The Art of Professionalism has no place in the church. We are a people that should be moved and led by the Spirit not the flesh. Itís too much flesh on parade flashing across the screens of Christian television and played out across the Altars of the Church of Christ. Itís time we refocus our attentions on Christ, the Spirit, and God, not man. Itís time to drop the act and pick up the Spirit. We are like the Scribes and Pharisees of Jesus day. They were more seen doing than actually being a doer of the Word. Itís time out for the letís play church act!
Itís time the lights come on in the world. Driving along the highway one day sometime we notice that the day had passed and night came. On the other side of the highway some cars had lights on and some drove with no lights. We noticed that no cars in front of us flashed their lights to let them know on the other side that their lights were not on. Itís time the lights come on in the world, the church have to drop the act and consider if our ways are like God or not. God says there is too much flesh on parade across the stage of religion. Is religion now just another show? Is being saved now just getting up and performing? Should my desire be for me to be seen? We must consider our ways!
We seek to satisfy a habit much quicker than we are ready to do Godís business. We must repent. Recently I saw a letter written from a Pastor that is incarcerated in Iran for doing what God has called him to do. His suffering in the prison for being a Christian made me repent for complaining to God because my knee was in pain. How selfish. I asked God to forgive me for complaining. I began to pray for Pastor Saeed Abidina and prayed on that sore knee. Lord I said please forgive me for being selfish; I only prayed for myself today. All day I lay and complained; have mercy upon me. When I finished praying the pain was much less than it was before prayer.
So many complain as I have all day and are not going through nearly as life threatening as some of our sisters and brothers in Christ. The people of God then complained often about Moses leading them to the promise land and never saw it because of their murmuring and complaining. We need to forget about ourselves and pray for someone else. Selfishness has overtaken the Christian prayer over maybe ninety percent of the time. How many Christians really pray prayers of intercession every day? Many may say they pray but are our prayers as effective as the Saints that prayed for Peter when he was in jail? Peter was loosed and free and came to the door and knocked. When Rhoda looked out and didnít recognize him at the door she didnít open the door. Is it that she didnít believe in her prayers or that she was so caught up in the Spirit?
Selfishness is a sin. It causes us to be in self first but also condemning towards others. It causes us to lose the fruit of self-control in our lives for we think about no one else other than our self. We look delusional, defend things that donít need defending and we deny God the opportunity to use us as He would like. Pretty soon disobedience causes us to not be disciplined where we abstain from the very appearance of evil. People will see us and all we talk about is ourselves so we have obtained a spirit of self-exaltation; itís all about me. Well guess what we all need to examine ourselves and see if we be in Christ or not. We think our sin doesnít stink! Wake up and smell the coffee, we are burning up while we yet live. The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked and who can know it. Selfishness doesnít allow us to see ourselves in the mirror. We indulge in things we should not and will not cast off our habits thereby denying God first place in our lives.
Romans 15:1-2 we then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let every one of us please his neighbor for his good to edification. Who are we looking to please? If we bear one anotherís burdens we please God. We are not to look on our own things but every man also on the things of others. How can I help someone else? We live in a time when it is said every tub have to sit on its own body. It has been said many years ago that man would become like this. II Timothy 2-4 for men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, high minded and lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God.
If a brother or sister be naked or destitute of daily food we should feed them making sure that their need is met if it is within our power to do so. I John 3:17 whoso hath this worldís good and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him how dwelleth the love of God in him? How can we say we love God and not care about the need of our neighbor or each other? That goes against what God Word says. Selfishness has no place in Christ. Christ gave his life that we may live, how much more we to one another? We need to look and see that we have not acquired a spirit of self-righteousness. Is not my help in me and is wisdom driven quite from me. Job suffered not to contain within himself that it was all about him but he held up the banner for God and said my Redeemer lives. How much more we today that say we also believe? We havenít suffered anything that really matters for the sake of Christ as some have. We praise our self rather than let someone else speak praise upon us.
Many boast themselves as men with great power but the power is not of our selves or within us. Isaiah 64:6 but we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags. Proverbs 30:12 there is a generation that is pure in their own eyes, and yet is not washed from their filthiness. Itís time for a change in the life of Christians everywhere. Many are trying to stand alone rather than draw men and women to Christ. We refuse to allow people close to us because of feelings and some really think there are holier than others. They think because they have prophesied in his name that they deserve more than the next person from God. God is though not with that kind of partiality. God owes us nothing for He has done it all for us already.
Many are ignorant and glory in themselves but we were created to the praise of Godís glory and all glorying is to be directed to God and not man. It is not man that commends himself that receive glory for he is to glory in the Lord that he may be approved. If we think ourselves to be something that we are not we deceive our self. We have gone off in our own self-will and are set on a course of stubbornness. After this spirit would have come upon us we become arrogant and our hearts are turned where we will not obey God but our own thoughts. Not only that but we refuse to be corrected and walk in the ways of God. We refuse to obey all those in authority; the Pastors, Parents, Teachers, or anyone else for that matter. We are a messed up people that walk in our own counsels and resist the Holy Spirit leading. We know our hearts are hardened toward God now.
How many of us would suffer the persecution for Christ as this man has and is still suffering before we turn away from God? Letís be real! We would have denied Christ and taken the road of the wicked for it is characteristic of man in the flesh. Punishment makes one turn one way or the other; which way would we turn if it was us being persecuted for righteousness? Hypocrisy keeps us out of the kingdom of God. Selfishness is a form of hypocrisy.
Thank God that we can examine ourselves and see if we be found faithful or not. Thank God we can think on others more than we think on ourselves. Thank God that we are not consumed in ourselves. We bear the burden of others that we fulfill the law of Christ. When the Lord asked Cain where was his brother Abel, he replied I know not; am I my brotherís keeper? Yes we are and we must be careful how we handle the responsibilities God has entrusted to us. We see that men at the heads of countries and states judge for reward; what they will receive for what they are giving. The priests and others called by God teach for hire and the prophets divine for money. Who is it among us would shut the doors to the needy rather it be in Spirit or flesh? Every man must prove his own work before God one day and the day is coming. We have no rejoicing in our self but in another. Lift each other up to God daily; putting yourself aside. Deny yourself and pick up the Cross and follow Christ.