Posts Tagged ‘Selfishness

23
May
17

Selfish Prayers

 According to James, one of the reasons that we don’t get the desires of our hearts is because we don’t ask God to graciously give them to us. We go to great lengths to get what we want, but we don’t ask God. We have not because we ask not. He goes on to say:

When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures. – James 4:3 (NIV)

Instead of using prayer as a way of blessing others, we only pray, “Bless me.  Bless me.  Bless me.”  We ask for the desires of our hearts but only if they benefit us. We’re selfish in prayer and that is a prayer God won’t answer. It is okay to ask for our daily bread in prayer. That’s what Jesus told us to do. It’s okay to ask God to provide for our needs. He knows what we need and He wants us to trust Him. But when we ask God to bless us with more, our motives must be for the betterment and benefit of others. If I am selfish and stingy, God won’t answer that prayer. He blesses us to bless others.
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18
May
17

Earthly Wisdom

Good Thursday morning to you! James, after talking about taming the tongue, describes two kinds of wisdom. The first is earthly and demonic. It is marked by selfishness and envy. He writes:
Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. 14 But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. – James 3:13-14 (NIV)
Rather than using our “wisdom” to gain an advantage over people, we should use everything we have for the good of others. We should be humble and not full of selfish ambition. We should do good deeds for others rather than trying to satisfy our envious desires. That is when we will be using the wisdom God grants for the right purposes.
24
Feb
16

Holding On Too Tight

Going on from that place, he went into their synagogue, and a man with a shriveled hand was there. Looking for a reason to accuse Jesus, they asked Him, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?”
He said to them, “If any of you has a sheep and it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will you not take hold of it and lift it out?   How much more valuable is a man than a sheep!  Therefore it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.”
Then he said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.”  So he stretched it out and it was completely restored, just as sound as the other.  But the Pharisees went out and plotted how they might kill Jesus.

Aware of this, Jesus withdrew from that place.  Many followed Him, and He healed all their sick, warning them not to tell who He was. — Matthew 12:9-16 (NIV)

The Pharisees were holding on as tight as they could.  What were they holding on to, though?  Was it the Law or was it their positions of power and prestige?  When Jesus came on the scene, the Pharisees were respected and admired.  Jesus changed that.  He confronted them and revealed their innermost selfish and self-centered desires.  He showed them to be self-righteous glory seekers.  Worse yet, verse 15 says that “many followed Him…”.  In other words, Jesus took away their cash cow.  He was popular and they were jealous.

So they tried to trip Him up.  They conveniently find a man with a shriveled hand and they get all theological on Jesus.  Jesus brings it back to the basics of “mercy, not sacrifice” (Hosea 6:6; He quoted it just before this story takes place).  They had no argument against what He said!  He was right (He still is, btw)!  Since they couldn’t argue with Him, they started hatching a plot to kill Him.  They held on too tight — not to the Law, but to their own self-centered desires.

What they didn’t know is that the plot to kill Jesus had been hatched thousands of years before they came on the scene.  When humanity fell in the Garden of Eden, God set into motion the events necessary to restore the relationship between Himself and His most prized creation.  He would allow His only Son to be crucified so that sins could be forgiven and sinners could be set free.

What are you holding onto today that is getting in the way of really serving Jesus?  What are you grasping so tightly that prevents you from seeing what is truly important?

PRAYER: Father, help me to let go of the things that keep me from loving and serving Jesus.  I only want to hold on tightly to Him.   Thank You for never letting me go.  Amen.

 

23
Feb
11

Holding On Too Tight

Going on from that place, he went into their synagogue, and a man with a shriveled hand was there. Looking for a reason to accuse Jesus, they asked Him, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?”
He said to them, “If any of you has a sheep and it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will you not take hold of it and lift it out?   How much more valuable is a man than a sheep!  Therefore it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.”
Then he said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.”  So he stretched it out and it was completely restored, just as sound as the other.  But the Pharisees went out and plotted how they might kill Jesus.

Aware of this, Jesus withdrew from that place.  Many followed Him, and He healed all their sick, warning them not to tell who He was. — Matthew 12:9-16 (NIV)

The Pharisees were holding on as tight as they could.  What were they holding on to, though?  Was it the Law or was it their positions of power and prestige?  When Jesus came on the scene, the Pharisees were respected and admired.  Jesus changed that.  He confronted them and revealed their innermost selfish and self-centered desires.  He showed them to be self-righteous glory seekers.  Worse yet, verse 15 says that “many followed Him…”.  In other words, Jesus took away their cash cow.  He was popular and they were jealous.

So they tried to trip Him up.  They conveniently find a man with a shriveled hand and they get all theological on Jesus.  Jesus brings it back to the basics of “mercy, not sacrifice” (Hosea 6:6; He quoted it just before this story takes place).  They had no argument against what He said!  He was right (He still is, btw)!  Since they couldn’t argue with Him, they started hatching a plot to kill Him.  They held on too tight — not to the Law, but to their own self-centered desires.

What they didn’t know is that the plot to kill Jesus had been hatched thousands of years before they came on the scene.  When humanity fell in the Garden of Eden, God set into motion the events necessary to restore the relationship between Himself and His most prized creation.  He would allow His only Son to be crucified so that sins could be forgiven and sinners could be set free.

What are you holding onto today that is getting in the way of really serving Jesus?  What are you grasping so tightly that prevents you from seeing what is truly important?




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