Galatians 1:15-17 & Jeremiah 1:4-5
From the Reformer
This is a Hebrew expression, meaning to sanctify, ordain, prepare. Paul is saying, “When I was not yet born God ordained me to be an apostle, and in due time confirmed my apostleship before the world. Every gift, be it small or great, spiritual or temporal, and every good thing I should ever do, God has ordained while I was yet in my mother’s womb where I could neither think nor perform any good thing. After I was born God supported me. Heaping mercy upon mercy, He freely forgave my sins, replenishing me with His grace to enable me to learn what great things are ours in Christ. To crown it all, He called me to preach the Gospel to others.”
—Martin Luther, Commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians
Pulling It Together
During the Jesus Movement of the 1960s and 1970s, we used to tell people, “God loves you and has a plan for your life.” I used to think that plan was essentially that people come to a saving knowledge of God in Christ. I wonder; is it more than that; is God’s plan for me more involved with him than I thought 40 years ago?
Were it left to me, my life would be a complete mess and I would not be a minister of the Gospel today. But God has kept me on track, in spite of myself. Looking back, I can see his hand in my childhood, teen years, young adult years, and middle age. I have seen him at work in my upbringing, my marriage, my family, my friends, my education, and my work.
If I were able to look even further back, I might be able to see that he was involved in my life while I was yet in my mother’s womb. All of this gives me great hope for the future. God has guided and will continue to draw me to him, his purposes in history, and his plan for my life.
© Mark E. Ryman, Daily Reform: Devotions with the Reformers