Summary: In this second sermon in the series, we tackle the problem of selfishness. The only way to be a servant is to rein in selfishness and replace it with selflessness.
A. We are in a new sermon series that we started last week that I am calling “Serving Like Jesus.”
1. Last week, we explored the fact that God wants us to be conformed into the likeness of Jesus, and because Jesus was a servant, that is a primary way that we must be like Him.
B. Today I want us to make a case for selflessness in a selfie world.
1. This whole “selfie” thing is crazy.
2. Selfishness and self-centeredness is nothing new, but technology and social media has given us a whole new way to be self-absorbed.
3. Let’s look at some samples of interesting selfie pictures.
C. So, let me ask a personal question: Are you a selfish or a selfless person?
1. You may not want to answer that question, but it is important that we come to grips with the answer.
2. For many of us, an honest answer would be: “Some of both.”
3. Hopefully, none of us would say that we are completely selfish, but few, if any of us can say that we are completely selfless.
4. Let me give us a word of caution: this is one of those character traits that is hard to evaluate in ourselves – this is often a blind spot for us. It is hard to see ourselves clearly and accurately.
5. Someone said, “Selfishness is the great unknown sin. No selfish person ever thought himself to be selfish.”
6. You or I may be terribly selfish and we may not even be aware of it.
7. Many times we need someone else to help us see the truth about ourselves.
8. Allow me to get very personal for a moment.
a. With regard to this matter, my mother was very helpful to me early in my life.
b. She was able to help me see how selfish I had become, and she committed herself to helping me change.
c. One day after I acted very selfishly, I vividly remember my mother saying: “Over my dead body will I allow you to grow up to be that selfish.”
d. Early in our married life, Diana helped me see some of my selfish tendencies that still needed to be brought under control.
e. So, with the help of these two precious people, and through the power of the Holy Spirit, I am thankful to be able to say that I am much better in this area of my life than I would have been.
f. That’s not to say that I am selfless, but that is my goal, and I am closer to it than I used to be.
D. Even the famous preacher and author, Charles Swindoll, has battled the selfish tendency in his own life.
1. He tells a story about a time when he and his son, Curt, took a few days off together and shot the rapids at the Rogue River in Oregon.
2. They went with several of the men from their church (there were about 15 in the group).
3. While they were receiving instructions from the guide, Charles began to take a closer look at the canoes. Some were old and worn, but a few were new.
4. Charles wanted to get one of the new ones for he and his son.
5. So, he whispered in the ear of his son, “Curt, start moving to the left.” “Why?” his son asked. “Just do what I say, son. The two canoes on the end are new. Let’s get’em.”
6. Swindoll’s son cooperated and they got the new ones.
7. Swindoll said that he handled it so smoothly that nobody noticed it.
8. And then as they were breaking up into groups, he made sure he and his son ended up with old pro as their guide, rather than a couple of rookies.
9. Later, what Swindoll had done hit him hard. He was selfish, plain and simple. And to make matters worse, he was teaching his son to be selfish too!
D. I don’t think I have to explain to you why this is such an important subject.
1. Selfishness is a very destructive characteristic.
2. It not only destroys our relationships with others, it destroys our relationship with God.
3. So, here’s my main point today: Without a selfless spirit, we cannot become like Christ, or be effective in Christ.
4. We cannot be a servant of Jesus and serve like Jesus unless we develop a selfless attitude.
I. THE EXPECTATION
A. For starters, we must realize that a selfless spirit is what God expects us to develop.
1. Scripture includes many commands about getting a grip on selfishness.
B. Jesus made this expectation very clear when He informed us that a basic of requirement of discipleship is self-denial.