Minister with Grace
Minister with Grace
Continuing an earlier thought, that we are Sons, not slaves, Paul requests Galatians to put themselves in his shoes and take a look at what they have got into.
12 Brethren, I urge you to become like me, for I became like you. You have not injured me at all. 13 You know that because of physical infirmity I preached the gospel to you at the first. 14 And my trial which was in my flesh you did not despise or reject, but you received me as an angel of God, even as Christ Jesus. 15 What then was the blessing you enjoyed? For I bear you witness that, if possible, you would have plucked out your own eyes and given them to me. Galatians 4:12-15
They welcomed him like they would an angel or even Jesus Christ, they cared for him and were even willing to offer their eyes for him. The fact that these are all mentioned in the past tense can only mean that they felt differently now towards Paul. “Have I therefore become your enemy because I tell you the truth?” Galatians 4:16
How could one turn from being willing to give you his eyes to being your enemy? Apparently you could, if you are being influenced and persuaded by legalistic religious leaders. Who by the way, did not do these things so they could win people for Christ, their goal was that the people would follow them and consider them more important than anything else. They zealously court you, but for no good; yes, they want to exclude you, that you may be zealous for them. Galatians 4:17
Looks like the Judaizers were unhappy about this whole Christ and His followers situation right from the beginning. They were doing everything in their might to question His authority, education and leadership. (John 7) While it was entrusted on them to carefully lead the flock with grace and humility, they were turning them away from grace as much as they can and enforcing the law, so that the people could ever remain under their control.
You and I might not be pastors or leaders, but we have all been given the great commission. “Go therefore and make disciples…” Matthew 28:19 We are all ministers of God’s word. Whether you are the spiritual head of the family, or a mom teaching Bible to your kids or a friend sharing God’s love over coffee or a stranger talking about the truth of gospel to a fellow passenger, we have all been entrusted with the word. Take a moment and reflect if you are ministering with grace. They might not be in the same page as you are right now, it might take days, even years for them to understand the truth, because the Spirit chooses to reveal it to them. Are we waiting in the sidelines with the banner of grace? Never stop sharing the word, but do it with love and grace.
Because the moment we start judging we come in the limelight. People start looking and probing in our lives. We will be measured by the same measure we use. And trust me, you can never measure up, no one can. Our hypocrisy will be visible and it won’t be a pretty sight! Paul was pleading with Galatians to wake up and look around. He feared that they might lose sight of what Christ had done for them on the cross. I want share with you Paul’s feelings through the MSG version because it cannot be expressed better.
It is a good thing to be ardent in doing good, but not just when I am in your presence. Can’t you continue the same concern for both my person and my message when I am away from you that you had when I was with you? Do you know how I feel right now, and will feel until Christ’s life becomes visible in your lives? Like a mother in the pain of childbirth. Oh, I keep wishing that I was with you. Then I wouldn’t be reduced to this blunt, letter-writing language out of sheer frustration. Galatians 4:18-20
Do you make Christ visible in your life? When given the chance, do you minister with grace? By grace you have been saved, extend a little grace to others today!
Read next post in this series: Children of Promise