"If you’ve raced with men on foot and they have worn you out, how can you compete with horses? If you stumble in safe country, how will you manage in thickets by the Jordan?" (Jeremiah 12:5). Our journey is intended to be more than simply "stumbling" through the days while the world "wears us out.” We are made to experience the thrill of "running with horses” and to navigate life amongst the "thickets." The RWH blog focuses on both the spiritual race of which Jeremiah speaks, and the physical act of running that I absolutely love. In short, it's where "the miles meet the Message" to provide insight, perspective & encouragement that might enable you & I to successfully run either of the races set before us. May our course be purposeful and may we be passionate in our pursuit of the abundant life He desires for us.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Freedom to Love One Another (ROCC SG Week 6)

Chapter 5 of Galatians prompted some great discussion this past Wednesday. The idea that we are saved by grace, and not by works or ritual, begs the questions regarding our liberties in Him. Are we free to live as we desire when we no longer have laws or checklists for obtaining acceptance by God?

In short, absolutely not. The grace that saves, is received when we come to true confession and repentance in Jesus (Romans 10:9). With genuine transformation comes a desire to obey out of gratitude for grace. Not because we “have to," but because we “want to." Paul is very clear in chapter 5  as to what a believer’s life should model. He highlights the differences between walking in the Spirit and walking in the flesh.

I have highlighted a couple of the key passages that we should continue to meditate on and apply.

Galatians 5:13-15  For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another.

and 

Galatians 5:22-24 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.  And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

NOTE: The fruit of the Spirit are not 'a la carte' options for us. We all have varying spiritual gifts for which we are to utilize in our service to Him and others. However, the characteristics in this list should all be present in our life. Some will require more work than others, and some will come more naturally, but we are to strive to excel in each of them.

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