Galatians 4:5-6 Freedom and adoption

5 Thus we have been set free to experience our rightful heritage. 6You can tell for sure that you are now fully adopted as his own children because God sent the Spirit of his Son into our lives crying out, "Papa! Father!"

Galatians 5:4 Grace or works? What does God really want for you?

I suspect you would never intend this, but this is what happens. When you attempt to live by your own religious plans and projects, you are cut off from Christ, you fall out of grace.

Galatians 6:7-10 Planting a life for God

7Don't be misled: No one makes a fool of God. What a person plants, he will harvest. The person who plants selfishness, ignoring the needs of others—ignoring God!— 8harvests a crop of weeds. All he'll have to show for his life is weeds! But the one who plants in response to God, letting God's Spirit do the growth work in him, harvests a crop of real life, eternal life.

1) When our meeting time starts we open with prayer, and I go through one by one a short synopsis of what my devotional time was with each one of these subjects. As you go through this first look, give your ideas as to what you see working well that week. Keep in mind any particular needs, or themes you want to build in your preaching plan.

2) The next thing we do is play elimination. What don’t we need? What happens usually happens here is the statement – they are all so good. That’s miracle of god’s word, but we are going to have to pick one. This week in my devotional time, Galatians 4 was very difficult and didn’t yield a lot to me, so I asked that we eliminate it. If most everyone overrides your choice, then keep it up there. (I have only gone against the popular vote here once because of personal spiritual closeness to a passage that I needed to deal with.)

3) When you get down to half the list, then change focus. “Which one of these three do we really need?” What happened in this case is Palm Sunday, AND it the first day of spring. Galatians 6 was chosen. So I erased the board, and wrote down:

Galatians 6, Planting a life for God.

4) The illustrative question: What movie, what picture, what event shows us what’s going on here? After a couple minutes of brainstorming, the question came out, what if we did this? As ideas are thrown about wildly, there is usually one or two ideas that are really good and do it well. Here’s what was proposed. What if we had cups, potting soil and seeds, right outside the church? People on their way to the parking lot can plant a seed and watch it grow. This is what you now delegate: who gets the seeds, the cups the soil, they have three weeks to get it done. From this session you now have your metaphor to use as your central illustrative and connection point.

What ever comes about from this question will be the central picture to lock into the hearts and minds of people the spiritual truth of that morning.

5) Evaluate last weeks sermon – Did this do what we wanted? Where was it strong? Where was it weak? You can be a brutal or as kind as you want. After a while you’ll get a good picture of your personal strengths and weakness in the preaching event.

Now that you have your sermon text and metaphor, you can give this information to those who will be doing the song service, the drama, communion meditation, anyone else who has a part of that weeks worship or celebration time. The preaching event is now streamlined and you should have a couple weeks to prepare this special event.