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Happy Independence Day!  The founders of our great nation sacrificed in order to create a free nation. They believed that God had given America a calling and a purpose to continue the cause of freedom. This purpose and cause made the sacrifice worthwhile and powerful. There cannot be genuine freedom without commitment and sacrifice. When freedom becomes “all about us,” then what will guide the use of freedom? Our spirits are a cauldron of desire and drive which pit us against one another and this allows anger and hatred to simmer or boil over into all of our lives. We are always in danger of losing the guiding light for our freedom! In our sermon series, Test the Spirits, our sermon title is True Freedom, Part II. We are using Galatians 5:13-26 to understand how to guide our freedom to overcome a selfish freedom and to live into God’s abundant life for us. The Galatians were misusing their freedom and it was becoming very apparent in their inactions with one another. Their freedom had lost its guiding light and now they were moving deeper into the darkness!  The Apostle Paul brings the light of hope to guide them and us to a spirit of true freedom that can fill our lives with the fruit of the Holy Spirit!  What do you want for your life; failure or fruit?  It is our ardent prayer that the Holy Spirit will speak to you and bring a light of hope into your heart as you read Galatians 5:13-26: You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. 14 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. (NIV)