“And because you are children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying ‘Abba, father!’ So you are no longer a slave but a child, and if a child then also an heir, through God. … Have I now become your enemy by telling you the truth? … Now you, my friends, are children of the promise, like Isaac. But just as at that time the child who was born according to the flesh persecuted the child who was born according to the Spirit, so it is now also. … So then, friends we are children, not of the slave but of the free woman. For freedom Christ has set us free. Stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. … For you were called to freedom, brothers and sisters, only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for self-indulgence, but through love become slaves to one another. For the whole law is summed up in a single commandment, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ … Live by the Spirit, I say, and do not gratify the desires of the flesh. …. the fruit of the Sprit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against such things.” Galatians 4:6-7, 16, 28-29, 31-5:1, 13-14, 16, 22-23
Today’s reading, three chapter, Galatians 4-6 is packed with great stuff! Paul’s question in 4:16, “Have I now become your enemy by telling you the truth?” lifted off the page, caught my eye and pricked my heart? I can imagine God asking His creation the same question! Do I, do we, God’s children live in the fullness of the potential of the possibility of life with God as God designed it and expects? Or do we willingly submit ourselves to something much less, bearing burdens we are not meant to bear, and gratifying desires that remove us from our promised inheritance. Like Adam and Eve, when told not to “touch that tree”, do we? The result, separation from God, no more inheritance of the free-gift. Or do we bear fruit of the Spirit – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control? Just imagine, if Adam and Eve had been obedient, had faithfully kept and tilled the garden, been fruitful and multiplied as God intended, what life with God would be like now. Children of the promise, stand firm in God, love God, love others, live by the Spirit, and bear much Spiritual fruit! For you were called to freedom to cultivate and share love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.