The Unselfish Life

Philippians 2:3-4 HCSB

Do nothing out of rivalry  or conceit,  but in humility  consider others as more important  than yourselves. Everyone should look out not only for his own interests,  but also for the interests of others.

Pride is a natural thing within us by nature. Pride tried to live self up over others. It promotes conflict, not humility. Service is a natural outgrowth of humility.

1 Corinthians 13:4-5 HCSB

Love is patient,  love is kind. Love does not envy, is not boastful, is not conceited, does not act improperly, is not selfish,  is not provoked, and does not keep a record of wrongs.

Selfishness is a concern for self without regard for others. Signs of selfishness:

Do you only talk about yourself and your own issues?
Do you speak without thinking about how your words may hurt someone?
Do you share your feelings without asking others and theirs?
Do you only give because you expect to get something back?
Do you withdraw when you don’t get your way?
Do you make promises you can never keep?
Are you unforgiving?.

2 Corinthians 5:15 HCSB

And He died for all  so that those who live should no longer live for themselves,  but for the One  who died for them and was raised.

2 Timothy 3:1-5 HCSB

But know this: Difficult times will come in the last days.   For people will be lovers of self,  lovers of money,  boastful, proud,  blasphemers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy,   unloving, irreconcilable, slanderers,  without self-control, brutal, without love for what is good,   traitors,  reckless,  conceited,  lovers of pleasure  rather than lovers of God, holding to the form of godliness but denying its power.  Avoid these people!

Mark 10:35 HCSB

Then  James  and John,  the sons of Zebedee,  approached Him and said, “Teacher,  we want You to do something for us if we ask You.”

That seems very selfish and brash! But do we do that to Jesus? Do we expect Him to do whatever we want?

John 5:30 HCSB

“I can do nothing on My own. I judge only as I hear, and My judgment  is righteous,  because I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.

Matthew 20:26-28 HCSB

It must not be like that among you. On the contrary, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant,   and whoever wants to be first among you must be your slave; just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve,  and to give His life — a ransom for many.”

Philippians 2:3-4 HCSB

Do nothing out of rivalry  or conceit,  but in humility  consider others as more important  than yourselves. Everyone should look out not only for his own interests,  but also for the interests of others.

Christians are a family. We are one body. Daily events test our convictions in this. When you have a humble view of yourself, you will become an encourager of others.

“Be quick to look at your own defects, but slow to see them in others.”

Our joy and gifts don’t belong only to ourselves. They also belong to the body of Christ. Be glad for the good happening in other’s lives. Rejoice with them. Listen to others; hear their stories.

Reaching Up, Reaching Out, Reaching Across

Last month, we made spiritual resolutions. We determined in our hearts and minds to make a change in our lives that would bring each of us closer to God. His reward for you is greater peace.

God time. Spending time with Him. That’s reaching up. Ask God how you can grow nearer top him, and what to do to make that happen.

Reaching out. Ask God to show you who you can encourage this year. Challenges in our lives can make us fearful, or faithful.

Galatians 6:9-10 HCSB

So we must not get tired  of doing good,  for we will reap at the proper time if we don’t give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, we must work  for the good  of all, especially for those who belong to the household  of faith.

Reaching across – being accountable. Jesus came so we could be free to choose an abundant life. Satan would have us never grow, or even go backwards.

James 5:16-20 HCSB

Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The urgent request of a righteous person is very powerful in its effect.   Elijah was a man with a nature like ours; yet he prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the land.   Then he prayed again, and the sky gave rain and the land produced its fruit. My brothers, if any among you strays from the truth,  and someone turns him back,   let him know that whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save his life from death and cover a multitude of sins.

Confess the junk in your life. Let a trusted person in your life help you keep moving forward. This is a person you trust to both encourage and correct you.

Galatians 6:1-2 HCSB

Brothers, if someone is caught in any wrongdoing, you who are spiritual should restore such a person with a gentle  spirit,  watching out for yourselves so you also won’t be tempted.   Carry one another’s burdens; in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.

Satan is the enemy of our souls.

John 10:10 HCSB

A thief comes only to steal  and to kill and to destroy.  I have come so that they may have life and have it in abundance.

Ten reasons why we don’t like accountability:

1. People hate conflict.
2. We don’t realize that sanctification is a community project.
3. People like their privacy.
4. Christians are not seriously taught about accountability.
5. Christians believe it’s only for behavior change or when things are really bad.
6. Christians are not discipled, when accountability makes most sense.
7. Some Christians have experienced unhelpful accountability.
8. Christians are not disciplined.
9. Christians lack quality friendships.
10. Christians have not tasted gospel-centered accountability in the church.

1 Thessalonians 5:11 HCSB

Therefore encourage one another and build each other up as you are already doing.

Hebrews 10:24-25 HCSB

And let us be concerned about one another in order to promote love and good works, not staying away from our worship meetings, as some habitually do, but encouraging each other,  and all the more as you see the day drawing near.

What to look for in your accountability partner:

1. Good listener
2. Trustworthy; not a gossip
3.  Encouraging, not judgmental

What’s in the Cup?

Luke 22:19-20 HCSB

And He took bread, gave thanks, broke it, gave it to them, and said, “This is My body,  which is given for you. Do this in remembrance  of Me.” In the same way He also took the cup after supper and said, “This cup is the new covenant  established by My blood;  it is shed for you.

This cup is the symbol of the new agreement between you and God that has been set in motion by Jesus.

In God’s word, the cup is mentioned many times, usually referring to God’s wrath.

Matthew 26:39 HCSB

Going a little farther,  He fell facedown and prayed, “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup pass from Me. Yet not as I will, but as You will.”

Jesus wasn’t afraid of the religious leaders or the Romans. He wasn’t afraid of Satan or of demon possessed people. He wasn’t afraid of storms. But He trembled when faced with the cup of God’s wrath.

What was in that cup? The Bible says God placed on Jesus the iniquity, the wickedness, the sin of us all. That cup was full of shame, suffering, wickedness, and separation from God. Jesus drank that cup all night and the next day, as he was mocked, beaten, and crucified. When the last portion had been taken, He said “It is finished.” The cup was empty.

THE CUP IS EMPTY.

The cup of sin and shame, of pain and suffering, is empty. It was given to Jesus instead of us.

There is another cup. It is full of His blessing. When we take communion together, the wine and bread are the symbols of an exchange of cups between God and ourselves – our cup of wrath for His cup of blessing. The only thing that could overcome death was the life Jesus brought.

1 Corinthians 11:25-26 HCSB

In the same way, after supper He also took the cup and said, “This cup is the new covenant  established by My blood.  Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.”  For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death  until He comes.