“Franklin! Franklin! Slow down!”
These were words that my Grandma said to my Grandpa when he was driving the car and I was sitting in the back seat.
Grandma was into safety before safety was in. She always required me to have my seat belt buckled, and we crossed the road looking both ways and holding hands. And she monitored her husband’s driving very closely (I am chuckling as I write this).
My Grandma Ceil did these things as if her life – and the lives of the people around her – depended on it!
As I read the New Testament letter to the Galatians, written by the Apostle Paul to a group of churches, I get the same impression. There is no letter in the Bible that has the level of urgency and intensity as this piece of brief correspondence. Paul writes, “You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified.”
The simple message of this book of God’s Inspired word is that our very lives – both now and eternally – depend on living by faith in Jesus and who he is for us!
When we think of safety, we think of taking thoughtful measures that prevent or at least minimize the chances against things that threaten our lives.
But the paradox of the Bible is that true safety – eternal life – is found through living by faith in Jesus Christ. And the fact of the matter is that living by faith in Jesus doesn’t always seem safe!
Sometimes, living by faith means slowing down. It means saying no to some things, sometimes even good things. Living by faith means staying connected with Jesus.
But other times, living by faith means going for it! It means saying “Yes!” to things that feel may uncomfortable, uncertain, and even unsafe. The paradox at these times is the truth that this is the safest place to be, even though it may not feel like it.
Whatever the case, whether slowing down or speeding up, what matters most is that our motivation is living by faith in Jesus because of who he is and what he has accomplished on our behalf. This is what Paul means when he writes to the Galatians: “The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love” (Gal 5:6b). So the message is, “Live by faith, because your life depends on it!”
Pursuing Christ with You,
God is Good, All the Time!