Welcome to “Word from The Center” MONDAY, a devotional word from the Center of our faith, Jesus Christ, with reflections on His Word. I’m Gregory Seltz. Today’s verses are Galatians 4:4-7, where the Bible says,
But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship. 6 Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” 7 So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.



A few days ago, it was New Year’s Eve, and many of you were getting ready to leave behind the old year and to ring in the New Year with expectations, even high hopes, of what is yet to come. The question is, “Why?” Why do you expect this year to be better than last? Obviously, circumstances are somewhat better than the last couple years, but what if this is the exception rather than the norm? The last several years have been gloomy to say the least with rumors of enduring epidemics, rising costs for basic needs, and political and social upheaval. Who would expect this year to be better? What if this year begins with a personal struggle or illness, or comes with destructive events that are beyond your control? What if last year was nothing to write home about for you and this year is just more of the same? What then? Human life is like that. There are things that are beyond our control even when we think things are comfortably within our grasp. To face the New Year, whatever the year might bring, we need a more solid foundation than merely good circumstances; we need more than a commitment to give our best effort, a reliance on our own ingenuity, or confidence in earthly power and prestige. All of these may have some successes, but ONLY for a time.

That’s why Galatians is so powerful. Its message is one that undergirds all that is good in our lives. Its message gives us power to face the troubles of this world. Its message gives us reasons to celebrate our blessings. Its message is one that gives us an identity even when everyone and everything in the world might reject us. It is rooted in God’s work in the world for you and me. When God engages the world to redeem it, restore it, and reconcile it unto himself, that is an enduring truth, a solid foundation for our lives now and forever. It allows us to rejoice in what is best in our world and to struggle against what is evil. It allows us to deal with suffering and pain, even as we rejoice in health and success. All of these things are now in service to the reality that God has done all things well for us already, and has gifted us with life as sons of God because of the person and work of Jesus the Messiah.

Today we are especially tempted to believe that our wisdom, technology, and politics are all that is needed for the enduring foundation of human dignity. The Founding Fathers of America knew that something greater was needed. They rooted human dignity in the fact that human beings are created in the image of God, a foundation that comes from and goes beyond our efforts. There’s no doubt that such truth has blessed us. But can you imagine what comes with the knowledge that you are created AND then also redeemed by God to be His sons and daughters by grace through faith, now and forever? Such truths will change the way that you look at yourself, the way that you look at others, and the way you look at life itself. Celebrate all of that as we begin this New Year, and then prayerfully face whatever comes your way with renewed courage. Why? Because faith in Jesus means that you are a child of God now, an heir of what’s forever in Jesus. That’s solid and enduring…for all those who believe!

PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, help us to face this New Year with the same confidence that You give us each and every year. And may each new day be an opportunity to be Your graced people for others in response to your never-ending grace to us. AMEN.

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