As Selfish As Everyone Else

by Oct 18, 2023Devotional0 comments

Genesis 4:7 If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is contrary to you, but you must rule over it.”
 
     
      The rude awakening that sometimes hits our hearts and lets us know that we are as selfish as everyone else, can be a stunning blow to our ego. We think we have our souls under control until an opportunity for a test of our free will presents itself. Self-righteousness and self-dependence can cause us to let our guard down, and only after we fail, do we realize how deceived we were. King David was described as a man after God’s heart, yet he was as selfish as anyone else who wanted another man’s wife. 2Sam. 11:2 And it came to pass at eventide, that David arose from off his bed, and walked upon the roof of the king’s house: and from the roof, he saw a woman bathing; and the woman was very beautiful to look upon. 4a David sent some messengers to get her. She came to him and he had sexual relations with her
      The fact is, that King David was selfish and manipulative to the point of conspiring to murder Bathsheba’s husband. This is selfishness out of control. David had become utterly consumed with a fierce cyclone of selfishness that was spinning around his heart. Only after he had been confronted by Nathan the prophet concerning his grievous sin, did he – after repenting – get his mind and heart back on track with what God had envisioned for him. It does not matter how many years a person has been proclaiming to be a Christian. The opportunity to fall is always at the doorstep of our hearts. Gen. 4:7 And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is contrary to you, but you must rule over it.” At any point, we can stop the madness and repent of the sin that is contaminating our souls, but how difficult that is when the momentum of sin has taken control of the heart.      
      We all need to mature in God’s grace, but as the saying goes, The gospel is free, but maturity is expensive. It is necessary to pay the price of maturity regardless of where we need to mature within our lives. The interesting fact about maturity is that when we reach a certain level of maturation, we realize very quickly there is so much more growing to do. On this side of eternity, we will forever need to press into the presence of God so that His light shines on our self-will and anything else that needs repenting of. The glorious light of God’s love will guide us into the maturity of becoming strong in character. Isa. 60:1 Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD has risen upon you.
      We read the account of a tax collector named Zacchaeus who had seen and felt the blunt end of everyone’s selfishness. He saw the character of man in its base form. He would have heard every excuse, from not having the tax money to being blamed for all the abuse the Roman Empire was dishing out. Zacchaeus took part in the graft and subterfuge that tax money by its nature causes. The flow of tax money presents opportunities to be stolen and redirected to many corrupt open palms. He would have seen avaricious souls scratching and clawing for more and more because he was the go-to guy in the tax collection world. It doesn’t matter if you are rich or poor, being greedy is available to anyone.
      The event that changed Zacchaeus’ heart was his divine appointment in the presence of Jesus who acknowledged him as more than just a tax collector. Jesus had called him a son of Abraham. Luke 19:9 And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, since he also is a son of Abraham. The Lord brought out in Zacchaeus a maturity that was greater than his selfishness of heart. Luke 19:8 But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.” True repentance had come forth from Zacchaeus who had seen and lived the nature of cupidity.
      What was the difference between Zacchaeus and Judas Iscariot? Before they encountered Jesus, they were both selfish people, but Zacchaeus received the invitation to mature that comes through repentance when Jesus lavished His love on him. Judas, on the other hand, remained a selfish thief and manipulator, even though he was with Jesus day after day. 2Tim. 3:7 Ever learning, and never attaining to the knowledge of the truth. Judas never acknowledged his need to mature in the faith that Jesus was proclaiming, nor did he pay the price of personal sacrifice that is often needed to mature. Therefore, Judas remained as selfish as everyone else.
      What has the Lord been speaking to your heart about that can place you precariously near the edge of sin? What laws of the Thou Shall Not variety are you struggling with and causing the joy of the Lord to wane in your life? We can remain as selfish as everyone else or we can grow up and put in the costly heartfelt effort that is truly of the heart and not a ritualistic activity that is a humanistic shadow of God’s perfection. The Lord is rarely impressed with half-heartedness. This is why He wants us hot and on fire for the things of God because God’s fire cleanses us from all pretence and the dross of manmade religiosity. Only Jesus can cleanse us so that we can wear the robe of righteousness in our Heavenly Father’s kingdom. Yes, The gospel is free, but maturity is expensive.
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