Not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of others. (Philippians 2:4)
Far too many in the church today are confused about the kind of person God uses to expand the cause of His kingdom. Satan, the accuser, is relentlessly engaged in convincing Christians that they have disqualified themselves from serving our Lord. The devil uses every means at his disposal to call our attention to our loose language, tainted thoughts, disgraceful deeds, and despicable desires. And when the enemy has done his work, many believers are convinced they are of no use to God.
That is simply not true! God is looking for our selflessness, not our sinlessness. The same grace that saves us also sanctifies us. God knows that we are still sinners by nature and by habit, even after our conversion to Christ. To be sure, we are new creations in Christ, having been born again into the lifelong process of growing up into Christ. But sin will dog our steps all the way into glory. God is looking for those saints who will be selfless . . . even in their sinfulness.
We can point to several passages in sacred Scripture that reflect this truth. Here are just two:
Please forgive their sin—but if not, then blot me out of the book you have written. (Exodus 32:32)
I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my people. (Romans 9:3)
In his sold-out selflessness, Moses was ready and willing for God to blot him out of the book of life for the sake of his people Israel. In his sold-out selflessness, the apostle Paul was ready and willing that God would curse him for the sake of his people Israel. The selflessness of both Moses and Paul is as shocking as it is supernatural. This could never be realized in the flesh. Only in God’s strength were these two giants of the faith willing to give the last full measure of themselves for the good of others. Both men understood that God was not looking for their sinlessness, but their selflessness. And that is exactly what God is looking for from you!
So regardless of where this finds you today, regardless of your past record of falling short of God’s will in your life, are you ready and willing that God would use you for His glory and the good of others? Remember, selflessness can only be done in God’s strength. By nature—even in our new nature—we are still terribly sinful and self-absorbed. But when we shift our focus away from self and put it on our Savior, selflessness grows in our lives and we begin to be the blessing in the lives of others God that has called us to be.
The most perfect example of selflessness, of course, is our Lord Jesus Christ . . .
Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
but made himself nothing,
taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
and became obedient to death —
even death on a cross! (Philippians 2:6-8)
Jesus took care of our sinfulness on that cross; now He asks us to live in selflessness.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!