Selfless Love in a Selfie World
Day 1: It’s hard to be selfless. I know. As my wife has pointed out to me, even when I try to be ‘unselfish,’ I can do it for selfish reasons! In ourselves even our best is like filthy rags because our motivations reveal our true intentions. Jesus showed us a selfless life. Not only that, we have the Holy Spirit in us to give us the ability to live selflessly. We have been given selflessness and the power to be selfless, so let’s live it out like we should. As Jack pointed out, a starting point for seeing this formed in us is to acknowledge Jesus’ selflessness for our sake. This week, let us not look past Christ’s unselfishness, accept and believe his selflessness given to us, and take steps to live in the selflessness of the Spirit. Meditate on II Corinthians 5:21 as you listen to or sing Amazing Love (You Are My King). Worship God for what you have been given in Christ.
Day 2: Read Philippians 2:1-13 noticing Jesus’ attitude. What was Jesus’ original position (vs 6)? What are the actions he took (vs 5-8)? What was the result (vs 9-11)? Paul is calling us to have the same attitude. What will my actions be if I have this attitude of Christ? What will be the result? Think about Jesus’ words that whoever wants to be great should learn to be the servant of all. How is Jesus’ attitude similar or different to how I relate to God and live toward others? Choose one relationship in your life to answer that question. Jesus is secure himself and guarantees security. Being secure helps me to lay down my interests. Notice Philippians 2:12-13. God working in us, giving us the desire and power (NLT version). This demonstration is evidence of a sincere faith and our salvation. I will lay down my interests and put someone else’s interests first.
Day 3: Read John 4:27-41. Why did Jesus refuse the disciples’ food? Jesus was probably hungry, tired, and thirsty (4:6-7). What was sustaining Jesus? Do you remember times of joy and encouragement when you believed that you were doing what God wanted you to do? That is the Holy Spirit in you. What was Jesus’ instruction to the disciples (4:35)? Jesus looked outward. Look outward and be perceptive to the need of someone you encounter today, thinking of how you could show selfless love to them. Consider a strained relationship. Is there a person by just the mention of their name, your initial response is to move away not towards them?
Day 4: Read John 13:1-5. What is the insight we gain from verse three as to how Jesus was able to serve the disciples in this way? In Christ, what power do you have, where did you come from, where are you going? Compare Christ’s security in his position to Philippians 2:6. Security in what Christ has accomplished and given to you is the foundation for selflessness. You can find rest knowing you are cared for; now you can care for others. Jesus did something that no one else wanted to do to meet a real need for purpose of showing the extent of God’s love (13:1). Do I know where I have come from, where I am going? Am I secure that I am in God’s love? Ask God for a way you can serve someone today. Find something that others do not want to do and do it for them. Actually write it down and make a point to accomplish it whether they know it was you or not. You don’t need their appreciation or any response from them. You can do it because you are loved, and in doing so, you communicate God’s gracious love.
Day 5: Read Matthew 26:59-68. Jesus did not defend himself or deliver himself from their false accusations and mistreatment. He knew it was necessary for his Father’s will to be accomplished for our salvation. To do his Father’s will, he was willing to allow himself to be misunderstood, falsely accused, injustice done to him, mocked, tortured, and killed. We will not experience anything like Jesus did, but can we have this same attitude in our day-to-day experience? Can we be so oriented to following Jesus and loving others that we are willing to be wronged? Our natural hearts are not this way, but Christ’s heart is. To know and become like Jesus is possible as we walk in a daily relationship with him. With the guidance of the Holy Spirit, let us pursue selfless love. It is possible.