WISDOM FOR LIVING DEVOTIONAL
OCTOBER 8, 2020
TOPIC: SERVING ONE ANOTHER IN LOVE
BY T. O. BANSO
“For you have been called to live in freedom — not freedom to satisfy your sinful nature, but freedom to serve one another in love” (Galatians 5:13 New Living Translation).
The time for Jesus’ betrayal and crucifixion was getting near and Jesus prepared the minds of His disciples for it. He commanded them to love one another. “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:34-35 New King James Version).
The apostle John also amplifies the need for believers to love one another. “Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us” (1 John 4:10-12 New King James Version).
Believers have the same Father; we belong to the same family. The apostle Peter says believers are also to love one another, as members of the same family. “Love the brothers and sisters of God’s family” (1Peter 2:17 New Century Version).
The Bible says in 1 John 4:8 that anyone who does not love does not know God — for God is love. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 tells us what love is not and what it does: “Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things” (New King James Version).
Do you love brothers and sisters in the faith? 1 John 3:14 says, “If we love our Christian brothers and sisters, it proves that we have passed from death to eternal life. But a person who has no love is still dead” (New Living Translation).
However, the love of fellow believers, which the Bible is talking about, is love in action, not in words only. It is love that serves other believers, not one that only talks about love. “If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, ‘Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,’ but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead” (James 2:15-17 New King James Version). Faith works through love (Galatians 5:6b).
Talking about how the Son of man would judge the nations, Jesus said He would set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. “Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me’” (Matthew 25:34-36 New King James Version).
The righteous would ask when they did this good works, and the LORD would answer that inasmuch as they did it to one of the least of His brethren, they did it to Him (verse 40). In contrast, the LORD would also tell those on the left hand to depart from Him into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels, for not doing for Him what the righteous did. They would also ask when they failed to do these good works mentioned and the LORD would answer that inasmuch as they did not do it to one of the least of His brethren, they did not do it to Him (verses 41-46).
Galatians 5:13 says, “For you have been called to live in freedom — not freedom to satisfy your sinful nature, but freedom to serve one another in love” (New Living Translation). Please, take note of the phrase in that verse: to serve one another in love. If believers love one another, there will be nothing they shall not be able to do for one another.
Believers have been called to liberty (as the New King James Version puts it in Galatians 5:13) and should, therefore, use their liberty to serve one another. They should not use their liberty to sin, which then puts them in Satan’s bondage. “You are not slaves; you are free. But your freedom is not an excuse to do evil. You are free to live as God’s slaves” (1 Peter 2:16 New Living Translation).
Believers should not feel too big to serve fellow believers. Jesus showed the example of servant-leadership to the disciples when He washed their feet in John 13. He told them, “If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet” (verse 14 New King James Version). By the Jewish tradition, washing the feet of any guest on arrival was a task usually done by the lowliest servant in a household.
Furthermore, it takes humility to serve, particularly to serve someone you are ‘better’ than or superior to. The disciples of Jesus came to ask Him in Matthew 18:1, “Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” Jesus told them in verse 4, “Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven” (New King James Version).
Humble yourself and serve others. In the Kingdom of God, greatness comes by humility, as you’ve just read in Matthew 18:4. It comes by faithful service, not by aggressively fighting your way to the top or subtly scheming for the top positions. The servant is the leader!
Jesus says, “In this world the kings and great men order their people around, and yet they are called ‘friends of the people.’ But among you, those who are the greatest should take the lowest rank, and the leader should be like a servant” (Luke 22:25-26 New Living Translation). It has been rightly said that if you’re too big to serve, you’re too small to lead.
Mark 9:35 puts it thus: “Anyone who wants to be the first must take last place and be the servant of everyone else” (New Living Translation). Matthew 20:27 says a similar thing: “Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must become your slave” (New Living Translation).
Believers are called to serve one another. No one should allow his inflated ego to hinder him. No matter your position or status in society, once you come to the company of believers, all believers are brothers and sisters. From the archbishop or bishop or pastor to the youngest member, they should serve one another in different ways.
Ministering to people is serving God, and must be done cheerfully, with love, and in all sincerity. “You younger men, accept the authority of the elders. And all of you, serve each other in humility, for ‘God sets himself against the proud, but he shows favor to the humble’” (1 Peter 5:5 New Living Translation). Did you see that phrase, serve each other in humility? Put on the garment of humility and serve others; never remove this garment.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto you today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank you, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The LORD be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Holy Spirit, help me to be humble and serve others in love. I shall not allow inflated ego to hinder me from service. I receive the spirit of a servant-leader. I shall live in freedom to serve others in love in Jesus’ name.
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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