Closing the Gap 5.1.18

Week 17 “Serve One Another”

Day 2

Pray:

Ask God to reorient you to Himself. Confess any known sin. Thank Him for His forgiveness. Be still and reflect on Jesus and His sacrifice for you. Ask the Holy Spirit to open your heart and mind to God’s Word. Pray for others in your life that they, too, would know and love God today.

Read:

Galatians 5:13 You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love. 14 The entire law is summed up in a single command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 15 If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other. 16 So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature.

Reflect:

The entire law is summed up in a single command: “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Matt. 22:39).  To understand what God wants in regard to others is not complex; he wants you to love them. However, to consistently do this in practice is not easy; in fact, it is very difficult.  Of course, there are those people who are easier to love than others. There are also times when people are easier to love than other times, but to move towards consistency in loving others requires the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives and ongoing attention on our part.  In competition for our constancy in loving others is the ongoing compulsion to indulge ourselves. To love others well, we must put their interests ahead of our own, yet our sinful nature does not take kindly to being in “second place.” “Indulge and satisfy” versus “love and serve” are the battle lines in your life.  You must continually decide to move your attitudes and actions fully into the realm of “love and serve.” Live by the Spirit and you will not live your life on the wrong side of the battle. You will live to serve others, not to serve yourself. To live by the Spirit simply means to operate within the realm of the Spirit’s desire for your life.  The realm of his desire is the realm of his power. To move out of that realm of his will and into the desires of the flesh is to live without his power operating in you. He will not empower you for rebellion and selfishness. Why would he? Are you struggling to love and serve others? Do you feel trapped in the gravitational pull of your own selfish desires?  The first step is to repent. Ask God to forgive you and ask the Holy Spirit to fill you. Move back into the realm of his will for your life and you will find that is the realm of his power for your life as well. Power to live as he would have you live, loving and serving one another.

Pray:

(Personalize this prayer today; make it specific to the circumstances that face you.)
Ask God to lead you through His Spirit as you go through your day. Ask Him to bring to mind the truth of the gospel and its implications for what you will encounter today. Tell Him “Yes” to His will and ask Him for His power and protection to live this “yes.” Ask God to create and reveal opportunities to proclaim the good news today.

 

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