November 23rd

 

Using Liberty Wisely

1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.13For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. 14For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself."  Galatians 5:1,13-14 NKJV 

12When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. "Do you understand what I have done for you?" he asked them. 13"You call me 'Teacher' and 'Lord,' and rightly so, for that is what I am. 14Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another's feet. 15I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. 16I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.  John 13:12-17 NIV 

Paul wrote the above Galatians passage to set people free who were reverting to the Old Testament law for salvation.  The people had come into the “bondage” of trying to earn their way to heaven by keeping the law.  Paul explained that Jesus died to free people from trying to keep the law and to enable them to serve one another in love. 

We can apply the freedom message to any form of sinful bondage we may be under.  Christ came to free us from the bondage, so that we can serve people in love just as Jesus did.  Jesus washed the disciples’ feet to illustrate the concept of serving one another in love.  The amazing truth is that by loving others as ourselves, we fulfill the law.     

How easy it can be to forget the troubles that sin brings once they are behind us and fall back into our old habits.  Our freedom is a precious gift from God.  We must use it wisely, investing our time to no longer live for the lusts of the eyes and flesh, but for the will of God (1 Peter 4:1-2, 2 Corinthians 5:15).   

Questions for further thought:

Prayer:

“Lord God, thank you for showing me true love through Jesus.  Thank you for the forgiveness of my sin and the power to live a new life through the Holy Spirit.  Please forgive me for taking these precious gifts for granted, or even worse, using my freedom as a license to continue my sin habits.  I repent now, Lord.  Please teach me how to use my freedom to serve others in true love and humility, just as Jesus did when he washed the disciples feet.  Please help me detoxify from the corruption of the world and any lusts that I have served.   I am your child and your servant. I do your will today and resist the temptations of sin.  Thank you, Lord! I praise you both now and forever. I pray in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.”