Galatians 5:13 Free To Serve

Serving Others

You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. Galatians 5:13

Freedom is usually seen as all about one’s own self. It is the ability for one to be able to not be under the bondage of another person, to be allowed to do what one wants to do. It is having the ability to make one’s own self happy.

The process of making one’s self happy is usually a selfish, and often sinful way. Man’s heart is always inclined to sin, unless God is allowed to change it. Just the fact that it is usually about pleasing one’s self, makes the action sinful because selfishness, in itself, is a sin.

The majority of the things that the world finds pleasure in are sinful. Getting drunk, sex out of marriage, violence, hate, suffering, pornography, greed, and many more things are the things the world loves, yet are sin. Each of these things appears to please self, even though it is destroying self.

God does not want the believer to live in this same way. Paul states that every believer is called to be free, but not to use that freedom for sin. The freedom that is given to a person is not to be selfish, but to serve someone else.

Jesus came to this earth, not for His own pleasure or to serve Himself or be served, but to serve all mankind. He came to give every person a chance at forgiveness and eternal life. Jesus did not have to do it, but He chose to do it out of love. It is only in love for someone else can a person find the power and ability to serve someone else above himself.

As a believer you are free, but you are not free to do whatever you want as the world does. You have been set free from the bondage of sin to live a life for God and to serve God and others. Just as Jesus put others before Himself, you must also put others before yourself.

As you put others before yourself in service to them, God will put others before you to serve you. He will meet your every need. You will then find the joy and happiness that will last for eternity, not the temporary happiness of this world.

I pray today that you will know the freedom Jesus has given you; that you will know the love God has shown you; that you will show God’s love to others; and that you will serve others as Jesus has served you.

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Galatians 4:9 No Turning Back

 

No turning back

But now that you know God–or rather are known by God–how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable forces? Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again? Galatians 4:9

While slavery still exists in parts of the world, for the most part slavery has been done away with. It is looked upon as a bad thing. No one wants to be a slave to anyone for any reason.

Regardless of what the national rules and regulations are, the majority of people in this world are enslaved to sin. They are bound up in sin that will keep them sinning more and more. Selfish desires overcome them and causes them to sin.

This is a conscious choice of most people to live that way. They see it as freedom of choice.

Every believer is taken out of that type of lifestyle. They are removed from the bondage and slavery of sin when Jesus had died and rose from the dead. He placed the powers of this world under His feet. They are no longer a slave to those forces.

Yet, there are many believers who turn back to those weak and miserable forces and allow themselves to be enslaved again.

This is done when a believer turns back to an old way of living or begins to live like the world again. He allows sin back into his life by choice on a regular basis. He refuses to turn away from sin. Lying, stealing, cheating, cursing, hating, porn, violence, hatred all become a part of his life again, a way of living. This is allowing the dark powers of this world to rule again in his life.

If you have accepted Jesus into your life and what He has done for you, you are known by God and also know God. He has set you free from the power of sin. He has pulled you out of that enslaved life of sin. Do not allow yourself to go back.

Take a look at your life on a regular basis and see you or what is enslaving you. Who or what has control over your life?

God should be the only one who has control over your life. Do not allow the things and sin of this world to enslave you and have control over you.

Turn away from the sin of this world and back to God.

I pray today that you will know what Jesus has done for you; that you will know the freedom you have in Jesus; that you will give God full control of your life; and that you will choose to turn from sin to God every time. 

2 Corinthians 4:16 Don’t Lose Heart, It Will Get Better

 

getting old

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 1 Corinthians 4:16

Looking around the world, things do not always look very good. There is trouble and pain everywhere one looks. People are getting sick, people are dying, people are hungry, people are without clothes, people are at war, and the list goes on.

Along with what most of the world does not like and thinks is bad, are the things that God is looking at. Sin abounds and appears to be growing more rapidly than ever before. Certain sins that were never talked about are now openly being promoted and expected, not only in the world, but also in the church.

There are many believers who are working hard at reaching those in the world. They strive to spread the gospel to everyone they meet. Yet, sometimes it looks like as though they are not making any progress.

Then there are the problems that a believer faces in his own life. He repents of a sin and works to stay from it, but falls back into that sin. It appears as if he will never stop sinning. And every person, believer or not, faces the body getting old and breaking down. It is frustrating and discouraging and many lose heart.

Paul faced all of this, yet said that they do not lose heart. Regardless of what is going on in this body or this world, a believer must never lose heart. God is still in control and at work.

The believer is constantly being renewed each day on the inside. God is working daily to make the believer into someone more like Jesus. It is a slow, but steady process that will take a life time to complete.

Inside the believer is always the hope of eternity with God. The troubles of this world are only temporary and will end some day.

You, along with every believer, is someone on this path in this life. Keep your eyes focused on Jesus and the eternity that He has promised you. Do not get discouraged and lose heart because of the way this world looks, or what you are going through.

Even though your body may be breaking down or sin appears to be more prevalent, God is with you. He is building you up. Don’t give up, you are being renewed!

I pray today that you will see God’s work in you; that you will focus on Jesus; that you will trust God’s work; that you will know the hope you have in Jesus; and that you will share that hope you have in Jesus with others.

1 Corinthians 11:28 Examine Yourself First

 

communion table

Everyone ought to examine themselves before they eat of the bread and drink from the cup. 1 Corinthians 11:28

The night before Jesu was crucified, He and the disciples had a meal that became known as the last supper. Later the church did the very same thing Jesus did and it became known as communion. Paul reminded the people of that communion, but also had a warning for them. They were to examine themselves prior to taking it.

In order for a good examination to be done, one must be willing to look closely at something. When a person goes to a doctor for an examination, he expects the doctor to look closely at everything to determine if there is a problem or what the problem is. Change cannot occur, unless there is an examination.

When something is looked at closely, one can see things more clearly. One can see the dirty spots when looked up close. One can see the fault lines in examining closely.

The world does not like to look closely at themselves, because they do not want to see any faults. Many will examine another person closely to find fault in the other person, but never in themselves.

Yet, Paul says the believer is supposed to examine himself closely prior to taking the communion bread and cup. For the believer, it is to look and ensure that he has repented of all sins, that he is now standing clean before God.

Jesus cannot forgive, unless a person repents. He is willing to forgive each and every time a person repents.

Taking the communion is a reminder of what Jesus did for the person. He died on the cross and shed His blood to remove all sins. If a person does not repent of his sins, there is no purpose in taking the communion, it is done in an unworthy manner.

Prior to ever taking the communion bread and cup, you need to examine your life. Are you standing clean before God? Have you repented of any and all sins that you have committed?

Along with doing this during an actual communion time, it should also be done any time you sit down and eat a meal. Remember what Jesus has done for you. Remember the breaking of His body and the shedding of His blood as you eat any food or drink something.

Have you examined your life today?

I pray today that you will know what Jesus has done for you; that you will repent of all sins; that you will examine your life on a daily basis; and that you will stand clean before God.

1 Corinthians 10:13 A Way Out

 

a way out

No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. 1 Corinthians 10:13

Temptation is the desire to do something that is usually wrong to do. It is doing something that a person is not supposed to do. Temptation started in the garden of Eden with Adam and Eve and has never stopped. It is not sin in itself. The act of acting upon that temptation is what becomes sin for a person.

The power of temptation is different for each person, depending on what the temptation is. For some people, the temptation to smoke is never a problem. They are so much against the idea of smoking that there never seems to be any real temptation. While with another person, just seeing a cigarette causes them to want one and smoke it.

Many people, however, claim that they cannot help but give into the temptation. They feel that they have no option but to give in. Often they state that they are addicted and cannot help but do the temptation. Most temptations are dealt around self and pleasing self. If it was immediately harmful to a person, most likely he would not do it. But most temptations are pleasing at the moment.

Paul says that is not the truth. Every temptation that a person goes through is a common temptation. One is not the only person to have ever felt that temptation. In the process of being tempted, every person has an option, to follow that temptation, or to flee from it. God always makes a way out of that temptation.

The easiest way to get out of that temptation is to flee somewhere else and get the mind on God and His word. One needs to focus on praising God and praying to God. Turn away from the temptation to sin against God.

Once you turn away from a temptation and turn to God, it becomes easier to turn away from that temptation. The more you give in to that temptation, the easier it will be to give in to it.

If your eyes, heart and life are focused on God and loving Him and other people, all temptation will be destroyed.  It will no longer be about self. God made the way out of it. Walk that path.

I pray today that you will seek God when temptations arise; that you will focus your life on God; that God will keep a song of praise in your heart to keep you in His will; and that God will reveal the way out of all temptations. 

Romans 7:6 Serve In The New Way

Boat on water

But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code. Romans 7:6

Laws are good to point out what is wrong. They will quickly point a person as being in the wrong when he does something not according to the law. Most of the laws are built around a negative concept. They point out what  person should not do, rather than point to what a person should do.

People tend to do the very things that they are told not to do. When a sign says not to touch because of wet paint, many people will touch it to test and see if the paint is really wet.

Many people are very quick to test the laws to see if the law is really true. They will question whether what is said will really happen or not.

People react the same way with God’s laws. When Adam and Eve ate of the fruit, they were testing whether what God said was true or not. They did what they were not supposed to do.

Throughout the history of Israel, the people constantly challenged God’s laws and doing what they were not supposed to do.

Now Paul tells the people that they must die to the sin that once bound them. Sin is breaking the laws of God.

When a person dies to sin, God gives him a new life. This new life follows the way of the Spirit. The Spirit of the law was to live for God and live the best life possible. God made the laws to protect and help people, not bring death, yet, it brought about death.

As a believer today, you must follow the way of the Spirit. Instead of following a bunch of laws, or trying to, you will want to follow God’s ways or laws. The heart is changed. It is no longer about doing right or wrong, it is about serving God in the best way possible.

Do not be bound up in a bunch of laws, but be bound up in loving God and loving others. As you do that, all of the laws will be obeyed. Then the power to break the law will be broken and you will have a new life in Christ.

I pray today that you will know the freedom Jesus brings; that you will serve God from the heart; that you will not be bound up in the law; and that you will live to love God and others.