Listen to this devotional:
I'm six years old. I'm very frightened, sobbing, and heartbreakingly miserable. I'm in a strange school in a strange country, and strange people are now driving me away. Where is my mommy? The car stops outside a large, red brick building. I'm told that my mother is in hospital having an operation. "You'll have to stay in the children's home."
My much sobbing and heartbreak continue, because there is a mountain of new rules I must learn. "We don't do that." "We do this." "It isn't the right time yet." "No, not now." "No, you can't." "Don't ever go in there; stay outside." On and on and on it goes.
In no way was it a home. It was so very hard being continually punished for not knowing, not remembering the rules. It was so hard not seeing my mommy and not knowing when I would be freed to go home to her. I missed her so miserably: the constant daily hugs, better food, and the freedom of daily habits such as just popping down to the beach near us to swim and play with my older sister, brother, and friends.
Eventually my mommy recovered, and my childhood returned to normal — happy and free.
Before Jesus' time of earthly ministry, the Jews and the Gentiles were under Roman occupation. The Jews also lived by the rules: the Law of Moses, which was so difficult to live by — successfully. Life was irksome, an anxious obligation, a burdensome, heavy yoke.
Just like the return of my normal childhood, imagine what great rejoicing there must have been for every new believer, whether Jew or Gentile, as the first full gospel teachings of the new covenant went forth, setting them free from adherence to the Law of Moses. Unfortunately, after conversion to Christianity, the foolish Galatians were beginning to turn back to the Law. They needed Paul to remind them of the full freedoms wrought by Christ.
Galatians 3:3,5,13a – Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort? Does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you because you observe the law, or because you believe what you heard? Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us. (NIV)
Graciously, wonderfully, our Lord Jesus has redeemed all believers. He literally bought us out from under the curse of any law. May we always be found living as liberated, chosen, adopted children of God, free to love and worship Him reverently, appropriately, and liberally; free to hold joyful communion with Him in the Lord's Supper; free to serve our Lord in the ways of His Word and the leading of the Holy Spirit. This is exceedingly holy: the new covenant — new agreement — with God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit — not new law.
Prayer: Beloved Redeemer, remind us ever to live in the freedoms You have wrought for us and never to be caught up in any bondages or laws placed upon us by our own wrong thinking or that of other people, nor by any misinterpretations of Your Word or Your will. Thank You. In our Redeemer's blessed name, we pray. Amen and Amen.