Some of my favorite chapters up for reading today . . . the wisdom of Proverbs, the strengthening of Psalm 144, and the daily life plan from Romans 12.
“Take my instruction instead of silver,
and knowledge rather than choice gold,
11 for wisdom is better than jewels,
and all that you may desire cannot compare with her.”
“Blessed be the Lord, my rock,
Who trains my hands for war,
And my fingers for battle;
2 My lovingkindness and my fortress,
My stronghold and my deliverer,
My shield and He in whom I take refuge,
Who subdues my people under me.
“so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.“
One more quote before I jump into what God has been stirring in my heart through these readings. C.S. Lewis in his essay, “The Weight of Glory” said:
“If you asked twenty good men to-day what they thought the highest of the virtues, nineteen of them would reply, Unselfishness. But if you asked almost any of the great Christians of old he would have replied, Love – You see what has happened? A negative term has been substituted for a positive, and this is of more than philological importance.
The negative ideal of Unselfishness carries with it the suggestion not primarily of securing good things for others, but of going without them ourselves, as if our abstinence and not their happiness was the important point.”
God has long drilled into me that it’s not about me. However, that is not the ending point. Mere self-denial is of very little practical or spiritual or eternal use, as ironically it often remains self-focused. The depth of the teachings of Scriptures are invaluable to life. We cannot desire anything greater than to know Christ and walk in Him. Self-denial might be a part of that.
But, God trains us for something greater, something much further beyond just us. He trains us for war (these were my homeschool theme verses one year, especially the “who subdues my people under me.”) However, it’s not about me, but about serving others, loving the body of Christ in my home and church, showing God’s love to the world. Owe no man anything, but love.
We so easily twist the most selfless things back around to being about ourselves. It’s not about what we can give up, but about pouring out for God, about being so deeply entrenched in His love and His teachings that we can’t help but exude that in every interaction. That debt of love can never be evened up, cancelled out, forgotten.
Lord, thank you for continuing to teach and stir and grow me. Continue to pour Your love through me to those around me. Help me to keep feeling the burden to love, the joy to love, the irresistible urge to show love to those in my sphere of influence. ~Amen