Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Hail Thou Once Despised Jesus"1 (Lyrics)
Galatians 5:13b – Don't use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love. (NLT)
I noticed the handicap van that they drove, and I knew that it was my time to serve.
One Saturday morning when my wife and I were in the middle of packing for our move later in the month, we ran out of boxes. She suggested that I stop by McDonald's and grab us lunch after I had picked up a few boxes. As I waited in the drive-through lane, I noticed an older couple in a handicapped-accessible van pull slowly through the parking lot and take their place behind me.
Monthly, my daughter pays for the person behind her when she buys food from Chick-fil-A®. I had never done this before, but on this day, I felt God's Spirit nudging me. I questioned myself. What if they have ten more people in the van with them? I decided to act rather than to doubt. When I approached the window to pay for my food, I told the attendant to put their tab on mine. It was an insignificant amount, but the feeling that I received by obeying God's prompting was unsurpassed.
Believers have been freed from sin's penalty. The blood of Christ has washed our sins away. Rather than using that freedom to indulge in sinful practices, Paul says that we should use it to serve others. By doing so, we are obeying the second greatest command: serving Christ and advancing God's kingdom.
Serving others will bring joy if I do it with the right attitude. Serving with reluctance won't work. When I serve reluctantly, I feel hesitation because I'm doing something that I really don't want to do. Serving with joy requires letting God change the way that I look at situations. What I give through my act of service is not being forced from my hand. Rather, I'm allowing the act to slip away as a form of appreciation for what Christ has done for me.
Nor should I serve with ulterior motives. If I brag about what I've done, the spotlight shines on me instead of on God. Jesus said not to let my right hand know what my left hand was doing. He also warned about standing on a street corner and announcing what I've done for Him. My motive in serving is for God to receive praise, not me.
Let's serve with joy, not because we feel forced or because we want recognition.
Prayer: Father, thank You for giving us opportunities to serve others in Your name. Amen.