Today's Devotion - August 6
Walk by the Spirit
You, 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. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.
Paul echoes his words from Galatians 5:1 - It 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. People have been called to be free in Christ Jesus. However, that freedom comes with a warning. Paul urges the churches NOT to use their freedom as a license for sin but rather to allow their freedom to call them to serve others in love.
Two ways of living are described in the verses that follow. We may live according to the Spirit of God or we may live according to our sinful nature. Paul covers this subject in Romans 8 as well.
So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For 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. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
The two natures described here are in conflict with each other. There is a struggle going on in every heart – to live according to our sinful nature (flesh) or according to the Spirit of God. The desires of both natures are completely at odds with one another.
In Galatians 5:19-21 the “sinful nature” is described in more detail. Similar lists are found in Ephesians 4, 5 as well as in Colossians 3. The life lived out according to the Holy Spirit is also described in Galatians 5:22-23 - But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. I think this is the life we all wish to have. Sometimes we need to remember that we are all engaged in a conflict. It is not always natural to live the way Paul describes here. Often it means identifying our sinful nature, saying “no” to our sinful nature, and trusting in the grace of God to teach and help us.
For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.
Heavenly Father – Help us to realize that we are engaged in a battle that includes our sinful nature as well as the nature controlled by your Spirit. Remind us that you are there every day to help us live by your Holy Spirit. May we decide each day to allow you to crucify our sinful nature and to help us follow Jesus with all our heart.
In the name of Christ we pray, Amen
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We desire to LOVE GOD with all of our hearts,
LOVE OTHERS as Christ loves us,
and to SERVE THE WORLD through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Our desire is to be a community where we LOVE GOD, LOVE OTHERS, and SERVE THE WORLD.
We are a group of believers seeking authentic relationships with Christ and one another.
We worship, fellowship, study, and serve to develop greater intimacy with our Creator and His creation.
At Northside we express our love and gratitude to God through spiritual,
God-centered worship and celebration.
We are a place where healing and unconditional love can be found;
a place to build a closer and deeper relationship with God and others.
We work to share Christ's message through acts of service in our community and around the world.
If you are looking for a church family or just visiting we would love to meet you.
We invite you to study, worship, and praise God with us.