Serve One Another in Love

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Daily God Walk for Saturday, June 25, 2011

 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. The entire law is summed up in a single command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.  – Galatians 5:13-15

It is interesting that Paul here contrasts using our freedom to indulge the sinful nature with serving one another in love. There seems to be more than one principle at work here. First is the idea that we are no longer under the law, therefore, we are free to do whatever we desire. We are under grace and all things are covered by grace. Paul is correcting that idea by instructing, “Do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature.”

A second issue he addresses is serving one another in love. He seems to be saying that when we are indulging our sinful nature we are not serving others. I have seen many who felt they were free to live as they choose because they are “under grace,” but I haven’t seen any with that perspective who weren’t using it as an excuse to be self-indulgent.

Paul is reminding us that when it is all about us and our desires we are violating the single command that is the fulfillment of the law: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” How can we say we love our neighbor as ourselves when we don’t use any of our time, talent or treasure to serve our neighbor?

Some might say, “O, I don’t have any neighbors who need help from me.” To that I would say, “O, really! Have you not read the story of the Good Samaritan?” If you remember in that story Jesus told of the man who should have been served by those of his own country but was not and how a foreigner not only stopped to help him but paid for his medical care.

Can we really say we love our neighbor if we are not investing any of our resources in building relationships and serving those around us? It is something to think about.

Prayer: Lord, grant me the grace to surrender my own desire to gratify the flesh and use my resources to serve others. Amen.

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Paul ”Hope Preacher” Smith

Messages of inspiration for the journey of faith

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