Summary: We live in a "me centered" world and that creeps into the church and I try to make spiritual things about what I want.
Allow me to begin with a little test. (I did an illusion called "What Next" where the dots on a card change and the audience is fooled.)
Isn't it true that our eyes play tricks on us and we can be easily deceived? Here are some Bible passages that warn us of this.
2I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him. 3But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent's cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ. 4For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough.
3For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 4They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. 5But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.
6If you point these things out to the brothers, you will be a good minister of Christ Jesus, brought up in the truths of the faith and of the good teaching that you have followed. 7Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives' tales; rather, train yourself to be godly. 8For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.
Barna (2007) Church Goers:
- more than 2 of 5 believe that Jesus committed sin while on earth
- 57% believe that Satan is not a real being but just a symbol of evil
Myth(Defined)- A commonly held belief that is not true
Jesus: “You have heard that it was said…but I tell you…”
Myth #1 It's all about me. Truth: It's all about Jesus.
Selfishness; egocentrism, Me first, Lookout for #1, What I want – RULES!
A friend couldn’t wait for his first child to say her first word. He was convinced that it would be “daddy.” Her first word? – “mine!”
Three American magazines in chronological order, illustrate how our focus has changed …People – Us – Self
20I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
George Bernard Shaw - “This is the true joy of life, the being used up for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; being a force of nature instead of a feverish, selfish little clot of ailments and grievances, complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.”
Beware of the “Me Monster” (Brian Regan, standup comedian)
Selfish even with good things:
1. Church (I've heard a rumor that some people attend church here for the music, messages, friends, and because they enjoy it!)Can you image a person choosing a church based on what they get out of it! :-)
2. Missions (Do I do it to feel good, assuage my guilt by doing my part, for the fun or relationships involved?)
3. Selfishness even giving (selfish motives) or even in death…
“Posthumous charities are the very essence of selfishness when bequeathed by those who, even alive, would part with nothing.”
15He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. 17He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. 19For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.
It’s NOT about me. It is all about Jesus!