Note: I am going on vacation starting tomorrow. I will be back in a week. While I am on break, I ask you to tap into the resources we have online:
The blog site has over 8,000 messages: http://todaysword.org/
The YouTube channel has over 2,000 videos: https://www.youtube.com/rickpina
The podcast has over 2,000 episodes: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-rick-pina-podcast/id1435374892
Here are some Bible declarations: https://ripministries.org/teaching/bible-declarations
We all need rest. Please pray for me and my family as we take a break.
Today we continue our series entitled “Destiny’s Child – You Are Not a Mistake!” We have been looking at what Paul said in Ephesians 2 for days. Today I want us to take a look at what the Apostle said in the opening remarks of his letter to the believers in Galatia.
(Galatians 1:11-16 NLT)
(v.11) Dear brothers and sisters, I want you to understand that the gospel message I preach is not based on mere human reasoning.
(v.12) I received my message from no human source, and no one taught me. Instead, I received it by direct revelation from Jesus Christ.
(v.13) You know what I was like when I followed the Jewish religion—how I violently persecuted God’s church. I did my best to destroy it.
(v.14) I was far ahead of my fellow Jews in my zeal for the traditions of my ancestors.
(v.15) But even before I was born, God chose me and called me by his marvelous grace. Then it pleased him
(v.16) to reveal his Son to me so that I would proclaim the Good News about Jesus to the Gentiles. When this happened, I did not rush out to consult with any human being.
So what does this mean for you today? There is a lot here. I will give you a few things you can glean from this passage today.
1. Sincerity does not equal accuracy.
You can be sincere and be sincerely wrong.
The Apostle Paul grew up as Saul of Tarsus. He was being groomed to be part of the Jewish religious elite from a young age. He studied under Israel’s greatest teacher of the Law at the time, Gamaliel. Pharisees of the Pharisees mentored him.
He was too young to participate in the stoning of Stephen, the first Christian martyr. So he held the coats of the men who were there as they stoned Stephen to death. When he was of age, he led the persecution movement against Christians. He did this with all the zeal he could muster.
He had Christians imprisoned, stoned, burned at the stake, and eaten alive by wild animals in coliseums. All the while, Saul of Tarsus thought he was doing this for God. This is part of the crazy stuff that happens in the name of religion when people don’t have a true relationship with Jesus. But through it all, through all the mistakes, all the wrong turns, all the bad deeds, Paul later acknowledged the fact that God had called him before he was born by His marvelous grace.
Like Paul, many of us did crazy things we were passionate about at the time. We thought we were right. We may have even thought we were pleasing God. But over the years, we realized that we were completely wrong. Thank God for His grace and mercy!
2. You cannot disqualify yourself from an assignment you never qualified for in the first place.
If you look at some of the major contributors to scripture, you will see they were not perfect people. God makes holy garments from flawed material. The of the major scripture writers (Moses, David, and Paul) were murderers. But God used them anyway. Why? Because He called them by grace, from their mother’s womb.
— While Paul was being groomed to scale the ladder of the Jewish religious elite, God’s plans for his life were already set. Nothing the Apostle Paul did while he was living as Saul of Tarsus could change God’s plans.
— Before Paul had one Christian killed, before he held the coats of the men who killed Stephen, and before he went on one incarceration campaign, God had already called him to preach the Gospel he was fighting against.
— God’s plan for your life is fixed and established. Nothing you do will cause God to change His mind about His plans for you. The key is understanding that you never experience God’s best until you die to self and rest in God’s finished work. The only way to truly succeed in life is to become the man/woman you are destined to be.
— You are not too bad. You have not done too much wrong. You are not disqualified, but you never qualified in the first place. God did not call you because you are good. God called you because HE is good. God called you by grace!
3. God does not just save you. He calls you!
2 Timothy 1:9 says, “For God saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus before the world began.” You did not earn your calling. It had nothing to do with your performance. You were saved and called by grace. This was all for God’s purpose. A purpose and grace He established in Christ Jesus before the world began.
Not only did God save Paul when he was clearly fighting against the cause of Christ. But God called Paul to HIs work. Paul said, “But even before I was born, God chose me and called me by his marvelous grace” (Galatians 1:15).
If God just forgave you of your sins, that would be good enough. But God takes it a step further. He saves you by His unearned grace, and He then reveals to you that He CALLED you by grace before you were born. So you get to receive forgiveness of sin and the grace to do what you are called to do!
4. God calls you to do things that will NOT make sense to people who only look at you from a human point of view.
I have already given you enough for today. But the last thing I will point out from our passage today is from verse 16. Paul said, “When this happened, I did not rush out to consult with any human being.”
— Paul could not consult with humans about his call because his call did not make any sense. Who in their right mind would believe that God would call a terrorist to be an evangelist? But that is exactly what God did.
— God’s grace is so good that when you open your heart to the fulness of His call on your life, you may not be able to share it with many people. Because, unless the person is sensitive to the Holy Spirit, they may not believe you. They will think you are not qualified. Do you know why? BECAUSE YOU ARE NOT! It is the grace of God!
Declaration of Faith:
Father, this is a season of LEVELING UP for me! I LEVEL UP by embracing the fact that I am chosen and called. You chose me, in Christ Jesus, before the world began. You also called me for a specific assignment. You did this before I was born. You chose me and called me by grace, not because I am good, but because You are good. I embrace Your grace. I accept Your call. I may not be able to consult with flesh and blood, but I will consult with the Holy Spirit. I will become the man/woman You called me to be. GREATER IS COMING FOR ME! I declare this by faith. In Jesus’ name, Amen!
This is Today’s Word! Apply it and Prosper.