john thomas NEWFB.jpg

“Am I trying to win over human beings or God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I wouldn’t be Christ’s slave.”-Galatians 1:10.

This Sunday, we will begin a worship series that goes through the Book of Galatians at Carroll Springs UMC. As I was praying over this series and researching the culture of Galatia, I discovered something interesting. The Galatian people were very superstitious. Paul’s first experience in Galatia was in Acts 13-14. In Lystra (a Galatian community), Paul healed a man and as a result he and Barnabas were called Greek gods (Acts 14:8-18)! Paul and Barnabas had to put a stop to their superstition, yet lessons are hard to learn! They continued to be set in their ways that they had to do SOMETHING to merit being saved by God. That somehow the Gospel is to good to be true.

Even today, we Gentiles have some learning to do. We work, we take vacations, we have gatherings with neighbors, we have family gatherings, all in the hopes that like the Galatians in Lystra, we will finally find what life all about. Doesn’t always working to find joy ever get tiring? How much money do we need to spend on what is temporary when the Bible reminds us of the joy that is ours in Christ?  In a word, our priorities are messed up, and we need to be put back on track. How? By answering a couple of questions. First, who are you trying to please? Doing things with the family, vacations, watching a sporting event, all are great things. Yet Paul reminds us we do those things not because we are trying to make our spouses, friends, families like us. We do those things because we are “slaves of Christ.” The good news about being Christ’s slave, is we don’t have to do anything to change what He did. No more working! No more spending a fortune to find what we have been looking for. Christ has already done it! How? “He gave himself for our sins, so he could deliver us from this present evil age according to the Will of God.”-Galatians 1:4. If you are a believer in Christ, give yourself a break. The pressure you are putting on yourself is not necessary. Christ has taken our shame and pressure and made it His own! If you are not a believer, won’t you give Jesus a try? His followers aren’t always perfect, but He is. Which in our time is worth risking my life on! Is Jesus worth risking yours?

John Thomas is a Pastor at Carroll Springs United Methodist Church.