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"Free to Serve"

Date published: 12/05/2016
Galatians 5:13 “You, my brothers, were called to be free.  But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love.” (NIV)  

   Your salvation in Christ freed you from the bondage of sin and the law. What do you do now that you are free? Do you continue in your sinful ways? What does God desire of you? It is easy to be drawn by the Holy Spirit for salvation and not know what God wants going forward.   Galatians 5:13 helps us answer these questions.   You do not continue in your old sinful nature, but as Romans 6:18, 19b encourages, leave sin and pursue holiness, “You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness . . . now offer them in slavery to righteousness leading to holiness.” God in you is working to enliven your heart to His ways. The Holy Spirit is continually transforming your heart to love righteousness over your old nature.  

   God also wants us to serve in love. God desires you to have an intimate, transforming relationship in Him that is active and alive. You were not meant to be inwardly focused, but outwardly attentive in love and service. Mark 10:45 unveils Jesus’ purpose in this area, “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many." (NIV) The greatest act of love you can show another is sharing the gospel of salvation and then being available to disciple them. Just as you would not leave a new born baby to fend for himself in the bassinette after birth, so neither should a new born Christian have to fend for himself in this lost world. Do not stop serving and loving at the moment someone gives his life to Christ; continue to seek how you can help him grow in his relationship with Christ. 

   In addition, we show God’s love by serving others and their needs. Beyond a person’s spiritual needs exists a physical world that may require your support. Love enough to be willing to help and support others in their needs.  Paul modeled this principle in 1 Thessalonians 2:9 when he said, “We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us.” (NIV) Ask God each day to give you spiritual eyes for the needs of those around you. Serving others changes love from an abstract word to a visible touch from God.  

   The beauty of serving and loving others is that you get to experience God’s work in you as well as the one you have served.   Philippians 1:6 shows that it is God, not you, that is actively at work completing His purpose in you, “Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” (NIV) Don’t just serve, but love! 

John 13:14 “Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another's feet.” (NIV)