Friday, June 3
Reader: “Those who live to please the Spirit”
Response: “will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit.”
Scripture: Galatians 6:7-10
(This is the conclusion of a larger section beginning at 5:13)
Don’t be misled—you cannot mock the justice of God. You will always harvest what you plant. Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit. So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone—especially to those in the family of faith.
Have you ever been around someone (or maybe it was you!) who had done something stupid and was then surprised that things turned out so badly? Our world is filled with people who blatantly and repeatedly ignore God’s guidance and the Judeo-Christian values as set out in the Scriptures and end up in disastrous situations. Judgment is coming for those who mock God. There is a good deal of passive aggressive mocking of God all around us. The sinful nature always produces destruction, decay and death. No good ever comes from the sinful nature. It never has and never will. It is a black sinkhole with nothing but condemnation, eternal darkness, and alienation from anything good or noble or godly―separation from God.
In contrast, living in the Spirit is just the opposite. The Spirit produces in us eternal life and light and community and blessing. The sinful nature cannot produce this spiritual fruit through human effort. The human being’s job is to pick up the hammer everyday and not get tired of nailing the sinful human nature to the cross everyday. (See yesterday’s devotional if you missed it.) Live with a hammer in your hand. Like the Israelites in Nehemiah’s day who were rebuilding the walls, doing their work with one hand and holding a weapon in the other; we are to be ever vigilant. (Neh 4:17) The battle against the old sin nature is long, so Paul encourages the Galatians [and us] to never give up doing good to everyone―especially fellow believers. Things will turn out good. No surprise.
Music: “Veni sancte spiritus” (“Come Holy Spirit” in the Taizé tradition)
Prayer:Almighty God, to whom all hearts are open, all desires known, from whom no secrets are hidden, cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inpouring of the Holy Spirit, that we may love you perfectly, and worthily praise your holy name. Amen. ―Gelasian Sacramentary, from In the Presence of My Father, p.94