April 9 I Thursday
1 Samuel 13-14
“But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’” —Galatians 5:13-14
With our freedom from sin and death because of Christ, what do we use our freedom for? Do we use our freedom to bless the lives of those around us? It is interesting to note that Scripture roots our freedom in community. Paul tells us, “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. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself’” (Galatians 5:13-14). Our relationship with Jesus is not simply about Jesus and us but about Jesus, us and the community around us.
We have been set free to love others, bless the lives of our neighbours and be a willing servant to the needs of those around us. But, if we are honest, it is a challenge for us to love our neighbour. We may ask ourselves the question, how do we live it out? How can we avoid indulgence and embody sacrificial love to those around us?
Paul points us to the guide that has been given to us for our journey in freedom: “So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh....But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law” (Galatians 5:16,18). What we discover is that when we place our faith in Christ and experience the freedom of the gospel, the law ceases to be our tutor and the Holy Spirit becomes our guide. No longer are there external regulations but the living and vital force of God at work within us when we place our faith in Him.
During Jesus’s Last Supper with His disciples, He makes constant reference that He is going back to the Father but He is not going to leave His disciples alone. Jesus tells them, “And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another advocate to help you and be with you for ever––the Spirit of truth….But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you” (John 14:16-17, 26).
Other translations refer to the Holy Spirit as “Advocate,” “Counsellor” or “Helper” but essentially, the Spirit has been given to us to live in us, remind us, teach us and guide us. If we walk by the Spirit’s instructions, we will not gratify the desires of our flesh. Through the Spirit, we not only have the freedom to love Jesus but also others around us.
Prayer: Dear Jesus, thank You that You did not leave me alone but You sent Your Holy Spirit to be my guide. Grow in me a desire to love You and others more each day.