Summary: Because of the difference made in my by virtue of our Savior's crucifixion and resurrection, I can now live with a passion to please God rather than please myself.
Children are wonderful! Just this last week, we celebrated Mother’s Day, and enjoyed the children coming into our service to pass out carnations to all the ladies as we recognized and expressed appreciation for the mothers among us.
But sometimes, children, as cute as they are, can act ugly. It’s interesting to notice that you don’t have to teach a child to be selfish. Without even having to try to teach them, children just seem to naturally learn two words before any others: “no” and “mine!”
The Preschool Property Laws
1. If I like it, it’s mine.
2. If it’s in my hand, it’s mine.
3. If I can take it from you, it’s mine.
4. If I had it a little while ago, it’s mine.
5. If it’s mine, it must never appear to be yours in any way.
6. If I’m doing or building something, all the pieces are mine.
7. If it looks just like mine, it’s mine.
8. If I think it’s mine, it’s mine.
9. If it’s yours and I steal it, it’s mine.
10. If I saw it first, or last, makes no difference, it’s still mine.
The fact is that we are naturally selfish as human beings. The Scripture tells us that is an indication of our sinful nature. In fact, the choice that Adam and Eve made that plunged the entire human race under the condemnation of sin was the choice that said, “I can be like God.”
From that day until this, man has basically lived by the motto of “I can do my own thing,” “be my own boss,” “look out for number one.” And consequently, our world is in a mess.
The other evening, I was watched the republican presidential candidate debate. One of the candidates, Herman Cain, is the former chief executive of Godfather’s Pizza. He was asked how he hoped to compete, since he was the only person running who wasn’t a professional politician. His answer was “Washington is filled with professional politicians. How’s that working for you?”
The human race has basically been ruled by a passion to please themselves and God has asked, “How’s that working for you?” The fact is, loving for ourselves doesn’t produce very good results.
That’s part of the difference Jesus came to make in us. He came to make it possible, through our identification with His crucifixion and resurrection, to live life with a new passion - not to please ourselves, but to please God.
“For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.” - 2 Corinthians 5:14-15 (NIV)
What is it that motivates the Child of God to want to please God as opposed to pleasing himself? The fact of God’s love - “For Christ’s love compels us.” That’s what John tells us here.
1. How this impacts our past – v. 1