Don't Wear Out Your Welcome, Part 2
SELF EXALTATION OR…
“…I will raise my throne above the stars of God…” Isaiah 14:13b
Wanting to be first or the best is not a bad pursuit - it is merely competition. But selfish ambition is much different because it is a contentious spirit that causes all sorts of dysfunction in every relationship. James 3:14-15, we are warned about this practice, “If you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such ‘wisdom’ does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, of the devil.” James uses quotations for “wisdom” because it is FALSE. From a worldly perspective this may make sense, but selfish ambition brings disorder and every evil practice.
“For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.” James 3:16
This selfish attitude (pride) has plagued mankind from the beginning. It spoils our relationship with God and everyone else. Lucifer first initiated this arrogance before God and it took him down. It too will bring us down. What is interesting is Lucifer was already exalted by God. If he only realized who God made him to be, he would not have needed to raise himself above the others. He was already the Guardian Angel, but he wanted more. We have been created in the image of God, which is even greater than the angels (Hebrews 1:14). Why would we need more?
BEING A SERVANT.
“Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made Himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.” Philippians 2:5-7
Paul reminds us that we are to strive to be like Jesus. To have His attitude, which was to serve. This was because His mission on earth was to share God’s love with people. 1 John 3:18 says, “Let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.” When we serve, we do this very thing. Serving is a tangible form of loving.
“Jesus knew… the Father had put all things under His power, and that He had come from God and was returning to God.” John 13:3-4
Knowing God has empowered us for good works, that we have come from Him and we are going back to Him is all we need to be energized as servants. This “kind” of selflessness is a very powerful way to spread the gospel.
From Sermon Notes, June 5, 2022