Google+ 02/21/13 Stop Doing Good?!

Galatians 4:8-9

 

Before you Gentiles knew God, you were slaves to so-called gods that do not even exist.

So now that you know God (or should I say, now that God knows you),

Why do you want to go back again and become slaves once more

To the weak and useless spiritual principles of this world? 

 

There is something I have never understood in all my years on this earth.  It happens in business.  It happens in our personal life.  It happens in schools.  It happens in government.  Finally, it happens in churches.  Are you ready?  Why do we stop doing the good things that work so well, in favor of things we have already tried, that we know are disasters?  McDonald's lost part of its market share recently trying to tell us how healthy they are.  Are you kidding?  When was the last time you went through a McDonald's drive-through and said "I wonder how many calories are in my Big Mac?!"  McDonald's, under Ray Kroc, grew to be the #1 fast food restaurant with two marketing words and only two.  They never claimed their food was good or healthy.  They claimed it was fast and cheap.  So, is it any surprise whenever they try to be something they are not, people don't buy it?  Imagine what would happen if Subway starting marketing Quarter-Pounders with extra cheese!  The choice comes from where we as patrons choose to eat, not whether one restaurant can be all things to everyone.  Jesus was exactly the same.  His gospel message was clear and cannot be watered-down or changed in favor of pleasing everyone.  Paul spent several years converting the churches at Galatia to the gospel of Jesus Christ.  They were doing well in their new-found faith.  They were making great strides.  They were prospering.  They were happy.  In short, their "restaurant" was doing very well, adhering carefully to their mission statement.  Along comes a group of Jewish teachers (Judaizers) who explained that the churches at Galatia had an "incomplete" mission statement.  These Judaizers proclaimed that believing in Jesus was not enough.  In addition to a belief in Jesus, all the Galatians needed to also believe in Mosaic Law, the sign of which is circumcision.  Paul, through our Scripture today, is trying to tell the Galatians that they can't have it both ways. Paul explains that these two teachings are in conflict with each other and Mosaic Law will eventually lead to legalism, and cause them to fall out of fellowship with God.   What good have you stopped doing in your life recently that was working?  Have you walked away from a relationship with God because the world told you that you didn't have time for it?  Have you abandoned daily devotion and prayer in favor of watching or reading the morning news?  Do you sit and watch TV or stare at a computer screen as your kids put themselves to bed without that famous bedtime Bible story?  Have you stopped "fellowshipping in the temple daily," in favor of an extra gym workout or round of golf?  I know these are tough questions.  I am about to make a tough statement that I know to be true in my own life.  I want you to think about it carefully before you react negatively.  I believe that every time we stop doing the RIGHT and GOOD thing, in favor of something WRONG and EVIL, we know!  Yes, I said we know and do it anyway.  The Holy Spirit tells us that it is wrong and we ignore it.  I believe the Galatians knew exactly what they were doing.  They had become complacent with God and Jesus.  They had lost their "joy of the Lord."  So, enter Satan to provide "short-term" pleasure.  The bad news is that, as Paul was speaking to them, they knew they were doing wrong.  The good news is that God still offered them, and us, a better choice.  I do want to warn you that there will be no second chance for those who have heard the gospel and rejected it on the day when Jesus returns.   Revelation lays that out for us clearly.  So, if you can answer "YES" to any of the tough questions above, repent and turn back to God's message.  Remember, you can't serve two masters.  Resist the voice of Satan that tells you every day to "Stop doing good!"