7 POWERFUL GRACES FOR LIVING: STEPPING UP
Life is filled with ups and downs. The economy moves from boom to bust. Societies move from tranquility to revolution. Countries shift governments and political alliances. This is why events such as elections, pandemics, and economic depression can create fear and despair. What can help us as we negotiate the cycles of our lives or our society? In our sermon series 7 Powerful Graces for Living, we turn Galatians 5:14-26. The Apostle Paul is telling the Galatians that they are going into a downward spiral which will rob them of joy, peace, love, and hope. They think they are moving toward freedom, but instead a spirit killing legalism is dragging them into a pit of anger and hatred! Paul wants to help them find the path that will strengthen their lives, rather than tear them apart. In the sermon Stepping Up, we discover that a simple grace is following what God has already provided for us. Paul tells them to “walk in the Spirit” and they will be able to step into the goodness and power of God in their lives. When we walk in the Spirit, we find love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Who doesn’t need more of these qualities? The words of this passage share with us a great hope that we can step out of fear, anger, and despair and step into the life changing power of God. All of us at times find ourselves in a downward spiral, but God wants to reverse the trend so that we can bear this fruit in our lives. May your life be strengthened and encouraged as you read Galatians 5:14-26: For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 15 If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other. 16 So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 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. 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. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.