Devotional for Saturday and Sunday December 16-17

Good Morning Everyone,

 

Our theme for this month: “Living with no excuses”

 

Our Bible verse for today: “Do nothing out of rivalry or conceit, but in humility consider others as more important than yourselves. Everyone should look out not only for their own interests, but also for the interests of others.” Philippians 2:3-4 (HCSB)

 

Our thought for today: “Don’t be self-absorbed”

 

In my father’s generation it was common for a person to take a job with a company and then stay with that one company for 35-40 years, eventually retiring from there. Not so anymore. Now the average worker will work for 4-5 different companies over the course of their working years. You retirement plan must be in the form of a transferable 401(k) so you can take it with you as you migrate from job to job.

 

That being the case, worker loyalty is seldom to the company they currently work for. Instead your loyalty must first be to yourself. A common refrain heard these days is “I am the CEO of “Me Inc.” In other words, “I am a corporation unto myself and my first priority is to promote my own interests and protect my own future. I am the CEO of “Me Inc.”

 

That kind of self-absorbed focus may be necessary in the working world today but sadly it’s also becoming increasingly common in all of life. Many people are first and primarily concerned with “What’s in it for me?” They might eventually get around to considering what’s best for other people, or what God might want in a situation, but that’s usually a secondary thought at best.

 

That kind of self-absorbed “me first” thinking then becomes an excuse for all sorts of behavior. It’s the root cause for a lack of generosity and for a lack of volunteerism in a person’s life (My money and my time are for me not for others!). This is also how a man or woman can rationalize bailing out on their marriage and children so they can start a new life with someone else (Let him (or her) raise the kids, I’m going to go live my life!). Its how multiple motorists can just pass by an accident scene without stopping to see if the victims need help.

 

The New Testament calls Christians to a different way of thinking and living. We are to put God and others first. This is what Paul was teaching in Philippians 2:3-4. He was encouraging his readers to take their eyes off of themselves and instead consider how they can be a blessing to others in the name of Jesus.

 

Our first thought when we read a statement like that is “But what about me? What about my needs?” That’s a perfectly natural concern and it’s one we will address in the next message. The thing to remember is that God always has our back. When He tells us to do something there is always a good reason for it and doing so will always ultimately be in our own best interest. We’ll leave it there for today. For now I encourage you to simply trust and obey. Focus on God and on others. Don’t be self-absorbed.

 

God Bless,

Pastor Jim

 

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