November 23, 2017

Freedom Leads to Humble Service

Galatians 5:1, 13-15

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. . . . Serve one another humbly in love.

—  Galatians 5:1, 13

Paul was astonished at how quickly the Galatian believers were giving up on the gospel he had brought. And it wasn’t for an easier freedom; people were going back to being burdened with rules and rituals. Paul’s message: the freedom bought by Christ’s blood must not be forsaken so readily. It’s too precious! It’s a freedom designed to lead to showing Christ’s love to others by humbly serving in whatever ways we are gifted.

Living as people who are freed in Christ, we’re called to walk the “narrow road,” avoiding the ditches of legalism on one side and lawlessness on the other. Either ditch leads us astray. Freed from sin’s yoke, we’re free to serve—showing Christ’s love! And in doing so, we humbly honor God for the precious freedom we have in Christ.

When we serve one another in love, we’re following Christ’s example and obeying his command (John 13:34). This can include a willingness to literally go the extra mile and take someone to an appointment. Or to mentor a teenager or teach Sunday school. Or to serve in another way we are gifted. Fueled by grace, our freedom leads to serving others gracefully. Led by God’s Spirit, we’ll find ways to express our freedom by being a blessing. And in doing so, we too are blessed!

Gracious God, thank you for the freedom we have in Christ. Empower us by your Spirit to see where and whom we can serve for Jesus’ sake. Amen.

About the author — George Vink

Pastor George Vink has served as a pastor in the Christian Reformed Church for more than 30 years in British Columbia, Montana, Michigan, and California. He and his wife, Shirley, have four married sons and nine grandchildren.

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