Watering the Tulips
“But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there” – James 3:14-16
One needs only turn on the evening newscast to find proof that this text is true. Whether we’d like to admit it or not, America has created a self-seeking, self-glorifying, self-gratifying society. Humanism is the underlying problem in our country (and our world too, of course) and it has bred all kinds of evil. The promotion of self in spite of any repercussions for others will produce headlines in the newspaper (or Yahoo! as it is today) like we are currently seeing.
This attitude pervades modern thinking and it has even spread into modern day Christendom. “Become a Christian and God will add to you ‘health and wealth’”. The list obviously differs from pulpit to pulpit. But the message is the same – Christianity is the means to self-gratification in every conceivable realm of life. And yet, the entire New Testament denies such a belief. Jesus said, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me” (Luke 9:23). God given faith is not focused on the betterment of self but on the exaltation of Jesus Christ and the spread of the glorious Gospel which points to Calvary.
The modern attitude of using God for self-gain is foreign to the Scriptures. Jesus never gained the “Best Life Now” that is promoted today. None of the apostles ever found such a life. Jesus’ very instruction to the rich young ruler to sell all that he had and donate it to the poor certainly flies in the faith of such a movement (Luke 18:22). The church at Jerusalem became so poor that other churches actually collected money to help them financially (1 Corinthians 16:1-4). The list goes on and on.
True Christianity simply isn’t about self – it’s about denying self! Firstly, we are to seek to glorify God in all that we do (1 Corinthians 10:31). This doesn’t mean using God for personal gain. This means using whatever gain He has provided us, according to His will and purpose, to glorify Him! Deny self!!
Secondly, we are to live for others. Jesus was the perfect Example of this. He left Heaven’s glory to live a life as a man (albeit a sinless man) to ultimately bear the penalty of our sins. Yet, we are commanded to love one another in the same way. We are even commanded to put others ahead of ourselves.Philippians 2:3 seems plain enough – “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself”.
Child of God, the Lord did not open your heart to the Gospel so that He is now your servant. On the contrary, He opened your heart to the Gospel so that you would serve Him. He remains God and you remain a creature. He also saved you in order that you would share the love of Christ with others. Seek today to deny “self-seeking in your hearts” and serve God and man as He gives you ability.
Watering the Tulips is brought to you by Sovereign Grace Baptist in Northport, AL. For more information, please visit www.sovereigngrace.net . “Your App to the Gospel” is available for download in iTunes, Google Play and the Windows Phone Marketplace. Download it today!!