Daily Devotional with Dr. Charles Stanley @ InTouch.org
Saturday & Sunday, October 29-30, 2011
The Gift of Freedom
Read | Galatians 5:1
People in our country typically believe they are free. For the most part, we can worship, speak, and travel as we desire. Yet despite all the guarantees of our Bill of Rights, countless Americans still live in bondage. This is because true freedom isn’t something that can be legislated. Rather, it is the ability to live a righteous life in the mercy, grace, goodness, and power of God.
True freedom means:
• Through Jesus, we are redeemed from bondage to sin and its consequences. God has adopted us into His family, and we are able to walk with Him in truth.
• Our hope is secure. When a child feels safe in his parents’ love and provision, he will thrive. We, too, can live with joy and confidence since we trust the Lord to care for us today and through all of eternity.
• God has enabled us to become all that He intended. He has opened the door for us to release bitterness, low self-esteem, and other impediments that once had a grip on us. Furthermore, His Holy Spirit guides and enables so that we can do all that He desires.
• Through grace, Christ has freed us to relate to one another in a godly fashion. We can love and forgive in God’s strength because we have experienced the same from Him.
Is anything hindering God’s work in your life or interfering with your peace and contentment? Understand that the Christian life is a paradox: we are set free from bondage to sin yet choose to be bondslaves of Jesus. Only when we fully surrender and sacrifice to Him can we truly live in freedom.
1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage. 2 Indeed I, Paul, say to you that if you become circumcised, Christ will profit you nothing. 3 And I testify again to every man who becomes circumcised that he is a debtor to keep the whole law. 4 You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace. 5 For we through the Spirit eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. 6For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but faith working through love.
Love Fulfills the Law
7 You ran well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth? 8 This persuasion does not come from Him who calls you. 9 A little leaven leavens the whole lump. 10 I have confidence in you, in the Lord, that you will have no other mind; but he who troubles you shall bear his judgment, whoever he is.
11 And I, brethren, if I still preach circumcision, why do I still suffer persecution? Then the offense of the cross has ceased. 12 I could wish that those who trouble you would even cut themselves off!
13 For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. 14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 15But if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another!
Walking in the Spirit
16 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. 24 And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.