"We have to make a conscious choice to focus on serving others. Our sinful nature, utterly self-centered in its orientation, naturally puts self first. Our culture, which is a corporate expression of natural (fallen) human nature, . . . encourages us to think of ourselves. . . . If we are to be obedient to the Scriptures and serve one another, we have to buck the trend, go against the grain, and battle uphill to change our focus." (pg. 67)
Check out the decisions Jesus made as He chose to come to earth. As recorded in Philippians 2,
5Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
6Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
7but made himself nothing,
taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
8And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
and became obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
Did you notice all those action verbs? All those deliberate choices? Made himself nothing, took on the nature of a servant, made in human likeness, found in appearance as a man, humbled himself, became obedient to death!
Have we made the choice to serve? Or are we only one of those boring state-of-being verbs who just sits there and does little?
"If you were a walking advertisement for the Lord, what would people learn about Him?" (pg. 70)
Reflect on the fact that Jesus likely wasn't a standout in the looks department. Not one we'd see on the streets and say, "Wow, He looks impressive" or "He holds himself like a king .. check out that regal bearing." But then think of how people flocked to meet Him even staying for hours to be in His presence. People sought Him out, scholars were either amazed or silenced by His teachings. He spoke with authority and changed lives where ever He went. Now remembering that we are representatives for Christ, think of this: "People may not stand amazed at us when they pass them on the street, but when they get to know us, what do they think?" (pg. 78) Do people see a difference in your life that they want? Or do they say, "If that's a Christian, who needs this Jesus?"
Thoughts and quotes from Signs of Life by David Jeremiah
One last thing, Suzy at Sailing by Starlight wrote a beautiful and challenging post on prayer. She is reading Mother Teresa's book No Greater Love. Check out Suzy's post.