The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe
"Thinking About Ourselves"
Many years ago, a popular song in Christian circles suggested to believers that we "forget ourselves, magnify the Lord and worship Him." Certainly there is truth in this calling to a life lived with focus on God (and others) rather than ourselves.
"Look not every man on his own things, but also on the things of others" (Philippians 2:4).
Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ blessedly and progressively delivers us from the narcissistic devotion to ourselves. "Charity (love) seeketh not her own" (I Corinthians 13:5). However, God's love and grace actually do not lead us to "forget about ourselves" in the absolute sense. Scripture rather calls us to think rightly about ourselves.
"Reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord" (Romans 6:11).
As referenced in yesterday's message, the innermost being of born again believers passed through death and resurrection with our Lord (Romans 6:6-10). We are no longer who we once were. "If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature. Old things are passed away, behold, all things are become new" (II Corinthians 5:17). We still retain the earthly faculties and members inherited from Adam - "the flesh". These components are susceptible to a "law of sin" that will be with them throughout our earthly sojourn (Galatians 5:17; Romans 7:22-25). However, the spiritual selves birthed and enlivened by the Holy Spirit when we believed constitutes the essence of who we are in Christ. "Ye are not in the flesh, but in the spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you" (Romans 8:9). As the Lord Jesus declared, "that which is born of the Spirit is spirit" (John 3:6; emphasis added). This is who we most deeply are. Moreover, this part of us - the very heart of us - is united to the Spirit of Christ. "He that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit" (I Corinthians 6:17). Thinking about ourselves thus requires our response to the Bible's command that we consider the work of the Lord Jesus on our behalf, in this case, the heart transforming work of grace whereby who we are is not who we were.
"He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him" (II Corinthians 5:21).
Such awareness increasingly leads us to a life devoted to God and others. We think about ourselves as necessary, in joyous light of Christ's redeeming grace, and in times of temptation when our spiritual enemies tempt us to live according to our former servitude to sin rather than our present devotion to God. However, the love of Christ directs our gaze upward, outward, and away unto the glory of God and the needs of others. We also maintain awareness that we dwell in earthly temples not yet glorified and thus still susceptible to temptation and sin. Believers can still live selfishly despite the unselfish love of Christ that dwells in our innermost spiritual being (Romans 5:5; I Corinthians 3:3). Such possibility makes it all the more vital that rather than forget about ourselves, we determine to think Biblically about ourselves. Thereby we will more and more walk in the light of truth about God, ourselves, and others…
"Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."
"Ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord. Walk as children of light."
Weekly Memory Verse
"Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment."