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Keep Focused on Christ
Theme of the Week: Sin: What We Can't and Can Do About It
Thursday, January 30, 2014

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Key Bible Verses: But when the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, subject to the law. God sent him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law. (Galatians 4:4-5)

Dig Deeper: Galatians 3-5

As a believer you may have experienced a time in your life when you were held as a prisoner by a performance-based pattern of life that kept you from fully enjoying the freedom available to those who understand grace. Then God revealed to you who you are in him and who he is in you. By faith in this truth, the prison doors were opened. For the first time, you saw it—that you aren't a slave anymore.

Paul wrote his letter to the Galatians because they were in danger of allowing themselves to be brought back under a system of religious rules. He wanted to help them avoid falling into such a trap. He wanted them to continue to experience the freedom that was rightfully theirs.

You may know people who seek to put you under religious rules. Don't allow it to happen. Your life isn't to revolve around rules. You don't need rules, because you have the life of Jesus Christ in you. Freedom in Christ doesn't just produce right behavior. It produces righteous behavior. Don't worry about rules. Just keep your focus on Jesus Christ. Recognize him as your life source, and everything else will fall in line.

—Steve McVey in The Grace Walk Devotional

My Response: What are some major differences between a rule-driven religion and a grace-filled faith? If I am not sure, I will seek answers from my pastor, small group leader, or a strong Christian friend.

Thought to Apply: What the law tried to do from restraining power from without, the gospel does by an inspiring power from within.—Catherine Booth (British Mother of The Salvation Army)

Adapted from—The Grace Walk Devotional by Steve McVey (Harvest House, 2013) by permission. All rights reserved by the copyright holder and/or the publisher. May not be reproduced.

Prayer for the Week
Heavenly Father, may I remember that I can't rid myself of sin by my own effort and that Christ died and rose again to free me from the power of sin and death.

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