Today’s devotion is an excerpt from a Bible Study Series taught at Fellowship Baptist Church, titled “Biblical Building Blocks for Strengthening Relationships.”
Biblical Building Block #11 - Serve One Another (Galatians 5:13) – PART 1
Galatians 5:13, For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.
Spiritual freedom is not the absence of boundaries. Let me explain. A football coach teaches his boys to play by certain rules. That is neither mean nor terrible. He makes them play within the boundary lines. He makes them obey the rules of the game. Isn't that awful? No. If the coach teaches the boys to play by the rules then he liberates them to enjoy the game. Suppose a football player catches the ball and wants to play the game without restrictions. He proceeds to run out of bounds and into the stands to avoid being tackled. Eventually, he re-enters the stadium and crosses into the end zone from the opposite direction. He’s no longer playing football but creating chaos. Football can only be football, in fact, when played within the boundaries of sidelines.
“Liberty” can be a slippery word. Many people think it means having the freedom to do whatever you want. But “Biblical liberty” is liberty from bondage so that you can enjoy the responsibilities of a new relationship with God and fulfill your God ordained purpose. So Paul says, "Brethren, ye have been called unto liberty . . ." Don't allow license to pervert your calling. Don't fall into the trap of license and, in so doing, lose that very liberty which you claim you are expressing. License makes the mistake of using your liberty as an excuse to sin. The word "occasion" was a military word used as a base of operations from which to launch an attack. So Paul was saying, "You are free in Jesus, but don't let that freedom become a base of operation from which that old flesh can launch an attack on your life or other people." Did you notice he uses the word "flesh" here? Flesh refers to that old nature or that old man. Fulfilling the desires of the flesh is what got everyone of us into our messes in the first place! The Galatians (and we today) are not to use our freedom as an opportunity for the flesh. To be a slave of sin is to be chained to your own selfish desires. Christ came to free us from this. Paul is simply saying here, "Put yourself in bondage to the Lord Jesus Christ and to other people. Become a servant to Jesus, a servant to others."
Some had abused the principle of Christian liberty turning it into license. We have been set free from the bondage of sin and are expected to use that liberty as an occasion to be used of God. We have received liberty freely through redemption and it requires responsibility on the part of the Christian. Liberty is not a license to sin, it is an opportunity to help those in need. The real goal of spiritual liberty is to "serve one another." He has become a servant under the law of love. He is now free to love God, others, and self without sinful restrictions. Rather than using liberty as a license to sin, it must be used as an opportunity to serve. Rather than a desire to satisfy the flesh, there should be an overwhelming desire to serve the Lord and others. One of the greatest hotel chains in America is the Ritz-Carlton. It is known for one thing—its service. The company prides itself on the fact that from the time a customer drives up and gets out of their car until it is time for the customer to check out and drive away, that customer will be served like no other hotel in the country. Most people recognize good service, and they want to be the beneficiary of good service. We recognize that service is important. It makes the difference between what product or service we consider just OK, and that which we think is great. God says that in the kingdom greatness is measured by your heart of service.
The best thing you can do is to serve the Lord Jesus Christ!
1. Love Him.
2. Live for Him.
3. Be Loyal to Him.
4. Long for His presence.
5. Look to Him for direction.
6. Lead others to Him.
Questions to Consider:
Points to Ponder:
PRAYER: LORD, thank You for leaving us Your precious Word and Your Holy Spirit to lead us in the truth. Help me to serve others the way Your Son would serve others. In Jesus Name, AMEN!
Thank you for reading PART 1 of Biblical Building Block #11 of this series. Please visit this website tomorrow for PART 2 of Biblical Building Block #11 of this series.
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Dr. Blackman is passionate about helping others grow in the grace of the Lord. His devotions are centered on how to grow closer to the Lord through a personal relationship.