I don’t think anyone would argue that we live in a “me, me” world. Everybody seems to be out for themselves without regard for another person. Selfishness would be the appropriate word for this behavior. To be selfish means to have regard for one’s own interest only, believing they have some sort of advantage over others.
Selfishness is the complete opposite of what Jesus taught. He taught that we should serve one another; that is what He commanded when He washed the disciples' feet. To be a servant means to be in service to another. To serve means to attend at command, to wait on. The art of service, submission with humility, still exists in the hearts who love.
Jesus said Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. Jn 15:13 Yet today, most people will not give up their time to check in on somebody unless they stand to benefit from it as well. We live in a world where many people believe they are in a right relationship with Jesus Christ, believing they are His friends and yet do not do what it takes to be such a friend.
Jesus said, “You are My friends if you do whatever I command you.” Jn 15:14 What did He command? “This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.” Jn 15:12
So, when was the last time you loved another person as Jesus loved? When was the last time you did something or gave something that cost you? When was the last time you thought of those who have done so for you?
12 Then as He entered a certain village, there met Him ten men who were lepers, who stood afar off. 13 And they lifted up [their] voices and said, "Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!" 14 So when He saw [them], He said to them, "Go, show yourselves to the priests." And so it was that as they went, they were cleansed. 15 And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, returned, and with a loud voice glorified God, 16 and fell down on [his] face at His feet, giving Him thanks. And he was a Samaritan. 17 So Jesus answered and said, "Were there not ten cleansed? But where [are] the nine? 18 "Were there not any found who returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?" 19 And He said to him, "Arise, go your way. Your faith has made you well." - Luk 17:12-19
The Samaritans were hated by the Jews, and here Jesus allows them to be healed and saved. But only one received the fullness of his healing, the one who came back with a grateful heart. This one is made well, made whole. The word Jesus used to tell this man his faith made him well is sōzō. Sōzō is a Greek word that denotes salvation, to save, rescue from danger, deliver, protect, heal, and preserve. This is the same word used to describe Jesus’ purpose for being born to save His people from their sins. (Mat 1:21) The man’s response was worship, and it denotes a submitted life; this worship opened the door for his salvation. He glorified God with a loud voice.
Again, Jesus said, “You are My friends if you do whatever I command you.” Jn 15:14 What did He command? “This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.” Jn 15:12
Love is sacrificial. Love is kind, gentle, caring, and giving. Love thinks of others before oneself, lays down one’s own agendas for the sake of another. Love is private. Love is public. Love is individual, and love is corporate.
We cannot love according to the way Jesus taught if we are not in God’s word. Jesus said, “abide in My love.” If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father's commandments and abide in His love. - Jhn 15:10
God’s commandments are in His Word, and if we are not in the word, we can’t love as He commands. The knowledge of true love comes from the word of God. God is Love, and He wrote about it, demonstrated it, and commanded us to it all throughout the word.
Sacrifice is to devote to something or someone with loss. To destroy, surrender, or suffer loss for the sake of obtaining something better. Jesus Christ sacrificed His body, His blood, His life for the sake of His Father, and for all who would believe. One life in exchange for millions was far better than saving His own.
34 When He had called the people to [Himself], with His disciples also, He said to them, "Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. 35 "For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel's will save it. 36 "For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? 37 "Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? - Mar 8:34-37
We just celebrated an American holiday called Thanksgiving. Millions of people sat around a table with their friends and families, enjoying a time of relaxation and good food. Tradition at its best happens from Thanksgiving to Christmas and for some Hanukkah. All of these holidays are sacrificial for those who bring food and gifts.
Some people just show up while others labor strenuously over these days. Some will plan for weeks so that the occasion will be special to those who attend while others throw something together and rely on everyone else to help make it a good time.
Some people are sacrificing their time and lives so others can enjoy, and yet they go virtually unthought of. All around the world, soldiers, first responders such as firefighters and law enforcement, doctors, and nurses are working or serving in the military. They do not have the opportunity to be with friends and family, but most of them have learned to adjust their lives because they knew going into these areas that there would be a sacrifice, a price to pay to fulfill their call.
Every day certain people sacrifice their lives, time, and money for a greater cause. These people are called to what they do, or at least they think they were when they began. When we are called to a thing, it is easier to give up something. Jesus knew He was called to lay His life down, so He spent His years in preparation for the one day that He would eventually die for all.
Some people are called to support those who are called. Financially, emotionally, spiritually with prayer and intercession, or some other way the called ones need support. Do you know who you are called to support? Are you happy with the supporting role?
Moses had Aaron and Hur to support him during a season of warfare. There is much to say about the teamwork involved in this particular situation.
9 And Moses said to Joshua, "Choose us some men and go out, fight with Amalek. Tomorrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in my hand." 10 So Joshua did as Moses said to him, and fought with Amalek. And Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill. 11 And so it was, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed; and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed. 12 But Moses' hands [became] heavy; so they took a stone and put [it] under him, and he sat on it. And Aaron and Hur supported his hands, one on one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun. 13 So Joshua defeated Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword. - Exo 17:9-13
Moses was endued with power to work miracles to prove God was who He says He was and would do what He said He would do. Moses was God’s man, and as such, the Lord provided Him with whatever he needed to get the job done. In the case of the war with Amalek and his people, Joshua went to battle, Moses stood on the wall, and Aaron and Hur supplied the support when Moses got tired. Teamwork took the war although some might think only Joshua did. This was a team effort, and everyone who came alongside others took the victory, and God got the glory.
Anytime we submit our own will, our flesh, and our desire to be seen and serve another person, we give God glory.
Heavenly Father, I ask You to forgive me for being self-centered and not Christ motivated. Help me to see where I fall short in service to others and give me a heart like Jesus, a heart to help and love as He did. I ask for eyes to see the needs of others and a heart to react to them before I have to be asked. Allow me the opportunity to be a servant so that the Lord will know Jesus through my actions of love. In Jesus name, Amen