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Thursday, February 13, 2020

2020.02.13 Hopewell @Home ▫ Galatians 6:6-10

Questions from the Scripture text: Who is doing the sharing in Galatians 6:6? With whom is he sharing? What does Galatians 6:7 command us not to do? What truth does it tell us about God? What fact does it tell us about man and his life? To what can a man sow (Galatians 6:8a)? And what will such a man reap? To what else may a man sow (verse 8b)? And what will such a man reap? How? What will happen, as believers keep sowing to the Spirit (Galatians 6:9)? What phrase does this verse use for that sowing to the Spirit? When will we reap? What must we not do? When should we do good (Galatians 6:10a)? To whom should we do good? Especially to whom? 
When we are trusting not in ourselves but in God the Spirit to do for us not according to our own priorities but according to the priorities of the Spirit, it reshapes everything for us. And, one of the plainest ways that we see this is in how we use money.

Is our first priority with our money to sustain the ministry of the gospel under which we sit (Galatians 6:6)? Is our second priority the care of our brothers and sisters (Galatians 6:10b), with whom we are walking in the love that the last chapter or so has been setting before us? Is our third priority to do good to as many as possible—following this pattern of spiritual nearness (congregation, presbytery, synod, evangelical churches near and far, etc.)?

You notice that we haven’t yet gotten to that thing that seems to keep coming up in your heart and mind that you don’t really need but would very much enjoy and has caught your eye. One sobering way to assess whether the flesh or the Spirit is setting the priorities for your life is to follow where you are spending money beyond your most absolutely basic needs.

Of course, Galatians 6:6 and Galatians 6:10 are giving us an example of an important general principle. In all our desires and all our decisions, we are sowing either to the flesh or to the Spirit (Galatians 6:8). Every choice takes a side in that great battle that we were told about in Galatians 5:17. The Lord Jesus makes a real change in those whom He redeems, so that He can raise a red flag to us if we aren’t in the Christian battle: “God is not mocked!” Yes, we are justified by grace alone, and our sanctification is also powered by grace alone (even though we are to be battling!), but a grace that doesn’t make any difference is the most dangerous of counterfeits.

But as we think about the fruit we have seen, let us take to heart the pastoral caution in Galatians 6:9. Fruit will often take longer to reap than we had expected. And the waiting will be wearying. So, don’t conclude from your frustration or weariness that you are not in the battle. Rather, if your pursuit of spiritual fruit is difficult and tiring, heed the encouragement “do not grow weary!” Let us not lose heart!
What spending choices have you been making? Time? Emotional/relational investment?
Suggested songs: ARP116B “I Still Believed” or TPH538 “Take My Life, and Let It Be”

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