God First, Others Next, Self Last. 02/13/2014 (Morning thought)

Philippians 2:4  Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.  5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:  6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:  7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:  8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

We live in a world that is built upon the principle of self serving, and we are bombarded every day and on every side with products and advertisements fostering and encouraging the doctrine of "I". We have i phones and i pads and myriads of "i"gadgets, many of which are then used to broadcast images of ourselves in the form of "selfies". We go to the gas station and there it is again, self-serve pumps. There actually was a time, not too long ago when gas stations had attendants in their employ, who would gladly serve at the behest of customers, pumping their gas for them. But not anymore. The doctrine of "i" has become very deeply rooted in our society , and its effects can be seen and heard in every aspect of human existence.

In stark contrast stands the example of Christ, who lived not for self, but rather for the service and good of others. Most of His life was spent teaching, healing, and helping the people in whichever way He could, and then finally, after a humble life of noble service, He died an ignominious death so that others might have eternal life.

A prime example of the principle of service to others was brought to light when Jesus was arrested at Gethsemane. Instead of using His omnipotent power in self-defense, He patiently permitted the situation to run its natural course, all the while, looking for some opportunity to be of service to His accusers. That opportunity came soon enough, for Peter, who had not yet learned or understood the principle of love and service, flew into a rage at the arrest of Jesus and consequently resorted to violence against one of Christ's enemies. Let's read:

John 18:10  Then Simon Peter having a sword drew it, and smote the high priest's servant, and cut off his right ear. The servant's name was Malchus.  11 Then said Jesus unto Peter, Put up thy sword into the sheath: the cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it?

Not only did Jesus not try to defend Himself, but instead He proceeded to use His Divine power to restore and heal the wounded man, who was obviously in the process of apprehending Him. Let's read:

Luke 22:51 And Jesus answered and said, Suffer ye thus far. And he touched his ear, and healed him.

The selfless character of Jesus Christ, and His consequent actions shine forth with radiancy amidst the darkness of self-serving, to which too many of us have inadvertently subscribed. The fact that Jesus refused to use His Divinity in self-defense speaks volumes to the principle of service and stands in marked contrast to the diabolically, satanic principle of self-serving, upon which the kingdom of darkness is founded.

If the principle of serving others were to be adopted by the human family, then this world would immediately become a much better place to live. If this law of service were to be implemented, then an entirely new day would dawn for our benighted souls. Employers would pay their employees reasonable wages, instead of trying to squeeze every ounce of labor out of them for the lowest price, so that they alone can enjoy life's blessings. Mass murderers and suicide bombers would no longer seek for self recognition, by bringing to an untimely end, the lives of innocent victims. Bankers would no longer make questionable loans to the unwary for the sake of pecuniary gain. Husbands and wives would not think it beneath their dignity to help with each others daily chores, and our pride would not be wounded when grievous mistakes in the marriage or family call for forgiveness.

In short, happy contented families, secure marriages, and a peaceful world would be the direct result, if the human family were to follow in the footsteps of Jesus. This is what Christ enjoined, not only upon His disciples, but also to every member of the human race. Let's read:

Matthew 20:25  But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. 26 But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister;  27 And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant:  28 Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

We sincerely hope and pray that the principle of service to others will form the cornerstone of our lives both now and forever. God bless!