Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Galatians Bible Study

I started this inductive Bible Study a few months ago and this week's really got to me. I am just going to cut and paste everything I had typed up, so it starts off with the passage we were "studying" and then all the notes I had typed up as I went through it. I'd love to know what you think!

The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.

SUMMARY, MY WORDS: Okay, we all know what ‘counts’ as a sin. All of the people who live consumed by these things known to be wrong, well, they will not be welcome in Heaven. If you live by the Spirit, you do not feel the need to sin. Instead, you will be driven to live wholesomely and happily. When you believe in Christ and have accepted him as your Savior, you have let go of the need/desire to sin. Stay with the Spirit, accept him into your soul, do not let yourself get carried away by others who are not living by the Spirit.

THOUGHT: Today I was thinking about some people whom I feel have it “better” than I do. I was allowing myself to feel some sense of jealousy when it totally hit me “out of the blue”.  God said, “Audrey, nobody’s life is perfect. Where you see perfection, you are overlooking the negative. Where you see happiness and ease, you are not looking at the struggles that come along with it. You only see the outside or the times when people allow you to see. You will never see anyone else’s full story. You will never know what is going on behind their scenes. You have to be happy with what I have given you and make the most of it because I know it is what’s right for you at the time.” I felt this so deeply, I had to tape record myself saying it! This is so true. We all know what sin is. Fine. This I understand. What I wasn’t understanding is that it’s not about “provoking and envying each other”. It’s about loving each other. Loving people for who they are and what they do. Being truly happy for them when they meet with good fortune. Feeling truly upset WITH (alongside) them when they meet with struggles and/or setbacks. Not feeling envious because they got something you felt you should have been blessed with. Not pitying them when you are the one who is feeling fortunate. It is so important to just stay in the moment and LIVE YOUR OWN LIFE. Take things as they come. Friendships and other relationships are important, but they are not to be used as a guideline for how you feel your life should go. All too often I have chosen friends for the wrong reasons. People who have things I want – maybe if I am their friend they will share, or maybe I will learn the secret to obtaining what it is they have? No. Prayer and Faith. This is how you obtain the right things. You will get them in due time. When you truly need them. I have also turned my back on people for the wrong reasons. You can’t ask, “What is this person doing for me?” You have to realize there may be people out there who need you as a friend. Not to help you, but for you to help them. You have to recognize that sometimes just being there for someone will alter their entire life. You may not even get to see it in action or reap any rewards for the help you’ve given. You just have to trust that when you are truly living through the Spirit you will affect people in the right ways and you will, in turn, realize ways others can lift you up at the right times. I LOVE LEARNING THIS!!!!

5:22 But the fruit*(Eph 5:9) of the Spirit is love*(Col 3:12-15), joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
Ephesians 5:9 – (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth)
Colossians 3:12-15 – Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.
5:24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature*(Romans 6:6) with its passions and desires.
Romans 6:6 – For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin - *(Romans 7:24)
Romans 7:24 – What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?
5:26 Let us not become conceited*(Php 2:3), provoking and envying each other.
Philippians 2:3 – Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.*(Romans 12:10)
Romans 12:10 – Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.

Quick note: Romans 12:9-21, awesome. All of this is so much more powerful than just the simple, “Love thy neighbor.” Starts off strong!! “Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.”…I have to type the whole thing – it’s all fantastic!!
Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.
Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. On the contrary:
“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Is it me or is this exactly what God spoke to me about during my drive to the YMCA today? For once all four kids were in the car and being quiet…I felt so spoken to that I had to record it on my phone. Wow. What a great day! I knew I had a good day, but now that I am having this sort of epiphany (for lack of a better word), today is off the charts good! G’night.

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