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Use your freedom for Spirit-guided service

June 21, 2023

Daily Scripture

Galatians 5:13-16

13 You were called to freedom, brothers and sisters; only don’t let this freedom be an opportunity to indulge your selfish impulses, but serve each other through love. 14 All the Law has been fulfilled in a single statement: Love your neighbor as yourself. [Leviticus 19:18] 15 But if you bite and devour each other, be careful that you don’t get eaten up by each other!
16 I say be guided by the Spirit and you won’t carry out your selfish desires.

Daily Reflection & Prayer

The Apostle Paul planted new churches in the Roman province of Galatia (modern day Turkey). But after Paul left, “false teachers” came to Galatia and began convincing people they still had to follow certain rules and laws for God to accept them. Paul, in his letter, strongly resisted the false teachers. He urged his readers to claim their spiritual freedom in Christ, a freedom defined by the words Jesus identified as one of the “great commandments”: “love your neighbor as yourself.”

  • Paul echoed Jesus’ teaching (Matthew 22:35-40). But he added a sweeping claim: “All the Law has been fulfilled in a single statement.” Even many Christians struggle to accept that. We often think it takes “right” baptismal practices, specific ways of reading the Bible or doing communion, or a whole variety of doctrinal nuances to “fulfill the law.” Can you trust, whether for your own walk with Christ and that of others, that “love your neighbor as yourself” truly fulfills “all the law”?
  • In verse 13 Paul bluntly stated a truth we may struggle to admit. We all have selfish impulses, especially if given the ability to choose freely. He pointed his readers to the one who can give us the ability to live in love: the Holy Spirit: “Be guided by the Spirit and you won’t carry out your selfish desires” (verse 16).  In what parts of your life do you want to invite the Spirit to empower you to love your neighbor as yourself more fully?

Lord Jesus, “loving” sounds so simple until real life makes it harder to apply. As I draw nearer to you, I ask your empowering Spirit to teach me more and more what it means to love as you love. Amen.

GPS Insights

Picture of Isaac West

Isaac West

Isaac West is serving as a 2023 summer intern for Resurrection. He is a Locations and Care Intern at Resurrection’s Overland Park location.

When I was younger, I felt called to serve the Lord and the community. Nothing special inspired me, I just felt free to serve in any capacity. One of my favorite parables in the Bible is “the Parable of the Good Samaritan,” the mindset of wanting to serve everyone, even if we have different mindsets, goals, hobbies, and stories. As I continue to grow now, serving is art. Seeing the challenges, smiles, pain, and finally the overcoming in others is so beautiful. There should never be a personal goal when serving. Instead we are seeking the art in everyone.

Luke 10: 33-34 (ESV)
33 But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. 34 He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him.

Not for personal indulgence, or pride, but because I am free to serve them. The Spirit calls us to have a servanthood mindset to our neighbors, and that is more important than a materialistic mindset. Serving allows us to connect through the mind and the heart, whether for a short or long-time span.

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Scripture quotations are taken from The Common English Bible ©2011. Used by permission. All rights reserved.