March 2023

Live Freely

You may have heard it said, “There is no such thing as free.” The idea being that there is a hidden cost somewhere. In the world, there is a great deal of suspicion and cynicism. And it’s a hard life for those who are constantly looking for “the catch.” These are often the ones who keep records in their relationships: a gift for a gift, a wrong for a wrong.

The way of God’s Kingdom is so contrary to the way of the world that it requires the work of the Holy Spirit in us both to see its wisdom and to demonstrate its love. God’s way of life for us is forgiveness, mercy, compassion and care. As we learn of Jesus’ meek and lowly heart in our personal relationship with Him (facilitated by the Comforter and Helper), we are trained and enabled to make choices that are incomprehensible to unbelievers. We learn to choose based on God’s character rather than on our own sinful nature.

Paul says, in his letter to the Galatians, “My counsel is this: Live freely, animated and motivated by God’s Spirit. Then you won’t feed the compulsions of selfishness. For there is a root of sinful self-interest in us that is at odds with a free spirit, just as the free spirit is incompatible with selfishness. These two ways of life are contrary to each other, so that you cannot live at times one way and at times another way according to how you feel on any given day. Why don’t you choose to be led by the Spirit and so escape the erratic compulsions of a law-dominated existence?” (Galatians 5:16-18 MSG)

The world tells us we have to take care of ourselves and defend our rights. God tells us to turn the other cheek, go the extra mile, render unto Ceasar what is his, honor those in authority. In doing all these things unto our Lord and Savior, we give glory to the Father. “Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world.” (1 John 4:4 NASB) Because God is for us, we don’t have to be for ourselves. And there is truly no greater freedom for us as His children.

Living in the power of God’s love will cause you to forgive your enemies, care about people you might not otherwise seek out for friendship and enjoy peace in the midst of chaos. Those who are moving toward God will be drawn to this kind of fearless living. In this way God expands His Kingdom and grows His family. What a mighty God we serve!

Until next week, beloved, live beyond yourself by the power of the Holy Spirit.

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