Grateful for Grace

Daily reading: Galatians 1:13-17, 2:11-21
Tuesday May 23, 2017

Focus passage: But God had set me apart from birth and called me through his grace.  He was pleased to reveal his Son to me, so that I might preach about him to the Gentiles.  I didn’t immediately consult with any human being. Galatians 1:15-16

This foundational story of Paul is revealed here and in the book of Acts.  In Galatians, rather than hearing about it second hand through Luke, we are hear it straight from the source, from Paul.  It is Paul’s story to tell and he does not shy away from his past, but sees how it has formed him into the person he is today.  Paul puts it out there for everyone to see and he is able to do that because he believes so deeply that he is not justified by his actions but by the faith of Jesus Christ.  In fact, if he were to be justified by his actions according to Mosaic Law, then he had it made because he followed the letter of the law to its fullest.  He believed so deeply in it that he worked diligently to rid the budding church from corrupting the Jewish communities that were also following the teachings of Christ.  He was the last person anyone in his community would have ever imagined becoming a follower of Christ.

I like to imagine Paul at his 20 year high school reunion and everyone he encounters not being able to get their head around the 180 degree change that he has made.  And so he argues that it has to be the Spirit of God that has caused this change in his life, Paul does not take the credit.
His story reminds me of the countless people in my life that have bravely shared their full life story to show the lengths at which God pulled them out of darkness and sin. 
Take time today to reflect upon your life, where have you noticed the presence of God?  How has God been present when life was difficult?  Who helped embody grace when you were in need?

Prayer: Gracious Creator, unsettle our assumptions and our egos.  Open us up to hear your word and grace to welcome in everyone, so that there is room enough for your Holy Spirit to stretch us so there is room for Christ to dwell in and among us.  Amen.

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