This post was originally published way back in 2008, but it’s amazing how my heart circles back to its home, no matter where I wander or how I grow as a person.
Scriptures are part of that home feeling. Meditating on my faith and the values I cherish helps strengthen my soul for the daily battles.
I’ve edited this post from its original take for clarity, but the message rings true, twelve years later!
Galatians, chapter 5. I’ll wait while you open your Bible app.
So I’m all about Jesus being a personal God. I trust in His power and fully believe that He is God of everything. But He’s mine, too. His Word reads like letters sent directly to my heart.
This passage is working like that for me today. Here, Paul writes of the glorious freedom we have through the Spirit living in us. And since it was so freeing [heh!], I took the liberty of making this passage mine.
And sharing it with all the internets.
I tried my hardest and holiest not to change a dot or tittle, so I think we’re safe from sacrilege. If it can be translated as the Christian Living Message Incarnate Word and Holiest Book of Books and be sold in your local Christian bookstore, I feel like it’ll be ok that I did this for free.
I’ll take it up with Paul later, y’all.
v1. Jesus has liberated you into freedom, so stand firm and don’t submit to bondage again.
v2. I’m telling you; seeking to fulfill traditional church laws will not bring Jesus’ favor.
v3. Every Christian who seeks only to fulfill tradition is obligated to live by every law.
v4. If you’re trying to be justified by the law, you have fallen from the grace of God!
v5. By His spirit, we hope for righteousness to be manifest in our lives through our faith in Jesus.
v6. In Him, traditions accomplish nothing; what matters is faith working through love.
v7. You were doing great! What kept you from obeying the truth? [Ow. You don’t miss one stubborn moment, do you, pal?]
v8. This discouragement didn’t come from He Who called you.
v9. A tiny bit of yeast [discouragement] can leaven [affect] the entire loaf [Please note for the record that if I’m going to be compared to bread, I’d like to be Hawaiian Sweet Bread, since everyone likes that. But moving on…]
v10. I have peace through Jesus that you won’t falter in your doctrine; don’t worry! Whoever is troubling you will pay a penalty.
v11. Rachel, I don’t preach adherence to tradition, or else I wouldn’t endure persecution still. I preach the cross of Jesus, which no man should be offended by.
v12. Seriously, I wish those who are troubling you would be bound to the laws that they propagate!
v13. You’re called to freedom. Don’t use your freedom for yourself, though; use it to serve your brothers and sisters in love.
v14. Remember, the entire law is fulfilled in this statement; ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’.
v15. If you choose to attack your brothers and sisters, you’ll destroy each other.
v16. I’m telling you, then, walk in the Spirit of Jesus and you’ll avoid the temptations of the flesh.
v17. Your flesh desires earthly things that are contrary to the desires of the Spirit, and the Spirit desires heavenly things contrary to the desires of the flesh.
v18. If you’re led by the Spirit, you’re not bound by traditions and mandates.
v19. Fleshly desires are obvious; sexual immorality, moral impurity, promiscuity,
v20. idolatry, sorcery, hatreds, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambitions, dissensions, factions,
v21. envy, drunkenness, carousing, and anything similar. Just an advance warning, though – people who practice these things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
v22. But the fruits of the Spirit, the principles for you to live by, are these: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith,
v23. gentleness, and self-control. There is no law or tradition against any of these things.
v24. My child, you belong to Jesus. That means you should have crucified [or axed, or killed, or done away with, however that may have occurred] fleshly passions and desires.
v25. If you profess to live by the Spirit, you must follow the Spirit.
v26. Never, ever become conceited. Don’t provoke your brothers and sisters, nor be caught up in envy.
There you have it, folks. It’s encouragement, it’s gentle, loving reproof, it’s promise, it’s hope, and it’s grace. From Jesus, with love.
So tell me.. How are you making Him relevant to you today?