“Caution, the moving walkway is ending. Caution, the moving walkway is ending.” If you’ve ever used an automated walkway at an airport, you’ve heard this kind of announcement repeatedly.
Why do airports repeat this announcement over and over? To ensure safety and to protect them from liability if someone were to be injured.
Repeated announcements can be annoying, but they do have value. As a matter of fact, the apostle Paul thought repeating a warning was so vital that he did it in the text of Galatians. But his statement had value far beyond the danger of tripping at the airport. Paul warned them not to listen to, nor believe, him or an angel from heaven if they preached “any other gospel” than what they had already heard (1:8). In the next verse, Paul said it again. It was a warning worth repeating. The Galatians had begun to believe that their salvation was dependent on good works instead of the true gospel: faith in Christ’s work.
The gospel of Jesus—His death, burial, and resurrection for the forgiveness of sins—is the story that we have the privilege and responsibility to share. When we present the gospel, let’s share that the risen Jesus is the only solution to the problem of sin.
He is the way, the truth, the life— That One whose name is Jesus; There is no other name on earth That has the power to save us. —Sper
Only one road leads to heaven— Jesus Christ is the way.
Paul’s letter to the church in Galatia addresses Christians who were being persuaded to return to a lifestyle that sought to earn God’s favor through good deeds and obedience to the law of Moses. Today’s passage is part of the introduction to the letter. In these few verses, Paul introduces the topics that will be covered in the rest of the letter, provides the reason this should be of interest to the reader, and establishes his own authority to address the topic. Paul will be writing about the true gospel of Christ (vv.6-9), and the reader should pay attention to his words because he is the bondservant of Christ (v.10). Anyone who preaches another message is “accursed” (vv.8-9).
A while ago I attended a conference on the Middle Ages. In one seminar we actually prepared several foods that would have been common in medieval times. We used pestle and mortar to grind cinnamon and fruit to make jam. We cut orange rinds and broiled them with honey and ginger to produce a sweet snack. We crushed almonds with water and other ingredients to create almond milk. And, finally, we prepared a whole chicken to serve as a main dish with rice. As we sampled these dishes, we enjoyed a tasty culinary experience.
When it comes to spiritual food for our souls, God has given us a varied menu that we can chew on and savor. In doing so, we can be filled and satisfied. The historic books, poetry, wisdom literature, prophecy, and other parts of the Bible strengthen us when we are weak, give us wisdom and encouragement, and nourish us for the day’s journey (Ps. 19:7-14; 119:97-104; Heb. 5:12). As the psalmist tells us: “How sweet are Your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” (Ps. 119:103).
So what are we waiting for? God has set before us a banquet of delectable spiritual food and calls us to come and dine. We are all invited!
Thank You, Lord, that You call me to Your table to feast on Your Word. I know that I need it for my spiritual nourishment and to grow close to You. I open my heart to You now.
The Bible is the bread of life, and it never gets stale.
Some scholars have criticized Psalm 19 as an artificially constructed piece, saying that the two halves of the psalm do not naturally go together. However, a case can be made that both portions of the psalm reflect on how God has chosen to reveal Himself to humanity. In verses 1-6, we see “general revelation,” where God is revealed through the creation He has made. The remainder of the psalm (vv.7-14) describes how God has revealed Himself through Scripture, which theologians call “special revelation.” In both cases, the psalm describes how God has made Himself known to us.
Joash must have been confused and frightened when he was told about the evil deeds of his grandmother Athaliah. She had murdered his brothers to usurp the power of the throne in Judah. But baby Joash had been safely hidden away by his aunt and uncle for 6 years (2 Chron. 22:10-12). As he grew, he enjoyed the love and instruction of his caregivers. When Joash was only 7 years old, he was secretly crowned king and his grandmother was overthrown (23:12-15).
Young King Joash had a wise counselor by his side—his very own Uncle Jehoiada (chs. 22–25). Joash was one of the rare “good kings” of Judah, and while his uncle was alive he obeyed the Lord by doing right (24:2). But once his uncle was no longer there to teach and lead by example, Joash fell away and his life ended badly (24:15-25). It seems that the roots of his faith did not run very deep. He even began to worship idols. Perhaps Joash’s “faith” had been more his uncle’s than his own.
Others can teach us the principles of their faith, but each of us must come individually to a lasting and personal faith in Christ. For faith to be real, it must become our own. God will help us walk with Him and become rooted and established in the faith (Col. 2:6-7).
I am Thine, O Lord, I have heard Thy voice, And it told Thy love to me; But I long to rise in the arms of faith And be closer drawn to Thee. —Crosby
The faith that continues to the end gives proof that it was genuine in the beginning.
Some scholars believe that Jesus may have been referring to the brutal murder of Jehoiada’s son Zechariah (2 Chron. 24:21) in His final confrontation with the Jewish religious leaders (Matt. 23:35; Luke 11:51). The statement “but killed his son” (v.22) is reminiscent of Jesus’ own impending death.