ROMANS 11:36: For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.”
I love the way Paul David Tripp describes the sin of selfishness. He calls it “our DNA” and he is right. We were born in sin, and as believers we will daily, even constantly, fight against the sin of selfishness. And to drive home this conflict and reality, just take a mental trip over the past week of our lives and pay attention to how much the sin of selfishness tempted us to put “me, my, and mine” on the throne room of our hearts. A lot, wasn’t it? Though we may not have acted upon every temptation to put self ahead of others, the pull was still upon us.
So, what are some thought patterns we must develop to consistently replace our “sinful DNA of selfishness” with the joy-producing experience of living selflessly? Today’s scripture gives us three. It is all about living under the complete Lordship of Jesus Christ and we do so by remembering . .
First, For from Him are all things. We are not self-made creatures. We are image-bearers of our Creator – Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth”(Genesis 1:26).By creation and re-creation through the Gospel, we have no right to live selfishly. We are to model the selflessness of our Creator. Think on this often; we come from Him and under the privileged responsibility to model Him.
Next, For through Him are all things. Our lives as Christians are lived in union (through Him) with Christ. We have become His Body, a complete union with Christ making us one. The logic of not living for me, my, and mine comes from this union. It makes sense that if the living Christ dwells in us, we cannot continue to live selfishly when the selfless Christ is in us – I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me (Galatians 2:20). Memorize this verse and when the temptation to be selfish raises its ugly head, stop and remember Christ in us living through us – all things not only are from but through Him.
Finally, we may slay the sin of selfishness by reminding ourselves all things including our lives are not only from Him, through Him, but now to Him. This means everything in our lives culminate for the glory of God – So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31). All areas of our lives, not some, but all, are to be under the complete Lordship of Christ. Not a single area is to be excluded. When this is realized, selfish living is replaced by the Lord’s selfless life lived through Him and to Him. Then, we begin to learn what it means to wear His yoke (Matthew 11:28-30). The results are a joy – filled life freed from the bondage of selfishness to walk in Christ’s freedom of selflessness(Galatians 5:1, 13)
PRAYER: “Father, forgive me when I orient my life around ‘me, my and mine’ instead of You.”
QUOTE: “The path to joy in the Lord is not to live for self and self-interests but to die to both.”