Archive for the ‘Selfishness’ Category

November 24th, 2015

From Selflessness to Selfishness

“But a man named Ananias, with his wife Sapphira, sold a piece of property, and with his wife’s knowledge he kept back for himself some of the proceeds and brought only a part of it and laid it at the apostles’ feet.” Acts 5:1-2 (ESV)

Selfishness can have no place in the Church, for the calling of Christ upon it demands the sacrifice of the individual for the good of the whole. How could it not? Its founder and example personified this truth. Jesus sacrificed all for the good of God the Father’s eternal plan to unite all things to Him through the sacrifice of Christ. A body of people, then, fashioned after Him and dedicated to His service certainly should expect no less call upon them.

The early church understood this. In fact, at the end of chapter 4 of the book of Acts, the early church was holding all of their possessions in common, making sure none among them had need. They were sacrificing their material goods for the sake of the whole. One man in particular, Joseph, sold a field and brought all the money he had earned to the apostles to use for ministry. His sacrifice was immense and it was noticed.

This notoriety interested a couple named Ananias and Sapphira. They saw the recognition that accompanied Joseph’s selfless act and desired such attention for themselves. So, they sold, like Joseph, a piece of property, but unlike Joseph they kept back part of the proceeds for themselves while claiming to have given them all. You see, their motivation was their exaltation, while Joseph’s was the exaltation of Christ. Selfishness has no place in the body of Christ and Ananias and Sapphira were dramatically removed from the fellowship.

Why do you serve the Lord? If you were never recognized for the work you do for Him, would you be ok with that? Do you need the recognition as justification for your service or is the advancement of the Kingdom enough? Search your heart this morning, child of God, knowing that selfishness has no place in the Church. To be a true imitator of Christ we must commit ourselves to selflessness, for only in that can we aid the mission of the Church.

Grace and peace,

Jared Richard
Mobilization Pastor (Online Devotional Guest Author)
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/jaredrichard

 

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Tuesday, November 24th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Acts, Selfishness, Selflessness.
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November 24th, 2012

From Selflessness to Selfishness

“But a man named Ananias, with his wife Sapphira, sold a piece of property, and with his wife’s knowledge he kept back for himself some of the proceeds and brought only a part of it and laid it at the apostles’ feet.” Acts 5:1-2 (ESV)

Selfishness can have no place in the Church, for the calling of Christ upon it demands the sacrifice of the individual for the good of the whole. How could it not? Its founder and example personified this truth. Jesus sacrificed all for the good of God the Father’s eternal plan to unite all things to Him through the sacrifice of Christ. A body of people, then, fashioned after Him and dedicated to His service certainly should expect no less call upon them.

The early church understood this. In fact, at the end of chapter 4 of the book of Acts, the early church was holding all of their possessions in common, making sure none among them had need. They were sacrificing their material goods for the sake of the whole. One man in particular, Joseph, sold a field and brought all the money he had earned to the apostles to use for ministry. His sacrifice was immense and it was noticed.

This notoriety interested a couple named Ananias and Sapphira. They saw the recognition that accompanied Joseph’s selfless act and desired such attention for themselves. So, they sold, like Joseph, a piece of property, but unlike Joseph they kept back part of the proceeds for themselves while claiming to have given them all. You see, their motivation was their exaltation, while Joseph’s was the exaltation of Christ. Selfishness has no place in the body of Christ and Ananias and Sapphira were dramatically removed from the fellowship.

Why do you serve the Lord? If you were never recognized for the work you do for Him, would you be ok with that? Do you need the recognition as justification for your service or is the advancement of the Kingdom enough? Search your heart this morning, child of God, knowing that selfishness has no place in the Church. To be a true imitator of Christ we must commit ourselves to selflessness, for only in that can we aid the mission of the Church.

Chronological Bible Reading Plan: (Day 321:  Acts 4-6)

Grace and peace,

Jared Richard
Associate Pastor (Online Devotional Guest Author)
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/jaredrichard

 

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Saturday, November 24th, 2012 at 1:00 am
Category Acts, Selfishness, Selflessness.
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September 29th, 2008

Family Spats (1)

“You said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain. I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.’ But you are brought down to the grave, to the depths of the pit.” Isaiah 14:13-15 (NIV)

Every conflict has pride at its root.

Before God created man in His own image, God had to resolve conflict that erupted in heaven. Pride infused Lucifer (Satan, the devil), the angel of God. In pride, Lucifer sought to lead a rebellion against God and thought he could dethrone God. However, God is holy and does not tolerate sin. Thus, God “de-heavened” Lucifer. Jesus spoke of this fall and John recorded the fall of Satan in Revelation 12:9.

  • “He replied, ‘I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.’” Luke 10:18 (NIV)
  • “The great dragon was hurled down–that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.” Rev 12:9 (NIV)

Pride causes us to think of ourselves before thinking of others. Pride causes us to embrace selfishness and self-centeredness. In pride, we forfeit God’s agenda and become absorbed in our own personal agenda. Pride is evidenced by our pursuit of gratifying our sinful nature (Gal. 5:16).

If pride seeps into your home, your family will experience major conflict. Pride corrupts and erodes relationships. Satan is the mascot of pride. He does not want your family to operate in peace, unity, and trust.

Examine the weeds inside your home. Don’t try to cut the weeds off at ground level by dealing with the symptoms of pride. Get to the root of the conflict within your home. As you trace the origin of conflict, you will find the root of pride.

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Monday, September 29th, 2008 at 1:01 am
Category Conflict Resolution, Devil, Family, Pride, Selfishness, Sin.
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July 29th, 2008

Pride and Humility (1)

“What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you?” James 4:1 (NIV)

Have you ever been in a fight? Have you ever quarreled with someone and sought to get your way at any cost? Can you imagine that kind of behavior among believers? James identifies the reality of infighting among the believers who have been dispersed as a result of persecution. Now they are persecuting each other with improper behavior. It can happen to good people who are seeking to follow God.

Even after we profess Christ as Lord of our lives, we continue to battle the sin nature. The old patterns that God delivered us from seek to pop up from time to time. We have three enemies that we combat: the devil, the world, and the flesh. What if the devil eased up on us and the tugs of the world lessened their appeal? The truth is, we would still have to combat the cravings of our flesh.

James points to the culprit of fights and quarrels, namely, our desires that battle from within. Selfish desires and behavior steeped in pride come from within. The outward expression of our inward desires can bring harm to the Body of Christ and contaminate our witness. Attacking other believers through our words and our deeds is an indicator of selfishness and pride.

What’s the opposite of pride? Humility! God gave us a portrait of humility by allowing Jesus to pay full price for the sin debt of the world. If God was willing to do that for us, what should we be willing to do for Him? Let’s start with treating others the way God has treated us.

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Tuesday, July 29th, 2008 at 1:00 am
Category Humility, Pride, Selfishness.
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