Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Newness of Spirit

"But now we have been released from the Law, having died to that by which we were bound, so that we serve in newness of the Spirit and not in oldness of the letter." (Romans 7:6)

God wishes to move us from the discipline of the rigid law to the freedom of the boundless Spirit.  This means we don't just worship on the Sabbath but on every day of the week as the Spirit leads.  We don't just give a tithe but we are quick to share all of our resources as God directs.  Our goal is not to just meet the minimum legal requirement but to graciously give our lives as a living sacrifice.  The disciplines of the faith must cease to be religious rituals and must become natural expressions of our living faith.  In the same way that we breathe without giving it a thought simply because our lungs demand oxygen, we also love, serve, worship, pray, etc. because of the hunger in our souls.  My motivation for eating is not just to nourish my body.  I eat because I get hungry and because I enjoy the taste of food.  In the same way our motivation for the spiritual must move from duty to delight.

My friends, you are released from the duty of religious ritual!  God has provided a new and better way for you to serve God.  Here is a good starting place, "Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law." (Romans 13:8)  Today, let us love, even if we don't feel like it.  Soon, it will come as naturally as taking a deep breath.

“Do not waste time bothering whether you ‘love’ your neighbor; act as if you did. As soon as we do this we find one of the great secrets. When you are behaving as if you loved someone, you will presently come to love him.” --C. S. Lewis

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