God, open my understanding to the vastness of Your love and Your purposes for me.
Read GALATIANS 1:11–24
 I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that the gospel I preached is not of human origin.  I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ.  For you have heard of my previous way of life in Judaism, how intensely I persecuted the church of God and tried to destroy it.  I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my own age among my people and was extremely zealous for the traditions of my fathers.  But when God, who set me apart from my mother’s womb and called me by his grace, was pleased  to reveal his Son in me so that I might preach him among the Gentiles, my immediate response was not to consult any human being.  I did not go up to Jerusalem to see those who were apostles before I was, but I went into Arabia. Later I returned to Damascus.  Then after three years, I went up to Jerusalem to get acquainted with Cephas and stayed with him fifteen days.  I saw none of the other apostles-only James, the Lord’s brother.  I assure you before God that what I am writing you is no lie.  Then I went to Syria and Cilicia.  I was personally unknown to the churches of Judea that are in Christ.  They only heard the report: “The man who formerly persecuted us is now preaching the faith he once tried to destroy.”  And they praised God because of me. Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhat is Paul’s passion and purpose?
For Paul, there was only one source of truth, and that was Jesus Christ. Once he arrived at the conviction that Jesus is Lord, and that the gospel is for the whole world, his entire life took on a new passion and purpose. Paul realizes that his Galatian readers are finding it hard to trust him. After all, he was once the church’s cruelest persecutor (Acts 9:1). So he shares with them his astonishing story: that he was given the gospel and commissioned to preach it in a direct encounter with Jesus, the ascended Christ (12). After this dramatic conversion, Paul went to Arabia (the Sinai region) to think through his new faith in the place where Moses and Elijah had met with God. Three years later, he checked out his beliefs with two church leaders, Cephas (Peter) and James, who had known Jesus personally. God has a unique purpose for each of us: an experience and ministry we receive directly from him and can check out with others.
Think about your core convictions. What is it you really believe—and does it truly run through all you think and do?
Lord, lead me into truth, for truth is the only thing that will bring me into freedom.
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