It's amazing to me that certain moments of our lives make such an impression that they can't be forgotten. I remember both of my little sisters coming home from the hospital and the very first time I saw them. I remember waiting for the bus on my first day of school. I clearly remember breaking the windows of our landlords garage when I was 4 and I particularly remember the look on the face of the man who caught us... not good.
The memory I want to talk about to...day happened on the school bus. My friend and very distant cousin was clearly upset. I asked her what was wrong. The conversation that followed I will never ever forget. She started to cry which if you knew her was quite something. A rumour was circulating that she was having sex with basically anyone who wanted to. The word being used to describe her was "slut". The rumours were not true. As I recall it was another girl who was angry at her that started the rumours. What struck me like an arrow to the heart were her last words as she finished explaining why she was so upset. "If that is what people think about me I might as well go and do it".
Here is what Paul wrote next:
14 "For if those who are of the law (Jews) are heirs, faith is made void and the promise made of no effect,15 because the law brings about wrath; for where there is no law there is no transgression.
16 Therefore it is of faith that it might be" according to grace, so that the promise might be sure to all the seed, not only to those who are of the law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all."
What does this have to do with my cousin on the bus over 20 years ago and with us now? Quite simple really. God has given to every person a measure of faith. It is in us to believe. The devil wants to choke out any hint of faith and leave us feeling hopeless.
Every false teaching is designed to kill faith in someone. The false teaching Paul is specifically referring to in this passage is the idea that only legal blood line descendants of Abraham have an hope. A convenient teaching for the Jews but what does it do to everyone else? It excludes them. And if I am hell bound anyway and there is nothing I can do about it then I might as well live like it. If everyone sees me as a slut I might as well be one. See the obvious connection? People live up to or down to the level of hope they have...
What is the truth though? God had promised to Abraham "In you (through the Seed - Jesus) all the nations of the earth will be blessed".
And what did Jesus say? "For God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life."
The truth is we all have hope and if we believe we have hope we will live hope filled lives because "as a man thinks in his heart, so is he". Let the devil lie all he wants to you or about you. God knows the truth. God is the Truth. Listen only to Him.
See you tomorrow :)