Shofar Stellenbosch | Galatians And Philippians

Devotional

When we open our Bibles to read, we’re never alone. The Holy Spirit is here to help us, to make the Word of God alive, stir our hearts, transform us and redirect our lives, all for the glory of Christ (John 16:14).


Here are some guidelines to help reading the Bible:


SOAP:



  • Scripture

  • Observation

  • Application

  • Prayer


Scripture: Read the text until you can say what it says in your own words.


Observation: Ask questions to help you see more in the text (start with the background to get into the world of the original readers):



  • Who wrote this?

  • When and why did they write this?

  • What is the main aim/theme of the book (letter, story)?

  • What is the genre (is it a story, poetry, wisdom, apocalyptic) and how does it influence the reading of the text?

  • What are the main arguments, themes or images used? (Hint look at the verbs in the passage.)

  • How does it relate to the next book or letter? (Bigger context.)


Application: Ask the questions:



  • What does this passage mean in my life today?

  • How do I respond? 

  • How do I apply Scripture in my life now?


Prayer: Meditate on the Scripture you read, pray and reflect. Worship the Lord and ask Him to reveal His truth to you. 




THE LETTER TO THE GALATIANS


Before starting the devotional on the letter to the Galatians, take some time to do a study on the historical context of the letter to the Galatians, the themes and characteristics, the aim and purpose of the letter. Journal it down and then begin by reading the Word and starting the devotional. 


Read the scripture and then answer the following questions.  


Reflective questions: 



  1. Who appointed Paul as an apostle?

  2. What does it mean to be delivered from this present evil age?

  3. Read John 17:15 and 2 Corinthians 4:4


The experience of deliverance from the present evil age enables us to bear witness with our lives that we belong to another King and another kingdom and another age. And it begins with a changed heart and a changed mind.


The message today is one of those wonderful biblical paradoxes. 


Verse 1: “I, Paul, am an apostle, not with mere human authority, but with the very authority of Jesus Christ and God the Father who raised him from the dead: Subject yourselves to this Word, submit to this authority. Verse 4: Christ gave himself to deliver you from the present evil age: Lose yourselves from the world, don't feel or think like this age thinks and feels, be free!” 


Verse 1: Be subject! Verse 4: Be free! Is that a contradiction? No. Because the freest people of all are those who submit most fully to the authority of Christ in Scripture.