Psalm 119:36, “Turn my heart toward your statutes and not toward selfish gain.”
Today with the rise of reality TV and online social networking sites people are easily becoming the most self-serving generation known to mankind. Paul actually warned of this new level of self-worship in the end times in 2 Timothy 3:1-2, “1 But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 2 People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud…” Did you know that greed, abortion, famine, urban decay, obesity, addiction, fatherless homes, and the like all have their roots in selfishness!?
Self-centeredness has many different manifestations- sometimes it will appear in conversations when a person doesn’t let others speak but continually makes the entire conversation about them. Other times, selfishness is seen on people’s social sites when all they do is post up pictures of themselves, talk about their lives all the time, and never contribute anything positive to others. And certainly, selfishness is seen clearly in the church when so-called-Christians are unwilling to serve and help others.
Jesus said in Matthew 16:24 that the first thing you had to do if you wanted to follow Him was, “deny yourself!” In other words, Jesus taught His disciples that life with Him was no longer about their wants, dreams, and expectations, but rather, first and foremost life is about God’s wants, dreams, and commands! Jesus said in Matthew 6:33, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” And God’s Kingdom is about serving others and loving the “least of these,” Matthew 25:31-46.
Idolatry is more popular then it has ever been, it’s just the idols are no longer called, “Zeus,” “Buddha,” or “Krishna.” Now they are called, “Fame,” “Sports,” “Entertainment,” and “Me, Myself, & I.” Sometimes I talk to people who think they are free from selfishness because they say, “I work hard, provide for my family, and help my neighbors whenever they need it.” However, without Christ, even a person’s own “good works” can become their idol because its about what “they did” and not humbling one’s self to worship and serve “what Jesus did,” Matthew 7:21-23 & Philippians 2.
On Judgment Day, when heaven and hell are at stake, Jesus isn’t going to ask were you a good person. No, He is going to ask have you been born again! Did you deny yourself, take up your cross, and follow Jesus? Or did you follow in the words of Frank Sinatra’s song, “My Way?” C.S. Lewis once said, “There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, “Thy will be done,” and those to whom God says, in the end, “Thy will be done.” All that are in Hell, choose it.’”
Do you want to be free from a self-centered life? Pray this out loud, “Jesus, ‘Turn my heart toward your statutes and not toward selfish gain.’ Amen.”
Have you ever put your wants, desires, and ways of doing things before your obedience to God’s commands?
- Repent of the times you have been selfish.
- Ask God to turn your heart to His commands and serving others.
- Deny your old selfish ways, live God’s new life seeking first His Kingdom, and serving others! Read Matthew 25:31-46 and find a way to do those kinds of things for the rest of your life.