Curses, huh? So we go from being dancing monkeys to curses? Interesting. How did yesterday's reading make you feel? I was relieved. I can stop all this craziness.  Granted I don't know if it will happen over night, but now I have truth looming over me and that's pretty awesome.  See, I've heard it before, but this time it's about attitude and relying on God to help me change my

Back to curses. What is she talking about? Our focus today
will be in Galatians. 

So when we make that decision to stop dancing for others, do we start dancing for God in such a way that we are trying to His love like we were doing with everyone else?

Question 1: How do you feel standing  before God today? What do you think He's thinking of you?
     Today, I feel better standing before God, but more often than not I feel unworthy to be a part of His kingdom. Sometimes I think He's saying, "Seriously, this is what you choose today?" with a hint of disappointment.

Question 2: Galatians 3:1-3 -- What trap had the Galatians fallen into?  Why do we accept grace for salvation but deem it insufficient for the rest of life?
     They fell into the trap of trying to be "perfect by your (their) own human effort."  Ouch!  Guilty anyone?  I am foolish like Paul says. How can I accept Christ's death on the cross and then turn around say, "Thanks for DYING for me.  I'll take care of it from here."?
Question 3: Galatians 3:4-5 -- How do you answer Paul's questions here?
     I don't want Jesus' death to be for nothing.  I don't my relationship with God to be "void of authenticity."   I have been living  a life such that if I do something against God, I back away because I think He gets tired of having to correct me.  Who am I to say I know what He thinks?  I want the real relationship He has been desiring with me.  I don't have to continue to appease Him like I do/did with my grandparents.  See, if I didn't do something according to their standards, they would take their love away by shutting me out.  Case in point, not speaking to me for 4 months.  I feel guilted by the fact that we haven't spoken, but yet, relieved that I don't have to dance anymore.

Our key verses for today are from Galatians 3:10-14.  What are doing by living out life by our own efforts?  We are applying God's curse because we CANNOT live our life by follow all of His rules or by attempting to live life by our own efforts.  We need to live our life by faith, not by works.  Jesus took our curse of death away from us by dying for us that day.  Will we accept it or will we let it be for nothing? (Galatians 2:21)
"So Jesus became the curse we couldn't escape by ourselves.  The cuse of striving but not achieving.  The curse of trying to be holy but blowing it.  The curse of not doing enough.  The curse of not being enough.  The curse of the dance." (p. 34)
Question 4:  Why do you work for God?
     It shouldn't be this difficult to answer this question.  God loves me...I hear it in the back of my mind...BUT.  The statement "but" shouldn't follow the word love.  Love should be unconditional, which is EXACTLY God's type of love, so why do I say, "but..."?  There it is, I'm working for God for His love.  :(  I've been sitting here for a few minutes after typing that thinking about that statement.  I don't have to work for His love.  He will not disappointment me like my grandparents.  He loves me for me; no ifs, ands, or buts about it. 
"He couldn't love you one ounce more than He loves you right this second.  You'll never be more righteous than you are today.  Not one thing you could do or stop doing would change Jesus' mind about hanging on that cross for you.  Believe it.  Stop dancing until you believe it.  Begin a new dance once you do." (pp 35-36)
Jesus, I am so sorry for making your love for me by dying seem like it was for nothing.  I need to remember You are Love.  You love me, as is.  I want and desire and authentic relationship, not one where I continue to try to do things on my own or dance a dance for You to get You to like/love me.  Help me to accept Your unearned grace.  In Your Name, Amen!

Tomorrow we will wrap up our first week with some reflection time.  Thanks for joining me today.

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