TO CHEW ON: "My little children, for whom I labor in birth again until Christ is formed in you." Galatians 4:19
We can learn a lot about intimacy with Jesus from today's reading. Early in the chapter Paul talks about how God redeemed the Galatians (and all of us who trust Jesus) from slavery (to sin) and adopted us. As His sons and daughters we can call Him "Abba Father" or Daddy.
In our focus verse Paul expresses his desire for them to achieve even greater intimacy as Christ is "formed" in them. An article in my Bible explains "formed":
["Formed, morphoo: To form. Schema and morphoo are in bold contradistinction. Schema (English "scheme") signifies external form or outer appearance. Morphoo and morphe, its related noun, refer to internal reality. Galatians 4:19 speaks of a change in character, becoming conformed to the character of Christ in actuality, not merely in semblance" - New Spirit-Filled Life Bible, p. 1636.]
A brief meander through the New Testament sheds light on how Christ is formed in us:
- This formation is connected to the Holy Spirit entering our lives - John 14:16-20.
- It demonstrates to the world that Christ's coming to earth was real and effective - John 17:23.
- It is worked out in real time as we crucify (kill, ignore) the desires of our fleshly selves and use our bodies to further God's purposes - Galatians 2:20.
- It is achieved by faith - Ephesians 3:17-19.
- It is a mystery - Colossians 1:27.
- It is tied to obedience - 1 John 3:24.
- It is available to everyone - Revelation 3:20.
I ask, is Christ being formed in me today? In you?
PRAYER: Dear Daddy God, I welcome the formation of Jesus in me today through the Holy Spirit. Please bring these aspects of formation to mind as I go through my day. Amen.
MORE: The Feast of Virgin Mary
Today is the day the church celebrates the mother of Jesus. She experienced Christ formed in her in an altogether different way than any other human ever will.
Here is the Collect that begins this day's liturgy:
O God, you have taken to yourself the blessed Virgin Mary, mother of your incarnate Son: Grant that we, who have been redeemed by his blood, may share with her the glory of your eternal kingdom; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.