A Form of Godliness – The End Result – Part 5

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2 Timothy 3.1-5 But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come:
For men will be…
lovers of themselves unthankful brutal
lovers of money unholy despisers of good
boasters unloving traitors
proud unforgiving headstrong
blasphemers slanderers haughty
disobedient to
parents
without self-control lovers of pleasure rather
than lovers of God
having a form of godliness but denying its power.
And from such people turn away!

Today we will finish our series on this verse. Notice the progression and effect of replacing a love for God with a love for self. The characteristics start as inward changes of attitudes and motives and manifest themselves outwardly in increasing intensity.

First your attitude and language changes (proud and boastful). Then you begin to respond unrighteously to those whom you come in contact with (disobedient to parents, unthankful, unforgiving, etc). Then as pride runs its natural course, the “lovers of themselves” will begin to be purposefully aggressive towards that which is good. At this point, even the “form of godliness” they have will be obviously self-serving and corrupt denying the power of God’s Word to have any effect whatsoever.

Slanderers

Slandering is the speaking of words to harm someone. They frequently are dressed up in “concerned” or “prayerful” language, but God knows the intent. There are the very obvious attempts to hurt someone, then there are the subtle methods such as “benevolent” gossiping that is slander in Christian clothing.

If your words diminish another for any reason, you should be careful that you are not guilty of slander. Your opinions, comments, observations and “constructive criticism” of others need to be very carefully weighed and your true motive examined before uttering them. Honesty will reveal that seemingly benign comments are often meant to elevate ourselves at the expense of others.

Eph 4.31 Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. 32 And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.

Without Self Control

Lack of self-control in its simplest definition can be summed up with the word “impulsive”. It is following your current feeling or desire despite the consequences.

Self-control always measures the holiness and consequences; and then responds appropriately. Lack of self-control is frequent excuse for ungodliness; “I just couldn’t control myself”; “If I think it, I say it”; “I felt like it”.

Lack of self-control says if I feel it, think it, or want it,
I will immediately gratify it without regard to God or consequences.

2 Pet 1.5-7 But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love.

Brutal, Despiser of Good, Traitors, Headstrong & Haughy

We now move to open aggressive antagonism against God. No longer is a passive disinterest satisfactory. Now we have to search and react to all things Godly in an offensive way. This life is characterized by lack of mercy, wicked indulgence, rampant self interest and defiant stubborness. We laugh at righteousness declaring “Fools!” to anyone advocating it. In truth, they are demonstrating the truth of God’s Word.

Proverbs 1.7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, But fools despise wisdom and instruction.


The result of sin is a “form of godliness” that denies its power. Power to do what? To change our lives. To save us. Don’t underestimate the end results of allowing any of these chacteristics to go unchecked in your life. Like an avalanche, it will only gain momentum, force and size resulting in loss and heartache.

Lord, if there is any sign of these sins in our lives, reveal it clearly to us today. Help us to understand that BIG sin, starts with little sin undealt with. Instill in us true Godliness today demonstrating its power through our changed lives. Amen.

(seriesid:5)


A Form of Godliness – Our Behavior – Part 4

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2 Timothy 3.1-5 But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come:
For men will be…
lovers of themselves unthankful brutal
lovers of money unholy despisers of good
boasters unloving traitors
proud unforgiving headstrong
blasphemers slanderers haughty
disobedient to
parents
without self-control lovers of pleasure rather
than lovers of God
having a form of godliness but denying its power.
And from such people turn away!

As we continue today studying the behavior that robs us of true Godliness, notice the progression: it starts with replacing God (lovers of…); then proclaiming it (boaster, proud, blasphemer); now it is manifested in behavior: disobedience, ingratitude, unholy, unloving and unforgiving. These are natural consequences that occur simply by enthroning ourselves as Master of our existence.

Luke 6.45 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.

Whatever is in your heart comes out of your mouth and is demonstrated in your behavior. The person who has replaced God with love of self, will boast how he controls his own life and then will begin to manifest it in attitudes and decisions.

Disobedient

Being disobedient to those in authority over you of course is very understandable for a person who has made themselves king of their life. If obedience to God has been tossed out, what mere mortal could command our obedience? We will do our own thing. Who are you to tell me what to do? Don’t push your morality off on me. “The Bible says don’t judge”, how many times have you heard that? How many times have you said it?

Titus 1.16 They profess to know God, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work.

Unthankful

Anyone who has ever been a parent knows how it feels to be the recipient of ingratitude. How many times out of our love have we sacrificed our own desires to fulfill those of our children, only to be rewarded with a cavalier, “I deserve it” attitude and a feeble “thanks” only after you remind them of it? Doesn’t exactly motivate you to want to do more does it? What makes us think God feels any differently when we do the same thing to Him? I’m sure everyone reading this has been taken for granted many times.

Ingratitude is a by-product of our prosperity.
We come to expect, instead of appreciate.

Being a thankful, appreciative person is a characteristic that has to be cultivated and practiced. It does not come naturally. It begins with the correct understanding that everything we have came from God’s hand. We can take credit for nothing. The appropriate response is thanksgiving and appreciation.

Rom 1.18-21 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.

Unholy

Becoming our own master will of course produce behavior exactly opposite of Godliness. The very definition of unholy is doing things our way instead of God’s. We tend to over-complicate things. Using our simple math lesson from yesterday (I bet some of you still haven’t figured out what “gozintuhs” are):

My way = unholy
God’s way = holy

This is not just limited to certain acts. You can’t divide your life into neat compartments. If you’re a thief on Friday, you’re a thief, period. Our holiness is part of us all the time, 24/7; not just at church, or when reading the Bible or witnessing. For the Godly person, every act is holy. Going to work, tying your shoes or worshipping in church is all dedicated to obedience to God.

We must fight the tendency to divide our lives into “godly” versus “all that other stuff we have to do everyday”. We think that getting up in the morning, eating, working, driving the kids, mowing the grass and every other task or responsibility is just part of “daily life”… somehow being wasted time that robs us of time to serve God.

No! Every act of the Christians life, whether overtly “spiritual” or not, is to be a consecrated, holy, dedicated sacrifice to God. As we mature spiritually, we should begin to realize that there is no separation of the “sacred” and the “secular”.

Col 3.17 And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.

For the “unholy” just the opposite is true. All acts become unholy, even those meant to attempting to appease God or appear “good”. Once man has dethroned God, and made himself king, every act, every thought and every breath becomes unholy.

Unloving

God is the source of all true love. His love is based on truth, selflessness and humility. A self-loving, proud person will naturally become unloving which is simply a mindset that is consumed with self interest.

As the offenses to his pride and self-rule mount quickly, this person becomes more and more bitter about life and towards other. People fail them which of course they will be acutely attuned to and remember with impressive accuracy. So they become more and more callous to anyone or anything but themselves.

Phil 2.3-4 Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.

Unforgiving

The natural progression continues. The proud, self-loving person will of course not be a forgiving person when they obviously have not come to understand their own need for it. This person is characterized by phrases such as “I call a spade a spade”; “you made your bed now lie in it”; “God helps those who help themselves” and other such expressions that betray a persons true feeling that they have what they have because THEY have earned it. So there is no compassion, mercy or forgiveness to bestow on others.

I had to get my own… and you have to get yours.

This unforgiveness will transform itself into bitterness and a finely honed skill of holding grudges. The dual effect is that no forgiveness has been received, none will be given.

Mark 11.26 But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses.”

Starting with the decision to replace a love for God (and thus obeying Him – 1 John) we see a rapidly descending spiral of consequences. Our heart is corrupted, then our mind, then our words and now our behavior. It becomes self explanatory why a person whose life is marked with any of these characteristics only has a “form of godliness” which will lack any true power.

Power for what? Power to change. Power to resist sin. Power to be disciplined. Power to please God. We may go through the motions (a “form” of godliness) of Christianity, but it will be no more fruitful than if we just turned from it completely.

Tomorrow we will see how this ultimately leads to an aggressive, defiant, “in your face”, ungodly lifestyle if left unchecked.

Father, help us recognize any hint of these behaviors in our life. Give us wisdom to understand that it all begins with who is ruling our life. May we completely surrender every moment of our day today in humble submission to You as Master and King. Let our every step, every task, and every moment be consecrated to You as a holy act of obedience. Amen.

(seriesid:5)


A Form of Godliness – Boastful, Proud, Blaspheming – Part 3

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2 Timothy 3.1-5 But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come:
For men will be…
lovers of themselves unthankful brutal
lovers of money unholy despisers of good
boasters unloving traitors
proud unforgiving headstrong
blasphemers slanderers haughty
disobedient to parents without self-control lovers of pleasure rather
than lovers of God
having a form of godliness but denying its power.
And from such people turn away!

Do you find your Christian walk to be feeble and frail? Perhaps true Godliness has been robbed from you through one of these behaviors. Today, we will look at the next three: boasters, proud and blasphemers. All three in essence say:

Look at me! Look what I did. I don’t need God.

They are a wickedly complimentary of each other. Blasphemers attribute to men what only God can do; or, attribute to God what only men can do. Pride dethrones God and takes credit for what God has done. Boasting is putting that pride to words. Let’s take a look at what Scripture as to say about these three.

Boastful

  • Psa 5.5 The boastful shall not stand in Your sight; You hate all workers of iniquity.
    • It is a very fearful thing to consider God’s hate. Boasters proclaim their own glory instead of God’s.

  • Psa 94.4 They utter speech, and speak insolent things; All the workers of iniquity boast in themselves.
    • It is a defining characteristic of evil people that their speech is disrespectful and boastful. ALL evil people boast about themselves.

  • 1 Cor 4.7 For who makes you differ from another? And what do you have that you did not receive? Now if you did indeed receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?
    • Boasting is in effect denying or ignoring that you have NOTHING you didn’t receive from God. From the moment of conception, your first breath, everything you received as a child, and now what you have as an adult…. Every single thing was given to you. In the same way your parents gave you EVERYTHING when you were young, God gives you everything now.
    • Did you create anything? Do you instill in yourself the talents you have? Did you give yourself life?
    • Think. Name one single thing that you can take credit for being the original source of? What you have, what you have done, what you are or the very fact you are alive.. which part of it was not given to you? What reason then do we have to boast about anything of ourselves?

  • James 4.14-16 …whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.” But now you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil.
    • Boasting is great foolishness. We don’t know if we will be alive one minute from now. We could drop stone dead of a heart attack.
    • Boasting is pure arrogance and evil in the Lord’s eyes. It is saying “thank you ME” instead of “thank you God”.

Proud

A couple of paragraphs can’t do justice to this subject, as it is the very essence of sin. Pride in its most basic form is replacing “God” with “me”; putting “me” where only God should be.

Life + ME – God = pride
Life + GOD – me = holiness

I didn’t do so well at “gozintuhs” in math, but I understand simple adding and subtracting. Sanctification in simplicity is ADDING God and SUBTRACTING myself in my everyday life. The scriptures are so brutally plain and convicting that they need no commentary from me:

  • Ps. 10.4 The wicked in his proud countenance does not seek God; God is in none of his thoughts.
  • Prov 6.16-17 These six things the Lord hates, Yes, seven are an abomination to Him: A proud look
  • Prov 16. 5 Everyone proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord; Though they join forces, none will go unpunished.
  • 1 Pet 5.5 Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.”
  • Isa 13.11 “I will punish the world for its evil, And the wicked for their iniquity; I will halt the arrogance of the proud, And will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible.

Blasphemers

The proud boast, “I did it”. Blasphemers go one step further and actually speak or think evil against God. They remove from the Lord His rightful attributes, power and sovereignty. Or worse, they openly and arrogantly attribute wickedness to God, proclaiming His inability, flaws or non-existence. Some common examples we hear often today:

  • Well if God really cared He wouldn’t…
  • If God is really a God of love how can He…
  • I don’t need God. He never did anything for me.
  • God is for the weak-minded who need a crutch.
  • Some God… He can’t even stop suffering and hunger.
  • God himself couldn’t…

Then there are less obvious examples of blasphemy:

  • God “told me”… followed by yet another unscriptural “revelation” which is so common in Christianity today.
  • The name of God is invoked as support for white supremacy, violent religions, ungodly tolerance, the eradication of moral judgment and the pursuit of any religion as a means of earning salvation.
  • God is characterized as an all-loving, all-accepting, kindly old man with a smile who eventually will accept anyone who is faithful to some religion or is basically a “good” person.

Blasphemy is crediting God with anything sinful, or speaking directly against what is true about God. It is the natural progression to boast because of pride originated in a blasphemous idea of God.

Blasphemous ideas cultivate pride delivered via boasting.

All three of these sins are contributable to removing God from His rightful authority and position and putting ourselves there. Whether or not we can articulate it, pride and boasting come from conscience or subconscious blasphemous conclusions:

  • God can’t or won’t do what He says
  • God isn’t, or is less than, what He proclaims
  • God is either unwilling or unable to keep His own word
  • God is exaggerating, lying or deceived

Therefore I will be the king of my existence. I will bring attention to “me” and exalt myself because deep down I have blasphemed God, daring Him to challenge my ascension to the throne of life.

“Gather around people and listen to me declare how good I am: I have done it, I have achieved it, I have built it, I have earned it. I am a good person and have accomplished many things. And surely God will see that my goodness and greatness have earned me salvation.”

You would never say that! Right? You may never be bold enough to utter the words, but does your behavior shout it for all to hear?

Lord, we ask you today to remove boasting, pride and blasphemy from our hearts. Create in us clean hearts that have a pure understanding of our complete dependence on you. Help us to truly understand we have received all things from You and have nothing to boast about of ourselves. May it cause us to be the opposite of boastful, proud blasphemers… humble, thankful and worshipful. May we boldly speak of our dependence on You, of Your goodness and righteousness; and may we boast only in the death of our dear Savior. Amen.

(seriesid:5)


A Form of Godliness – I Just Love My Money – Part 2

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2 Timothy 3.1-5 But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come:
For men will be…
lovers of themselves unthankful brutal
lovers of money unholy despisers of good
boasters unloving traitors
proud unforgiving headstrong
blasphemers slanderers haughty
disobedient to parents without self-control lovers of pleasure rather
than lovers of God
having a form of godliness but denying its power.
And from such people turn away!

We continue our study today learning to recognize this list of behaviors that characterizes those with a “form of godliness” but lacking power. Do you find your Christian walk to be feeble and frail? Perhaps one of these attributes has crept into your life.

Today, let’s look at “lovers of money”, certainly an undeniable concern in our age of prosperity and affluence. It has been said that for every hundred persons that can endure poverty in a Godly manner, maybe one person can become prosperous and remain faithful to Him. It does not help matters when an entire Christian movement today measures faith and godliness by prosperity and wealth.

Luke 18.24 And when Jesus saw that he became very sorrowful, He said, “How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God! For it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”

Luke 8.14 Now the ones [the Gospel] that fell among thorns are those who, when they have heard, go out and are choked with cares, riches, and pleasures of life, and bring no fruit to maturity.

Money is one of the most taught subjects in the Bible; its attainment, its purpose, its use, its dangers and its power over us. A library of books could hardly exhaust the subject and many great teachers whose books I’m hardly worthy to dust off have written much concerning the Godly use of money and the ill effects of materialism. The Biblical conclusion is that money itself is not evil; but our attitude towards it and use of it very easily can be.

Let me turn your focus this morning to God’s Word and bring your attention to Psalm 49. Let’s refresh our minds about God’s perspective on money.

  • v. 2 Both low and high, Rich and poor together.
    • The first point we notice is that life makes no separation of the rich and poor. Death, ill fortune, chance… they occur for all men alike regardless of status. If you think your bank account or success means that you will escape the common destiny of man you are mistaken.
  • v. 6-9 Those who trust in their wealth, And boast in the multitude of their riches, None of them can by any means redeem his brother, Nor give to God a ransom for him— For the redemption of their souls is costly, And it shall cease forever— That he should continue to live eternally, And not see the Pit.
    • No amount of money can buy your way out of the common fate of death and judgment. Nor can money purchase redemption for your family, friends or loved ones. We are all facing the inevitable Day when we will give an account for our lives and no amount of money can purchase God’s mercy.
  • v. 10-12 For he sees wise men die; Likewise the fool and the senseless person perish, And leave their wealth to others. Their inner thought is that their houses will last forever, Their dwelling places to all generations; They call their lands after their own names. Nevertheless man, though in honor, does not remain; He is like the beasts that perish.
    • All men die and take absolutely nothing with them. The rich and poor, the wise and foolish alike leave everything they have behind. But God has given His children an opportunity to send it ahead to heaven in the form of eternal treasure (Luke 16.1-13).

    There is a reason you never see U-Haul trailers
    being pulled behind hearses.

    • We live in a false security that our current prosperity will never end, that we will always have what we have now. In reality, it will all perish, whether through economic disaster, poor decisions, thieves, moths & rust or death… the result is always the same.
  • v. 16-20 Do not be afraid when one becomes rich, When the glory of his house is increased; For when he dies he shall carry nothing away; His glory shall not descend after him. Though while he lives he blesses himself (For men will praise you when you do well for yourself), He shall go to the generation of his fathers; They shall never see light. A man who is in honor, yet does not understand, Is like the beasts that perish.
    • We are not to covet or be in awe of one who becomes rich and it seems that everything in life is going their way. All wealth is doomed to the same end. Its not how much money we have or don’t have, its how we use it.

It’s not how much prosperity we have that is an indicator of faith, it’s how loosely we hold on to it and use it for God that indicates our faithfulness. One dollar, or a million dollars, spent with the sole thought of personal pleasure is symptomatic of a person who is a “lover of money”. One dollar or a million, given in sacrifice and obedience to God’s conviction is a heavenly treasure far exceeding its monetary value. (the key phrase being “sole thought”)

Let me close with some principles about money for you to consider:

  • It’s not how much you have or don’t have, its whether you truly believe it ALL (not 10%) belongs to God. (James 1.17)
  • You can spend it now on temporary short term reward (pleasure or comfort)… or you can send it ahead to heaven as an eternal investment by using it sacrificially for God’s purposes. (Luke 12.32-34; Luke 16.1-13)
  • No matter what your bank account balance is, if you are not content right now, with exactly what you have, you will never be content. (1 Tim 6.6-10)
  • The poorest man on earth is unimaginably rich if he has Christ; the richest man on the planet is to be pitied above all men if he is not a follower of Jesus Christ. (Eph 3.8)

Consider making this your prayer concerning material blessing and income:

Proverbs 30.8-9 Remove falsehood and lies far from me; Give me neither poverty nor riches— Feed me with the food allotted to me; Lest I be full and deny You, And say, “Who is the LORD?” Or lest I be poor and steal, And profane the name of my God.

Lord, grant us integrity and honesty in all things financial. Give us this day neither poverty, that I might be tempted to steal and shame Your name; nor so much prosperity that my trust in You is diminished because I have no need to depend on You for anything. Teach me contentment today with exactly what I have, wanting no more and more than willing to give up what I do have. Amen.

(seriesid:5)


A Form of Godliness – Self Love – Part 1

(Click here to search for all the posts in this series…)

2 Timothy 3.1-5 But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come:
For men will be…
lovers of themselves unthankful brutal
lovers of money unholy despisers of good
boasters unloving traitors
proud unforgiving headstrong
blasphemers slanderers haughty
disobedient to parents without self-control lovers of pleasure rather
than lovers of God
… having a form of godliness but denying its power.
And from such people turn away!

Judging by this list, the perilous last days are indeed upon us. Is this verse not a vivid snapshot of the world today? These men are said to have “a form of godliness” but it is powerless. Paul says to turn away and have nothing to do with people who practice such things.

If a life characterized by this list is a powerless “form of godliness” then it is certainly to our benefit to understand what each of these are and how they are manifested in behavior. Over the next few days we will examine them.

Lovers of themselves

The entire Christian existence is an exercise in denying yourself for the sake of God and others. It is the choice to love God and love others.

Luke 9.23 Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.

The world would have us to believe that you need to “love yourself”, take care of yourself and be concerned about yourself first before you can be “healthy”.

I recently watched an interview of a very famous entertainer who had in many ways made a mess of her life despite being world famous, super rich and idolized by millions. She proclaimed that she has finally gotten her life on track because she has “learned how to love herself” and put herself first. In the past she had always done what other people wanted and that has been the cause of her failed marriages, abusive relationships and personal character flaws. But now that she had learned to “love herself first” and “take care of her first”, she proclaims herself as finally “healthy”.

Proverbs 14:12 There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.

Even the Christian community has been duped into accepting the religion of “self love” and “self esteem”. We have turned inward to live a life focused on our needs, our past, our hurts and healing ourselves emotionally. Even our Christianity has been used as an excuse to turn inward. I recently spoke with a dear brother whose wife can’t be concerned with her marriage or family until she “gets herself” together first. After all, how can a person be expected to meet the needs of others when they haven’t even met their own needs. Ah, the foolish of human wisdom.

This is in stark opposition to clear teaching in the Bible that the Christian life is about denying ourselves, sacrificing for others, putting others before us and giving up our desires in love for those we serve.

  • We are not to “learn to love ourselves”. (Luke 9.23)
  • We are not to dwell on our past to get “healed”. (Phil 3.13-14)
  • We are not to esteem ourselves. (1 Peter 5.5-6)
  • We are not to consider our needs first. (Phil 2.3-4)

The way to take truly care of yourself, is to focus on God and others.

Get your mind off your “needs”, your “hurts”, your happiness, your feelings and your past. We are not to live our lives focused on “self”. The world preaches:

  • You can’t take care of others until you take care of yourself
  • You can’t learn to love others until you learn to love yourself
  • You have to put yourself first because no one else will
  • You have heal your past before you can have a healthy future
  • You have to have a high self esteem and self worth.

This is the summary of the religion of man: “love yourself”.

It is exactly the opposite of the truly Godly life:

  • Phil 2.2-4 Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.
  • Rev 12.11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.
  • John 2.15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
  • Luke 9.23-24 Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it.
  • Psalms 149.4 For the LORD takes pleasure in His people; He will beautify the humble with salvation.
  • Acts 20.35 And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”
  • 1 Cor. 10.24 Let no one seek his own, but each one the other’s well-being.

Father in heaven, help us today to lay aside the burden of worrying and focusing on ourselves. Help us loose the chains of self love and always being so acutely aware of our every need, every offense, every hurt and every want. Give us opportunity today to forget ourselves and focus on You, and on those around us. Help us to understand that the only true way to fulfill our “self needs”, is to serve the needs of others. Amen.

(seriesid:5)