Prayer Challenge

I want to ask you to say this prayer out loud, if possible.

“I belong to God. I am a holy vessel because I have the Holy Spirit of the Living God. The Lord of Heaven and earth has said to me; “I declare you holy!”. I commit to start believing what He says. I AM HOLY! Remind me daily, Spirit of the Living God, to treat myself as holy, open my eyes to every scheme of The Enemy to treat me as if I'm not. You, God, are Holy. Your word is the truth. This day Father, I chose to believe you! I ask this in the mighty name of your son Jesus Christ, who died on a cross for me so that I could be a coheir to the kingdom of God. Amen”

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Verse of the Week - Galatians 2:14

Last Week I Wrote
Paul felt he was standing up for the gospel of Jesus against the hypocrisy of the apostle Peter who was a pillar of the Jewish Christians. 
The hypocrisy Paul spoke of was that Peter had been eating with the Gentile believers on a regular basis, but had stopped when the men sent by James arrived in Antioch. 

Paul stated earlier in Galatians that Peter was afraid of the Jewish circumcision group sent from James in Jerusalem and the other Jewish believers followed his example. I don't understand this because in Acts 10:11-29 Peter was given a vision or dream from God to teach him that nothing God creates is unclean or impure. He even stated this to Cornelius the Centurion when he arrived at Cornelius' house. 

While talking with him, Peter went inside and found a large gathering of people. 28He said to them: “You are well aware that it is against our law for a Jew to associate with or visit a Gentile. But God has shown me that I should not call anyone impure or unclean. 29So when I was sent for, I came without raising any objection. May I ask why you sent for me?”
No wonder Paul thought Peter was a hypocrite!

We are living under grace through Jesus Christ, not legalism.
The phrase "in front of them all" tells me that Paul wanted everyone to hear what he had to say and for there to be clarity on his position about the issue of Gentile believers being required to follow Jewish law and for Jewish believers to continue to follow Jewish law in the matter of eating or "hanging out" with the Gentile believers. Paul had already emphasized that "His authority was from Jesus by revelation." (Galatians 1:12)

The authority of Jesus, as expressed in the Bible must be the guide I use in all situations.

What was Paul's "thorn in the flesh?"
No one knows what Paul was referring to. Scholars think it was a vision issue or some other physical problem. As for me, I think it could have been his regret for being a great persecutor of the church. (Galatians 1:13) After all, he was going to Damascus to search for Christians to put in prison when he met Jesus on the road and had his personal revelation. (Acts 9) 

I am basing my opinion about Paul's thorn in the flesh on what I know about my own life before Jesus. I love Jesus. I know Jesus loves me. Still, I find it hard to forgive myself for my before-Jesus-life of sex and drugs. 

Paul put men and women in prison for following Jesus. I can't imagine how awful it was for those people being in a cell with no sanitation, no beds, and meager amounts of food. I am sure he regretted having done these things just like I feel regret over having been a party girl who liked to work hard and play hard. 

Yes, I think Paul lived the rest of his life trying to make up for having been such a zealous persecutor. I believe that is why Jesus chose him to be the apostle to the Gentiles. Saul was educated, focused, and committed to following his beliefs. The qualities that made him such a zealous persecutor also became his greatest strengths as an apostle for Jesus. 

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Thank-you for stopping by and visiting today. SalleeB