Paul: A Slave of Christ

“To the churches in Galatia, Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.”

Galatians 1:3-5

This Easter is an important one for me personally. Why? It will mark the 14th Easter since this picture was taken. I was celebrating with a player of mine from my teaching and coaching years.

This kid, now an adult, told me after I got out of coaching, he remembered me “as the coach who showed us what we did wrong, and got excited when we did right.” Those teaching years the Lord poured out His prevenient grace on my life, showing me I had the ability to lead people. Mainly because, people remembered who I was and what I was about. These remarks were consistent with kids and adults I worked with for years.

In Galatians, apparently, people were remembering Jesus in more ways than they should have: “I am shocked you are turning to a different gospel” Paul exclaims. Just like my career, in our text, Paul remembers Jesus not by how we feel, but what He did. Remembering why Christ died, that he defeated death, and living like it made Paul a “slave of Christ”- Galatians 1:10.

The good news about being Christ’s slave this Easter is this: 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 (U2)! 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. Winning is not always up to you. God dealt a baby, Magi astronomers, a Roman torture weapon in the cross, and an empty Tomb as some of His winning hands to build His Kingdom. 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 the Jesus who died and rose again, worth risking yours?

Rev. John Thomas is Senior Pastor of Carol Springs United Methodist Church in Athens, Texas, a short drive from Tyler.

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