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Posts Tagged ‘servitude attitude’

One letter can make a huge difference. Mean versus moan. Bad vs bed. Dog vs. dig.

Take the words son and sin. The letters that are different are the letter I and the letter O. But there is so much more to that observation. Hidden in it is a great truth.

 

 

No one should seek their own good, but the good of others. I Corinthians 10:24

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves,  not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. Philippians 2:3-4

 

When “i” is in the middle of our thoughts, we are self-centered.   S.I.N. = See, I need.

Replace that with “o” and you have changed your focus to others’ needs.  S.O.N = See, others need.

Here’s why.

Jesus, the Son of God, came to earth not for Himself but for others. He died for us so we could have a bridge of reconciliation back to the Father in Heaven who loves us. We, in our sinful nature with our “me first” attitudes, separate ourselves from that love. Christ shows us a better way.

Christ calls us to act the way He lived on earth — to be other-focused. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you “– the Golden Rule from Matthew 7:12. Time again He rebuked His listeners for not caring for others first and foremost. John, Paul, and Peter reiterated this many times in their letters to the faithful. They understood what a servitude attitude was all about. They lived it.

By humbling ourselves and putting others as our priority, God sees our motive as an act of love for Him and what He created. Serving others, praying for others, and loving others takes our minds, actions, and hearts off ourselves. Then, we begin to realize we have something in common – we all need love. We need each other. We need God.

We are not an island floating in a vast sea alone. We are part of creation as a whole, dependent upon the Creator.

Yes, of course, we should love ourselves…as creations of God. But when that love of self becomes the main focus, then sin sets in and pushes out the Son from our hearts, minds, and soul.

Prayer can reverse the order. It can replace the “i” with the “o”. Ask God to help you be more other-centered. He will send His Holy Spirit to guide you away from self into selflessness. Peace and happiness will flow from you as a result.

 

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Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 2 Corinthians 9:7

You have probably received tons of emails. Today is Gifting Tuesday, when many non profits get matching donations. If you give $10 they will get $20.  It seems everyone is clamoring for your wallet today.

Did you know that with God everyday is doubled giving day? Think about it. When I reach out beyond myself to give of my time, talent or treasure to another person, then it also blesses me.

  • I no longer concentrate on, and magnify, my own issues.
  • I feel a sense of purposefulness
  • I develop a servitude attitude that is closer to the way God wishes me to behave
  • I think I make Abba smile, and that makes me smile.

We all like to receive gratitude for our giving. That in itself is a gift. But therein lies the trap. Do we give to feel good about ourselves? Do we desire the admiration, the acknowledgement, the glory? (Notice each bullet point above starts with “I”.)

What happens when we don’t get the thanks we deserve for our generosity?

Jesus warned of this pitfall. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing (Matthew 6:3).

The true blessing that comes from sacrificial giving, the gift we receive in return, is a humble and contrite heart. When we realize it all comes from and belongs to God anyway, perhaps we are less likely to act like two-year-olds grasping our treasures with a pout. Mine. Or less like the three-year-old who constantly calls out, “Look at me.”

The double gift is in the giving. Not because some anonymous donor will match it, but because our Father in Heaven will double bless it– if it is given with the right attitude of expecting little or nothing in return. The return blessing may not come immediately, or in this lifetime.

But if you think about it a bit deeper, you have already been given the gift. It is salvation through grace and mercy.  What more can you expect in return? So, go. Give it away.

 


The internet is a vast mission field. At Campus Crusades of Canada’s  Power to Change, I edit and write for two websites that draw people closer to God:   Issues I Face  and The Life.   Our free articles and devotionals glean a readership of 500,000 plus a month. Some are believers, others don’t know what to believe. All are seeking. We help them know Jesus, one mouse click at a time.
But as with any missionary organization, we are funded solely through the donations of ministry partners. And at this moment, an anonymous beneficiary will match any and all donations up to one hundred thousand dollars. 
Find out more about my work as a writer and editor at  http://www.juliebcosgrove.com/missionary_support.html 

 

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Hi, my name is Julie and I am a word-aholic.  I play Scrabble with the computer, and have at least fifteen Words with Friends (WWF) games going at once. On my smart phone are four word games to keep me occupied while I am waiting for my friends to send me their word entries. This morning as i sipped my coffee, after my prayer and devotional time of course, I had a few minutes to play a few of the WWF puzzles. Starting a rematch this is what popped up in my tile selection:

IMAG0287

Yes, I didn’t use the blank. (A strategic move on my part, heh, heh.)  But I realized, another word could be spelled with the very same letters simply by flipping the letter “i” and the letter “T”. UNTIES can become UNITES.

IMAG0288

 

 

It brought to mind Jesus’ words to Peter when he told him his name would now be Cephas, the Rock on which He’d build his Church.

…whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. Matthew 16:19b

That has been passed on to all Christians in the Great Commission. We have two choices with the times, talents and treasures God had provided us. We can use them to untie ourselves from others, i.e separate us from them. We can strive for the bigger house, better car, more toys, and more expensive vacays. We can also use our God-given talents to shine the light of pride on whatever we do, thus distinguishing us from the crowd. We untie (loose) the ropes that binds us to others so we cab be set apart.

Or, we can use our God-given abilities to unite (bind) ourselves to others. Through loving God, and serving Him as an expression of that love, we act as a binding force to draw others into the fold. Bound together in His goodness and mercy, we are strengthened, supported, and  secured. That’s the servitude attitude Jesus displayed while on earth.

God gives us the letters to play. It up to us to determine how we use the “I” (me) and the “T”(them).

 

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Almighty and everlasting God, whose will it is to restore all things in your
well-beloved Son, the King of kings and Lord of lords: Mercifully grant that
the peoples of the earth, divided and enslaved by sin, may be freed and
brought together under his most gracious rule; who lives and reigns with you
and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen

 

If you ever watched one of the Three Musketeer movies, you’d see them all with swords raised high and points touching as they cried, “All for one and one for all.”  Another saying, often used for the United States, is “united we stand, divided we fall.”

Satan wishes to divide. God wants to re-unite us back to the right relationship before sin entered the human heart. That is the story from Genesis through Revelation, and on into today. But why does sin divide and enslave?

Sin divides because it causes each person to put him or herself as the center of focus. I once heard a speaker on a retreat say both sin and pride have “i” in the middle. But the other deadly sins focus on the “me want” factor as well-  gluttony, envy, greed, wrath, slothfulness. Lying has “i” in the middle as well, doesn’t it? People lie to try to get out of messes they have caused, or to look more important out of envy and low self-worth. The more people do it, the stronger the chains of sin wrap around them, making it harder to break free.

Yet, through Christ’s sacrifice on the cross, He comes to restore each of us back to a state of grace- free from sin. He frees us from the guilt, the anger, the isolation, the misguided pride that so often rule our thoughts and actions. Of course, this is still a daily battle  because our human nature wants to crawl back into those chains. Why? It is the norm. Change takes effort. But God knows that- that is why He sent His Spirit to guide, correct and comfort us in this effort.

With Christ as our center, our focus is now off ourselves. It is on loving God and our neighbor (the two greatest commandments onto which all else is hinged). Some call it servitude attitude. Since all find worth in Him- all have a common bond, so there is no more envy or greed, pride or a need to lie.Low self esteem won’t lead to gluttony or slothfulness.

As Chris Tomlin sings in his version of Amazing Grace from the movie by the same name- “these chains are gone, we have been set free.”

Click on it. Listen, and then pray. Be released.

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