God Thought 3/6/24

Because of God's restoration, we can bring healing and restoration to others.

YouVersion Bible Study
Galatians: Accepted & Free
Day 7

'My friends, if anyone is detected in a transgression, you who have received the Spirit should restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness. Take care that you yourselves are not tempted. Bear one another's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. For if those who are nothing think they are something, they deceive themselves. All must test their own work; then that work, rather than their neighbor's work, will become a cause for pride. For all must carry their own loads. Those who are taught the word must share in all good things with their teacher. Do not be deceived; God is not mocked, for you reap whatever you sow. If you sow to your own flesh, you will reap corruption from the flesh; but if you sow to the Spirit, you will reap eternal life from the Spirit. So let us not grow weary in doing what is right, for we will reap at harvest time, if we do not give up. So then, whenever we have an opportunity, let us work for the good of all, and especially for those of the family of faith. See what large letters I make when I am writing in my own hand! It is those who want to make a good showing in the flesh that try to compel you to be circumcised—only that they may not be persecuted for the cross of Christ. Even the circumcised do not themselves obey the law, but they want you to be circumcised so that they may boast about your flesh. May I never boast of anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. For neither circumcision nor uncircumcision is anything; but a new creation is everything! As for those who will follow this rule—peace be upon them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God. From now on, let no one make trouble for me; for I carry the marks of Jesus branded on my body. May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brothers and sisters. Amen.'

Galatians 6:1-18
Paul gives us a few more encouragements, and maybe even warnings, as he wraps up this letter to the Galatians. He says, "Let us not grow weary of doing good for in due season we will reap if we do not give up."

"As we have the opportunity, let us do good to everyone, especially to those who are of the household of faith." I think Paul understands the weight of the letter that he shared with these churches. He knows that it was probably their own discouragement or self-doubt that got them into this mess with the Judaizers in the first place. And so he's saying now that you have been reminded and equipped and refreshed on what the gospel is, let us not grow tired of doing the good things that God has called us to do. Let us not grow tired of walking in the Spirit.

Let us not grow tired of restoring our brothers. Let us not grow tired of forgiving, of loving, of serving. I think that sometimes we can be so focused on the things that we're trying to accomplish that we don't really pace ourselves or refresh ourselves with the truth that God has given us. And you know, the enemy doesn't just come in through overt acts of sin. Sometimes he lets you go hard for a while, and as you begin to fatigue and fade out, he's fine with that, too. Because at the end of the day, you're still not accomplishing all that God has for you. So how do we not grow weary? Well, we have to stay refreshed. We have to live in community. That's why we bear one another's burdens. We have to walk in the Spirit and nurture the Holy Spirit within us with the truth and the word of God.

We have to remind ourselves that we are free. We're not fighting for freedom, we're fighting from freedom. We already have it and now we're just waging war against the enemy. I think emotional and spiritual fatigue is so common. You can get so excited that God has given you this clarity and you forget to refresh and recharge. People make bad decisions just because they're tired of doing the right thing. So Paul knows that this is a reality. We can actually get tired of doing the right thing. Here's why: because we have two natures within us. Even though we have the Holy Spirit, we still have the flesh within us. There's a constant battle that's being waged and so Paul encourages us to not grow tired. Here's why he doesn't want us to miss any opportunities to do good.

In verse 10 he says, "Then as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone." If you're fatigued, if you are spiritually weary, you will miss divine moments to encourage someone else, to share your faith, to show the love of God. Because we're so self-centered and we're so tired, we're so weary we can't even do the thing that God has given us an opportunity to do. It's such an important thing that spiritual recharging is huge. How many people are not ministered to? How many churches suffer and die because the leaders didn't stay fresh? So Paul says, I know you have all of this good information, but you also have to keep your spirit charged.

Paul closes the letter saying, remember that this acceptance that you have in Jesus is not something cheap. It is liberating. It's life-altering. It's the thing that gives you grounds for the authority on which you stand. It clarifies your assignment. It secures your adoption. It keeps you from needing the approval of anybody else because you already have it in Jesus. And ultimately it sets you free. It gives you the ability to walk in the Spirit. You don't have to live by a checklist. You don't have to live by someone else's opinion. You can walk in the freedom of the Spirit and in that freedom you can love well. Can you imagine? That just knowing I'm accepted in Christ changes how I love others. Paul is saying, here is the summary of everything I've said. Remember what matters. It's not what someone else says.

We don't have to be charmed by the in-crowd because we already have the ultimate approval. And to know that we are adopted as sons and daughters, and we have a permanent place at the table of God. Nothing can undo the fact that He is our Father and we are His children. And ultimately this acceptance gives us the freedom that so many of us desperately long for. The freedom to not live by a checklist, but to walk in the Spirit. And in doing so, be able to resist the flesh, produce the fruit of the Spirit, and ultimately bear one another's burdens. Because loving each other well is really what this life is about. So Paul says, remember you have what you need. Walk in the liberation. Live like you're free. Know that you're accepted and don't let anything change your mind.
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