7 Days of Freedom, Day 7: Serve

Flag 3 pngFor you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. Galatians 5: 13

serve [surv]

verb

  1. to act as a servant
  2. to render assistance; be of use; help
  3. to have definite use
  4. to render active service to
  5. to perform the duties of (a position, an office, etc.)

Independence Day is the celebration of the birth of the United States of America. It marks the day our founding fathers declared the colonies to be a free and independent nation apart from the rule of England. Freed from service to England, the colonists could enjoy “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

As Americans, the freedoms bestowed upon us by our Constitution allow the opportunity to live and work as we choose. Freedom is what makes our country great. God has also given us freedom, but according to our verse, we haven’t been freed to live for ourselves. We have been freed from the tyranny of sin and self to serve God and others. Please read the verse above again and notice the connection between liberty and serve. What is the basis for the giving of self through service? Love.

In the Greek, serve means: to be a slave (a very unpopular term for Americans), to serve, to do service, to zealously advance the interests of anything; devoted to another to the disregard of one’s own interests.

As Christians, we need to devote ourselves to serve God and others, and to the advancement of His kingdom on earth.  How can I serve my family? How can I help my neighbors? How can I use my gifts to share the Gospel? How can I give to the hungry? By asking these questions, and praying for God to bring us opportunities, we can live a life of service.

Action Points:

  1. Take a walk through your neighborhood or town and ask God to open your eyes to the needs of others.
  2. Today, identify and act on a way to serve a family member, a coworker and a neighbor.
  3. Ask God to show what selfish attitudes or habits you need to be freed from so you can serve others.
  4. Please take several moments to pray for our service men and women who serve their country and put themselves in harm’s way that we may be free.

God Bless America.

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“serve.” Dictionary.com Unabridged. Random House, Inc. 02 Jul. 2015. <Dictionary.com http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/serve>.




Easter Week-Thursday: Do As I Do

Jane VanOsdol
Jane VanOsdol

Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God, rose from supper and laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded himself. After that He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded. John 13:3-5

So many things happened on this day. Jesus and His disciples celebrated the Passover meal together, which we know as the Last Supper. During that time Jesus  reinterpreted the bread and the wine of this meal as pertaining to His body and blood in light of the sacrifice He was about to make.

That same evening after the meal, Judas left to betray Him. If you’ve ever suffered through a friend’s betrayal, you know how heart wrenching that is. Still later in the evening, Jesus goes to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray and asks His friends to pray for Him–but they all fall asleep.And, of course, we have the harrowing scene of Jesus’ arrest.

What I want to focus on today is what happened after the supper before they went to the garden. Jesus gathered all his friends together to wash their feet. I think it’s easy to gloss over this part of the story and not see the significance of the example Jesus was setting for believers today.

You see, footwashing was not a part of the Passover Meal. In Bible times, even a Jewish slave could not be made to wash his master’s feet. The only person who could be forced to do this was a non-Jewish slave. So when Jesus stooped to do this service for His friends, it was an extreme humbling of Himself–no wonder Peter objected to it!

Jesus was introducing a new order of things here–that people should serve each other and not consider themselves better than others. It was a way of life that He expected His followers to copy.

I know that I need to evaluate my actions in light of Jesus’ example. Am I living out a life of service, or am I letting a “better than thou” attitude creep into my life? I need to pray that I will have a humble spirit and one that is quick to serve, rather than waiting for someone else to come along and pick up my slack.

Tomorrow we will look at the events of Good Friday–until then, pray on!