"May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace. Jesus gave his life for our sins, just as God our Father planned, in order to rescue us from this evil world in which we live. All glory to God forever and ever! Amen." - Galatians 1:3-5 (NLT)
Skim [skim] verb - to pass or glide lightly over or near a surface.
to read, study, consider, etc., something in a superficial or cursory way.
This morning I sat down with my Bible and coffee for my quiet time.
I had no pre-set starting point, so I thought I'd check out the book of Galatians.
No particular reason, it just sounded like a good place to start, and I began to read from Chapter 1, verse 1. Somewhere along about verse 10, I stopped myself.
I thought, wait, you just skimmed over those first few verses, what did they say exactly?
It's Paul's greeting, you know, the usual.
Well, it's there for a reason, what does it say?
Um, I dunno, let me go back and read it again.
Here's the version I read from:
"Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen." - Galatians 1:3-5 (NIV)
Whoa, I thought, there's some awesome stuff there, I need to break that down.
I'll share that part with you in a minute.
But start here -
How often do we breeze on by?
Skim past the expected?
When we read Paul's letters in the New Testament, we know they all start with a greeting, so how many times do we actually read it? Really read it.
What about the daily comings and goings of our lives?
How often do we stop to buy a cup of coffee and actually 'see' the person who takes our order or makes our latte? Do we just skim past their presence because we expect them to be there? Because we know what their purpose is for that moment?
How often do we order lunch from the Chick-Fil-A drive-thru and look right through the person handing us our bag as we ask for extra mayo?
Do we ever take the time to 'see' them?
Here's one - how often do we meet a friend to catch up over a meal and spend the whole time talking about how you've passed the time since you last saw each other?
Do we ever stop and just ask "So really, how are you?"
It's really easy to skim over things, skim over people, especially people. Because if we go deeper, look past the superficial, expected presentation, we may be challenged.
Challenged to give, to care, to love.
And in all honesty, every one of us struggles with that. I struggle with that. There's a multitude of reasons why - but there's also a multitude of reasons for us to stop and go deeper. If you're a Christian, the most important one is Jesus.
We can't be His hands and feet if we don't stop long enough to see what's in front of us.
Where the hurt is.
Who needs Him.
And verses 3-5 in Galatians 1 tells us why this is so important - look what has been done for us!
For EACH of us:
"Grace and peace to you from God our Father
and the Lord Jesus Christ,
who gave himself for our sins
to rescue us from the present evil age,
according to the will
of our God and Father,
to whom be glory for ever and ever.
I read back over the power in those verses and think to myself - how did I miss that the first time??
It's SO good.
SO rich and deep and beautiful.
Jesus gave himself - to rescue us - because His Father, God, willed it.
As Christians, we already know this, or we should.
It's bedrock to our faith.
But how often do we take it for granted?
How often do we miss it?...
We can't be reminded often enough of what Jesus did for us because the more we cling to that truth, the more likely we are to speak it to someone who needs it.
I missed it because I wasn't looking for it.
Don't miss it today.
With a Courageous Heart,