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August 2016
August 2011
In Matthew 23:11, Jesus declared, "But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant. And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted." According to Jesus, greatness in life is found in serving others from a humble heart. Living a Christ-centered life is found when we dedicate our lives to helping and serving others out of our love for Christ. The Message Bible says, "Do you want to stand out? Then step down. Be a servant. If you puff yourself up, you will get the wind knocked out of you. But if you're content to simply be yourself, your life will count for plenty."

The Christ-centered heart serves others, stepping down from a self-absorbed, ego-enamored attitude to that of a humble servant. One unknown author said, "The service we render to to others is really the rent we pay for our room on this earth." Eleanor Roosevelt stated, "When we cease to make a contribution, we begin to die." Those living a self-centered life never go beyond what is expected and rarely think about others before themselves.

Get Delivered from Me, Myself and I!

Another unknown author said, "Most of the world's problems are a result of someone trying to be important." How profound that statement really is in every arena of life. A servant's heart focuses on helping others first, while the selfish heart is intoxicated with me, myself and I! Peter C. Moore once said, "There is no smaller package than a person all wrapped up in themselves." James 4:1-3 (Message Bible) tells us, "Where do you think all these appalling wars and quarrels come from? Do you think they just happen? Think again. You lust for what you don't have and are willing to kill to get it. You want what isn't yours and will risk violence (strife) to get your hands on it. You wouldn't think of just asking God for it, would you? And why not? Because you know you'd be asking for what you have no right to. You're spoiled children, each wanting your own way." The self-centered person wants what they want and will fight to get it.

Finally, in the end, selfishness displays itself like a spoiled child. Albert Einstein said, "The true value of a human being can be found in the degree to which he has attained liberation from self." It is healthy to look to God with our desires and needs. But God does not want us to be consumed with meeting out our needs and wants. He wants us to also be focused on meeting the needs of others. When we place ourselves in God's care, He will supernaturally meet our needs and use us to bless those around us.

Two Types of People: Givers and Takers

John 3:16 declares, "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth is Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." The Moffatt's translation declares, "For God loved the world so dearly that He gave...". The BAS translation tells us, "For God had such love for the world that He gave...". The topic is not complicated. It is actually very simple: lovers give and takers take. When we see the example of God loving the world by giving Jesus to take our sins on the cross, we must follow that example and seek to serve and give as He did. Thomas Aquinas once said, "To love is to will the good of another." 1 Timothy 1:5 tells us, "The goal of this commandment is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith." The NAS says, "The goal of our instruction is love."

When we make loving others our gaol in life, we will make a difference in helping others. Gaines Brewster said, "In labors of love, everday is payday." Colossians 3:14 declares, "And above all these virtues, put on love, which binds them all together." Williams translation says, "And over all these qualitites put on love, which is the tie of perfeciton that binds us together." Johnson translation tells us, "As the most important piece of new clothing, be sure and wear love, because love is the evidence of maturity." Love is the sign of a mature believer, a giving believer. When we walk in the God kind of love we are interested in others first and ourselves second. We understand that God takes care of our needs abundantly so that we have an overflow to give to others. The deeper our realization of the selfless love God has toward us, the more freely we will pass that along by investing ourselves in those around us.

We know God is moving mightly in your life, both to will and to work of His good pleasure! Let's determine to live a Christ-centered life and make a difference in those around us! We love and appreciate you greatly. Chris


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