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Green Pastures and Still Waters

Identity is a complicated matter.  Identity theft is brutal.  It’s bad enough when people use your vital information to steal your stuff but when the enemy steals who you really are through deceit, it’s virtually intolerable.  When we allow our identity to get wrapped up in what we do for a hobby or a vocation, we set ourselves up for bitter disappointment down the road.  There will come a day when our jobs will be over and our hobbies will be too hard to do (unless your hobby is watching T.V.).  Along the way we hear things from people that cut to the heart.  We may even start to think that we are who others say we are and then start living down to those expectations.  Friends, if we don’t remember that we are who God says we are—nothing more and nothing less, we’ll be in for a life of hardship.  We’re going to look at a lengthy passage in Galatians on Sunday that concludes with a reminder of who are in Christ.  I trust our worship of the Living God and His truth this week will be the fuel your inner life needs to rejoice in the wondrous provision of God through Christ and His Spirit.

We ask kids that question when they are having a “Red Bull” burst of energy.  We also ask adults that question when they do not appear to be thinking correctly.  Apostle Paul was incredulous that the Galatian believers, who had expressed faith in Christ and joy in the Holy Spirit were turning to legalism.  In Galatians 3, the NKJV reads, “O foolish Galatians.”  The Message paraphrases that line, “You crazy Galatians.”  Paul wasn’t angry or filled with contempt in addressing them in such a way.  He simply wanted to know, in a loving manner, if they had lost their minds!  Sadly, though this letter has been in circulation for almost two millennia, people are “still crazy after all these years.”  Any time we suggest that justification requires more than faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ—we are crazy.  Any time we suggest that our own power and practice is enough to conquer the sins of the flesh—we are crazy.  Sanctification is only possible through the life-giving power of the indwelling Holy Spirit.  We allow His power to operate when we cooperate by yielding to Him.  We cannot be justified by the works of law and we cannot live a supernatural kind of life apart from the Holy Spirit.  God has provided wonderful gifts to be received.  On Sunday, we will rehearse them, “in remembrance of Him,” the One who loved us and gave Himself for us.