Day 1

Greeting

from the Galatians reading plan


Galatians 1:1-5, Psalm 16:1-11, 1 Corinthians 15:1-11, Colossians 1:9-14

BY Melanie Rainer

Yesterday I went to visit my husband at his office–a newly constructed, all-glass-exterior building with marble floors and a sense of importance that seemed to demand awkward elevator silence, especially as I stood there with my out-of-place bag of ice cream from the shop across the street.

I stepped out of the elevator and onto his floor, greeted by a kind receptionist who asked me to fill out a form on the tablet on her desk. It asked my name and then for my “host.” I typed in my husband’s name, and out popped a nametag: my name, followed by my host’s. My entrance into the building was guaranteed by his name.

When Paul opens his letter to the Galatians, he goes through the same practice: “Paul, an apostle—not from men or by man, but by Jesus Christ and God the Father who raised him from the dead” (Galatians 1:1). Paul gains entrance into the church by his apostleship, dependent wholly on the person and work of Christ. He establishes his authority not by his own work or identity, but that of Jesus and His resurrection from the dead.

Paul’s identity is the righteousness of Christ, and he repeats it throughout his letters. In his first letter to the Corinthians, he writes, “By the grace of God I am what I am” (1 Corinthians 15:10). In other letters, he introduces himself as “Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God” (2 Corinthians 1:1; Ephesians 1:1). And in Philippians chapter 1, the apostle refers to himself (as well as Timothy) as a servant of Christ Jesus. Paul fully embraces his new identity because it was given to him through faith in Christ, summing it up in this way:

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation;
the old has passed away, and see, the new has come!
Everything is from God, who has reconciled us to himself through Christ and has given us the ministry of reconciliation…
Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ…”
— 2 Corinthians 5:17–18, 20

When Paul introduces himself, it is as though he is writing on one of those “Hello! My Name Is” stickers, one that says: “Hello! My name is Paul, and I belong to Christ. Everything I am is because of everything He did.”

Galatians opens with a precious reminder and a challenge to remember: If we are in Christ, then we belong to God, and our identity is now bound up in Christ’s death and resurrection. We are sealed by His Spirit, waiting for the day Jesus returns. And we can trust Him, as the psalmist says, because He is our portion and our cup of blessing (Psalm 16:5). He holds my future in my hands, and the boundaries He has drawn around my life are good for me (v.6).

There are so many days I feel like a hundred pieces of a puzzle, strewn about on the floor just waiting to be put together. I am a wife, mother, employee, friend, volunteer coordinator, chef, sister, daughter, and also somehow sometimes my own person. It is deeply refreshing to remember the truth today—that I am Melanie, through Christ and by the Spirit, a servant of God. From that one identity, everything else should flow, all for His glory.

Post Comments (82)

82 thoughts on "Greeting"

  1. Molly Pursel says:

    I looked up the definition of ambassador: : “an official envoy
    especially : a diplomatic agent of the highest rank accredited to a foreign government or sovereign as the resident representative of his or her own government or sovereign or appointed for a special and often temporary diplomatic assignment”

    This is what we are, in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17-18, 20).We represent him in all areas and facets of our life. We are taking this message of reconciliation to this “foreign government” (the lost). Lord, help me to remember who I am in you and that the power of your Holy Spirit dwells in me and you will enable me to be a great ambassador for your Holy name! Amen

  2. Cassidy Hill says:

    How beautiful it is to know that I am made new by Christ’s death and resurrection! It comforts me to no end!!

  3. Whitney Boggioni says:

    I love that third paragraph. My husband and I went through the covenant partnership class to join our church yesterday, and the pastor touched on this when he was talking about himself, the elders, and the deacons. God is the only one with the power to call a person into the church to preach his word. He is the only one who even has the authority to call the church together for worship and teaching. Jesus is our high priest, senior pastor, etc. What a beautiful picture that is.

  4. Vanessa Bailey says:

    “From that one identity, everything else should flow, all for his glory.” Being such an involved teacher I needed this reminder. I am not defined by my job or title. I am defined by Him. When you get caught up in job, & reaching standards I forget that I am a servant of the Lord, and His light to my students. I need to take a moment & reflect how am I using my identity through Him everyday.

  5. Carolina Medrano says:

    Hello, I’m Carolina. God pulled me out of the mud and made me whole again. Even on the days I feel the effects of my life on me, I know I have a purpose through Christ Jesus.

  6. Natalie says:

    I am so incredibly refreshed by this today. Thank you, Melanie!

  7. Heather Montgomery says:

    I needed this today. I’m in a really busy season of life and constantly
    feeling the stress of keeping all the balls in the air and feeling like a failure when one of the balls drops. Unhappy customers at my job, kids who are constantly fighting, a baby who doesn’t sleep through the night, a messy house, a skipped workout – none of these define me. I am more than the sum of my “good things” or my shortcomings because of who I am in Christ!

  8. Dana Clements says:

    This was a great study!! As I’m sitting here reading this devotion completely exhausted from a day of being a mom, wife, friend, daughter, sister, and aunt all while still working a full time job; this was the perfect reminder that I am FIRST A CHILD OF GOD! Thank goodness for His blessing and gentle reminders of all He has and is doing for myself and family! The reminder that I am able to be who I am and do what I do because of all He did and has done for me!! So thankful!!

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