“For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”” (Galatians 5:13-14 ESV)
“But the one who peers into the perfect law of liberty and fixes his attention there, and does not become a forgetful listener but one who lives it out—he will be blessed in what he does.” (James 1:25 NET Bible)
The freedom offered by Christ comes with Christ. Laying down our agenda to receive the freedom of Heaven’s King will never lead to insignificance and a life fretted away. But, instead through His leadership we find ourselves on an adventure through the mundane to peace, joy and purpose. His purposes for us. “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10 ESV) Our thinking as Christ followers should be to consider ourselves on assignment from Heaven, to live life as if we’re on an errand from God. When we walk into a room consider where the Spirit of God is at work. What is He doing? And then join Him there; copy what Jesus might do if physically in your shoes. Whoever may be in front of you, serve them – love them well. This is not the ‘Golden Rule’ or treating people the way you would like to be treated. This is a unique idea that Jesus gave voice to and lived out for us to follow.
“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 22:36-40 ESV) Jesus is essentially saying that loving your neighbor is equal to loving God.
Jesus gave up Heaven with the Presence of God, where there is no darkness, full of the colors, sounds, souls, creations unimaginable that reflect pure love, for you. He walked in dust for 30 some years yearning for His Father, on Heaven’s errand, for you. He was tormented and tortured for you. He conquered death through resurrection and was witnessed by over 500 people walking this earth He created, for you (1 Corinthians 15:3-8). He then returned to His throne where He rules and reigns supreme over all matter to prepare a place for you (Mark 16:19, John 14:2). How little we think of Jesus and God’s love for Him, and His love for us that we use our freedom as an opportunity to please ourselves, rather than serve others with that very love lavished on us (Galatians 5:13).
The gospel says through the grace of His Spirit we can love and respond to people as Christ would have us. The amazing thrill of it is that when we do, we experience the well-being His freedom promises. We find in the process of giving ourselves, the end result is so much better, than the momentary highs of self-satisfaction. It is a great privilege and gift Christ offers, not an obligation. It is our freedom.
Jesus said, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.” (John 13:34 ESV) Rewrite this verse and add your name as if Jesus is speaking to you. Who is He placing on your heart to love, to forgive, to serve? Replace “one another” with the name of this person or people.
Heavenly Father, Your constant love directed toward me is too great to fathom. You understand my ways, yet continually see me in a forgiven light because of Jesus, holy and welcome in Your presence. Thank You! Empower me to love well whomever You place in front of me today. I open my heart to Your direction and ask for grace to love like my Lord. In Jesus’ name; amen.