15 Minutes With Jesus / Robert Haymes
Lovers of Self
Greetings in the name of Jesus. Today we’re talking about Lovers of Self. Let’s turn to 2 Tim 3:1, This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, high minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. We are living in the last days. Verse 1; This know also that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, and it goes on with quite a list of things that go along with being a lover of yourself; one that cares only for himself, or herself, one that seeks it’s own, a person that is only concerned about themselves, and seeking those things that please them, or that benefit them, and not really being concerned for the welfare of others. This is all over the Earth right now. It has been in the Earth from the beginning, but now it seems to be flourishing like never before. Here we are in 2020. It’s just been growing more and more and more, and a person that is this way, which, I have been this way, I’m not excluding myself, when we are this way, our hearts become hard toward others, and toward their needs. We want to believe that we are a loving person, a person that cares about others, but we really are deceived, and our real desire is to please ourselves, and to do things that benefit ourselves, even at the expense of others. In order to live that way you have to harden your heart. Your heart gets harder, and harder, because of what you do to other people in order to benefit yourself. And ,of course, in the world this is everyday fare; lying, stealing, cheating, but in the Church there is no place for this, and yet, the Church is full of this. We have preachers that care only for themselves, they act like they care for the flock, Jesus talked about false prophets, ravening wolves in sheep’s clothing. A ravening wolf is one that cares only to satisfy his lust, his desire, and destroys others in order to do so; destroys the sheep.
Let’s go to Philippians 2:1-11, If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Let this mind be in us that was also in Christ Jesus, who gave Himself for our sins. He had no sin, yet He gave Himself for our sins. He loved the Father. He obeyed the Father. He loved us. The Bible says, He loved us and He washed us from our sins in His own blood. Selfishness is the opposite of love. It cuts off the flow of God’s love and blessing. God is love. When we walk in love, His love flows through us like a life-giving river, giving life and blessing wherever it flows. The Gospel is that way. The Gospel is God’s love manifested through the death and the burial, and the resurrection of His Son Jesus. Jesus’ sacrifice and gift of Himself was the greatest expression of the Father’s love for us, and His love for the Father and for us. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought to love one another. 1 John 4:7-11, Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. Try to picture that like a river; God’s love flowing to us, and then, us receiving His love, and His love flowing through us. Jesus said, This is my commandment that you love one another. So, as we love Him, we will obey Him, and we will love one another. And sometimes it’s not easy to love the other person. You have to make a sacrifice. You have to lay down your life. Jesus said, Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends, and Jesus did that. He is our example, and we follow Him. So, if we say we follow Him, if we say we love Him, as the Apostle John said, and we don’t love one another, we are liars, we are lying. If we hate our brother, we don’t love God. He also said in, 1John 4:20, If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? So, as we receive God’s love, and we love God, and we love one another, His life and His blessing will be flowing through us. Every one of us in the Body of Christ must lay down our life. As Jesus laid down His life for us, we must lay down our lives for one another; our selfish ambitions, desires, and plans, to do His will, and love one another, keep His words, serve one another.
At the last supper the disciples were arguing, actually striving, about which one of them was the greatest. Luke 22:24-27 And there was also a strife among them, which of them should be accounted the greatest. And he said unto them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors. But ye shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve. For whether is greater, he that sitteth at meat, or he that serveth? is not he that sitteth at meat? but I am among you as he that serveth. This is a big problem with men and women, that we have this desire to be great, even after we become Christians. We’ve heard about “great preachers”, and we’ve seen “great men of God”, and we want to be one of them, we want to be recognized by men. We want to be great. We have this ambition, but following personal ambition to be something in the eyes of men will not work in the body of Christ. That is self love. That is self centered. Everything we do is directed toward ourself. So, at the last supper, the disciples were arguing among themselves which one of them was the greatest.
John 13:1-5 Now before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end. And supper being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray him; Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God; He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself. After that he poureth water into a bason, and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded. John 13 :12-17 So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you? Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him. If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them. If we will do these things, we will be happy, we will be blessed, if we will do these things in the Body of Christ, if we will really care about the other person, if we will think of them as more important than ourselves. Selfishness has no place in the Body of Christ. We need to be honest before God and confess it to Him, and ask Him to deliver us to love one another. A selfish leader seeks to exalt Himself and cuts off the true ministry of Jesus of love and edification to the Body, seeking glory for himself, fulfilling his own selfish agenda at a great cost to those he is supposed to be serving. Jesus washed the disciples feet, humbled Himself, to serve them, and show us how we are to walk with one another, serving one another, loving one another. Remember He said, This is my commandment, that you love one another. In 1 Cor 13:5 it says that love seeks not his own, and, of course, selfishness is all about seeking it’s own. Let’s go to John 17:20-23. Jesus said, as He was praying to the Father, Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. (I’m reminded here of what Jesus said to the disciples in John 13:35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. ) And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me. The Father so loved us that He gave His only beloved Son, who never did anything wrong, as a living sacrifice for us, to deliver us from our sins and to wash us, to give us eternal life, and to bring us into fellowship with Him. That’s what He is after. Selfishness is totally opposed to that.
I want to give some personal testimony of my experience. I have quite a bit of experience with selfishness. I was raised in a fairly well to do family. I was well taken care of materially. We had plenty of good food, nice clothes, nice place to live. Everything was pretty much handed to me and I didn’t appreciate it. It’s not that I had no love, but I was very selfish, and I grew up that way, along with many of my peers, who are still in the Earth. I was very selfish. Of course, I didn’t know the Lord, OK, I did not know Jesus. I pursued my own pleasure, the love of pleasure. It destroyed me. It was destroying me more and more and I knew it. I had friends, but my love grew cold. And, then when I came to Jesus, all that began to change, but it has been a process. Even so, I still had selfishness in me. I believe that’s true of some of you that are reading this right now. If you will be honest and go to God and say, Lord, you know I am still selfish, I still care more about myself than I do for even you, or my brother or sister. I still pursue my own desires. If you will be honest with the Lord and confess your fault to Him, He will forgive you, and He will begin to cleanse you of that selfishness, and you can enter into more and more of His love flowing through you to others. The Bible talks about the love of God being shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost. Rom 5:5, And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.
So, even after I became a Christian, my selfishness and my rebellion just wrought havoc in my life, and I had to learn the hard way, and lay all of that down. It has been a process of the Lord dealing in my life, and breaking me, to where there is more love in my heart, more love in my life, and less selfishness. I’m not saying that I’m totally free of selfishness, but I want to be, I have that desire.
Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.
Song: Steadfast Love
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases
His mercies never come to an end
They are new every morning, new every morning
Great is thy faithfulness, Oh Lord
Great is thy faithfulness (Repeat)