A few weeks ago Kellie asked me what some of my all-time favorite Bible verses were. That led me to take a trip down memory lane and I wanted to share my Top 10 verses and why they impacted me. Here’s the 5th one on my list. May God speak to you about your story as you read mine.
Galatians 4:19 (NIV) – My dear children, for whom I am again in the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed in you . . .
Why this verse is in my Top 10: First of all, notice what Paul does NOT say in this verse. He does not say: My dear children, for whom I am again in the pains of childbirth until you cross the line of faith and become a Christian. Paul is not interested in just making converts to Christ. He is interested in making disciples of Jesus — disciples whose thoughts, words, and actions are conformed to the thoughts, words, and actions of Jesus. And in 2001 I felt God tell me this wasn’t just Paul’s calling in life, it was mine as well.
During my 3rd year of seminary, I felt like God gave me my calling in life and He used this verse in that process. During my first two years at the International School of Theology (ISOT) I knew God was calling me to be a pastor but I didn’t have a job description beyond that. Then in my final year my calling became clear. That calling can be summed up in this quote from The Hole in the Gospel by Richard Stearns:
What is God asking for, really, from you and me? Much more than church attendance. More than prayer too. More than belief, and even more than self-denial. God asks us for everything. He requires a total life commitment from those who would be His followers. In fact, Christ calls us to be His partners in changing the world.
God isn’t interested in making converts. He is interested in making world-changers. And in 2001 I felt God was calling me to be a pastor who would partner with Him to do just that.
The apostle Paul paints an extremely vivid word picture in this verse. Now, I can hear the moms reading this blog thinking, “Easy for Paul to say.” 🙂 And they are right. As a male I will never know the pain of childbirth. The only thing I can do is be Kellie’s co-pilot in the delivery room.
Galatians 4:19 became three-dimensional to me after being right next to Kellie as she gave birth to Faith Sophia and Evelyn Grace . . . without the use of any drugs or pain relievers. She was focused and determined like she had never been before in her life. She had one goal in mind – to get this baby out of her and into the world.
And this is the metaphor Paul uses to describe his desire to see the Christians living in Galatia be formed into Christlikeness. He was focused. He was determined. He had one goal in mind – to be used by God to form people who would make God’s Kingdom come and His will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
That was God’s goal for the Christians in Galatia . . . and it is God’s goal for us as well.
***Note: Please join us this Sunday November 21st at 6:00pm. This will be the next monthly “preview service” of The Eastside Vineyard Church. We’ll have a time of worship, an in-depth Bible message, communion, and an opportunity to receive 1-on-1 prayer. Go to tevchurch.org for all the details.***