Shortly after arriving home today from an outing with the family, I glanced down at my cell phone to see that the time was 5:55. I snapped a quick screen shot, because the same thing happened to me yesterday – March 20 (The First Day of Spring).
Typically you won’t find me reading deeply into random things or chasing down an interpretation of the billboard signs along the highway. However, I do know when the Holy Spirit is telling me something and I find the best results when I turn my ear to listen.
Like the layers of an onion, often a thing is not as it seems until we begin peeling away. As I peeled away at what the Lord wanted to show me, I saw 3 layers.
First, Five is a number associated with Grace.
Grace by definition is God’s unmerited favor. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary grace is: unmerited divine assistance given humans for their regeneration or sanctification; a virtue coming from God; a state of sanctification enjoyed through divine grace.
Second, Galatians 5… pretty much the entire chapter resonated inside me as I began to read it. Often, I’ll read a portion of scripture in the King James Version and then re-read it in The Message translation. I find the wording much more vibrant and captivating. So instead of typing out the entire chapter here… Go, go read it. I’ll wait.
No really… I have a two year old, I can wait.
Alright, How was it? I want to point out a few verses that stood out to me.
vs. 1 “Christ has set us free to live a free life. So take your stand! Never again let anyone put a harness of slavery on you.”
- You are FREE!
vs. 4-6 “I suspect you would never intend this, but this is what happens. When you attempt to live by your own religious plans and projects, you are cut off from Christ, you fall out of grace. Meanwhile we expectantly wait for a satisfying relationship with the Spirit. For in Christ, neither our most conscientious religion nor disregard of religion amounts to anything. What matters is something far more interior: faith expressed in love.”
You may be religious or anti-religious, but you still don’t have the one-up on LOVE! Faith is expressed in love.
vs. 13-15 “It is absolutely clear that God has called you to a free life. Just make sure that you don’t use this freedom as an excuse to do whatever you want to do and destroy your freedom. Rather, use your freedom to serve one another in love; that’s how freedom grows. For everything we know about God’s Word is summed up in a single sentence: Love others as you love yourself. That’s an act of true freedom. If you bite and ravage each other, watch out—in no time at all you will be annihilating each other, and where will your precious freedom be then?”
Just because you are free, doesn’t mean you do or say whatever you want. Do not hurt others, for in doing this you strip yourself of the very freedom you flaunted.
vs. 25-26 “Since this is the kind of life we have chosen, the life of the Spirit, let us make sure that we do not just hold it as an idea in our heads or a sentiment in our hearts, but work out its implications in every detail of our lives. That means we will not compare ourselves with each other as if one of us were better and another worse. We have far more interesting things to do with our lives. Each of us is an original.”
Don’t compare yourself to any one else. You are uniquely you and there can not be another.
Third, Isaiah 55… Luckily for you, I did copy this one in its entirety here because it’s just so juicy! It is a promise, a covenant. And in the last layer of the onion I was peeling today, God said this covenant was for me… and if it’s for me, then it is for you, my dear reader. So as you enter this new Spring Season- hold on to this Word from the Lord.
1-5 “Hey there! All who are thirsty, come to the water! Are you penniless? Come anyway—buy and eat! Come, buy your drinks, buy wine and milk.Buy without money—everything’s free! Why do you spend your money on junk food, your hard-earned cash on cotton candy? Listen to me, listen well: Eat only the best, fill yourself with only the finest. Pay attention, come close now, listen carefully to my life-giving, life-nourishing words. I’m making a lasting covenant commitment with you, the same that I made with David: sure, solid, enduring love. I set him up as a witness to the nations, made him a prince and leader of the nations, And now I’m doing it to you: You’ll summon nations you’ve never heard of, and nations who’ve never heard of you will come running to you Because of me, your God, because The Holy of Israel has honored you.”
6-7 “Seek God while he’s here to be found, pray to him while he’s close at hand. Let the wicked abandon their way of life and the evil their way of thinking. Let them come back to God, who is merciful, come back to our God, who is lavish with forgiveness.
8-11 “I don’t think the way you think. The way you work isn’t the way I work.” God’s Decree. “For as the sky soars high above earth,so the way I work surpasses the way you work, and the way I think is beyond the way you think. Just as rain and snow descend from the skies and don’t go back until they’ve watered the earth, Doing their work of making things grow and blossom,producing seed for farmers and food for the hungry, So will the words that come out of my mouth not come back empty-handed. They’ll do the work I sent them to do, they’ll complete the assignment I gave them.”
12-13 “So you’ll go out in joy, you’ll be led into a whole and complete life. The mountains and hills will lead the parade, bursting with song. All the trees of the forest will join the procession, exuberant with applause. No more thistles, but giant sequoias, no more thorn bushes, but stately pines—Monuments to me, to God, living and lasting evidence of God.”