Freedom in Christ
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.
2 Mark my words! I, Paul, tell you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no value to you at all. 3 Again I declare to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obligated to obey the whole law. 4 You who are trying to be justified by the law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace. 5 For through the Spirit we eagerly await by faith the righteousness for which we hope. 6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.
7 You were running a good race. Who cut in on you to keep you from obeying the truth? 8 That kind of persuasion does not come from the one who calls you. 9 “A little yeast works through the whole batch of dough.” 10 I am confident in the Lord that you will take no other view. The one who is throwing you into confusion, whoever that may be, will have to pay the penalty. 11 Brothers and sisters, if I am still preaching circumcision, why am I still being persecuted? In that case the offense of the cross has been abolished. 12 As for those agitators, I wish they would go the whole way and emasculate themselves!
Life by the Spirit
13 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. 14 For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 15 If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.
16 So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 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. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.
Today is the first day of spring! I love spring and all the visual proof that we have that things can change. That they will change. That out of what was frozen and dead new life, new colors, new beginnings will emerge. If you live in the south or a warmer climate like I do the daffodils are already blooming and the smell of spring has already hit the air. It is absolutely motivating. I’m even going to start ANOTHER workout regimen (soon, come on now baby steps) hopefully I stick to it this time.
This time of year is my favorite, even before summer. Metaphorically speaking I love that there is a season of tenderness before the sun gets so hot that the flowers yearn and thirst for water before they are scorched by the beautiful hot radiant sun . A season where they are allowed to simply grow in ideal conditions. I believe that if God grants the outdoors a tender season then there is one for us as believers of Christ as well. Where its neither too hot or too cold.
Do you need that season as much as I do? I feel that my summer and winter skipped fall and went straight into a brutally cold period. Where things have withered and on the surface appear dead. HOWEVER I know that the roots are still alive. That the right conditions, aligning with God’s will, shall bring forth the flowers of His love for me. That I will reach out from the dirt to show life and colors of His love. I know the same is true for you as well. Be ready for your Spring! Bring on the allergies, the bees, the rain all of it. Let it begin a rebirth of our commitment to our Father. As the song says, Let the SON shine in! (That was a pretty clever play on words :))
Listen to the still small voice when it tells you its time. Time to wake up and show your colors. Time to “begin a new thing.” Time to move on what the Still Small Voice (1 Kings 19:12 NIV) is telling you to begin. Time to find your purpose despite what the brutal cold has said or done. Time to repent of your past mistakes and wrong doings and let them go. Feel the warmth on the horizon wake up its the first day of Spring, come back to life. Do the things that whisper to you when all is noisy. Get baptized, write a book, help someone you know needs it. Begin anew.
Thoughts, anyone? It’s not time for crickets yet so don’t let there be any in here either. Talk to me!
I said, “God, I hurt.”
And God said, I know.”
I said, “God, I cry a lot.”
And God said, “That is why I gave you tears.”
I said, “God, I am so depressed.”
And God said, “That is why I gave you Sunshine.”
I said, “God, life is so hard.”
And God said, “That is why I gave you loved ones.”
I said, “God, my loved one died.”
And God said, “So did mine.”
I said, “God, it is such a loss.”
And God said, I saw mine nailed to a cross.”
I said, “God, but your loved one lives.”
And God said, “So does yours.”
I said, “God, where are they now?”
And God said, “Mine is on My right and yours is in the Light.”
I said, “God, it hurts.”
And God said, I know.”
Preachers of Detroit: Official Series Supertease