Closing the Gap 5.3.18

Week 17 “Serve One Another”

Day 4

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:

You were called to be free.  Freedom is the ability to do what you ought to do and to be who you were made to be.  Freedom is not doing anything you want to do; it is wanting to do what is best to do. The sinful nature pursues freedom apart from God, but that pursuit leads to decreasing liberty.  The Spirit of God leads you in the pursuit of God and that path leads to real liberty. The liberty of God is expressed in love for others. Love for others will often include willfully limiting your personal freedoms for the good of others.  It is a bit of a paradox. You are free to limit your freedoms in order to love others well. When you live a life of those “love limits,” your freedom increases. What might these limits look like? Perhaps you choose to forgive, even though the other person does not see how they wronged you.  Maybe you stop trying to convince someone of your position and simply accept them where they are. Whatever the case, when you take the strong position and love people where they are, then you grow on the inside. It is there, on the inside, that your liberty increases. These willing “love limits” free your heart from bitterness, from jealousy, and from a desire to exact revenge.  These chosen limits can, over time, decrease anxiety, discouragement, and other emotions that hamper your personal liberty to enjoy God, life, and other people. Use your freedom to serve one another, not yourself. When you do, your freedom will increase, as will your joy. This is where faith and love intersect. Believe God when he tells you, “Walk here, this is the path of liberty.”  That path is the path Jesus walked, the path of laying down your life for others.

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.

 

Join the discussion One Comment

  • Denise Hulse says:

    And important message for all Christians! I have a couple of close family members who are struggling with issues that this message will address. I’m grateful to be able to pass today’s devotional on to them (and to learn from it myself!). Thank you for taking the time to create these for us.

    Blessings, Denise

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