Google+ 06/04/13 Selfish or Selfless?

James 3:14-16

 

But if you are bitterly jealous and there is selfish ambition in your heart,

Don’t cover up the truth with boasting and lying.

For jealousy and selfishness are not God’s kind of wisdom.

Such things are earthly, unspiritual, and demonic.

For wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition,

There you will find disorder and evil of every kind.

 

Like Peter, we should all be able to relate well to James, the half-brother of Jesus.  If there are times in your life when you have doubted your faith or not believed at all, read the epistle of James.  Being the half-brother of Jesus, James grew up around Jesus, but never believed in Him as the Messiah until after Christ’s death!  James had lots of questions.  They were answered by the testimony of Jesus’s earthly ministry and the special post-resurrection appearance James received as explained in 1 Corinthians 15:7.  James was present for the day of Pentecost.  Finally, James was martyred for his belief in Jesus, around 62 A.D.  The epistle of James is often referred to as the “Proverbs” of the New Testament because of its practicality.  Our Scripture for today is no exception and points out critical areas of our walk with Christ that we must adhere to, unless we want disaster in our lives.  Jealousy is one of the most destructive emotions that Satan fosters.  Our Scripture says that bitter jealousy reveals selfishness in our hearts.  Lying follows, as we try to explain to everyone how much better we are than others.  James makes sure that we understand that jealousy and selfishness are not God’s kind of wisdom.  Then, there is a major warning that we must listen to about what happens when jealousy and selfishness are present in our lives.  We are told that these things are earthly, unspiritual, and demonic.  To participate in jealousy or selfishness, condemns us to a disorderly life.  We can expect to find evil of every kind daily in our lives.  I have read this passage of Scripture many times in the last 40 years of ministry.  It has never had the impact on me that it does today.  God has convinced me that there are two kinds of people on earth:  the selfish and the selfless.  Christ calls us to leave ourselves behind.  Christ calls us to follow His example and become a new selfless creature in Him.  The best example of this is when the Bible proclaims that, “I am crucified with Christ, yet I live!”  Learn to accept that God created you in His image and there is only one you!  Be the best you can be for God every day.  Don’t covet other people’s abilities, testimonies, or talents.  Hear the warning of God, through James.  These types of behavior are demonic and satanic.  Satan will use you in his fight against God, through jealousy and selfishness.  Believe it, as I experience it in people every day and watch as they destroy their lives and others around them.  Remember, you get to choose.  What will it be, “Selfish or Selfless?”