Reading and Prayer – May 24

Reading

Galatians 5:13-26 (NLT)

You have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love. For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” But if you are always biting and devouring one another, watch out! Beware of destroying one another.

So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions. But when you are directed by the Spirit, you are not under obligation to the law of Moses.

When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.

But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! 

Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives. Let us not become conceited, or provoke one another, or be jealous of one another.

Prayer

Holy Spirit of God, on the day of Pentecost you came upon the church as the gift of the exalted Lord.  

Come to us in your grace and power today, to make Jesus real to us, to teach us more about him, and to deepen our faith in him; that we may be changed into his likeness and be his witnesses to the world, to the glory of God the Father.

Heavenly Father, as we pray, renew in us the gifts of the Holy Spirit.  

Increase our faith, strengthen our hope, enlarge our charity; and make us ever ready to serve you, both in body and in Spirit, in our church and in our world.

May people see Jesus in all we say and do, 

Amen.