Summary: This sermon examines common quotes from those who do not serve others in contrast to quotes from those who do serve. Everyone has an excuse, but hose who choose to serve are empowered to do so.
Loving & Serving One Another
Text: Gal. 5:13 (Ampl)
“For you, brethren, were [indeed] called to freedom; only [do not let your] freedom be an incentive to your flesh and an opportunity or excuse [for selfishness] but through love you should serve one another.”
1. Like no other generation we enjoy a great variety of choices in life.
a. If I want ICE CREAM I must decide whether to go to Brahums, Baskin & Robbins, Dairy Queen, or Andy’s.
Once I choose the place, I have to decided if want Malt, Banana Split, Sunday, Concrete, and/or Turtle.
(All kinds of choices –lots of freedom to choose)
b. What am I going to do with my time?
I’ve got the same 24 hours/day as everybody else.
I’ve got lots & lots of choices—lots of freedom to choose.
Our particular form of Government gives us that.
The Prosperity we enjoy gives us that.
And in keeping with our text, the Covenant of Grace gives us that.
c. We are not under the Law of Moses with its complex system of regulations.
We are not boxed in with hundreds of “do’s and don’t” under a Legalistic Religious System.
We are not Muslims trying to appease an angry god with specific duties of prayer, fasting & almsgiving.
We do not have to make pilgrimages to Mecca as part of salvation.
d. In Christ we are freely given favor with God.
In the New Covenant we enjoy liberty and freedom of choice.
2. But Freedom carries with it Responsibility. Amen?
a. That’s what Paul is saying to us in our text—
“Don’t let your freedom become an excuse for selfishness.”
b. There is the temptation we all face,
To arrange our time & our lives around ourselves and our own pleasure— to leave no time, no margin, no opening for serving others.
c. In contrast to a selfish life-style what does Paul tell us to do? “…through love you should serve one another…”
3. This morning I want to share with you
3 Quotes from those who Do Not Serve Others.
3 Quotes from those who Choose to Serve Others.
I. Three Quotes from those who Choose Not to Serve Others.
1. “There’s a Lion in the Way.”
“I would do it if it weren’t for all those difficulties & Obstacles.”
a. That sounds reasonable; except that is it is usually not convenient and not easy to help other people.
That’s why in the story of the Good Samaritan the priest and the Levite walked right passed the need that was before them. It was simply easier to ignore the need, perhaps hope someone else would take care of it, maybe even say a little prayer for the guy, rather than stop & help him.
Prov. 26:13 “The lazy man says, ‘There is a lion in the road!
A fierce lion is in the streets.”
So we’ll call this first character “Lazy Lawerence”
b. Lawerence always focuses on the obstacles-the difficulty of the task. And because the difficulty is so great, he just cannot do it.
a. His version of Gal. 5:13 is “…through love serve one another if it’s NOT TOO hard.”
b. How many know, Nehemiah encountered some obstacles while trying to build the city walls for people of Jerusalem?
How many know Goliath was an obstacle for David to face?
There are always obstacles. But obstacles should not be our focus.
The Goal is the glory of God-the goal is to please God- to serve others.
Can you imagine a Quarterback telling his coach, “ I can’t run this play, I can’t take this ball through that goal line- look at all those mean linebackers in the way, if they weren’t there I would-but I’m sorry I just can’t help you.”
c. Eccl. 11:4 “He who observes the wind will not sow and he who regards the clouds will not reap.”
Conditions are never just right to do the right thing.
There’s always a cloud in the sky that might become a storm— if we let that stop us then we’re stopped.
d. During the first couple of years I was in Springfield we were building this building. There was a lot of work to do and I would watch the weather to see if we could do it. The weatherman would predict rain so I would call off the work day—Then it wouldn’t rain. The next time they were predicting sunshine so I got everybody together and instead of sunshine we had a torrential rain and had to stop working. We weren’t getting the job done. I finally stopped watching the weather and we would simple work until we couldn’t work. That’s how this building got built.
There’s always a lion in the way.
There’s always the possibility of a storm.