Daily Meditations Published by IT Fellowship of North America & Europe Diocese of Mar Thoma Church
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Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
The Conscious Waiting for Holy Spirit Galatians 5: 22 - 26 Vs: 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
One of my favorite activities in the activity books my parents used to buy for me as a child, was the matching images puzzle page. There was always an original image and of the 6 choices below, only one was distinctly the same. Some were very similar in structure but had an inaccurate face, a missing item of clothing- some characteristic was always incorrect that made it a mismatch from the original. When we read through the epistle from Paul to Galatia, we see Paul warn the people of false teachings that seemed right but deny the true gospel. Rather than following the Spirit of God who guides us to holiness, or following traditions symbolizing a commitment to Christ, traditions and law became the focus and a path away from the truth.
We read in Chapter 5 that Paul stresses there is freedom in following Christ rather than being held down by the failure to follow the law. As we see in the epistle and often in society there is a misapprehension what we understand God’s command for our lives. Paul warns that circumcision which was a symbol of repentance was being taught as if it was necessary process for salvation. Many supposed followers and teachers of Christ in part treated Gentiles differently and would even teach circumcision as essential to salvation. In verse 6, Paul states that in Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value in the grand scheme of things and that the only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love. In the same way whether our denomination believes in confirmation or baptism at certain ages, that does not mean salvation. Rather we do those things as a confession and commemoration of our faith.
Furthermore there is another misconstruction of the gospel that Paul warns against as well. Grace is provided in Christ’s sacrifice in the cross so that we are not given the punishment of what we deserve. Though we battle against our sinful desires that are not of God, the Holy Spirit which was given to us pushes us to holiness. When Paul warns us to repent and flee from sexual sin, drunkenness, or anger, to name a few in verse 21, he warns us that our foundations need to be right. If we have the Spirit in us we fight against desires of this world; we are set and rooted in Christ and are transformed. The divine qualities He desires in us like love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control become evident. Thus it’s not a perfect following of the letter of law that creates these qualities, but we move with these virtues in our hearts and actions when we trust in Christ. May our traditions, communities, and faith be rooted in God alone, so that the godly fruits of the Spirit to all shine before all we meet. Be blessed.
Heavenly Father I ask that you instill in my heart a desire to pursue holiness and to live by faith, rather than a distorted lie that is not the gospel. Help me Lord to extend grace and remember Your grace in my life.
Thought for the day
What is a practice or tradition that I use to celebrate/commemorate my faith [i.e. worship music, Communion, baptism] in God that has overshadowed my faith and love for God and His people? How can I repent and better focus on Him?
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