Love Changes Everything

Wendy Blight

Day: 6 | Plan: Christ Alone

Today's Reading: Galatians 5

Galatians 5:13-14 “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 neighbor as yourself.’

Freedom sets us free. Free to do what? Paul declares in today’s passage that it sets us free to serve one another humbly in love.

God created us to love and serve others. But, serving does not come naturally because of our sin nature. Putting others first goes against the fallen, physical part of us that seeks to satisfy self first. Paul calls this part of us our “flesh.” He speaks frankly about our flesh often in his letters. It’s why he cautions us against using our freedom to engage in activities that indulge in the flesh. We are especially susceptible in our culture today because we live in a world driven not by things of the Spirit but by physical desires, feelings and emotions.

What motivates the flesh differs profoundly from what motivates the Spirit. Self motivates the flesh. Love motivates the Spirit. So, when our flesh motivates us, self takes the lead. When love motivates our hearts, God’s Spirit takes the lead.

We seek to meet our own needs more before we come to know Jesus as our Savior. Things like pride, competition and comparison consume and drive and direct its thought processes.

Jesus sets us free from that sin nature. Our new nature seeks to please its Creator and Redeemer. God’s Holy Spirit consumes us and directs our thought processes.

But this transformation doesn’t happen overnight. Paul says it well. We know what we should do, but we struggle sometimes to actually do it! (Romans 7:15-20) It’s comforting that even Paul struggled. That is why we need to continually spend time with Jesus and time in His Word, to remind us of what “living love” and “living right” look like.

Loving and serving is the overflow of the fullness of God living in us. When we walk in the fullness of God’s love and who we are in Him, we are not enslaved to people and things. We do not look to them for our value, our worth, or identity because God is our portion. He is enough.

Remember it’s a process. A journey. We can’t get discouraged when we have bad days.

But we do need to know freedom in Christ can change everything. Especially how we view other people. When we walk in freedom, led by God’s love, we are willing to celebrate their successes. Encourage their giftedness. Come alongside them in disappointments.

Without that freedom, enslaved to sin and self, we can sink into a cesspool of comparison, competition and jealousy. Other people’s successes threaten us. Their giftedness leads to jealousy. We may even rejoice in their failures.

Our standing before God is not tied to other people. It’s tied only to God.

God’s love indwelling us equips us to fulfill God’s commands like the one found in Leviticus 19:18: “Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD.”

His Spirit living and breathing in us enables us to fulfill Jesus’ words in Luke 10:25-28:

On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. ‘Teacher,’ he asked, ‘what must I do to inherit eternal life?’ ‘What is written in the Law?’ he replied. ‘How do you read it?’ He answered, ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ ‘You have answered correctly,’ Jesus replied. ‘Do this and you will live.’”

Can you imagine what our world would be like if we walked in the freedom Christ won for us at the cross?

Join me in shining God’s love wherever your feet take you today. Because of our time in God’s Word today, may God’s glory and love radiate across our world.

Prayer: Father, for each of us who meet You here, I invite You to create opportunities for us to live out Your love. Wherever our feet take us, may we speak words of love and do acts of love. We want to do this for You so that we can truly live! In Jesus’ name, amen.

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