Today’s Scripture Readings: Psalms 105:23-36 | Isaiah 33:13-36:22 | Galatians 5:13-26 | Proverbs 23:23
Today’s Scripture Focus: Galatians 5
“You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love” (Galatians 5:13 NIV).
“There are two freedoms: The false where one is free to do what he likes and the true where he is free to do what he ought.” –Charles Kingley—
The path to liberty has two equally dangerous ditches that run along either side: legalism (where one fails to find the freedom or allow others to walk in freedom) and license (where one abuses the freedom). Paul has no time for either.
To the legalist he says: “The entire law is summed up in a single command: “Love your neighbor as yourself. If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other” (Gal 5:14-15) and “let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other” (Gal 5:26).
To the one given to abusing his freedom: “You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love” (Gal 5:13).
Both extremes are called back to the “law of love,” the place where service and obedience flows from love: “serve one another in love.”
As the life of Jesus flows in and through us by the power of the Holy Spirit, the very character of Jesus begins to manifest: “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” As we walk in the Spirit, the fruit of life lived according to the flesh (sin) is replaced with the fruit of the Spirit.
Living according to a list in one’s own strength and power won’t produce that. Ignoring the moral law to indulge in sin won’t either, of course. But through the Spirit, we can put to death the misdeeds of the flesh. We don’t have to live gratifying the desires of the flesh. The life of Christ in you promises something better: Freedom to do what is good and right.
The secret: a dynamic Spirit-filled life where we are led by the Spirit, controlled by the Spirit and keep in step with the Spirit. That is true freedom: the freedom to obey; the freedom to serve in love. That requires relationship and it takes away all the boasting and pride.
Whenever we learn to walk, there are trips and falls; it is hard to find our balance. So with walking in freedom. But don’t be discouraged, God is there to pick you up and set you back on your path.
Open your heart to Jesus. Spend time in fellowship with him today. Find the place of liberty and freedom in your relationship with Him.
Lord Jesus, live your life in me. Help me to live in the fullness of your Spirit that I might demonstrate the fruit of the Spirit. Help me to find the freedom to serve, to love and to obey. Amen.