“Give me your eyes for just one second. Give me your eyes so I can see, everything that I keep missing, give me your love for humanity.” These prayerful song lyrics by Brandon Heath are an honest admission that we do not have a clue how to really love each other. We need Jesus to guide us. We need his help.
- Jesus is passionate about loving people. What does this mean for those of us who follow him?
READ THE WORD: GALATIANS 5:1-15 (ESV)
5:1 For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.
2 Look: I, Paul, say to you that if you accept circumcision, Christ will be of no advantage to you. 3 I testify again to every man who accepts circumcision that he is obligated to keep the whole law. 4 You are severed from Christ, you who would be justified by the law; you have fallen away from grace. 5 For through the Spirit, by faith, we ourselves eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness. 6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love.
7 You were running well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth? 8 This persuasion is not from him who calls you.9 A little leaven leavens the whole lump. 10 I have confidence in the Lord that you will take no other view, and the one who is troubling you will bear the penalty, whoever he is. 11 But if I, brothers, still preach circumcision, why am I still being persecuted? In that case the offense of the cross has been removed. 12 I wish those who unsettle you would emasculate themselves!
13 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. 14 For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 15 But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another.
(Today’s questions focus on verses 13-15.)
- What did Paul call believers to (vs. 13a)? What did he say believers are NOT to use it for (vs. 13b)?
- What are some ways we abuse or take advantage of our freedom in Christ?
- What word, or words, did Paul say the whole law is fulfilled by (vs. 14)?
- Why do you think Paul ended this passage with a warning in verse 15?
- What would it look like in your life today if you walked in love by serving another? Where do you need to adjust your actions to align them with his holy Word?
RESPOND TO GOD
Though believers are called to live in freedom, we are all capable of turning to our flesh instead. But, we aren’t to take advantage of this blood-bought freedom we have in Jesus. So, what does this look like? It means we love and serve one another, instead of first looking out for our own interests. We aren’t to react to our emotions, but rather respond to God. This will look differently for all of us. It may mean serving our neighbor by taking them a meal today. Tomorrow it may mean not cutting off another driver in the parking lot. As you reflect on this passage, ponder how you can step out of your comfort zone and help someone else.
- Ask God to lead you specifically to walk in the Spirit and not in your flesh today.