Galatians 5:13 says, “For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.” The book of Galatians is about the liberty we have in Christ. Freedom is never free. Someone has to serve. We have the Armed Services, Servicemen and Servicewomen. Thank God for those who serve! The church of Jesus Christ, the army of the Lord, needs some servicemen and women. Today, we will continue looking at the “One Another” passages in the Bible, and we will look at three hindrances to serving one another.
In Galatians 5:19-21 Paul describes the works of the flesh, things like adultery, idolatry, jealousies, etc. Then, in verses 22-23, he says, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.” Walking in the flesh and walking in the Spirit are total opposites, but they are the only two ways to live. We either live in the Spirit or in the flesh. The flesh wants freedom to do what it wants without restraint. The flesh wants independence from God. The Spirit enables us to please God. If we want to hear from God and walk in the Spirit, we have to confess our sin and die to self. Verse 24 says, “…those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.”
Are you walking in the Spirit or the flesh? Is your service motivated by love? Does your service bring joy regardless of your circumstances? Do you have inward peace as you serve? Do you have patience with people you serve? Do you show kindness when you serve? Do you want the best and good of others? Are you faithful in your service? Are you gentle? Do you have self-control? This is the fruit that should describe your service.
“For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Gal. 5:14). It is OK to love yourself, but self should always come last. Jesus said love God with all your heart, love your neighbor, and then love yourself. JOY is J-esus, O-thers, and Y-ou.
If He could have called 10 legions of angels on the cross, He could have called 12 angels to wash their dirty feet!
Jesus was Master but He washed the disciple’s feet. If He could have called 10 legions of angels on the cross, He could have called 12 angels to wash their dirty feet! Self is the toughest weed to pull up. The world is preoccupied with self: self-importance, self-indulgence, self-pity, self-centeredness, self-deception. Is your favorite subject to talk about yourself and your thoughts, plans, schedule, aches, etc.? Are you consumed with yourself? President Kennedy said, “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” What kills relationships, marriages, families, churches and countries is selfishness and self-centeredness. As Christians, we are to look to Jesus as our ultimate example and serve others, putting ourselves aside.
Galatians 5:15 warns against biting and devouring one another. You are not going to serve someone if you are mad at them. You are not going to serve someone if you are fighting with them. Just like we don’t want our children to bite, God does not want His children biting one another either!
We are saved to serve! Stop serving sin and self and start serving the Savior! We were created to serve God. We ought to wake up every day saying, “What is my assignment Lord?” When you serve others, you are serving God. Every time you serve, God sees it. God is keeping records. You will be rewarded. Don’t look for people to pay you back or serve you. You are not doing it for them, you are doing it for Him!