LIVE FREE – Galatians Week One

Introduction to Week One Acts 13-16:10

Welcome to our study. You might be scratching your head a bit. This is a study on the book of Galatians and yet here we are in Acts. If you’ve looked ahead, you’ve noticed, in fact, that the entire first week of this 3-week study is … not in Galatians. Ah, but it is about the people to whom Paul was writing, nonetheless. In order to understand Paul’s letter, we need to understand his relationship with the people of Galatia first.

So let’s start there. Unlike the letters to the Corinthians or Ephesians, the letter written to the Galatians is not written to people based in one city like Corinth or Ephesus. Nope. Galatia is a region now located in north central Turkey. There were four specific cities there in Paul’s time where he visited: Pisidian Antioch, Iconium, Lystra, and Derbe. As we read and study this week, we will get to know the people Paul and Barnabas met there so when Paul writes to them we can picture them. So let’s get started. If you’ve followed instructions, you have already read our passage for today after requesting help from the Lord. Hopefully, you have also watched my video, giving you more details. You have recorded a verse that intrigued or moved you and written a response to the Lord in your journal about it. Each day, I’ll share with you my verse and response and some thoughts about the passage. Let’s study this together and learn more about how to live free and stay free in a world that often pushes us toward rules and not toward relationship and intimacy with God.

Day One. January 10. Acts 13:1-12

We start at the very beginning of this missionary journey, today. We won’t arrive in Galatia until tomorrow’s reading. Paul (also called Saul sometimes at this point in Acts) and Barnabas and John Mark are on their way. They stop over on the island of Cyprus on their way to modern-day Turkey – the region known back then as Galatia. Notice why they went. It all started with prayer. I love that they were simply doing the right thing – worshiping and seeking the Lord through fasting and prayer at their own church. They had no agenda as they began that worship session. They were just doing what they did. Meeting with the living God – together. And while they were doing this very “right thing” – while they were seeking relationship with God – that is when they were called to their first missionary journey. They didn’t sit down and have a business meeting and draw up plans on a map. They simply met with God. And then He directed their paths. We could learn a lot from that. We are too often busy making the plans and too seldom worshiping, fasting, praying and being with God. That’s why I love these studies we do so much. We are investing in the most important “work” of all – spending time in relationship with the One who made us and loves us.

My verse: Acts 13:1 “Among the prophets and teachers of the church at Antioch of Syria were Barnabas, Simeon (called “the black man”), Lucius (from Cyrene), Manaen (the childhood companion of King Herod Antipas), and Saul.”

My response: What a wonderful and diverse list of leaders, Lord! Men of different ethnicities and skin color and nationalities and backgrounds equipped by Your Spirit to be prophets and teachers at this amazing church. I love this so much. And then through them you called out Barnabas and Saul to go and preach the word of God to that big and diverse world waiting and needing the good news only to be found through You. Thank You, Lord, for this peek into Your calling of the first missionaries.

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