Monday, August 23, 2010

All About Me???

“Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to
the interests of others.” (Philippians 2:3-4)

Last Sunday’s message challenged each of us to consider how much our lives as Christians are often wrapped up (even unintentionally) in the self-centeredness of our society and culture (Click here to read the message). As a follow up, I want to share several additional observations: the first involving The Lord’s Prayer; the next two from readings that challenged me in my own thinking.

You cannot say The Lord’s Prayer and even once say “I”
You cannot pray The Lord’s Prayer and even once say “my”
Nor can you pray The Lord’s Prayer and not pray for another
For when you ask for daily bread, you must include each other
For others are included in each and every plea
From beginning to the end of it, it does not once say “me”!
[-From a 1984 Fayetteville First UMC (GA) newsletter]

“The fastest growing religion in the world is not Islam or Christianity… but radical consumerism. It promises transcendence, power, pleasure, and fulfillment even as it demands complete devotion.… American Christians have incorporated their devotion to consumerism with their Christian faith. Yet every step we make towards [it] is one step farther off the path of Jesus the Liberating King.”
[-From ADVENT CONSPIRACY by Rick McKinley and others, pp. 21-22]

“The greatest enemy of hunger for God is not poison but apple pie. It is not the banquet of the wicked that dulls our appetite for heaven, but endless nibbling at the table of the world. It is not the X-rated video, but the prime-time dribble of triviality we drink in every night… For when these replace an appetite for God Himself, the idolatry is scarcely recognizable, and almost incurable.”

Wow! Strong words that cut right to our heart -- or more precisely, right to our behaviors and practices! Still, it’s the call we’re asked to follow. So, may God give us the courage, power, and boldness to seek this kind of true freedom from his Holy Spirit in each of our lives! Remember that God loves you and I do, too!

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