Thinking of Others – God

Our focus scripture, “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.”  Php 2:3 ESV

In part two of this six part series, we shall look at our focus scripture as, “In humility count God more significant than ourselves”.  Now, this looks to be something self-evident.  We are probably thinking, “I am a Christian, I always look at God above myself.”   However, do we really?  This is a great time to do a little self examination.

Let us first look at who God is.  Let us start with the very beginning of His Word, Genesis 1.  “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.“  Gen 1:1.  God is the one who created everything there is.  Before Him has no meaning because He has always been.  And when we look near the end of Genesis 1, we see that part of His creation is us.  “Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.’  So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.“  Gen 1:26-27  Everything He created prior to man was made for the benefit of man.  We are His ultimate creation.  We were made to live in a loving relationship with God, the omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent one who has no beginning and no end.  What a beautiful thing.

However, while in the garden, God gave man one commandment.  “And the LORD God commanded the man, saying,You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.’” Gen 2:16-17  God in His sovereignty, in giving us this command, gave us free will.  He could have made us such that we could do nothing but obey, however, He chose to allow us to obey Him willingly.  Did they?  We read later in Genesis 3 that Adam and Eve disobeyed God.  And what was their reason?  “So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.“  Gen 3:6  The serpent, also known as the enemy Satan, tempted Eve with the idea that God was holding out on them.  And they succumbed.  Think about this.  This all powerful God, who provided everything they could ever need, who spent time with them daily in the cool of the day because He chose to. who loved them so much more than they could ever love Him, was ignored because of something they could gain, something that they knew was wrong.  In other words, ‘in arrogance, they looked at themselves more highly than they looked at God.’

So, let us ask ourselves this question.  Do we do the same?  I can only answer for myself, and it is not the answer I want to give.  How many times have we chosen to do something we knew would displease God, yet we do it anyway because we know it will be enjoyable or we will gain from it?  Ouch!!  I wish I could say less than once, but that would not be the truth.  We have free will to obey or disobey Him just as Adam and Eve did.  But just because we are free to drive our car off a cliff does not mean it is a good idea.

Now, as I said, we were made to be in a loving relationship with God.  And He showed His love for us in sending His Son to die for our disobedience.  He paid the full penalty for our sin, which was death and separation from the Father.  Remember, when Jesus was on the cross, He Himself died and was separated from His Father.  “And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, ‘Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?’ that is, My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?‘”  Mat 27:46.  For the first time ever in all eternity, in order for us to be made right with God, the Son was out of communion with the Father.  And He willingly submitted to this ‘separation’ for our sake because He loves us.  Jesus, the Son of God, willingly put us first because of He loved us that much.

And this is the love that we should have for God.  A love so great that we would be willing to give up even our very life for Him, because we count Him more significant, more important, more worthy than we could ever be.  We should be willing to give up whatever it takes to get to know Him and what pleases Him.  We should set aside time to spend with Him in prayer, worship, adoration and love.  We should get our minds off ourselves and devote ourselves completely to Him.  Before we do anything, we should ask ourselves, it this something that He would not approve of?  He will tell us.  His Word is full of what He desires of us, and what He does not desire.  We just need to dive in there and learn it.  And doing so is one way of putting Him first.  Our lives are His, not our own.  Therefore, we must give ourselves to Him completely.  Putting Him First.  And we must be open to hear His voice as His Spirit speaks to us.  He will say yes or no, do or don’t, I approve or ‘don’t even think about it’.  This is the type of relationship He desires, and we should as well.  We must think of Him more highly than we think of ourselves.  And when we do, we will find a peace and contentedness that goes beyond any understanding.

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