Beyond the Gospels: Galatians

Today’s Reading: Galatians 2:1-10

(No Bible handy, just click on the link.)
Three years in Arabia… 15 days with Peter… and fourteen years before Paul meets Peter again. Paul spent fourteen years sharing the message of Christ with non-Jews, while Peter and the apostles were leading from Jerusalem. Paul wanted to present his ministry for approval from the leaders of the church. He understood his place when it came to the organization of the church. He understood his authority and theirs as well.

Recognizing that my calling had been given by God, James, Peter, and John —
the pillars of the church — shook hands with me and Barnabs, assigning us to
a ministry to the non-Jews, while they continued to be responsible for reaching
out to the Jews. The only additional thing they asked was that we remember
the poor, and I was already eager to do that. —The Message

Paul did not have to go to Jerusalem. He didn’t need approval for what he had been doing for the last fourteen years. So why go? Why take the risk? Isn’t it better to ask for forgiveness than permission?

Honestly, I just can’t buy that reasoning. Paul illustrated for us exactly what it looks like to respect and honor the authority God has allowed in our lives. Just last night I read these words from the book of Titus:

Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate and to show true humility toward men.–Titus 3:1-2

I’ve learned that the authority in my life is not something I always agree with… government officials, bosses, parents, regulations, and even some laws. Submitting to authority is not about agreement it is about humility. When God allows an authority in our lives, He will use it for our benefit. What authority are you having trouble submitting to lately? Is this a pride issue… something God is working out in you?

(Note: Please understand I do not believe authority in our lives has the right to abuse us in any way… physically, mentally, or emotionally. Submitting to abuse is not the message of this devotional. If you are in an abusive situation or relationship and need help please contact Crisis Center of Anderson and Cherokee Counties.)

Lord Jesus, thank You for the authority You place in my life.
Thank You for holding all those with authority accountable for how they use it.
Bless me with the humility to come under legitimate authority
and the boldness to get out from under those who abuse authority.

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