OVERVIEW: Paul reminds us of our choice: live according to our flesh and lead destructive lives, or live by God’s Spirit and bear fruit.
BIG IDEA: The flesh destroys; the Spirit heals.
KEY VERSE: Galatians 5:13 (Paul’s reminder)
For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love.
IF GOD WROTE YOU A LETTER
You are free in Christ. You don’t have to live by a set of laws to earn my love or begin a relationship with me. I have given you my love and adopted you as my child. You are free, but choose wisely how you live out that freedom. Your flesh will tempt you to live for yourself, to make yourself number one in all things. It will blind you to the pain you may cause others to satisfy your desires. But remember, you are free to live another way—a better, healthier, more productive way.
When you seek to serve others humbly in love, you will find blessing, joy, and satisfaction. But don’t try harder to be kind or loving. Instead, walk with me. Follow me. Invite me to fill you with my Spirit, and you will display love and share kindness and speak encouraging words. And your decision to follow me is not a one-time decision. Let it be your constant prayer. As you breathe in and out, think of me, listen for my voice, and invite me to lead your life.
Fast from a meal or two today (or some other habit that you never miss). When your stomach growls and wants to be fed, pray that you would have the same type of appetite to honor God and love people. Ask God to fill you with his Spirit.