Dying To Me – Daily Bread #18

Read Galatians 2

Questions To Answer:

Can you think of time when someone corrected you in public?

How did it make you feel?  Were they correct in their criticism?  How did you respond?

If you could pick the perfect person to confront you when you are wrong, who would it be?

How would they approach you?  What would you want them to say or not say?

How do you handle having to be the one to correct or confront someone else?

Why do you think Paul opposes Peter to his face?  Why not take him aside privately?

Have you ever given into public pressure and acted hypocritically?  Why do you think we sometimes respond in that way?

Verses 15 and 16 remind us that we are no longer “under the law.”  What role should the Old Testament play in our own faith development?  What purpose does it serve?

How would you define the word “justify?”  How does our faith in Christ make us “justified?”

Why is it impossible to be justified through the law?

Paul makes the statement the he no longer lives but Christ lives in him.  Do you find that to be true for yourself?  Do you have a hard time “dying to yourself” and “living for Christ?”  Why is difficult if we’ve been crucified with Christ?

How are we still in the process of being made into His image?

In what ways has that process already been completed?

Is there someone in your life that you’ve empowered to confront you when your actions, attitudes, and words aren’t completely Christlike? 

Is there some in your life that you love enough to confront them when their actions, attitudes, and words don’t measure up to the example of Christ?

Scripture To Read:

A Thought To Ponder:

You Smell Like Cheese

I still remember where I was when the young lady asked me the question.  We were on the bus back from Summer Camp.  It was hot.  I was tired.  I was ready to be home.  “You seem like an angry person she said.  Why are you always mad?” I was aghast.  I protested.  I rationalized.  I informed her that one day she would be in charge and she would have to correct, corral, and cajole a hundred teenagers at one time and when she did she would probably not be too happy about it.

I actually said something more to the effect of, “well your face is stupid and you smell like cheese.”  Which might not have been the kindest thing to say or the wittiest rejoinder.

I got over my initial shock and hurt feelings and pressed her for more details.  She added, “well it seems like other people make you mad pretty easily.”  And the more I thought about it the more I thought you know she’s right.  My fuse was short.  My patience was in limited supply. I was often ready to shout when a simple, kind word would’ve sufficed.

The whole exchange made me think about me.  I thought about how much junk God puts up with from me.  I say one thing and I do the other.  I tell Him “oh God, I messed up and I won’t do that anymore.” Then I’m right back to doing the very thing I said I wouldn’t do.  And to be honest most of the time I just plain ignore Him.  I treat God terribly and he loves me anyway.  And, I thought if God can put with my stuff I should make a little room for and share a little grace with the people in my life.

The great southern philosopher Mark Lowry once said, “God spreads grace like a three-year-old spreads peanut butter.  He gets it all over.”  Paul said in Galatians 2 that we’ve been crucified with Christ and when that happens we stop living for ourselves and let His love live out of us.  Somedays that’s easier to say than to do.  Somedays we just get angry.  Others we offer grace.

Prayer For Change

This poem is a great basis for prayer.  The author is unknown, but the message is powerful.  I’d add my “amen” to this!

“When you are forgotten or neglected and you don’t hurt with the insult, but your heart is happy – that is dying to self.

When your advice is disregarded, your opinions ridiculed, and you refuse to let anger rise in your heart, and take it all in patient, loving silence – that is dying to self.

When you lovingly and patiently bear disorder, irregularity, tardiness, and annoyance…and endure it as Jesus endured it – that is dying to self.

When you never care to refer to yourself in conversation or record your own good works, or itch for praise after an accomplishment, when you can truly love to be unknown – that is dying to self.

When you can see your brother or sister prosper and can honestly rejoice with him, and feel no envy even though your needs are greater – that is dying to self.

When you are content with any food, any offering, any raiment, any climate, or any society – that is dying to self.

When you can take correction, when you can humbly submit inwardly as well as outwardly, with no rebellion or resentment rising up within your heart – that is dying to self.”

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