Good morning my friends. Another great day in this ongoing adventure with Jesus. Will we be involved in the extraordinary today? I hope so, to allow the world to see Jesus through us. We are moving on to Galatians 5.
You know, its not suppose to look like everything else. Once we have accepted Jesus our lives are not suppose to look like everyone else who is without Jesus. Things are suppose to change. We are suppose to stand out from the crowd. Our lives should be different. If they are not we need to start asking some questions.
Its okay to ask ourselves honest questions if we are willing to deal with the answers we get back. Why aren't things different for us? Why do we blend in with our surroundings? It could be that we have fallen back into self-reliance and have started depending on rules and rituals without realizing it. Anything born in love that ceases to be done in love has become a powerless ritual; a thing of law. It sucks the power of God right out of us. Paul warned against this:
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. v. 1
Anything that we begin to do from habit that has lost the element of love and faith has actually become a sin. It has become for us a yoke of slavery. Worship music, giving money, saying prayers all can become sources of slavery when love has been let go of. In the case of the Galatians they had let go of love which caused them to doubt and fear so they set aside grace and slipped back into law.
Mark my words! I, Paul, tell you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no value to you at all. Again I declare to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obligated to obey the whole law. You who are trying to be justified by law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace. vs. 2-4
You may not see the connection here right away but think it through. We begin our relationship with a great deal of passion. We are convinced of grace because of his love that is overwhelming us. Then we start neglecting the relationship a bit at a time; too pressed for time to fellowship with our Saviour, to get to know him better in the Word, to be overwhelmed by his love each day. We start relying more and more on the acts of faith; going to church, reading a five minute devotional, saying a quick prayer before meals and going to bed, listening to Christian music. These are all great when we are in fellowship and are being overwhelmed by his love but without that love they become the source of our hope of salvation, which is sin. We have become religious and dependent on how we live instead of who we live for. Paul wrote:
But by faith we eagerly await through the Spirit the righteousness for which we hope. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love. vs. 5-6
That's not a small thing; "The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love." In 1 Corinthians 13 Paul states that without love we are nothing and we gain nothing. Without love we will be turned away from the gate with the words "Go away, I don't know you". It is not okay to live lives that blend into the environment. We were born as a new creation. We stand out from the old.
We do not provide for ourselves. We do not hope for the best. We do not need luck. We do not live without joy. We are not depressed. We are not without laughter. We are not void of kindness. We are not lost. We are not lonely. If you are anything of these things then it is time to run a diagnostic on your fellowship with Jesus. Have you let go of love? Remember today that we are not ordinary; we were not born into the ordinary and in this day, the only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love. Become overwhelmed by his love for you all over again and then allow for that every day of your life for the rest of your life. Do not rely on any form of ritual instead move forward in the faith that was birthed in his love for us.
O how he loves us so.