Serve One Another (Galatians 5:13)
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.
The problem is that 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, it is an opportunity to help those in need. The real goal of spiritual liberty is to "serve one another."
The word love here is “agape” and speaks of sacrificial benevolence. The word "serve" means to do service; to give oneself up. To serve describes an attitude of helping another in such a way that what we “do for others would be to their advantage.”
The love of Christ delivers us from the power of the flesh. Although a Christian possesses a flesh nature which motivates him to serve self, he possesses the Holy Spirit, which motivates him to serve others, even at the cost of great sacrifice to self. Resistance of the flesh will keep us from focusing on self. We were not saved to live a self-centered life. The freedom to which we have been called is a freedom to invest time and effort into others. Not only ought we to love one another, but also serve one another in the same spirit. We have a choice to help others or selfishly serve self. Love takes the selfishness out of one and helps that one focus on others. Service without love becomes a chore, but service through love becomes a blessing to all.
How should our faith show? Our faith shows by loving and serving others. A person who loves and serves as the Lord intended, does not act like a lord over people; he serves and helps, shows kindness and gentleness, expresses concern and care, demonstrates sympathy and empathy. The person who truly loves identifies with a person, gets down where they are, even below where they are, and ministers to them. Love serves—always reaches out to do whatever it can for the other person. It never withdraws from the other person, feeling that they do not deserve the effort or help. We are obligated to do all we can to share the love of Christ with those who remain in bondage to sin. Think of the lost person who never comes to Christ for salvation because of those who abused the liberty of God.
Point to Ponder:
Rather than a desire to satisfy the flesh, there should be an overwhelming desire to serve the Lord and others.
Question to Consider:
Can you imagine the world that we would live in if everyone had a desire to serve others above the desire of pleasing themselves?
Prayer, Father in Heaven, thank You for the desire You put in my heart to serve others. Help me to always serve them with a joyful heart. I want to always be passionate about serving others. Give me wisdom to understand their needs, to give of my time without complaining or criticizing. In Jesus name, Amen.
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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.