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Sermons about Selflessness
Love is the consummation of the virtues Peter lists (2 Peter 1:5-7). It embodies the others--excellence, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, and kindness. Throughout the New Testament, love describes selfless (not obsessive) and sacrificial (not oppressive) good will toward others. God is the source of ultimate, infinite good will. Our love is an outpouring of His. To give love to others, first we must receive from Him. Receiving demands we replace our bankrupt identity to become God's beloved. And when we truly receive His love, we cannot help but to pour it out.
As we hit the "pause" button and ponder this ordinance which God has given to the local church, we invite Christ as the featured Guest, not to poke and prod Him, but to examine and judge ourselves.
Our Maker has made us to interact with and intersect with others in life. We are not an island unto ourselves where we reside in a fort built for one but have been designed to connect our islands and form alliances.
God has made us as social creatures. He has hardwired us in such a way that we enjoy, we desire, we look to, yes, we even need one another.
Since God in his mercy has saved his people from sin to serve him by uniting them to Jesus through faith in Jesus, he has united them to one another. The true church is comprised of individual Christians who have a real spiritual union with one another. This union has profound iimplications for their relationships to each other. Paul's words in Romans 12:3 to 8 help us in identifying a true congregation of the church of the Lord Jesus and what it means to live as a Christian. The true Christian recognizes his or her obligation to serve with the gifts God has granted to him or her, not so that he or she feels fulfilled or appreciated on his or her terms, but rather, so that God is glorified and God's people edified. Jesus, as the one who came not to be served but to serve is both our example and enabling power through his sacrifical service culminating in his death and glorious resurrection.
Paul was on his way from Philippi to Jerusalem to be there in time for the Feast of Pentecost. The church at Ephesus was dear to his heart. He spent 3 years ministering there and was now passing by, desiring to give a farewell message to the leaders of the church. He knew his time was limited, so he asked them to meet him in Miletus, some 33 miles away. In this second part of a three part series, Paul reveals the motivations of his heart as he goes bound by the Spirit to Jerusalem. This message will challenge you as you consider the steadfast determination of this godly man as he fully follows the Spirit of God in spite of the circumstances he was sure to face.
Jesus had the courage to put everyone ahead of Himself, and it ended in him dying for us. His courageous sacrifice enables us to put others first, too. Who do we need to put ahead of ourselves, and what will it cost us?
To follow Christ, to be a Christian, requires sacrifice. The greatest is those that serves, sacrifices time, helps a neighbor or friend, or even a stranger.