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Zealous for Religion (Galatians 1:13-14)

Introductory Thoughts

Historically, men have been willing to go to great lengths for their religion. Paul said he persecuted and wasted the church of God (Galatians 1:13) and hauled men and women to prison (Acts 8:3). He was so zealous for his religion, he consented unto the death of Stephen as he preached the truth (Acts 8:1). According to Paul’s own testimony, he went “beyond measure” (Galatians 1:13) “above” many his equals (Galatians 1:14) being “more exceedingly zealous” (Galatians 1:14). This should come as no surprise; men are often willing to do anything for their religion, even breaking the law or killing those who do not accept their religious precepts. Unfortunately, far too many people have forsaken the simplicity which is in Christ and have instead pursued the complexity and labour of religion (2 Corinthians 11:3).

Devotional Thoughts

  • (For children): The Jews wanted to be saved by keeping the law and worked hard at doing so, but they were wrong and were not saved (Romans 10:1-5). They were zealous in reaching out to others, but their belief was wrong (Matthew 23:15).
  • (For everyone): Read the testimony of Naaman (2 Kings 5:9-14). Why was Naaman upset? What did his servants suggest was the problem? How is this similar to what men want from religion?
  • What are some things you have witnessed in your lifetime that others were willing to do for their religion? How much better of a Christian could you be if you had their zeal?

Prayer Thoughts

  • Ask God to give you zeal for Him like others have for their false religions.
  • Ask the Lord to burden your heart for the religiously lost people.