We’ve all heard amazing stories of love, forgiveness, and victory. One of my favorites is the story of the prodigal son. The story, found in the book of Luke, depicts the journey of two young brothers. One son was marked by selfishness, immaturity, and the desire for cheap thrills. The other was selfish, bitter, and resentful. Each of us identifies with these brothers more than we would like to admit. Watch the story unfold by CLICKING HERE. The beauty of this story unfolds through their father’s love. These two sons (heirs to their father’s wealth, status, and name) still received their father’s love despite their personal demons.
In Galatians 4 Paul reminds the church that they are joint heirs with Christ. All the rights and privileges that come with being son’s and daughters of God are freely given to them when they surrender ownership of their lives to him, and receive God’s forgiveness of sin. They have the opportunity to receive the Father’s love despite their personal demons. Let’s take a look at chapter 4 as it relates to the early church and the principles that still ring true today.
THE CHOICES (Galatians 4:4-11)
The choices we make determine our future. Paul wanted nothing more than the early church to choose Jesus. This would take a colossal mental, spiritual, and emotional shift. The church had a choice to make and Paul wanted to make sure they understood the cost of their choice. They could choose to be an heir of God or heir to their own personal making.
How would you define an Heir?
How does being God’s heir change you?
How would you define a Slave?
How does being enslaved by your own personal making hold you back?
THE STRUGGLE (Galatians 4:12-31)
Even when we know what’s best it can be difficult to do the right thing. Fear, pride, selfishness, and a gamete of other characteristics make choosing the right thing a struggle. Paul recognized that the church was having a hard time making the right choice. He identified three things that made it difficult for the Church to choose Jesus. These three things are mundane living, outside influencers, and doing God’s work for him.
1. Mundane Living – going through the motions is not an option for the follower of Christ. God desires for you to be a conduit of love. Each new day we have the privilege of sharing that love. If we get caught up in the motions of life we’ll miss those opportunities and begin to forget the beauty of God’s gifts.
2. Outside Influencers – something or someone is always influencing us. What influences us the most is what drives our behavior. God longs to influence us to the extent that people are drawn to God by the way we live more than the words we share.
3. Doing God’s Work for Him – Apart from the Spirit’s leading and the Scriptures direction, a Christian cannot determine what God wants. Sadly, we find ourselves trying to do God’s work for him. God does not need us to do anything; he wants us to be something. He wants us to be a direct representation of Jesus.
How does the mundane numb us to what’s important? Gal 4:12-16
How do outside influencers alienate us from God? Gal 4:17-20
How do we try to do what God can only do? Gal 4:21-27
How do we live as slaves to the world? Gal 4:28-31
Don’t let your choices rob you of being an heir like it did for this man. Tomas Martinez, A homeless man living in Bolivia fled police who were bringing him news of a $6-million dollar inheritance. Apparently he thought the police were about to arrest him for his alcohol and drug habits. The inheritance came to Mr. Martinez from his ex-wife, who inherited the money herself from family members. It’s time for you to count the cost of your choices, run from what God has blessed you with and be enslaved by your personal demons or embrace who God says you can be – chosen, set apart, special, and a friend of God.