God's Perfect Timing
His Coming Anticipated
Day 7 Saturday, December 5th
1. Recognize the Context:
Paul wrote this letter to the churches he had established in the Roman province of Galatia (Acts 13-14). After Paul left these churches, a group of “agitators” came in and began to cause problems. This group questioned Paul’s authority as an Apostle. Additionally, they challenged the message of the Gospel by claiming that Gentiles needed to be circumcised, celebrate certain Jewish festivals, and observe certain dietary laws. Paul wrote to say, “No!” He told them that this would be adding to the message of the Gospel and distorting it.
Paul’s discussion of the Law in the New Testament is often complex and multifaceted. It is always important to see how the term is being used in its immediate context. In Galatians 3:19-22, Paul explained that one of the purposes of the Law was to reveal sin. It also served to “confine” people or keep them fenced in until God’s promises to Abraham would be fulfilled in Christ. True right standing with God is only possible through faith in Jesus. In 3:23-4:7, Paul stated that the supervisory role of the Law had ended. Jesus Christ had changed everything!
In chapter 4 Paul used the analogy of a child coming of age, this is to say, a child who had become an heir and could no longer be compared to a slave. Paul used this analogy to show that Christians were no longer slaves to anything in this world. Rather, they were rightful heirs, as sons and daughters of God.
2. Read the Scripture: Galatians 4:4-5
4 But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship.
3. Reflect on the Scripture:
At just the right time, the Son was born into this world to redeem humanity and to restore our relationship with God. After all the waiting, expecting, and longing for the coming Messiah, the time was right for God to act. God fulfilled his promises in time and space. It wasn’t when people thought it would be, it wasn’t how people thought it would be, and the mission of the Messiah wasn’t what people thought it would be.
However, at just the right time (when), Jesus Christ was born of a woman (how). This took place in order to restore humanity and bring us into the family of God as sons and daughters (what).
4. Relate to life:
Remember, it is important to be a doer of God’s Word, not merely a hearer or reader (James 1:22-25). Here are some practical ways to actively respond to God’s Word. Consider these or create other ways you can apply the message.
Today, prayerfully reflect on God’s timing both in our world and in your own life, both past, and present.
When or how have you seen God at work in your life, specifically at times in which you didn’t expect?
Prayerfully consider the method (the how) God chose to redeem humanity.
From your prayerful consideration of God’s character and his timing, what is one action step you can take today with the Holy Spirit’s help?
God created time, and he has chosen to work within it. God has also given time as a gift to us. So, how do you use your time? Consider taking a 24 hour period or a 7 day period and record how you spend your time. How does God "fit into" your day or week? Are there adjustments you need to make in your schedule? Are your priorities reflected in how you use your time?