CAN WE ACTUALLY LIVE THE FREE LIFE?

In our last post on this subject called The Gift Of Freedom Unwrapped, we discovered God’s freedom in creation and His wonderful purpose for our lives. Can we actually live the free life that Jesus promised us? Is servanthood really a way of life in a culture permeated with self-obsession? Are we truly able to hear God’s voice in the midst of a noise polluted society? Well, Paul in writing to the Galatians believed the free life to be available for all believers. Jesus stated emphatically that we are called to freedom! He also redefines our idea of greatness and turns it on the head. If we want to be great we must learn to give our lives away. Heart attitude is at the root of serving.  “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus.” [1]

HE WHO IS LEAST AMONG YOU

Jesus knew His friends were arguing over who would be the most important. We probably rub shoulders every day with people who want to climb the Christian career ladder. Those who want to possess things to give themselves credibility. Those who exercise control to make others think they have authority. Then there are those whose heads are filled with a theoretical knowledge about God. Jesus is unimpressed with these drivers.

The friends of Jesus showed their true colours here just as we see so often amongst ourselves. Self-importance is the way of the world system. The issue of conceit is brought sharply into the light as Jesus presents the disciples with a child. He contrasts self-importance and humility. “For he who is least among you all – he is the greatest.” [2]

THROUGH LOVE SERVE ONE ANOTHER

Our free life is experienced as we learn to die daily. Can you see the contrast between the Pharisee who invited Jesus to his home and the woman who washed Jesus’ feet with her tears and poured out expensive perfume? This was an example of worshipful service. The focus of her giving was The Man, Jesus. She gave no thought to herself or those around her. She was neither ashamed nor embarrassed. What those around her thought or said was unimportant. The redemptive value of this act of serving Jesus was significant. It was not self-serving. She took on the attitude of nothing!

This first signpost “through love serve one another.”  [3] is the full and free act of one whose attitudes have been washed and purified. He who is least among you! The work of the cross frees us magnificently to serve. Jesus leads out in this by “taking the very nature of a servant.” [4] Have you noticed that Jesus always leads the Way? His teaching and lifestyle are deeply integrated.  Flesh and blood. He never asks of us anything that He has not experienced. He leads by example whatever the cost. This is also the calling and requirement of those within the Church that Jesus is building. When we say YES to Him – we disengage with self-service and enter into His service!

SERVICE IS AN EXPRESSION OF WORSHIP

Living outside of routine church meetings has helped me to see that all of life is sacred for the believing believer. Whether at school, home or going to work God speaks and provides the opportunity to serve others in His power. The word ‘serves’ in The Book is an expression of worship.

“But made Himself nothing, taking the very

nature of a servant.”

This is servanthood. This is what it means to serve one another through love. In serving one another we experience the daily dying of going beyond ourselves. Serving banishes us to the trivial, the mundane and the ordinary and to feet washing. True freedom is leaving behind the place we once lived to pursue the life of a love slave to God. An act of worship! We recognise that the world system provides a course of promotion and authority that is different to God’s way. But that system holds us captive and we choose to reject that course. Jesus sets us free to fulfil His workmanship. [5] This is the road called freedom. We can and must say no to participating in this world system of living life. It only leads to slavery. Why would we when our destiny is grace-filled, Jesus centred and deeply liberating?

See you soon…

 

[1] Phil. 2:5 NIV   [2] Luke 9:48b NIV  [3] Galatians 5:13 NIV [4] Phil. 2:7 NIV [5] Eph. 2:10 NIV