“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
Stop! Before you go to your next e-mail, give me just a minute to remind you of something that could save this year from ruin. With a new year before us, you and I face an old enemy. The enemy is not an invading army or a terrorist; it is the enemy of self. The greatest threat to our maturity is that we can often think more highly of ourselves than we should. The welfare, development, and hope of others are what drive all those who know the heart of God. The Lord Jesus Christ, in His great compassion, came down to minister to all of us in this world that we might have His hope and salvation. Being a Christian means that I have, by His power, determined to love others more than myself, no matter what anyone else’s view of me may be. This is true tolerance! But when you or I begin to take our eyes off of others and get our eyes on ourselves, we veer from the Great Commission (Matthew 28:14). Why are we tempted to turn from God and from others toward ourselves? It’s always because of self-pursuit and self-gratification. Honestly, have you noticed just how unhappy you become when your eyes are focused on yourself?
People who are wayward from God often seek only after happiness. This road is an unfulfilling one because happiness is based upon the moment. When we only think “It’s a nice day”, “That was fun” or “That went well” is what makes us happy, we won’t be happy for long. Happiness is temporal at best. The Lord would rather have us be filled with His continuous joy than with fleeting happiness. Like infatuation is to love, happiness is to joy. One is emotionally powerful but short lived, while the other is meaningful and abiding. If our eyes are centered on ourselves and our own happiness then we become the most important thing, which is the opposite of true Christianity.
Jesus Christ loves you and has promised to take care of you, but do you know Him personally? Have you put your trust in Him? Why would you or I focus on ourselves when focusing on Jesus is so much better? He will not only give you lasting joy and set you free from self, He will enable you to love others with true selflessness.
– Pastor Jack
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