Life by the Spirit
Heavenly Father, thank you for this time we have together. I thank You for the many blessings You’ve poured into my life, known and unknown, and praise You for the work you’ve begun in me. Quiet my mind and thoughts, that I can hear only You. Amen.
The Message (MSG)
22-23 But what happens when we live God’s way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard—things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely.
23-24 Legalism is helpless in bringing this about; it only gets in the way. Among those who belong to Christ, everything connected with getting our own way and mindlessly responding to what everyone else calls necessities is killed off for good—crucified.
25-26 Since this is the kind of life we have chosen, the life of the Spirit, let us make sure that we do not just hold it as an idea in our heads or a sentiment in our hearts, but work out its implications in every detail of our lives. That means we will not compare ourselves with each other as if one of us were better and another worse. We have far more interesting things to do with our lives. Each of us is an original.
I missed Pastor’s message about marriage and “love’s possibilities” on Sunday, but our son brought the message notes home for me to study this week.
Jim and I have been blessed with 35 years of marriage, and I am so thankful we began our lives together rooted in our Christian faith. However, looking back, in the beginning, it was a very superficial faith compared to the kind of relationship we long for now, in the Spirit. We were very “faithful” to attend church on Sunday, attend Bible class, and were involved in our home church life. As verse 23 above says, it was a very legalistic relationship we had with our Jesus – I sort of mindlessly walked through my life with Jesus then.
In some ways, lately, I feel like a very new believer, because I’m working hard to shed my old ways of thinking about relationship with Jesus. And in the context of marriage, this new relationship really is challenging me. I feel that it is a new kind of life in the Spirit, and my old habits of going through the motions of “shoulds” and “we’ve always done things this way” have very little meaning for me. I’m excited and so thankful that God’s word reminds me that I’m an original, and better still, I’m to remember that everyone around me is an original, and my goal is to have affection and compassion for them. Less me, more Jesus. Less me, more husband. Less me, more everyone around me. We have so much to look forward to in our marriage, looking through the lens of the Holy Spirit.
Dear Father, thank you for your Word, that reminds us to dwell in the Spirit. From that perspective “we have far more interesting things to do in this life”. We praise you and we thank you for this! Amen.