October 9, 2012
- By Ed Powell
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"Love is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs." 1 Corinthians 13:5
True Christian love is the utter enemy of selfishness. They are not compatible with each other. How sad it is to see someone endowed with attractive physical features, a natural ability to blend into any situation, intelligent, and understanding...and plagued with a spirit of selfishness that dominates their whole personality. All of their wonderful qualities diminish, and the influence and effectiveness of their life is all but obliterated by their self-seeking and self-exaltation.
True Christian love triumphs over all these narrow self-centered attitudes. God's love teaches us not to seek our own fleshly desires, honor, and profit. We are to "seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you" (Matthew 6:33). Love never seeks its own at the expense of others, or will manifest itself in such a way that will hurt others.
Christian love takes the humble place of being a "servant." It is subservient to the good and well being of others. It desires to be a blessing, strength, and encouragement to all. Paul said, "Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others" (1 Corinthians 10:24). A servant is one that is "possessed" by the love of God.
The real test of a true servant is taking that humble place like Jesus, when He washed the disciples' feet at the Last Supper. It is doing the things that many do not see and do not count in the estimate of men...but they count in the estimate of God. Jesus said, "He that is greatest among you shall be your servant" (Matthew 23:11). Remember what you are saved for...that in all things Christ may be magnified in every phase of our life.
True Christian love is living a godly life in an "unconscious reality." Oswald Chambers says, "Most of us live on the 'borders of consciousness' in our spiritual life. We consciously serve, are consciously devoted to God, we consciously try to live and walk circumspectly before others. All of this is immature in the full spectrum of a godly life. We make an effort to do and to be rather than being occupied with Christ. When we truly abide in Christ and are abandoned to Him, the consciousness of being used never enters our mind."
Our walk is a "spiritually natural companionship" with the Lord. What we are and do are the natural reactions to our intimate relationship with HIM. A true servant is never conscious of being a true servant. Paul said, "I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live; YET NOT I, BUT CHRIST LIVES IN ME" (Galatians 2:20). Paul did not try to live for Christ, he simply opened his heart and life for Christ to live "in and through him." Such a life has no place for pride and all of its vines of entanglement that hinder and defeat.
True Christian love finds us "sacrificing our just rights." We are willing to adjust our actions in response to the needs and prejudice of others so we will not offend those who are weaker in the faith. We would rather encourage, build up, and promote their welfare to become stronger in the Lord.
In all of this, we need to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit, to His leading and ministry to us. We are to discipline our life until we are wholly devoted to Christ and He has full and free access to all that we are. We are but a "channel," so HIS LIFE may live through us!
© 2007 by Ed Powell. Used by permission.
This page was reprinted by permission from: http://www.litmin.org/dare.php?row=283&date=2012-10-09
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