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Gmail: Measuring Your Potential – 2/22/17

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.  Galatians 2:20

I trust that our study of Galatians is nothing short of liberating for you! Grace, when properly internalized, is intended to bring about an unparalleled sanctification and motivation for obedience (see Titus 2:11-12, 1 Cor 15:10-11). In Galatians 2:20 you will find the secret to the supernatural life God intends for all of us. I’ll give you my short application and then hand off the rest of the G-mail to theologian Paul David Tripp who wrote about the passage in his devotional New Morning Mercies, by far the most influential book in my life outside of the Bible.

Here’s my application: As a follower of Jesus, I’m dead, I’m dependent, I’m indebted.

Here is a far more thoughtful devotional on the passage from Paul David Tripp:

Today you’ll face things bigger than you, but you needn’t be afraid because none is bigger than the One who rules them all for your sake.

You might not know it, you might not be aware as you’re doing it, but you are always measuring your potential. The toddler who is just beginning to walk stands with wobbling legs and holds on to his mommy’s knee as he measures his potential to walk across the room to daddy without falling on his face. The teenager walks up to his first job with clammy hands and a rapidly beating heart as he measures his potential to get through the day without being fired. The bride has a nauseous stomach two hours before her wedding as she measures her potential to live successfully in the most important human relationship she will ever have. The senior citizen sits nervously in her doctor’s office as she measures her potential to deal with the physical hardships of old age. The widower stands at the edge of his wife’s grave with tears in his eyes as he measures his potential to live without her. We are all constantly measuring our potential to do what is before us.

Now, the typical way to measure your potential is to compare the size of the problem to your natural gifts and your track record so far. No, it’s not irrational to measure your potential this way, but for the believer in Christ Jesus, it simply isn’t enough. By grace, God doesn’t leave you on your own. He doesn’t leave you with the tool box of your own strength, righteousness, and wisdom. No, he invades you with his presence, power, wisdom, and grace. Paul captures this reality with these life-altering words: “It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me” (Gal. 2:20).

He’s obviously not saying that he’s dead, because if he was, he wouldn’t be writing those words. No, he’s reminding you and me of a very significant spiritual reality. Here it is: if you are God’s child, the life force that energizes your thoughts, desires, words, and actions is no longer you; it’s Christ! God didn’t just forgive you. No, he has come to live inside of you so you will have the power to desire and do what he calls you to do. And not only does he live inside of you, he rules all the situations, locations, and relationships that are out of your control. He is not only your indwelling Savior, he is your reigning King.

He does in you what you could not do for yourself and he does outside of you what you have no power or authority to do. And he does all of this with your redemptive good in mind. Since this is true, why would you give way to fear?

This weekend we continue in Galatians with Chapter 3. These are exciting times for us, church! Read up and come expectant for God to move.

I love being your pastor!