There is no harder work than to surrender “for the sake of others” (2 Timothy 2:10). This is the work and the life to which Jesus calls us. This is the life and example that Jesus lived…the “but not so with you” way of life (Luke 22:24-27).
- He calls us to put others first…every time.
- He calls us to own our own mistakes and take the necessary action to redeem them.
- Jesus calls us to follow His example and His command to be a servant/slave of all…
- Matthew 20:27, 23:11
- Mark 9:35, 10:43-44
- Luke 22:26-27
The Christian life is ALWAYS a shared life…a life lived with others & “for the sake of others.”
Philippians 2:3-4 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
In my preparation for this message, I came across Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s list of 7 principles for eradicating selfish ambition from Christian communities. These were not included in Sunday’s message, but we should all ponder these 7 principles and evaluate how well we each are doing in these areas in an effort to improve our unity in the gospel and Christ’s mission for this world. Because without unity (that comes through humility), Christ’s Church cannot live out His gospel mission.
To promote unity in the Church, Christians should…
- Hold their tongues, refusing to speak uncharitably about a Christian brother;
- Cultivate the humility that comes from understanding that they, like Paul, are the greatest of sinners and can only live in God’s sight by his grace;
- Listen “long and patiently” so they will understand their fellow Christian’s need;
- Refuse to consider their time and calling so valuable that they cannot be interrupted to help with unexpected needs, no matter how small or menial;
- Bear the burden of their brothers and sisters in the Lord, both by preserving their freedom and by forgiving their sinful abuse of that freedom;
- Declare God’s word to their fellow believers when they need to hear it;
- Understand that Christian authority is characterized by service and does not call attention to the person who performs the service.
Click Here to listen to this past week’s message, “Unity through Humility…”