Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Wednesday, August 19th: Psalms 103-104, Galatians 4 ~ Tammy

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Psalms 103-104; Galatians 4

Psalm 103 speaks of all God has done and continues to do for us.  There are so many verses in here that I love.
v11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;

His love is infinite, and beyond our understanding.
The notion of fearing God has gone out of style, but it is a timeless truth we would do well to remember.  Every time a human had even a glimpse of God's glory, they trembled or fell down in fear.  Our sinful nature simply cannot handle the purity of His holiness.  His wrath is real - but thankfully, so is His grace!

In fact....

v12 as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us.
Of course, east and west can never meet.  What an amazing symbol of God's forgiveness for us - He separates our sin from us so that He doesn't even remember it.  God not only forgives our sin, but He chooses to forget it, and declares us righteous in Christ.  What a Saviour!

Psalm 104 contains beautiful poetic language to describe God the Creator and Sustainer of all things.  Truly, even poetry cannot do justice to this amazing creative power.

Our Galatians passage tells us that in Christ we are given a new position - we are now no longer simply freed slaves, but we are heirs, true sons and daughters of God!  We are not step-children, we are adopted into His family.  And this standing is secure because it is not based on our performance, but on our standing as His children.  We are given the priviledge of coming to the throne as His children through Jesus Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit - amazing.

The Galatians believed in Jesus, but they wanted to live under the law in order to please God.  Paul straightened out this error in thinking by using Sarah and Hagar as an allegory to show that you cannot have it both ways.  You are either an Isaac or an Ishmael.

Who is your mother? Hagar or Sarah? Are you born of the flesh only or are you also born of the Spirit? Do you still think there is some way you can help God out by the things you do? If you think you can somehow be good enough to merit salvation or if you think that salvation is partly what God does and partly what you do, you are a child of slavery. You are still in chains.

The Ishmaels of this world trust in themselves. The Isaacs of this world trust in God alone for salvation.

There are two streams of humanity and only two. Despite all the superficial differences of skin color, culture, language, place of birth, and so on, in God’s eyes the whole human race is divided into two groups—the Ishmaels and the Isaacs, the children of Hagar and the children of Sarah. Everyone in the world is descended spiritually from one of those two women. You are either a slave to works or you have been set free by God’s grace.

Who is your mother? Make sure you know the answer to that question.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage passage: Psalms 105-106; Galatians 5


Nathan Reimer said...

Psalm 103: 2-5

2 Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits,
3 who forgives all your iniquity,
who heals all your diseases,
4 who redeems your life from the pit,
who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
5 who satisfies you with good
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.

I like how these verses list and remind us of what God all does for us. He gives us many benefits, forgives, heals, redeems, loves us, has mercy on us and satisfies us.

We don't deserve this, or can never earn this or repay God for all of this. If we believe this statement we are like the Isaacs, and not like the Ishmeals.

Pamela said...

7 So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.

An heir. It's kind of hard to comprehend being a child and heir to a King. Nothing that we deserve but still given to us.