Thursday, September 3, 2009

9/3- Self vs the Interests of Christ, Philipians 2:17-24

Devotional using scripture, quote from John Calvin and thoughts for the day each day- on the 500th anniversary of Calvin's birth.

9/3- Philippians 2:17-24

17 But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you. 18 So you too should be glad and rejoice with me. 19 I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, that I also may be cheered when I receive news about you. 20 I have no one else like him, who will show genuine concern for your welfare. 21 For everyone looks out for their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ. 22 But you know that Timothy has proved himself, because as a son with his father he has served with me in the work of the gospel. 23 I hope, therefore, to send him as soon as I see how things go with me. 24 And I am confident in the Lord that I myself will come soon.
Calvin very abridged: 21- “For everyone looks out for their own interests not those of Jesus Christ.” He is not speaking here of those who have openly abandoned the faith, but of those very persons that he reckoned brethren, even those very familiar with him. These persons nonetheless were so warm in the pursuit of their own interests, that they were unbecomingly cold in the work of the Lord. It may seem at first view as if it were no great fault to seek one’s own profit; but how insufferable it is for Christ’s servants that they become utterly useless when they give into their own selfishness. For it is impossible that the person devoted to self, should apply himself to the interest of the Church.

Thought: Selfishness and love are like oil and water. We live in a very self-centered, naval gazing age. The fastest growing religion in America is basically worship of self- the New Age which says God is within you and not outside (holy) from you. Much of facebook and twitter stuff contains people talking about self (it doesn’t have to be this way). One thing I appreciate about Calvin is he is always fighting against selfishness, but at the same time recognizing the power of the force he is fighting. He does not overlook the power of selfishness- even in the Church. Here he encourages us to forsake self to serve the interests of Christ.

Prayer: Lord, today, help me decrease that you may increase.

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