Today's Bible Readings
     II Samuel 22
     Galatians 2
     Ezekiel 29
     Psalms 78:1-38
      ''I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain." (Galatians 2:21)
      I am so glad that I settled out of court, and will not have to deal with the justice of God. That would be based upon the law and I would be found guilty.  The sentence, then, would be eternal death. In this passage, Paul is exalting God's grace.
            Justice is getting what I deserve. 
            Mercy is not getting what I deserve. 
            Grace is getting what I do not deserve.
      As Paul writes the epistle to the Galatian Christian, he is refuting a group of Judaizers whose aim was to convince Paul's Gentile converts to adhere to the Mosaic law. They were spreading at least two rumors about Paul: first, that he was not an apostle and, secondly, that he did not preach the Gospel.
      Perhaps there is no book of the Bible, with the exception of Romans, where so much theology is covered in so few words. The main truth that Paul is setting forth is that we are saved by grace, and not by works, nor by anything that is connected with the law. It is all by God's grace. If it is grace, it must be amazing. It is extremely important that believers understand the meaning of grace; not only in salvation, but in it's ongoing meaning in their Christian life.
      Our tendency is to try to make salvation dependent upon something we do. We like to think that it is because of our goodness or our Christian behavior and activity, that we have been saved; therefore, we struggle to work and serve to keep this salvation.  It is very common for believers to try to set the standard s for ourselves.
      A new employee was instructed how to measure valve parts to make sure they were ready for the final assembly. After a few hours, this foreman was receiving complaints that the parts he was approving were faulty. ''What are you doing?" the foreman asked. “I showed you how to use that micrometer. You are sending through parts that are oversized.'' The employee replied, ''Oh, most of the parts I was measuring were too large, so I opened up the micrometer a bit."
      Changing the standards will never make for success, either in manufacturing or ministry. Paul maintained the standards of ''the truth of the Gospel'' - and so should we.
      Many people with whom we come in contact actually believe that people are saved by faith in Christ, plus ''doing good works ...keeping the Ten Commandments ...obeying the Sermon on the Mount. . ." and any number of other ''religious pluses." We may not have the same apostolic authority that Paul exercised, but we do have the Word of God to proclaim, and it is our obligation to share the truth.
      This Christian life that we enjoy and live by is all by grace. It is given to us by grace and we live it by grace. We must never set aside the grace of God and seek to establish our own standards.
      More people watch television, both terrestrial and by satellite than ever before. The opportunities to witness to non Christians, and to train and encourage believers through this medium are virtually unlimited. Unfortunately, apart from some undesirable material from televangelists, there is little overt Christian presence in television. This remains, however, one of the few methods whereby the Gospel can penetrate the restricted Arab nations. Pray for God to raise up quality television programs that will reach into areas where witness cannot be given in any other way.
''Die when I may, I want it said of me by those who knew me best, that I always plucked a thistle and planted a flower where I thought a flower would grow."
Abraham Lincoln