Series: Galatians – Freedom in the Gospel
Title: Struggle of Love
Text: Galatians 4:8-20
Often, love is a struggle because it is a challenge to love when things go wrong, especially in ministry. What can we learn about the struggle of love from Paul’s passionate appeal to the Galatians in their spiritual crisis?
Paul was deeply troubled when he saw the Galatians becoming law-centred instead of Christ-centred. He tried hard to correct their doctrinal error so that they would hold onto their freedom in Christ.
How concerned are we that we and other believers have the right understanding of the Gospel?
Paul argued that following Jewish customs to make ourselves right before God is akin to worshipping false gods – we are depending on “weak and miserable forces” (v9) besides Christ for salvation. This does not mean that all religious practices are bad or evil. In fact, some can benefit our spiritual life. How then, can we ensure that when we participate in religious practices, we are not becoming legalistic?
Paul is willing to engage in tough conversations out of love and concern. How can the LG be a safe space to correct and strengthen one another? How can we positively influence others through our speech and actions?
Having zeal in itself is not enough – it is important to have zeal for the right purposes (v18). How can we discern which purposes are right or wrong? How can we guard against selfish motives that cause us to pursue our own interests instead of God’s?
Sometimes, love is a struggle. We need to invite the Holy Spirit to partner with us to expand our hearts and help one another to enter His Kingdom. Will you ask the Spirit to reveal a couple of names whom He wants you to love, even when it is difficult?