Being Love

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Today's reading: Galatians 6:1-5; Colossians 3:12-13; 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

As Christ follower, we are called to love others, which means loving in and through many different situations. In a general sense, the command to love people isn't too difficult. But when those near to us are experiencing tough times, determining how to demonstrate love can be more challenging, particularly when the tough time is the result of a sinful choice on their part. Paul gives some practical advice on showing love in these types of situations in Galatians 6:1-5. Our loving of a brother or sister in Christ who has made a faulty choice should include restoring them with a gentle, kind and tender approach as well as coming alongside to lend support in the difficult time.

What's your experience with "bearing one another's burdens," either providing support to someone or receiving support from someone else? Why is it so important to restore someone with a spirit of gentleness? Tami

Internal Duel

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Today's reading: Galatians 5:16-26

The moment we accept God's gift of salvation by receiving Christ as our Savior, the Holy Spirit takes up residence inside of us. But even though we have the power of God dwelling within us, we're still human. That means our sinful nature (our flesh) is fully intact. Paul alerts us to this fact in Galatians 5:17, where he tells us about the never ending tension between the Spirit and the flesh and how our flesh wants to keep us from doing what we know is right. As such, it is our constant responsibility to choose to conduct ourselves in a manner that is right and pleasing to God. Thus Paul's charge to walk in the Spirit, live by the Spirit and display the fruit of the Spirit.

What kind of fruit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control) are you producing as you follow the lead of the Holy Spirit? How do you stay aware of, and then keep in step with, the Spirit? What encouragement do you draw from Paul's teaching in verse 24 that as believers in Christ, we have "crucified the flesh with its passions and desires"? Tami

Today's reading: Galatians 5:1-15 (NLT)

I'm sticking with the NLT (New Living Translation) today instead of my usual ESV (English Standard Version) because of its clear wording. As I considered Paul's words in Galatians 5, I was drawn first to verse 6 and then to verses 13-14. At the start of this chapter, Paul writes about having freedom in Christ and tells us in verse 6 that following the law (circumcision) isn't of any benefit to us. Rather, "what is important is faith expressing itself in love" (vs. 6). Paul then drives this point home in verses 13-14 with the message that placing our faith in Christ and having freedom in Him means we should be loving and serving one another.

"For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don't use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love. For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'" (vs. 13-14)

What does "loving your neighbor as yourself" mean for you personally? Are you intentional about putting this command into practice? What's one example of how you have shown love to a "neighbor" in the past week? Tami

Today's reading: Galatians 5:1 (NLT)

"So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don't get tied up again in slavery to the law." (Galatians 5:1, NLT)

Paul's opening statement in Galatians 5 got me thinking about my experiences with and efforts to change in a number of areas over the years. What I can say with no hesitation is that change is difficult--especially when what we're working on changing is something we've grown accustomed to or done for a long time. And even when we know our new choice is absolutely for our good, if we're not intentional about cultivating different thinking and behaviors, our old ways, which we are so comfortable with, will start slipping back in and eventually derail us.

Thus Paul's reminding and instructing words in Galatians 5:1 to this group of baby believers who are struggling with their new way of living. Paul is basically saying, "Hey, remember whose you are. You are a new creature who is now, through Christ, spiritually free from the bondage of the law. So stay the course. Be intentional about focusing your mind on God's truth and living differently than in the past."

This same message applies to us today. In order to live fully for God, we have to be intentional about filling our minds with God's Word (His truth) and then putting it into practice in our daily lives. Our old ways do have a way of slipping back in. So thank you for being part of Powered by 4 with me. It's such an encouragement to know that we are reading our Bibles and filling our minds with God's truth together so that we can stay the course.

What's your routine when it comes to reading the Bible, gathering together with other Christ followers and praying? Why are these sorts of routines important, and how do they help you get and then maintain a healthy and proper perspective about your spiritual life/walk? Tami

History Lesson

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Today's reading: Galatians 4:21-31

As we come to the end of Galatians 4, we see Paul turn to Jewish history as a way to illustrate and help the church in Galatia more fully understand how Christ's death and resurrection changed everything for them (and us). Jesus dying and shedding His blood on the cross to pay all penalty for our sins released us from being under the law and entered us into a new grace-based era.

Thank you, Jesus, for making it possible for us to be the recipient of God's grace and receive His free gift of salvation.

In what are you trusting to ensure that you are in a right position with God? How might you explain God's grace and His offer of salvation to someone who doesn't yet know Christ? What's an example or experience from your life you could share with someone to help them understand grace and salvation? Tami

About Me

Hi, my name is Tami Weissert, the P4 facilitator and the "voice" behind the blogs. I'm passionate about helping people grow spiritually and actively encourage Bible engagement through conference speaking and writing. I also served as co-host of the Back to the Bible radio program for over 8 years. A little about me. I'm married to Jeff, and we love scuba diving, playing with our 3 dachshunds and going to Husker football games. I also love growing orchids, singing and Diet Pepsi. I hope you'll join in the conversation as we read the Bible and grow together.

About My Blog

I'm passionate about engaging God's Word! And my blog is about just that--giving you opportunities to receive, reflect on and respond to Scripture. Each day you'll find a short passage as well as thoughts, challenges and application questions for you to think about and respond to. I look forward to interacting with you and learning together, so post comments as often as you'd like. You can even sign up to get the blogs delivered to your inbox each day!

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