Day 2

Amanda’s Favorite Reading from 2019



Galatians 6:11-18, Jeremiah 9:23-24, Matthew 23:1-36, 2 Corinthians 5:17-21

BY Rebecca Faires

For Day 2 of our 2019 Wrapped plan, we asked our Co-Founder and Chief Content Officer, Amanda Bible Williams, to pick her favorite reading from the year. She chose the final day of our Galatians reading plan, Paul’s benediction to the church in Galatia.

Galatians Day 19 | Concluding Exhortation

At summer camp, I won an award for having curly hair. The curliest, naturally curly hair. I felt pretty proud of myself that night. The next morning at breakfast I assumed everyone was whispering, “Is that the curly hair queen?” Yes, yes, it is I!

Sigh.

And goodness, isn’t this about the level of all the things we boast about? Things we truly have no control over? We can certainly work hard and make good choices. But our eye color and our physical achievements, our successes and our relationships—aren’t all these things really just gifts from God?

Instead of boasting in what amounts to little more than circumstances from our birth, we are called to boast in the Lord (Galatians 6:14). And “the one who boasts should boast in this: that he understands and knows me—that I am the LORD, showing faithful love, justice, and righteousness on the earth, for I delight in these things.This is the LORD’s declaration” (Jeremiah 9:24).

The Hebrew word for God’s “enduring, covenantal love” is hesed. In his book Inexpressible, Michael Card defines hesed beautifully as, “When the person from whom I have a right to expect nothing gives me everything.” Our boasting then, is to be in the undeserved and overwhelming love of Christ, who—while we were His enemies, helpless in our sin—gave His life for us, so that we could be children of God (Romans 5:6–11).

Paul’s benediction appeals to this same hesed, as he speaks to the Galatian church that had foolishly followed after the false teachings of the Judaizers, and wandered from the life of the Spirit. As he had earlier called on them to deal gently with those who are overtaken by sin, so also Paul deals gently with the Galatians. Why? Because Christ has dealt gently with Paul. And so Paul can boast in one thing only: the hesed of God, seen most clearly in the cross of Christ. He exhorts the Galatians to do the same.

The apostle then blesses the Galatians with a benediction that can only result from the steadfast love of God. Because of God’s undeserved and faithful love, we have fellowship with one another. We have restoration when we are overtaken in sin, and reconciliation with those we have offended, including Christ our Lord. Because of His love for us, we are part of the family of God, brothers and sisters, and co-heirs with Christ to the inheritance of God’s eternal kingdom.

Paul goes on to bless the Galatians with the grace of Christ, for it is His grace alone which saves, restores, sustains, secures, and transforms us into His own likeness. This He does by the work of His Spirit in our spirits, in our hearts, and in our minds. In Him, we are a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17).

The final note of Paul’s epistle to the Galatians is a resounding praise of Christ, in whom alone we boast. Next time you get ready to toot your own horn over your own achievements, remember that there’s no need to rejoice over ourselves, because our Creator already rejoices over us with singing (Zephaniah 3:17). Let His rejoicing over us be enough, and may we instead glory in Christ alone.

Post Comments (58)

58 thoughts on "Amanda’s Favorite Reading from 2019"

  1. Savannah Stevens says:

    Amen sisters

  2. Andrea Lopez says:

    I really needed to read the passage in Matthew 23. I was profoundly moved by verses 25-27 that spoke of being sparkly clean on the outside but the inside is still filled with varying degrees of ugliness. How guilty am I of living my life like that? Thank you for opening my eyes to these verses today!

  3. Kimme Bartlett says:

    I never post, but through this I’m encouraged to start:)
    I admit, that I also look for Churchmouse’s commentary!! It’s good! ❤️

  4. E Hong says:

    24but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the Lord.”

  5. K D says:

    Thank you so much Churchmouse – you are an amazing encouragement to me.

  6. Janet H says:

    Rachael I’ll pray for you and your daughter. I remember my daughter going through similar situations when she was younger and how it made my heart ache! What I see in her now is how it made her compassionate for others when she encounters the shy ones, the hurting ones. And so I can look back now and see God was working in her. May it be so in your sweet girl also.

  7. Rachael Tobin says:

    Ladies. I am a long time reader but don’t post often. I love reading your words and your wisdom and seeing what a community has been built here. There are some days when these devotionals and the comments on them are what keeps me going. I would like to ask for prayer please. My 8 year old daughter has always been shy and a little socially awkward, and early in 2019 she was diagnosed with high functioning ASD. She has always gotten along well with other kids and is well liked by most of her peers, but she had never had a really significant, meaningful friendship. Not long after her diagnosis, God blessed her with such a friendship. It was something I’d been praying for for a long time. God has been faithful, and has been leading to me and revealing his plan to me bit by bit as their friendship has grown. He showed me, quite clearly, that this friendship would be a lifelong connection. The road hasn’t been easy – it’s a boy-girl friendship and they are quite affectionate with each other so there has been teasing from other kids – but through it all God has kept me leaning in to Him, keeping my faith and my hope up. But now they seem to have hit a rough patch. We are on summer break here in Australia right now, and just before school let out, they were squabbling a bit. Nothing serious, but often. They ended the school year on a really good note. But she went to his house for a play a few days ago and it didn’t go well. More squabbling, although she did say the day was pretty good overall. Just not as good as it was in the beginning. Through this uncertain season, God’s constant message to me had been ‘Trust me’ and ‘In my timing’. I am quite literally seeing Proverbs 3:5-6 everywhere I turn! But this Mama’s heart is bleeding and I’m struggling to trust. Please pray for me and my little girl.

  8. Tina says:

    Dearest dearest SRT Sisters, I am truly truly overwhelmed by your comments and words…
    I had no idea of the impact of my words or as I like to say, my ‘ramblings’..
    I am touched by every encouraging word, every prayer and words of comfort and love shown here today..
    Forever grateful for this family of women who meet here with our one goal, to speak, share and get to know the One who gave, that we might have… Jesus, our best gift ever from God, Emmanuel.. God with us…Luke1:46-48
    Mary said, “My heart praises the Lord; my soul is glad because of God my Saviour, for he has remembered me, his lowly servant! From now on all people will call me happy,)

    With my hand on my heart I salute and thank you all for you,your friendship and the journey we are on… no matter the continent or distance, we are United, always and for always.. thank you.

    Praying 2020 will be filled with great vision of heart, mind and soul for each of us…
    I love you all..

    Tina. ❤

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