What’s Happened to All Your Joy?

14. January 2014 Galatians 0

Text: Galatians 4:10-20
Theme: Paul was perplexed by the change in how the Galatians alienated him and embraced no-gooders.
Key verses: “You are observing special days and months and seasons and years!” (v. 10). “…you welcomed me as an angel of God, as if I were Christ Jesus himself. What has happened to all your joy?…Have I now become your enemy by telling you the truth? Those people are zealous to win you over, but for no good. What they want is to alienate you from us…” (v. 14b-17a). “My dear children, for whom I am again in the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed in you, how I wish I could be with you now and change my tone, because I am perplexed about you!” (v. 19).
What God said to me: Son, sometimes people don’t act like they should. Sometimes they don’t act like they used to. Sometimes they don’t act like they even like you anymore. People can be fickle. Paul was perplexed at the Galatians’ behavior toward him. But he was even more perplexed that they had turned away from basic principles of doctrine he had taught them. They were falling for a lie and rejecting the truth. And it was robbing them of their joy in me. It is perplexing–it perplexes me!–that my children would ever run back to old ways and old beliefs once they’ve tasted the truth and love and joy and hope they find in me and in the truth of my Word. What about you, Dwayne? Check your beliefs. Examine your behaviors and attitudes. The devil is crafty. He shrouds lies in shreds of truth. He wants to steal your joy and replace your love for me with love for ministry or activity. He would love to replace your valuable alone with me with busy schedules and things to do lists. Working for my approval is dead. Live in my grace. Walk in my truth. That is your source of daily strength, life and joy.
What I said to God: Precious Lord, I confess my sinful thoughts and actions. (I’m being specific in my mind about these, although I refrain from listing those sins in this post.) I pray for my family and my ministry friends, that they not become sidetracked or engrossed in deceptive teachings or activity and thus fail to focus on the pure joy of serving and loving You. I pray that for myself. May we follow You today from a heart that loves You and loves other people.