When people look at how you live, what do they see? When people consider your values and your character, what do they learn? When God looks beyond the surface to your heart and mind, what does He know?
Where are you putting your trust? What are you doing about this thought pattern?
Are you able to learn from the experience of others? Are you able to learn without having to experience it yourself? Are you able to respond based on what has happened to others rather than needing to walk thru it all on your own? Would you respond to what you read? Would you respond to what you hear? Would you respond to what you see? Are will you walk it out on your own and learn the hard way?
Don’t forget God! Don’t forget what He has done for you! Don’t turn your back on Him! You don’t want to face the consequences of such a decision!
Do you need things to heat up before you will realize what is going on? Do you need things to get so hot that impurities will be burned off? Is that the only way? Is there no other way for you to see what is necessary and turn things around? Is there no other way for you realize what has taken place and turn back to God and ask Jesus into your heart? Can’t you just stop before you hit rock bottom and cry out to God in humility and ask for forgiveness, asking Jesus into your heart and being transformed?
Do you realize there is real freedom? Do you realize there is a choice that can break the chains and free you? Do you realize that it can happen through Jesus? Let’s conclude and read from the end of our reading for today in Galatians and consider where we are at and where we could be with Jesus in the center of our lives! Let’s allow the Holy Spirit to lead us and guide us through each and every day!
Freedom in Christ
1It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
2Mark my words! I, Paul, tell you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no value to you at all. 3Again I declare to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obligated to obey the whole law. 4You who are trying to be justified by the law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace. 5For through the Spirit we eagerly await by faith the righteousness for which we hope. 6For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.
7You were running a good race. Who cut in on you to keep you from obeying the truth? 8That kind of persuasion does not come from the one who calls you. 9“A little yeast works through the whole batch of dough.” 10I am confident in the Lord that you will take no other view. The one who is throwing you into confusion, whoever that may be, will have to pay the penalty. 11Brothers and sisters, if I am still preaching circumcision, why am I still being persecuted? In that case the offense of the cross has been abolished. 12As for those agitators, I wish they would go the whole way and emasculate themselves!
Life by the Spirit
13You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. 14For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 15If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.
16So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. 18But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
19The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.