Galatians Chapter 3

So here we are at chapter 3. Paul has spent the first two chapters defending his apostleship, his message, and the fact that the law is not what saves believers. Paul continues with the thought here, going on the offensive to point out what he has touched on, that the law is powerless to save us. Let’s dive right in!

1 You foolish Galatians! Who has hypnotized you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was vividly portrayed as crucified? 2 I only want to learn this from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law or by hearing with faith? 3 Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now going to be made complete by the flesh? 4 Did you suffer so much for nothing—if in fact it was for nothing? 5 So then, does God supply you with the Spirit and work miracles among you by the works of the law or by hearing with faith?

It is interesting how Paul phrases this. They had a vivid portrayal of the crucifixion, which likely means they had a good and vivid teaching from Paul himself on the subject. Having this knowledge just makes their mistake worse. To make them think on this he asks if they received the Holy Spirit through their faith in Jesus, or by the works of the Mosaic law. The answer is by faith. Paul then points out that what has been started in the Spirit cannot be finished by our flesh. If it is by the law, then they would have been suffering persecution from the Jews for no reason. So how does God supply the Holy Spirit? Through hearing with faith, and not through the works of the law.

6 Just as Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him for righteousness, 7 then understand that those who have faith are Abraham’s sons. 8 Now the Scripture saw in advance that God would justify the Gentiles by faith and told the good news ahead of time to Abraham, saying, All the nations will be blessed through you. 9 So those who have faith are blessed with Abraham, who had faith.

Here Paul uses Abraham as an example. You may remember that Abraham lived over 400 years before Moses and the Mosaic law found in Leviticus. Paul points out that the law did not save Abraham, but instead his faith did. James also uses Abraham, pointing out that Abraham proved his faith by obeying all that God asked him to. Again, not the works of the law, but the works that result from desiring to follow God and out of love for Him. (For a more detailed account of works and faith please refer to the previous chapter). Paul also points out that God promised to bless all nations through Abraham. Jesus came through Abraham’s line and died to save all. Those who have faith like Abraham, proven through their deeds, are blessed with Abraham.

10 For all who rely on the works of the law are under a curse, because it is written: Everyone who does not continue doing everything written in the book of the law is cursed. 11 Now it is clear that no one is justified before God by the law, because the righteous will live by faith. 12 But the law is not based on faith; instead, the one who does these things will live by them. 13 Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, because it is written: Everyone who is hung on a tree is cursed. 14 The purpose was that the blessing of Abraham would come to the Gentiles by Christ Jesus, so that we could receive the promised Spirit through faith.

Here Paul explains what he means about the law being useless for salvation. He says those who rely on it are under a curse. The reason being the law is not based on faith and its purpose is to show our sin. Therefore, our sin is shown with no real way to fix it. The only thing waiting under the law is punishment for our failures, but Jesus came to earth and bore that punishment on Himself. That is why faith brings salvation, because only Jesus can pay the price. If you try to rely on your own goodness and actions without believing in Jesus and the price He paid, then you are doomed to fail. No amount of goodness can save a person, only the grace of God. Jesus died to fulfill the promise made to Abraham and to bring salvation to all of us.

15 Brothers, I’m using a human illustration. No one sets aside or makes additions to even a human covenant that has been ratified. 16 Now the promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. He does not say “and to seeds,” as though referring to many, but referring to one, and to your seed, who is Christ. 17 And I say this: The law, which came 430 years later, does not revoke a covenant that was previously ratified by God and cancel the promise. 18 For if the inheritance is from the law, it is no longer from the promise; but God granted it to Abraham through the promise.

Paul tries to put this in terms they will be able to understand. He points out that people do not just ignore or stop an agreement put in place through legal means. Think about our government, we do not cancel the constitution when we add things to it, it still stands as it is. The promise to Abraham came before the Mosaic law, so the law itself cannot cancel the promise that God made to Abraham. Paul points out that the promise to Abraham was made in a singular sense, restricting it to Jesus. This blessing only comes through the promise made to Abraham, and not through the Mosaic law. It is the belief and faith in that promise that brings salvation.

19 Why then was the law given? It was added because of transgressions until the Seed to whom the promise was made would come. The law was put into effect through angels by means of a mediator. 20 Now a mediator is not for just one person, but God is one. 21 Is the law therefore contrary to God’s promises? Absolutely not! For if a law had been given that was able to give life, then righteousness would certainly be by the law. 22 But the Scripture has imprisoned everything under sin’s power, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe. 23 Before this faith came, we were confined under the law, imprisoned until the coming faith was revealed. 24 The law, then, was our guardian until Christ, so that we could be justified by faith. 25 But since that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian, 26 for you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.

Now comes the question that likely hit you as it did the original audience. If the law cannot save and came later, then why was it given at all? Paul explains there was sin in the world as they waited for the seed, so they needed a temporary guardian. The guardian in this case shows our need for salvation by showing we are fallen sinners. The verses about a mediator can be confusing. What Paul points out is that a mediator is usually reconciling two parties, the offended party and the party that did the offending. However, when dealing with God there is only one party that needs full reconciliation and that is man. God id God and therefore we have to accept Him as who He is because He is perfect goodness and holiness and we are not. Therefore, we are the only party that needs to change, and that is all Paul means. Paul then moves back to the subject he had said before about the law and the promise. He asks the next question that comes to mind, is the law working against God’s promise. Paul says no, because if righteousness came through the law then there would be no need for the promise. Paul then says the Scriptures but everything under the power of sin. Many will likely be asking ‘what does that mean?’ (honestly I asked that myself and had to read The Message of Galatians by John Stott[1]) For Paul, particularly at the time he wrote, Scripture meant the Old Testament. After all, Galatians is one of the earliest letters and the New Testament had not been collected. Paul points out that the Old Testament tells us of the failing of man and no one is righteous. It also spells out what sin leads to. Therefore, the Scripture tells us of how everything in this world is held under the power of sin (or wrong doing). Therefore, we too were trapped by sin and in that time, before we come to God’s grace, the law serves as a guardian. Like a guardian today, the law looked out over us until we came to maturity. In the world, today that is 18, but spiritual maturity is not limited to a specific age. So finally, Jesus came and saved the whole world, thus the law had fulfilled its responsibility as guardian and was no longer in authority over God’s people. Instead we have received what we were promised and through Jesus’ death we are now sons of God. The law was there to watch over God’s people and remind them of Jesus who would come to save them. Since Jesus has already come the law has reached it purpose and is no longer needed.

27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ like a garment. 28 There is no Jew or Greek, slave or free, male or female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, heirs according to the promise.

The law is no longer needed because as we have come to Christ and identified ourselves with Him we have received the Spirit and in that sense Jesus is like a coat that is put over us. He guards our hearts and draws us to Him. He reveals sin in our lives and pushes us to obey God. As such when God looks at us He does not see male or female. He does not see skin color or cultural background. He does not see servant or slave or master. For that matter He does not even see our old selves. Because Jesus is in us when God looks at us all He sees is Jesus. We are all one body united in Christ. As such, we are untied with Jesus, the one seed and therefore we are all heirs of the promise given to Abraham.

So What Do I Do With This Now?

All the information is great, but what do I do with it now?

1 If you have not yet, accept Jesus’ gift of salvation and believe in Him, no longer trying to justify yourself by being ‘good enough.’ We can never be good enough and must accept and submit to Jesus

2 Study the Old Testament. The law may be unnecessary because of Jesus, but what the Old Testament teaches goes beyond the law. The Old Testament is just as valuable as the New Testament and will help us to know God and appreciate the fulfillment that Jesus is.

3 Forget about status, culture, skin color, or anything else. We are the body of Christ, children of God, and when He looks at us He sees Jesus. We must learn to do likewise.

4 Follow Abraham’s example. He had faith in God and showed that faith by obedience. We must seek to obey God remembering that it is faith and not the action that saves, but that the action shows our faith.

Well everyone I know that was long and hard. Believe me when I tell you I had to struggle through it as well, but it is rich in teaching and it is full of things we need to learn. Please keep striving to learn God’s word and apply it. I will see you back here next week as we look at Chapter 4. God bless and have a great week.

[1] John R.W. Stott. The Message of Galatians. (Downers Grove, IL: Inter-Varsity Press, 1986) 91.

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Galatians Chapter 2

Welcome back! It’s only been a few days but here we are at chapter 2. This chapter really picks up on Paul defending his apostleship. It is interesting where the Bible breaks up sections for chapters as really these two parts have to be addressed in relation to each other. Without further delay let’s start on chapter 2.

1 Then after fourteen years I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, taking Titus along also. 2 I went up according to a revelation and presented to them the gospel I preach among the Gentiles—but privately to those recognized as leaders—so that I might not be running, or have run the race, in vain. 3 But not even Titus who was with me, though he was a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised. 4 This issue arose because of false brothers smuggled in, who came in secretly to spy on the freedom that we have in Christ Jesus, in order to enslave us. 5 But we did not give up and submit to these people for even an hour, so that the truth of the gospel would be preserved for you.

Paul had visited the Apostles in Jerusalem at the end of the last chapter. After that visit he continued to minister and went on his first missions trip with Barnabas and after that returned to tell them the gospel as he presented it. While there he was hit with the issue of circumcision as Titus was confronted about not being circumcised. Paul points out that those that raised the issue were false believers that desired to stop the freedom gentiles had in Christ. Satan was able to use the sense of identity the Jews had placed in circumcision to cause problems in the church. Paul makes a point of not giving in to these people for even an hour as he would not compromise the truth of the gospel.

6 Now from those recognized as important (what they really were makes no difference to me; God does not show favoritism)—they added nothing to me. 7 On the contrary, they saw that I had been entrusted with the gospel for the uncircumcised, just as Peter was for the circumcised, 8 since the One at work in Peter for an apostleship to the circumcised was also at work in me for the Gentiles. 9 When James, Cephas, and John, recognized as pillars, acknowledged the grace that had been given to me, they gave the right hand of fellowship to me and Barnabas, agreeing that we should go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised. 10 They asked only that we would remember the poor, which I made every effort to do.

Continuing with his defense Paul points out that the elders and apostles in Jerusalem did not add anything to the gospel he presented. In fact, they recognized God’s hand on Paul to minister to the gentiles just as they had been called to the Jews. The only thing they asked was to remember the poor, words that echo Jesus’ own when he declared that true ministry was taking care of widows and orphans. On a side note go back to verse 6 and notice what Paul says about leaders in the church. There are those that humanly we place more value or importance on. They are pastors and leaders like John Piper, Chris Tomlin, or Francis Chan. Paul points out thought that they are not viewed with any favoritism by God. God loves all believers the same. Paul would address something similar in 1 Corinthians when he talked about division over those who followed Apollos and those that followed him, stating that glory needs only go to God. Likewise, Jesus talked about how those that are the highest on earth will be the lowest in heaven. We are all God’s children and God does not show favoritism.

11 But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face because he stood condemned. 12 For he regularly ate with the Gentiles before certain men came from James. However, when they came, he withdrew and separated himself, because he feared those from the circumcision party. 13 Then the rest of the Jews joined his hypocrisy, so that even Barnabas was carried away by their hypocrisy. 14 But when I saw that they were deviating from the truth of the gospel, I told Cephas in front of everyone, “If you, who are a Jew, live like a Gentile and not like a Jew, how can you compel Gentiles to live like Jews?”

Here Paul shows that there truly is no favoritism, but also the need and benefit of correcting believers. Peter had been eating with those who were not circumcised, but when others came who believed that the gentiles needed to be circumcised Peter stopped eating with them. Seeing Peter, the respected and honored apostle, leave the table, the other Jews did as well, to the point that even Barnabas joined them. Paul did not hesitate to confront this unrighteous behavior and directly addressed Peter in front of the believers about it. He makes a point that the Jews were too quick to forget. They could not live up to the law and its demands, but here they were demanding the gentiles be held to a standard they knew they could not meet.

15 We who are Jews by birth and not “Gentile sinners” 16 know that no one is justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ. And we have believed in Christ Jesus so that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law, because by the works of the law no human being will be justified. 17 But if we ourselves are also found to be “sinners” while seeking to be justified by Christ, is Christ then a promoter of sin? Absolutely not! 18 If I rebuild the system I tore down, I show myself to be a lawbreaker. 19 For through the law I have died to the law, so that I might live for God. I have been crucified with Christ 20 and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. 21 I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died for nothing.

Finally, having reached the end of his defense, Paul starts explaining more of why the law is no required. The Jews knew that no one could keep the entire law without messing up. That is why so many rejoiced over Jesus’ coming as He had come to do what no one could. They knew that Jesus had fulfilled the law for them and that no act of obedience through the law would have been able to do that. As if Paul knew someone would take this point to a dangerous extreme he makes sure to clarify. Jesus is the only thing that saves us, but if we recognize we are sinners as we are seeking Jesus to justify us, does that mean he promotes sin? Paul answers simply, no. By trying to live up to law after having grace we show that we are still sinners. It is not Jesus that makes us sinners, but ourselves. Through Christ we die to the law and now it is not us, but God that lives in us. What does that mean? Christ died to pay the penalty on the law and when we come to God our flesh is put to death and Christ takes its place. God no longer sees our sin, but Christ’s righteousness. At the same time, Christ dwells in us and changes our desires and heart to match His, and in that sense, it is no longer us that live out through our flesh (as in we no longer seek to only do our will and desire) but Christ who lives through our bodies (in that He changes our desires and gives us the desire to do His will). That is what is meant by living in faith in the Son of God. Paul finishes his thought by pointing out the biggest problem of righteousness based salvation, that if we can save ourselves then Jesus died for no reason. We cannot set aside the grace of God.

BONUS: Grace vs Works

If you have read Romans or James you likely have had to process through this argument, but I wanted to put a note here for clarity. In James and a few other places the Bible talks about faith being useless without works. In others, like Galatians and Romans, it says works are useless without faith. On the surface, it seems like a contradiction, but it is not. Let me explain, and take a quick breath as I try not to over complicate this. Paul is making a specific point. He is saying that being good (or obeying the law) is not enough to save us. That is most certainly true. We must have faith in Jesus or all the good works we do are nothing but filthy rages. On the flipside, we have James. James points out that if you say you have faith but do not do works your faith is useless. Now hear this part as it is essential, James is not saying works are what bring salvation. What he is saying is that if you truly have faith in Jesus then it should change your life and that change is evident in the works we do for Jesus as He commanded us to. Can you really say you believe if you do not take action? Let’s say someone tells you your house will collapse. And let’s say you believe him. However, you do nothing about it and finally your house collapses. Would you really say you believed? James points out that even demons know Jesus is real and they shutter and are not saved. If you truly believe in Jesus and have truly repented of your sin, then your actions will show it. On the off chance you try to dismiss this as just James, look at the words of Jesus in Matthew 7:21-23:

“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord!’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of My Father in heaven. On that day many will say to Me, ‘Lord, Lord, didn’t we prophesy in Your name, drive out demons in Your name, and do many miracles in Your name?’ Then I will announce to them, ‘I never knew you! Depart from Me, you lawbreakers!’

 

Salvation comes through faith, but without obedience and works to Jesus faith will die. As John says in 1 John 5:2-3 This is how we know that we love God’s children when we love God and obey His commands. 3 For this is what love for God is: to keep His commands. Now His commands are not a burden. Do not let anyone deceive you, faith is what leads to salvation, but without obedience faith will die. Be vigilant and seek to do God’s will to prove that Christ is truly alive within you instead of your flesh.

So What Do I Do With This Now?

All the information is great, but what do I do with it now?

1 Never compromise the truth of the gospel, not even if leaders in the church pressure you to do so. The gospel must not be compromised and if your leaders are asking you to compromise it then you likely need to leave that church.

2 Remember that although some leaders may get a lot of attention and respect God does not show favoritism and neither should we.

3 Remember the poor. Give money to help those in need and when you see someone asking for money, food, or water you need to go up to them and provide what you can. This is a simple truth but very hard to put into practice, keep trying and don’t become discouraged.

4 When people undermine the truth and teaching of the Bible you must not be afraid to tell them that they are wrong.

5 Remember if we love Jesus we will obey His commands. Continue to read and study the bible and when a command comes up do your best to apply it each day.

Well I know that was dense and difficult, but I’m glad you stuck it out. These passages are very important, as is the whole Bible. We need to take them seriously and apply them to our lives. God bless all! And keep up the good work.

Galatians Chapter 1

Welcome to the book of Galatians. If you read the background information, then you have a firm grasp of the motive behind this letter. If you haven’t I encourage you to go back and read that first as it is very important. This first chapter is primarily Paul establishing his authority for the Galatians because of the damage done by the false teachers. Without further ado, lets dive right in!

1 Paul, an apostle—not from men or by man, but by Jesus Christ and God the Father who raised Him from the dead— 2 and all the brothers who are with me: To the churches of Galatia. 3 Grace to you and peace from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ, 4 who gave Himself for our sins to rescue us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father. 5 To whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.

You may notice Paul starts his normal greeting, but then adds a point to the end of it. Paul points out that he is an apostle, and then defends his claim by pointing out that it was not man that made him an apostle, but God. There may be some confusion here as the term apostle is used in 2 senses. For most people the word apostle is only associated with the 12 apostles of Jesus who founded the early church. To be sure the Bible does use it this way referring specifically to the 12 disciples who Jesus empowered as the Apostles, but it also uses the term apostle generically. Used generically an apostle was one who had been taught by Jesus and had seen Him resurrected from the dead. Jesus appeared to Paul on the road to Damascus in Acts 9. Paul was an apostle and it was because Jesus choose to appear personally to him. He goes into a little more detail when he says this in 1 Corinthians 15:3-8.

Having made a point of his apostleship he then finishes the greeting, include all that are with him. He is writing to the churches in Galatia and prays for grace and peace from God for them. He reminds them that Jesus died to save them from their sin and that it was according to God’s will. As such God deserves the glory and honor forever.

6 I am amazed that you are so quickly turning away from Him who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— 7 not that there is another gospel, but there are some who are troubling you and want to change the good news about the Messiah. 8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel other than what we have preached to you, a curse be on him! 9 As we have said before, I now say again: If anyone preaches to you a gospel contrary to what you received, a curse be on him! 10 For am I now trying to win the favor of people, or God? Or am I striving to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a slave of Christ.

Having already defended his apostleship and reminded the Galatians of what Christ had done for them, Paul wastes no time or words but hits right at the problem. He is shocked by how easily the Galatians have moved have from what he had presented to them. Some believers from the church in Jerusalem were insisting on circumcision and were adding it as a requirement to salvation. Paul cannot stand this and tells them that there is no other gospel, and that if anyone teaches them something different than what they had already received that they should not listen to them, even if it were angels or Paul himself. If anyone teaches a different gospel then a curse should be on him. God will hold those who twist His words and messages in severe judgement. That is why Paul teaches the gospel, for God’s approval and not man’s. As he points out, if it were just about the approval of man he would not bother to suffer as he does.

11 Now I want you to know, brothers, that the gospel preached by me is not based on human thought. 12 For I did not receive it from a human source and I was not taught it, but it came by a revelation from Jesus Christ. 13 For you have heard about my former way of life in Judaism: I persecuted God’s church to an extreme degree and tried to destroy it. 14 I advanced in Judaism beyond many contemporaries among my people, because I was extremely zealous for the traditions of my ancestors. 15 But when God, who from my birth set me apart and called me by His grace, was pleased 16 to reveal His Son in me, so that I could preach Him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately consult with anyone. 17 I did not go up to Jerusalem to those who had become apostles before me; instead I went to Arabia and came back to Damascus. 18 Then after three years I did go up to Jerusalem to get to know Cephas, and I stayed with him fifteen days. 19 But I didn’t see any of the other apostles except James, the Lord’s brother. 20 Now I am not lying in what I write to you. God is my witness. 21 Afterward, I went to the regions of Syria and Cilicia. 22 I remained personally unknown to the Judean churches in Christ; 23 they simply kept hearing: “He who formerly persecuted us now preaches the faith he once tried to destroy.” 24 And they glorified God because of me.

He continues his last thought by telling the Galatians that his gospel was not based on human thought. He did not receive it from men nor was he taught by men. He received his gospel from Jesus Himself. This is referring back to what he said in his greeting, the fact that Jesus had appeared to him on the road to Damascus. This is why he was an apostle. Then he gives his testimony, including his education and persecution of the church. He met Jesus and went into the desert. He only consulted people after 3 years and they did not say anything about it. At this point, few knew who Paul was, but had heard that the one who persecuted the church was now preaching for it. Because of this the people gave glory to God as He deserved.

So What Do I Do With This Now?

All the information is great, but what do I do with it now?

1 Remember that the Gospel is from God and we should not seek to add anything to it.

2 Continue to grow in the faith we have been given and do not be thrown off track by those who teach something different than what the Bible teaches.

3 Those who teach and preach must remember the added responsibility and accountability of this privilege, and seek to honor God’s words or they will come into judgment for misleading others.

I know this first chapter is hard to truly apply, but that is because of what Paul is doing. The false teachers questioned his authority and so Paul is presenting his case for apostleship before he rebukes them further. This argument continues into chapter 2 so keep that in mind as we continue. Letters must be read as a whole and the rest of this letter holds more direct application.

You made it! Another chapter done! Again, I know this was an odd chapter. It was more information about Paul than anything else, but as we progress you will see why it is important. Keep up the good work and check in on Sunday for chapter 2!

New Commentary: Galatians

Sorry this is late, but I was sick all weekend. I wanted to start on the book of Galatians next and so I went through and did the background section for the book. You can read it below. I will likely publish chapter 1 tomorrow of Friday, but please go ahead and read the background today. As always, when it is done I will put it in the download section. God bless!

To begin with this background, we must first go to the book of Acts. The first time Galatia comes up is during Paul and Barnabas’ first missionary trip. Having been set apart and sent out by the church in Antioch in Acts 13 they then go on a journey through Cyprus and the region they called Galatia. This consisted of Lystra, Derbe, Iconim, Pisidia, and a few others. Paul would visit these again on his second journey and even picked up Timothy there. It was where Paul truly started the blessed ministry that God had set apart for Him. It was here he saw his first labor and his first fruit. Then, a controversy hit the early church, circumcision. The Jewish believers began to say that non-Jewish believers needed to be circumcised. Paul was against this as he knew the law and the Gospel. He knew that Christ had fulfilled the law and there was no need for circumcision. Paul contended for this in the Jerusalem as the church came together to work out the growing disagreement in the early church in what would become known as the Jerusalem Council in Acts 15. The elders of the Jerusalem church agreed. Paul wanted to make sure that the churches he had help start on his first trip had an explanation of why circumcision was not needed and wanted to exhort them to continue in the faith they had started with. Paul wrote this letter to the Galatians to help correct false views and to encourage them to continue in the freedom given by Christ. The exact date it was written is still debated, but it was likely between 48 and 51 A.D. after the Jerusalem Council. Paul was invested in the Galatians and loved them. They were his first fruit and they were hit with controversy from those claiming to have authority of the church in Jerusalem. This was the emotion Paul wrote with and why he says the things he does. It was out of concern for the Galatians and a desire to see them turn back to the gospel. He encourages and corrects them as a loving father, desiring for them to come back to Jesus.

Posts to Come

Just wanted to give an update so no one became confused by what I am going to do. I plan to continue doing the commentaries on Sundays, but I am also starting another project. I am writing a book about the commands God has given to all believers. My hope is that through it people will not only be inform, but be convicted of God’s word and the sin in their lives. It is going to be slow going. I am not sure how often or when I will post these, but I will likely post only parts of a chapter at a time so that they will not be too long. Like the commentaries I will compile this into a PDF for free download. As always, if you have any questions please send them my way. Have a great day and God bless.

New Years

Well it has been while since I wrote a post for my website. There is something about the holidays that seems to run us off track. Not only did I fail to write, but my prayers became fewer along with my Bible reading. In short, I let myself become busy. I let the things around me keep me from God and there is no excuse for it. How many of us have done the same? How many times do we push God to the side without really realizing it? We need to be aware and combat it. There are always things that will try to take us from God, but we cannot let them. We must go to God daily and communicate with Him. Satan wants to keep us from this through any means necessary. Our time is something we value highly. If we really want to value God we must give Him our time. I pray that in this New Year you will join me in giving that time to God and doing everything we can to protect that time. I have finally finished my first commentary and it is available for anyone to download. It is under the downloadable tab at the top. Pass it on and share it with others.