Don’t Just Talk

Posted by Melissa

Everybody knows this group of people lie all the time—because they generally get caught in their lies. Who are they?

Here’s a clue: their name begins with a “C.” Celebrities? Yes, but that’s not the group I have in mind. Give up? Try Christians. Yup, we’re guilty, too.

Read 1 John 1:5-7. Concentrate on verse 6.

What was John’s main point in this passage?

What does it mean to walk in the light?

How are you walking in the light? Explain.

Based on John’s description of liars, would you consider yourself one? Explain.

What does walking in darkness look like? Give examples.

In what ways have you lied to yourself and to God?

John wrote that if what we do doesn’t reflect what we say, then we’re liars. If we say we love Christ and obey Him, but our lives say otherwise, we’re lying. Hits close to home, doesn’t it?

See, it’s through your actions that you prove you are God’s child. When your words match what you do, when what you say you believe affects how you live—people have less reason to doubt you and more reason to give God a chance.

It’s tough but true: because we bear His name, everything we do reflects on Him. So if you truly love God, your life will reflect Him. And people will listen when you talk about your faith because they see it in action in your life.

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You Have Been Set Free

Posted by Melissa

Don’t you just love stories about underdogs who fight their way to freedom and end up inspiring others at the same time? It doesn’t matter if it’s real or made up. Such stories never fail to make us smile. And for a little while, life just feels good.

Could it be because it reminds us of our own stories of freedom in Christ? Even though we’re not the heroes of our stories, we win because sin has lost its power over us. We no longer worry about having to be good enough for God.

Read Galatians 4:8-11. Go back and read verse 9 again.

Think about yourself before you knew God. What were you like?

How does knowing God give you freedom?

What could make someone who has been set free go back to his old way of life?

In what areas of your life do you feel the pull to return to old ways of living? Why?

Why was Paul upset about the Galatian Christians observing special times? How could this be a problem?

As a Christian, what are some rules you think you should follow? Why?

Are these rules Scriptural?

The Christian life isn’t supposed to be like writing a paper with a strict rubric to follow. You don’t have to live up to a prescribed set of rules in order to please the Father. Through His grace and in faith, you are given the freedom to grow and be like His Son, Jesus. Paul was writing to people who had accepted Christ, yet had gone back to keeping all the rules and observances of their old religious practice. They had experienced the freedom of Christ through grace and faith and were now making their relationship with Him all about living up to rules. God doesn’t want that from us! Now isn’t that a big relief? Get rid of those rules you cling to and start following Him! He’s set you free. So go and be free!

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God Loves You

Posted by Melissa

Read Galatians 4:1-7.

Slavery—it isn’t something we willingly think about. Yet every day, we can’t help but hear stories of those who are caught in this evil.

In the newspaper, on the Internet, or from our friends, we hear of children forced to work in mills and factories and of young girls caught in human trafficking. We see consumer campaigns urging us to stop buying clothing made in sweatshops all over the world. We’re aware of how ugly slavery is, and the plight of slaves touches our hearts. But most times we don’t like to dwell on their daily lives. It’s too tragic and overwhelming.

In today’s passage, however, we are reminded that spiritually, we too were once in the same desperate condition. Sin held us in its unyielding grip. There was no escape. And even though we thought we were in charge, truth was, we never had any power over anything. Satan held our past, our present, and our future in his cruel hands.

Enter Jesus. Suddenly, there is hope and a way of escape. Suddenly, we have a choice and a future. And God, the Almighty One, becomes our Father. How things have changed! Instead of being nobodies, we’ve been welcomed into an eternal family, loved and accepted by the Father. God doesn’t hold you at arm’s length. If you are a believer, you are a dearly loved child of the Creator Himself.

Don’t let the wonder of that kind of love escape you today. When things get stressful, remember whose you are. Rest in the love of a Father who will never leave you. You are loved!

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