Daily D – Galatians 5:13
For you were called to be free, brothers and sisters; only don’t use this freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but serve one another through love. (CSB)
It is absolutely clear that God has called you to a free life. Just make sure that you don’t use this freedom as an excuse to do whatever you want to do and destroy your freedom. Rather, use your freedom to serve one another in love; that’s how freedom grows. (MSG)
True freedom is a matter of choosing to serve others with the kind of love that seeks their highest and best.
If you have the translation called the Christian Standard Bible, notice the margin note for the word “opportunity.” The word literally means “pretext.” This is a military term for abuse of position. Do not abuse your freedom by making yourself the primary person you serve. Use your freedom to serve others in love.
We live in a self-serve world. Gasoline stations are almost exclusively self-serve. We can tap to pay at the pump and avoid connecting with another human being for this transaction. Many other businesses operate in a similar fashion.
This self-sufficiency can make us feel like we do not need others in our lives unless it is a brief, transactional relationship. This convenience distances us from human interaction. Our communication skills deteriorate. The warmth of human kindness cools.
This is not true freedom.
The Apostle Paul uses the Greek word for love here meaning to seek the highest good for others. This is a second strike against the idea of self-service as a lifestyle. Self-focused, self-serving lives make us more irritable when inconvenienced. No wonder Paul says in verse 15, “If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.”
True freedom expresses God’s love in kind, helpful service. We serve not because we have to, but because we know what it does for all concerned. It improves personal relationships. It enhances community life. It defangs irritability and empowers joy.
We might even go so far as to say that unless we serve others humbly in love, we are not really free. We are free to the degree we choose to humbly serve others seeking their highest and best to the glory of God.
Today, Independence Day, is a good day to share the love Jesus showed when he bowed and washed the feet of his betrayer, his denier, and his doubter. Two out of three of these men’s lives were forever transformed. That’s better than average any day.
I will express true freedom by serving others in love.
Our Father, you have always and forever sought my highest and best good. Empower me to join you in serving others in such a manner that they experience your love and live transformed lives. Amen.
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Daily D – 1 Samuel 9:21
1 Samuel 9:21 Saul replied, “But I’m only from the tribe of Benjamin, the smallest tribe in Israel, and my family is the least important of all the families of that tribe! Why are you talking like this to me?”
Daily D – 1 Samuel 7:12
1 Samuel 7:12 Samuel then took a large stone and placed it between the towns of Mizpah and Jeshanah. He named it Ebenezer (which means “the stone of help”), for he said, “Up to this point the Lord has helped us!”
Daily D – 1 Samuel 3:19
1 Samuel 3:19 As Samuel grew up, the Lord was with him, and everything Samuel said proved to be reliable.
Daily D – Ruth 2:12-13
Ruth 2:12, 13 “May the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge, reward you fully for what you have done.” “I hope I continue to please you, sir,” she replied. “You have comforted me by speaking so kindly to me, even though I am not one of your workers.”
Daily D – Judges 19:1
Judges 19:1 Now in those days Israel had no king. There was a man from the tribe of Levi living in a remote area of the hill country of Ephraim. One day he brought home a woman from Bethlehem in Judah to be his concubine.