Freedom to do Good!
Today’s reading is from Galatians 6:9-10, where the Bible says, 9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.
Galatians is a book about freedom, freedom that lasts. It’s a freedom that comes from knowing and trusting that your very lives are in the hands of the Son of God who lived, died, and rose again so that you might live now and forever with Him. The power of that “good news” freedom is that you can live life with that enduring perspective no matter what you are up against today. In our reading, St. Paul tells us that freedom in Christ is a life that seeks to do good “as we have opportunity.” It is one that is not burdened with our failures (Jesus has overcome them on the cross). Rather, it is a life that is eagerly looking for ways to be His people for others until we receive the full harvest of God’s work for us in Christ. Wow, that freedom is received through faith alone, but it then bursts INTO ACTION by the power of His mercy and love!
You need this love, the world needs this love….and as believers in Jesus you have IT TO SHARE!! As believers, we get to shift our focus away from ourselves—which is hard to do, I’ll grant you. But we can because Christ always has His gracious, loving eyes on us. “Shifting away” from ourselves allows us to see more clearly the opportunities for love and service that are presented to us each day. In Christ, YOU ARE FREE FROM being ruled by your burdens and YOU ARE FREE TO do good for the glory of God.
I can still remember learning the joys of this “shift away” attitude early in our ministry. Every Christmas at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Brandon, Florida, right after the Christmas Eve 11:00 service, I would go home and put our daughter Devin to bed, giving Yvette some time to accomplish the last Christmas Eve errand for the night. She’d run to get us some small hors d’oeuvres from Bennigans (we had a very tight budget in those days) to be shared with a bottle of wine at home for our private Christmas eve celebration. But, here’s what else she did: before coming home, she had the idea of stopping at the Village Inn (another budget friendly place we frequented) to give gifts to the waitresses who had to work on Christmas Eve. Even in simple things, Yvette always had great ideas and instincts. I can’t tell you what joy we received for many months thereafter from her sharing gifts with those who were truly not expecting it!!
Do good, as you have opportunity! I also read about the similar joy of a mom who saw the plight of new parents in a restaurant. She wrote on their lunch receipt, “I wanted to offer to hold your sweet baby while you both ate lunch, but my husband said I’d look like a stalker. So, I’m buying your lunch instead. Enjoy that sweet baby. We have teenagers and I know what’s ahead for you, so snuggle your wee one while you can! Love and smiles.”
Remember then, politics won’t save us. Money can’t give life meaning. Power and prestige, even education and technology, can be either a blessing or a curse. But living each day in the freedom that comes by faith in Christ and then looking for ways to love and serve those whom God brings into your path, that’s a way of life that endures forever. Freedom always has work to do. In Christ, look for those things to do today. Others will be blessed when you do, and, here’s the bonus, so will you!
PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, help us to be ready to do good as we have opportunity, to share the love and grace we’ve received abundantly by grace from you. AMEN.
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