Some TIPS on How to read
What do they have in common?
Listen to the urgency of the authors as they pen the words passed down to us.
What were they writing against as they encouraged believers to stand firm? Galatians contains a defense of the faith while Jude, against godless actions of people. How are they speaking to us today about the condition of our church and the world we live in?
As we continue to read and let the WORD 'read' us, here is a recommended way to help us read these two books.
Allocate at least 15 minutes each day.
For days which you need to "Review (& Connect)" you'll need 30 minutes at least.
Underline words/phrase (even though some might be familiar). This is to help you slow down. Pause to ponder what it means.
Throughout this while month, try the art of slowing down when we read the Scriptures. The suggested reading is cut down to smaller chunks intentionally for this purpose.
"An apostle" = sent one, an envoy. Sent by whom? Not humans = the idea did not originate from man.
"Jesus Christ AND God" = why use the word "and"? Is there TWO gods?
"Raise him from the dead" = Jesus really died. Jesus is alive now. Do I believe in this truth, if so, how does it affect how I live my life?
As we read, let's learn to ask question of the text.
'Leave NO WORD Unturned'
Day 1: 1:1-5
Day 2: 1:6-10
Day 3: 1:11-24
Day 4: Review & Connect 1:1-1:24
e.g."...called by the grace of Christ" (1:6) & "God who set me apart, called me by his grace." (1:15). Who called? God. Therefore, Christ is also God.
Day 5: 2:1-10
Day 6: 2:11-16
Day 7: Review & Connect 2:1-14
Day 8: 2:17-21
Day 9: 3:1-9
Day 10: Review & Connect 2:15-3:14
Day 11: 3:15-18
Day 12: 3:19-25
Day 13: 3:26-4:7
Day 14: Review & Connect 3:15-4:7
Day 15: 4:8-18
Day 16: 4:19-28
Day 17: 5:1-12
Day 18: 5:13-25
Day 19: Review & Connect 4:4-5:25
Day 20: 5:26-6:10
Day 21: 6:11-18
Day 22: Review (the whole of Galatians)
Day 23: Jude 1-4 (What was happening?)
Day 24: Jude 5-7 (What was the warning?)
Day 25: Jude 8-13, 16, 17-19 (Describe the attributes of the ungodly)
Day 26: Jude 14-15 (How would it all end?)
Day 27: Jude 20-23 (What the believers are asked to do as they anticipate the end times?)
Day 28: Jude 24-25 (Describe the attribute of God)
Day 29: Review Jude
A Father's Heart
What are we a slave to?
The Galatian Church was one of the first few churches that Paul founded after He met with Jesus. A few years later, he learns that religious leaders had come to question his authority and his teaching and were reintroducing old traditions and religious ways that enslaved them.
Imagine starting a church, growing the people there and then later finding out that they were turning to a different gospel. What a pain it must have caused Paul! No wonder he was so harsh and urgent in dealing with this matter. He needed to be or else the Galatians would be enslaved even further. The pains and heartaches of a father...
Children of Promise vs. Children of the Law
The way Paul speaks, his intelligence and how he always structures his points is amazing!
In Chapter 3 and 4, He brings out the most brilliant point, knowing that both the Jews and the Gentiles would understand it fully. He asked them to consider Abraham here as opposed to Moses, the law-giver, whom the religious leaders always refer to. In these two chapters, Paul has shown the genius to our Amazing God! God has orchestrated every single detail to bring us this freedom. He used Abraham to bless all nations, including the Gentiles. From Abraham came Jesus, the Seed, who was to come and redeem us. Because of the promise God had given Abraham, we can now become heirs and have the experience as sons and daughters of God. We are the children of promise! The law however, was to show us who God is, His character, and a pointer to Jesus. In Paul's letter, he was trying to point out that no matter how much we try to follow the law - traditions, religious rituals, we will ultimately fail because we can never follow it 100%. It is enslaving! But God has given us His Seed, a promise so that we have been justified by faith in Christ! It's genius!
At the end of Paul's letter, he urges the Galatians to stand firm and not be burdened by the yoke of slavery. He also asked them to watch themselves and to live by the Spirit. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love (Gal. 5:6); the only thing that counts is a new creation (Gal 6:15).
If Paul urges the Galatians to stand firm, living in the Spirit and not to indulge in sinful nature, Jude urgently points out how desperately wrong things were at that time. In fact he was so urgent that he just went straight to the point. It is what we call today 'short and sweet'.
As I read Jude, I asked myself these questions:
1. Have we become like the people Jude writes about?
2. Are we chasing our worldly ungodly desires too much that we have forgotten the one who has called us?
3. Have we become so 'opened minded' and liberal in our ways of living that contradicts with the standards of God? Have we been compromising?
4. Have we made Christ die for nothing?
Have we allowed sin to secretly slip into our lives and into our churches? If so, Jude is a wakeup call for us!
Let us be as what Jude urges, to "build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit. Keep yourselves in God's love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life. Be merciful to those who doubt; snatch others from the fire and save them; to others show mercy, mixed with fear - hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh."
Let us truly say "To Him who is able to keep me from falling and to present me before His glorious presence without fault and with great joy - to the only God our Saviour be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen."