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9 - 27 - 15 on
1
It has been 103 years since Titanic, the greatest ship of its time, sank on
its maiden voyage, killing mo...
9 - 27 - 15 on
2
In fact, people all over the world hungers for unselfish people. Leaders,
especially look for them:
Leader...
9 - 27 - 15 on
3
As I read Psalm 23 this past week as part of our reading schedule I was
again struck by the amazing chara...
9 - 27 - 15 on
4
He is God Almighty. He has every right to just be concerned
about Himself. He alone is God. He alone is w...
9 - 27 - 15 on
5
bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being
found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himse...
9 - 27 - 15 on
6
Eph. 5:25: “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the
church {humbled, suffered died} and ...
9 - 27 - 15 on
7
wins. Self-interest seems to be at the heart of most things in life
outside of our relationship with Jesu...
9 - 27 - 15 on
8
healing and I have seen it happen in others also. Jesus came to
set us free from the bondage of such lies...
9 - 27 - 15 on
9
Joyce Meyers teaches about how important to be deliberately,
intentionally and persistently unselfish if y...
9 - 27 - 15 on
10
to kings throughout history who killed to get power and killed to keep
power.
Conclusion
They say that i...
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Imitating Our Unselfish God

God is the highest definition of all that is good, especially humble unselfishness. How would have ever imagined a God so intensely unselfish as the God of the Bible? he blows my mind in every category! I hope your mind expose with wonder and gratitude as you get to know this God--the only true God--the God Who sent Jesus to rescue a bunch of rebels like us--not because he had to but because He wanted to!

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Imitating Our Unselfish God

  1. 1. 9 - 27 - 15 on 1 It has been 103 years since Titanic, the greatest ship of its time, sank on its maiden voyage, killing more than 1,500 passengers. When pastor and preacher John Harper and six year old daughter boarded the Titanic it was for the privilege of preaching at one of the greatest churches in America, Moody Church in Chicago, named for its famous founder Dwight L. Moody. When the Titanic hit the iceberg, Harper successfully led his daughter to a lifeboat. Being a widower he may have been allowed to join her but instead forsook his own rescue, choosing to provide the masses with one more chance to know Christ. Harper ran person to person, passionately telling others about Christ. As the water began to submerge the "unsinkable" ship, Harper was heard shouting, "women, children, and the unsaved into the lifeboats." The ship disappeared beneath the deep frigid waters, Harper struggled through hyperthermia to swim to as many people as he could, still sharing the Gospel. Harper evidentially would lose his battle with hypothermia but not before giving many people one last glorious Gospel witness. One man was offended that Harper was preaching to him about how to receive eternal life through faith in Jesus, so Harper gave him his life preserver and said, "you need this more than I do." Harper drowned shortly after that.   ______________________________ My heart races with excitement, joy and gratitude when I hear stories like that. I long to be like John Harper. I think we all do. We all want to see ourselves as heroically unselfish, willing to give our lives for others despite the cost.
  2. 2. 9 - 27 - 15 on 2 In fact, people all over the world hungers for unselfish people. Leaders, especially look for them: Leaders Need Unselfish People: ✓ Sports coaches want players who are unselfish—team players who will not hog the ball and the spotlight. ✓ Military leaders want servicemen who will sacrifice their needs for the good of the unit and of the nation—sometimes resulting in the death of that serviceman. ✓ Business leaders reward their best employees give priority to the needs of the company and not to their own personal needs. ✓ Medical leaders demand that their staff serve their patients unselfishly since the lives of their patients often depend on that medical service. Deep inside, there is a desire in most people to live and to die for something greater than just ourselves. Deep inside the hearts of people in every nation, every culture, every language group, people all want to make our lives count for the sake of others. We seem to know instinctively that we were made for more than just taking care of ourselves, for more than just self-gratification. That yearning to live for others is part of the imago Dei—the image of God in us that God put into every humans being. This part of God’s innermost character has been indelible stamped into our souls by God Himself. God made us to love and serve others because that is His deepest nature.
  3. 3. 9 - 27 - 15 on 3 As I read Psalm 23 this past week as part of our reading schedule I was again struck by the amazing character of God Who is so unselfish in everything that He does! Let’s recite Psalm 23 together: The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. 4  Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. 5  You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over. 6  Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. Who made God promise to do all that for each of His followers? Who forced Him to care for us those ways? Who made sure God would lead us, restore us, cause us to not lack anything, to protect us with His rod, to prepare food for us, to anoint us, to pursue us with goodness and mercy, to make a play for us in His House forever? God has every right not to create us or care for us. He has every right to just demand our submission and obedience and worship.
  4. 4. 9 - 27 - 15 on 4 He is God Almighty. He has every right to just be concerned about Himself. He alone is God. He alone is worthy of all honor, praise and obedience. But that is not our God. Everything about our God reeks of unselfishness—a massive concern for the welfare of others besides Himself. God is THE definition of unselfishness: having or showing more concern for other people than for yourself : not selfish Such extreme focus on the needs others is all the more mysterious when His concern is lavished on creatures who often ignore Him, resist Him, question Him and even curse Him. Our God is a God Who lives to give, to help, to serve, to restore, to redeem, to deliver, to make all things new. “For God so loved the world He gave His Only Begotten Son…” ( John 3:16) Like Father Like Son: Jesus gave up His divine glory, power and pleasure in heaven to become one of us and suffer and die for us. Phil. 2: 5-8 says it very clearly: Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God [morphe theou— Greek] , did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied {kenosin—Greek}Himself, taking the form of a
  5. 5. 9 - 27 - 15 on 5 bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” Like Father Like Sons: God Wants Us to Imitate Him in How We Love Others As Phil. 2:5 commands us: “Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus…” As 1Cor. 13 also so poetically declares, God is more concerned about how well we love others than miracles we might do, more than Bible knowledge we might have, more than acts of charity. God is looking at the attitude of our hearts towards others. Unselfish love—the Greek word is agape love—I think is the singular most important mark of maturity in any Christian— actually in any person of any faith, i.e. How much and how well will we concern ourselves with the needs/wants of others. Here’s How God Instructs us to Imitate His Unselfishness: (Romans 12:10): “Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor…” Phil. 2:3: “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves.” John 13:34-35: “A new commandment I give to you, that you love {agape—Greek} one another, even as I have loved you {humbled, suffered died}, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."
  6. 6. 9 - 27 - 15 on 6 Eph. 5:25: “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church {humbled, suffered died} and gave Himself up for her…” Biblical Example of Unselfishness The Good Samaritan: A man was robbed and left wounded in the road. A Jewish priest and Jewish Levite walked passed the suffering man and did not help him. But a Samaritan, a heretic to Jews, stopped to help the wounded man. He cleaned his wounds, took him to a motel and promised to pay for his expenses as he healed. Jesus used this example to define what it means to love our neighbors. I always think of mothers when I think of unselfish people. The way mothers who love their children so unselfishly often never ceases to amaze me. I know my nature is to be more selfish than mothers generally are. This is why the Jewish proverb is almost so true: “God could not be everywhere, so he made mothers.” How To Grow in Loving Others Unselfishly Let’s be honest: Looking out for our own interests is natural. Babies come into the world looking out for #1. Kids are normally NOT prone to share their toys—much less give them away. The world teaches us that he who has the most toys
  7. 7. 9 - 27 - 15 on 7 wins. Self-interest seems to be at the heart of most things in life outside of our relationship with Jesus. It’s good to love yourself! You have to have a healthy self-love to be emotionally balanced. In fact, Jesus uses our innate self- interest as a basis for gauging our love for others: “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Mark 12:31). In other words, in the same way that you (naturally) love yourself, learn to love others. But as we mature as a follower of Jesus, we should become more like Jesus. Our universe should be others-centric, not self-centric. But some things make it harder to be unselfish. What Incites us to Selfishness? 1. A troubled childhood. Many people seem to have missed the love and nurture that every child expects and needs from his or her parents. These people often spend decades of their adult life trying to get love and approval from others through their success at work, through fame, control or wealth. In order to achieve these goals, these persons often feel they have to live a very self-centered life in order to earn the love and respect they were denied as a child. People like that can be set free from the patterns of selfishness if they are willing to let others help them define the lies they believe about themselves that were formed in their childhood experiences. I have personal experience about that kind of
  8. 8. 9 - 27 - 15 on 8 healing and I have seen it happen in others also. Jesus came to set us free from the bondage of such lies. 2. Lack of intimacy with God: Even if you had a normal childhood with loving parents, you can still struggle to be unselfish. After working with people for many years as a pastor as well as reflecting on my own life with the Lord, it is clear to me that the closer I am to God, the more I experiences personal love for me as his child, the easier it is to be unselfish and generous in my love for others. The opposite is also true. When I forget to spend time with God, when I have not serious a sense of his loving presence in my life recently, I more easily tend to be self focused, to be concerned about my needs more than the needs of others and even to be downright selfish and mean-spirited at times. It is easy to see that when I feel loved by God I am much more willing to treat other people without same generous love that I have received from God. 3. A Passive Attitude Towards Others: Even Spirit-filled believers and people from good homes can just forget to be unselfish and generous if they do not do it intentionally.
  9. 9. 9 - 27 - 15 on 9 Joyce Meyers teaches about how important to be deliberately, intentionally and persistently unselfish if you want to grow in that. She says that unless she makes a decision every day to practice being unselfish, it is so easy to not be. She gets up almost every morning and asks the Lord to show her who she can do something nice for someone else. It works. Now she does this more easily and it pays big dividends spiritually and with others. I love this quote from her: “Whatever you stop feeding dies. Stop feeding selfish behavior and feed your desire to live unselfishly. You will change and God will be so honored and pleased—as well as others! George Washington: An Unselfish Leader George Washington served as Commander of the continental Army two terms as President. Each time, he volunteered resign and to return to his Mount Vernon farm and let someone else run the nation. The first time was when Washington resigned his commission as General of the Continental Army in 1783. The American-born painter Benjamin West was in England painting the portrait of King George III. When the King asked what General Washington planned to do now that he had won the war. West replied: "They say he will return to his farm." King George exclaimed: "If he does that, he will be the greatest man in the world." The King was in disbelief as Washington's actions were in stark contrast
  10. 10. 9 - 27 - 15 on 10 to kings throughout history who killed to get power and killed to keep power. Conclusion They say that invitation is the highest form of flattery. With God, our imitation of Him is the highest form of worship. God is unselfish and generous, and He wants us to love others in the same way. • Who are the people in your life whom God wants you to love unselfishly? • Will we now choose to ask God for His guidance to deliberately act unselfishly each day? • In what ways are we teaching our children or people under our influence how to be unselfish and generous? As the holidays approach, how can we as a church and as individuals make plans to love others unselfishly and generously?

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