by Roby Ellis
[Scripture Reading: James 4:10]
Of all the virtues that Christianity teaches, selflessness lies at the center, for until we learn to give up ourselves and to put God first, we will never know what it means to be a disciple of Jesus.
I. The world tells us to watch out first for ourselves.
A. Selfish men of the Bible include Lot (Genesis 13:10-12), Achan (Joshua 7:21), and Ahab (1 Kings 21:1-10).
B. In each case the fruit of selfishness was destruction (Genesis 19:24-38; Joshua 7:4,25; 1 Kings 22:34-35).
II. Christ teaches us to be more concerned about others than self.
A. He taught His disciples not to seek self-elevation (Luke 14:7-11; Matthew 20:21-26).
B. He taught them to be servants (Matthew 20:26-28; 23:11-12).
C. He taught them to be humble as little children (Luke 18:16; Matthew 18:3-4).
D. He demonstrated these virtues both in His life and His death (Romans 15:3; John 13:3-17; Philippians 2:5-7).
III. Let us learn to take self out of the picture altogether.
A. I must learn to think of my brother first (1 Corinthians 13:5; 10:23-24).
B. I must aim never to offend (1 Corinthians 10:31-33; 9:19-23).
C. To do these things, I must first die to self (2 Corinthians 5:15; Romans 6:6; Galatians 2:20; Luke 9:23-24).
A. God has the power to open our hearts (cf. John 3:17).