame's English-language outreach. Deb leads Family Fire, ReFrame’s family ministry at FamilyFire.com and on Facebook. The Kosters have three children.

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