Tuesday, May 7
For freedom, Christ set us free. Stand firm then and don’t submit again to a yoke of slavery.
2 Take note! I, Paul, am telling you that if you get yourselves circumcised, Christ will not benefit you at all. 3 Again I testify to every man who gets himself circumcised that he is obligated to do the entire law. 4 You who are trying to be justified by the law are alienated from Christ; you have fallen from grace. 5 For we eagerly await through the Spirit, by faith, the hope of righteousness. 6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision accomplishes anything; what matters is faith working through love.
7 You were running well. Who prevented you from being persuaded regarding the truth? 8 This persuasion does not come from the one who calls you. 9 A little leaven leavens the whole batch of dough. 10 I myself am persuaded in the Lord you will not accept any other view. But whoever it is that is confusing you will pay the penalty. 11 Now brothers and sisters, if I still preach circumcision, why am I still persecuted? In that case the offense of the cross has been abolished. 12 I wish those who are disturbing you might also let themselves be mutilated!
13 For you were called to be free, brothers and sisters; only don’t use this freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but serve one another through love. 14 For the whole law is fulfilled in one statement: Love your neighbor as yourself. 15 But if you bite and devour one another, watch out, or you will be consumed by one another.
In these verses Paul is continuing to emphasize the need to focus on the gospel in it’s truest form. He goes so far as to say that those who attempt to be justified by good works have fallen from grace. It’s so important to recognize that as Paul is declaring these things he is begging us to remember one primary thing - love. What matters is our faith working itself out daily, in every situation, through love. It can be overwhelming to consider all the directives of scripture. These verses make sticking to those commandments to not satisfy our flesh a little more simple. If we can keep our focus on truly loving our brothers and sisters, the entirety of the law will be fulfilled. There is no control, harm, selfishness, or fear in real love. As we focus on truly outdoing one another in love, many other things will fall into place.
We are able to love others to the degree that we have experienced the love of Christ. How many relationships in your life that you’re striving to fix would solve themselves if you viewed the other person involved the way Jesus sees them? Let’s beg the Lord to reveal the love He has for us and change the deepest parts of us with that love. When we experience that, we’ll love others well and do all we can not to harm them.
Father forgive me for the selfishness of my love for others. Help me experience your love for me so that I can love others to that same degree. Allow my love for others be one of the primary things that points them to You.
Pick Four More Activities
Listen and Worship.
Pray a Psalm.
Read a Book.
Retell the Gospel to Yourself.
Take Some Notes on Today's Devotional.
Pray for Yourself, Your Family, Your Church, and the Lost.
Memorize a Verse.
List Five Things You're Thankful For.