Scripture: Galatians 1:11-24
Observation: Paul assures the Galatians that the message he preaches comes from Jesus himself. He describes his conversion story, how he was once intensely committed to Judaism and persecuting Christians to becoming a Christian and spending his life spreading the Good News.
Application: You know that feeling you get when you wear a new outfit? How you walk around feeling just a bit better about yourself? A few months ago, I got my first piece of Lularoe (here’s a shameless plug for my aunt who is a consultant) and every time I wear it, I feel SO confident. I walk around with a little swag in my step, humbly and graciously accepting compliments that inevitably come from others every time I wear it. (And by “humbly and graciously” I mean smiling and nodding instead of screaming, “UM YES, I KNOW; I LOOK SO GOOD” which is what I actually want to do. #conceited)
I can’t help it. There’s just something about the new-outfit-swagger that feels so good – leaving your old, tired clothes in the closet and walking out into the world feeling fresh and fashionable and brand new.
Faith is our new-outfit-swagger.
In this part of Paul’s writing to the Galatians, he reminds them that he wasn’t always a dedicated follower of Jesus. In fact, not only was Paul not a Christian, he “violently persecuted God’s church.” He killed and destroyed those who believed in Jesus, anyone who threatened the traditions of his religion or disobeyed the law.
But then, everything changed.
“Then it pleased him to reveal his Son to me so that I would proclaim the Good News about Jesus to the Gentiles.” (v. 16)
Once he put his faith in Jesus, he was never the same – his internal transformation was reflected in his external ministry. He tore off the labels that previously defined him – Pharisee, zealot, oppressor – and put on new ones – confident, loving, evangelist. He walked around confidently, full of new-outfit-swagger, so changed and so different that people barely recognized him.
“All they knew was that people were saying, ‘The one who used to persecute us is now preaching the very faith he tried to destroy!’ And they praised God because of me.” (v. 23-24)
Paul refused to succumb to complacency. He never let his faith feel like last season’s wardrobe, tired and boring and overworn. His wore his faith like he was wearing a new outfit every day.
I want to wear my faith like I wear a new outfit – confidently, passionately, unashamedly. I want people to sense that there’s something different about me and be compelled to ask what it is. I want to tell people about my faith like I tell them about a new outfit – where I found it, why I love it, how they can get it.
How will you wear your faith today?
Prayer: God, I pray you’ll renew my faith today. Stir up a new passion for who you are and what you’ve done. I pray for confidence to spread your message to others in my world. I pray your Spirit will speak to me and empower me to share my faith with one other person today. Amen.