Closing the Gap 5.2.18

Week 17 “Serve One Another”

Day 3

Pray:

Ask God to reorient you to Himself. Confess any known sin. Thank Him for His forgiveness. Be still and reflect on Jesus and His sacrifice for you. Ask the Holy Spirit to open your heart and mind to God’s Word. Pray for others in your life that they, too, would know and love God today.

Read:

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. 14 The entire law is summed up in a single command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 15 If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other. 16 So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature

Reflect:

Altruism is the selfless concern for the well-being of others. There is a correlation between this approach to life and personal happiness.  There are many theories as to why this is, but the bottom line reason is that this is how God has made you. His design specifications for humanity are such that, when we live selfishly, our unhappiness increases.  When we pursue selfless lifestyles, our personal satisfaction and sense of purpose increases. But isn’t it self- serving to serve others in order to be more personally satisfied? Perhaps, but the problem is not wanting to be satisfied and happy, the problem is when we pursue those things outside of the will and ways of God.  The pursuit of life apart from God is always a lose-lose scenario. We do not find anything good in that lifestyle. Those around us, likewise, fail to experience good from our lives as well. However, serving one another in love is a win-win scenario; others find increased joy from our lives, as do we. The commands of God are always win-win.  They may appear to be burdensome, but they are the way of liberty. “I run in the path of your commands, for you have set my heart free” (Ps. 119:32). “Love your neighbor as yourself” is God’s invitation to join him in his joyful and free life. It doesn’t always have to feel good to be good.  Putting the interests of others ahead of your own today may not bring any immediate feel-good feedback.  Nevertheless, it is good.  Run that good path often enough and your joy will increase as will your experience of liberty.  You will have increasing freedom from the heavy burden of selfish living. Has selfishness “worked” in your life yet?  No? That’s because it never will. Pursue a better path today.

Pray:

(Personalize this prayer today; make it specific to the circumstances that face you.)
Ask God to lead you through His Spirit as you go through your day. Ask Him to bring to mind the truth of the gospel and its implications for what you will encounter today. Tell Him “Yes” to His will and ask Him for His power and protection to live this “yes.” Ask God to create and reveal opportunities to proclaim the good news today.

 

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