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Seeking Him First 4: I’m Not First

Seeking Him First Day 4 – I’m Not First

I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20, ESV)

He must increase, but I must decrease. (John 3:30, ESV)

For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. (Romans 8:5, ESV)

Looking again at some popular catchphrases, here are a few our modern-day culture embraces:

   “It’s time to put myself first.”

   “I’m done trying to please others.”

   “I deserve to be happy.”

There are elements to each of these that probably echo our own thoughts at times. We’re human and we have a natural tendency toward selfishness. But as Christians, we must come to understand that we were made to serve—but not to serve ourselves. Our service should first be toward God, and then to others.

We have the perfect model for this when we study the life of Jesus in the Gospels. While His birth and surroundings were humble, He was no less the King of all kings. And yet He stepped from His throne in heaven to take on human flesh so that He might save us. He also came to show us how to be a reflection of Himself. We might have expected a life of regal authority, but instead He modeled how to be a servant. And more than that, He asked that we model that same behavior.

One of the most common ways we naturally find ourselves in service to others is through parenthood. Parents most often put their needs aside to meet the needs or wants of their children. A mother, especially, will freely give up sleep, the last piece of cake, the last bill in her wallet, the softest blanket, or will allow her child to win a game—all because she loves them and wishes to serve them. This unique relationship is a small but powerful picture of how we should love and serve everyone we meet. When I think of it in that way, I see how my own life is not characterized by willing service to others. In fact, I reserve true service for a few of my favorite people.

In a culture that is becoming more and more obsessed with self, it’s easy to find ourselves adopting this worldly way of thinking. We begin to buy into the lie that we should be the first person we serve. Think of how many words we commonly use that focus on self:

  • Self-love
  • Self-awareness
  • Selfies
  • Self-care
  • Self-confident
  • Self-made

With just these few we can see how prevalent it is to elevate self. When we elevate self, we push God aside and begin to indulge ourselves and take sole credit for our personal achievements. 

Going forward, I would like to encourage each of us to be more aware of who we are serving. I would also like to challenge you (and myself) to look for ways to serve others. Serving others is a humble position, but brings joy and purpose to our lives. We were never meant to put ourselves first; that mindset is from Satan and the world we live in. Rather, we were made to serve God and serve others. It’s good practice for how we will spend eternity in our forever home in heaven. Why not start today?

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