I'm a little behind with my Galatians series posts, and I apologize. I'll have a couple more in the coming week to get it up to date.  It just seems that no matter how much I want it to, time just doesn't slow down!  The last couple weeks have flown by and I've found myself struggling just to keep up. Our group  went to the lake last weekend and had a GREAT time! We ate some awesome steaks(thanks Matt!), played games, enjoyed some time on the lake, and had a great time of worship Sunday morning. It was nice to get away. Then last Tuesday, my wife and I, and some friends went to Cedar Point. Its been 20 years since I had been there. I learned one thing. My mind may be willing, but my body does not respond to the coasters the way it once did! Again just another reminder that time keeps right on rolling along.
   And today marks another reminder of that same time issue. As I write this, I have just finished loading the van with Carissa's (our second oldest daughter) stuff to take to college. And again I find myself sitting here wondering where time has gone. I swear it was just a few months ago that she was wearing that cute orange sweater for her preschool pictures. And I'm sure it was just a few weeks ago that she had that huge grin as she held up her first largemouth bass at the lake.... wait...that was like seven years ago. 
    Oh yeah. Caylan, our oldest, is in Florida right now  with her best friend (and our "adopted" daughter) Dani, enjoying some fun before going back for her second year of college. And again I wonder. Where has time gone?
    Dawn and I just celebrated our 21st wedding anniversary(ice-cream at TasteeTwirl!). Seriously? It can't go that fast! 
    But it does. Time is one of the few things in our lives that never changes. It keeps right on rolling along, and doesn't even hit the brakes. 
    It's this reality that reminds me... We only are alotted a certain precious amount of time, and no-one knows just how much. So live well... love others... and love Jesus. Actually, love Jesus first. Then it's much easier to do the other two.
     And let me encourage you with this. Live with reckless abandon for Jesus. If you sense his leading, DON'T hesitate. JUMP with both feet!  As time marches on, dont let the regret of missed opportunities to serve him creep up on you. The exhilaration of living fully submitted to Him is better than that first big drop on any coaster!
    As we move into Galatians chapter two, the apostle Paul is still making his argument against the Judaizers, those holier than thou enemies of the true gospel of Jesus Christ. He has spent the first chapter defending himself against their false testimonies, and now he brings out the big guns in chapter two, and proceeds to shoot holes in their argument.
    The issue that they are pushing is this. They say that any gentile who wants to become a Christian must first agree to follow the Mosaic laws, and get circumcised. And Paul says no, you don’t have to do that stuff anymore. Jesus changed all that. But they are continuing to persuade the believers in the Galatian church that Paul is not preaching the same gospel that the "true" apostles would teach. They were talking about Peter, James (the brother of Jesus), and John. They liked to throw the names of these guys around like they were best buds or something, and they tried to prop up their false version of the gospel by saying that the "Big Three" agreed with them.
    So Paul sets out for Jerusalem to set everything straight, and he takes Barnabas and Titus with him. Barnabas was a good character witness for Paul, since he was the one who repped Paul with the other apostles when he was first converted. And he took Titus as an object lesson.

    See, Titus was a Greek. A gentile. He was the pastor of the church in Crete, and a very reputable leader. He was a genuine follower of Christ. And he was uncircumcised.

    So Paul stands Titus before the Guys in Jerusalem, and asks, "What do you do with Titus here? He’s a respected church leader. Are you saying he’s not legit, just because he has a little extra skin?"
    Ultimately, the other Apostles confirm Paul, and stand with him in his presentation of the Gospel, and the Judaizers' arguments are busted.
    The issue that Paul was warning the Galatians about specifically was  law and circumcision. But ultimately, this was an issue of culture over the Gospel. These false teachers were trying to adapt the gospel to fit their culture, and that doesn’t work.

Jesus stands above culture. He is always relevant, but he is never CHANGEDby culture.

    Today, we fight the same issues as Paul did in Galatia, only in different forms. People try to change the gospel to make it more "appealing" to different cultures or generations. They water it down, stretch it, bend it or add to it. And we, as real, committed, followers of Jesus Christ, should never give in to those who want to change Jesus for their own benefit.

Paul says in Galatians 2 vs.5:
    "We did not give in to them for a moment so that the truth of the Gospel might remain with you".

Stand firm. Don’t give in. Not even for a minute.