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August 1, 2021 | Javan Shashaty
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“See what large letters I use as I write to you with my own hand!”—Galatians 6:11 (NIV)
Have you ever heard the expression, “Desperate times call for desperate measures”? When you use this idiom, you’re saying actions that might seem extreme under normal circumstances are appropriate because of the situation you find yourself in.
Do you know what desperate times don’t call for? Half measures! Desperate times don’t allow us to sit back and be passive. When a situation reaches critical mass, we must act. This is the situation the apostle Paul found himself in as it pertained to the Galatian church. He basically declared what was happening there to be a state of emergency; he lowered the readiness condition to DEFCON 1. How do we know this? Because of today’s verse! He states, “See what large letters I use as I write to you with my own hand!”
Now, I know it’s easy to gloss over this verse, but please don’t. This is critical. Did you know that out of all of Paul’s letters in the New Testament, this is the ONLY one that he actually wrote entirely by his own hand? He would normally dictate, and one of his ministry team members would write down what he said.
But here . . . after learning of what had taken place with the Judaizers and how deeply the deception of legalism had permeated the churches, Paul, who was believed to be almost blind by this point, decided to write it down himself, in the moment. He couldn’t wait. Action needed to be taken. Why was Paul so furiously jumping on them? Because they don’t serve chocolate milk in the ICU. Conditions are critical up in there. That’s why Paul acted swiftly.
This was Paul turning over tables and staging a full-scale intervention with his spiritual sons and daughters. He takes them to task the way concerned parents would when their kids make potentially life-shattering decisions.
Friends, I pray that as it pertains to the spiritual well-being of our friends, family, and spiritual children (of those we disciple and help raise up in the faith), that we would have the same level of love, concern, and devotion. I pray we would be willing to have hard conversations, to confront in truth and love, to rebuke with the grace of Jesus, and to come alongside and help bring them back into spiritual health.
DIG: Why is that Paul writing this letter himself is an indication of his level of concern?
DISCOVER: What principles can we take from Paul’s heart in the writing of this letter?
DO: Pray for your friends in the faith, your brothers and sisters in Christ, and your spiritual children. Pray they would walk in step with the Spirit and that you would be able to keep one another accountable to sound doctrine and godly living, that you would spur one another on to love and good works.
Danny Saavedra has served on the staff of Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.