September’s “Encouraging Word”
by Tony Cooper, Executive Director (for Birmingham Christian Family magazine)
MOVING BEYOND SELF
Given our fallen nature we have an inclination to sin. Our biggest sin is selfishness, or worshiping the self, instead of God. The Bible says I, Deuteronomy 6:13 to worship God only, while Psalm 2:11 tells us to do so with reverence.
Matthew 6:24 says, “No one can serve two masters.” In Joshua 24:15, the author says, “…choose for yourselves today whom you will serve … but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”
Within each of our lives there is a cross and a throne. We are tempted to place “King Self” on the throne; however, God is to be on the throne and we are to worship and serve Him, not ourselves.
In Matthew 16:24-25 Jesus said, “If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his (self-centered) life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for Me will find it” (emphasis added). Naturally, we are self-centered; we become the center of our world thinking everything evolves around us. We desire what we want, when we want, where we want, and how much we want. And if we don’t get our way we become upset, angry, frustrated, and resentful.
What do we do? We begin with Matthew 22:37-39, where Jesus talks about the greatest commandment. He said, “we are to love God with all our heart, mind, and soul. The second commandment is to love your neighbor as yourself.”
We need to move our focus from just ourselves and consider others as well. We should be looking for ways to minister to the needs of others and be sensitive to opportunities to bless others. How much of our time is spent on our wants compared to other’s needs? The Bible encourages us to consider others more important than ourselves.
Read the magazine’s online version here.