Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. — Galatians 1:3-5
We have liberating acceptance. ~ Jada Edwards
Welcome to week one of the Galatians Online Bible Study. I’m so excited to get started! Aren’t you?
In case we haven’t met yet, my name is Laurie McClure and I’m the editor at FaithGateway and one of your OBS leaders. I’m a beach girl, born and raised in California who did the unimaginable (to me) and moved clear to coastal North Carolina last March just before Covid, so that was a whole thing, let me tell you. I’m a Jesus devotee and a Bible study junkie born into a family full of preachers and Bible hooligans. I was married and raised five kids and am now single and love it. My favorite things are, in no particular order: walking on the beach, going to the movies, reading good books, enjoying beautiful views, and having friends over. Speaking of which, if I could invite you into my home, we’d sit out on the porch and have the world’s best French Dip sandwiches with au jus and drink sweet tea (because it’s practically the law in the south, y’all).
Jada Edwards, our Galatians Bible study teacher, is a new favorite of mine. She’s passionate about the Word. Makes me love her already!
Galatians tells us that the gospel is Jesus-only. Full stop. Isn’t that the whole story right there? Yes! That just makes me praise dance in my pajamas!
We cannot earn acceptance from Jesus; it’s only by His grace. We can’t grab it, steal it, be good enough for it, work hard enough, look good enough, do enough, try enough. It won’t work, girl. It’s a gift!
In Galatians, Paul gets intense; he’s in emergency mode trying to get the attention of people of Galatia, and ours, back to the gospel. Jesus’ acceptance is that pivotal.
There’s nothing that you’ve experienced that is greater than the acceptance you have in Jesus. ~ Jada
When we get stuck on earthly rejection it can literally keep us from living the life God has planned for us to live, and it can keep us for the great things He has for us to do. It can derail us down paths of grief and self-focus, idolizing people instead of honoring God… good grief it can get messy fast… At least for me! How about you?
Rejection has benched me for big chunks of my life. Is that true for you, too? When I was young with my best friend, Jilly, whom I originally shared about over on the blog … that was a doozie. In high school, even as a cheerleader, I had a hard time feeling like I fit in well with other girls. And, when I took a bold stand for Christ, well… it’s a story for another day, but I was basically radioactive after that. Years later, it took the breakdown of my marriage for me to finally decide that Jesus is my audience of One. I don’t need to people-please. If someone doesn’t like me or love me, that’s not my deal nor my problem. What a concept! Jesus already loves me. Literally to death! (Raise your hand if you’re a slow learner, too.)
The thoughts that we think about Jesus are important. It’s vital that we think correctly about Him or we can (and sometimes do) spend our lives trying to earn something that’s ours for the taking! We have to know His love and acceptance of us in order to walk in the freedom He came to offer us.
We’re not here to please humans. We’re here to please God. And, He’s already delighted with us! Praise dance!
If you’re a follower of Jesus Christ, you’re going to be called into situations where it’s not going to be popular. You won’t always get the applause. You won’t always get the likes. You won’t always get the followers. You might even lose some friends. But, when you stand on the authority of Jesus, you will realize that those minor rejections, those inconveniences, they don’t compare to the great thing that God has called us to. ~ Jada
It goes like this:
Accepted –> authority through Jesus Christ
As soon as we give our lives over to Jesus, we have His full acceptance and we step into His full authority. How crazy is that?! Amazing.
When I’m accepted in Jesus, there is not any approval on this earth that compares to knowing that when I deserved hell, and all of my choices had me headed there, that God in His goodness created a plan and Jesus in His goodness followed that plan and because of faith and grace I have unconditional, liberating acceptance. ~ Jada
When you stand on acceptance in Jesus and His authority, what on earth could possibly shake you? Nothing!
Acceptance prepares us for assignment!
You must accept God’s acceptance before you can understand your assignment! ~ Jada
God put His name tag on you the moment He created you. He made me and said, “She’s Mine.”
The mess that is me, my story, your messy story brings glory to God. AMEN!
Now, that’s worth a praise dance!
This week in your study:
- Then, watch the video for session one of the Galatians on our study home page and take notes in your study guide on pages 27-29 and stick around to go through the questions afterward!
- Grab your Bible and enjoy your personal study this week on pages 11-26.
- Join the conversations about this week’s teaching and get to know our community in our private Facebook group.
Scriptures this Week
Prayer for the Week
Jesus, we love You! Thank You that You love us so much You gave Yourself for us. Help us to know Your full acceptance and punch out the lies we’ve listened to. Remind us that we don’t serve man; we serve You! We don’t have to be accepted by man; we’re already accepted by You! Push us, Lord, to know You more, love You more, praise You more, live more for You! We love You!