Welcome to “Word from The Center” MONDAY, a devotional word from the Center of our faith, Jesus Christ, with reflections on His Word. I’m Gregory Seltz. Today’s reading is Galatians 6:9-10, where the Bible says,   

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.

FREEDOM TO DO GOOD!

Would you agree with me that there is a weariness in our culture today, especially for those who try to reflect biblical values in their lives? When the Bible tells us to “speak the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15), our culture often attacks. It challenges any limitation on one’s lifestyle, ridiculing the notion of their being accountability for acting contrary to the Bible’s definitions of goodness, truth, love, morality, or, for that matter, even life itself. What has been ramping up the last few years (and this is a strategic thing for the “secular-pietistic-statists” in our midst) is the public shaming, demonization, and intimidation of those who confess Christ. Sometimes legal punishments are even imposed on those who seek to express His grace, mercy, love, and service to others on His terms. In that sense, it is a different time in America. The notion that we are “freed to serve” others on God’s terms has been recast as “freedom to do whatever I want unless you can stop me.” And those of us with a healthy sense of our own sin, brokenness, and need for grace realize that there are two “freedoms” at work in our culture today. One is real freedom, the other counterfeit. One is the freedom to do what is right which flows from a grace relationship with God in Christ. The other is to do as we please on our own terms, as if the solutions to our deepest problems are within our grasp.

In the book of Galatians, St. Paul instructs us about the power of authentic freedom which comes from Christ’s life, death, and resurrection, and it is offered to all as a gift of grace. In our passage today, Paul reminds us that this authentic freedom gives real purpose in this life; it is a freedom to serve. It is the joyful opportunity to reflect the gracious love we’ve received to others so that they too might come to know the real freedom that Christ has made possible for them.  The power of this “good news” freedom is that in Christ you have been “set free” for life now and into eternity. And you can live already now with that enduring perspective. You can face whatever you are up against today. This freedom in Christ is always looking for ways to do good “as we have opportunity.” That’s a freedom which is active in love, eagerly looking for ways to be His people for others until we reap the harvest of God’s work for us in Christ. Wow! That’s freedom IN ACTION empowered by His love and mercy received through faith alone!  

So, on this July 4th, be reminded of the fact that you need God’s love and that the world needs His love as well. As believers in Jesus, you have eternal freedom in Jesus Christ. And because of the temporal freedoms granted to citizens of this country, you have the opportunity to SHARE HIS LOVE! 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. When we “shift away” from ourselves, God 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.

So, take up the challenge to do good as you have opportunity, not because you have to, but because you get to in Jesus’ name. Remember that politics won’t save us. Money can’t give life meaning. Power and prestige, even education and technology, can be both a blessing and a curse. But living each day in the freedom that comes by faith in Christ empowers you to look for ways to love and serve those whom God brings into your path. Freedom opens up opportunities to serve. In Christ, look for ways to do so today. Others will be blessed that you do, and so will you! That’s a way of life that endures forever.

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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