Order of Service
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
We praise you and give you glory:
We bless you for calling us to be your holy people.
Abigail Miller – Lord, I Must Be Yours!
Visit her at: http://www.abigailmiller.com/
(Song originally downloaded at http://www.godlychristianmusic.com)
The Apostle Paul writing in Philippians 2:3-4 “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.“
The Apostle Peter writing in 1 Peter 5:5-6 “All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.”
Those verses probably highlight what those who call themselves the Lord’s people are to be and do! Humility! Looking to others first!
Contrast those values to those of the twenty first century society. A society where the prevalent attitude is: “There are no other people. The order is ‘me, me and more me! I am far more important and higher than anyone else!'”
This is individualism, an individualism where the individual’s importance is placed higher than all others! Individualism, which is imbued with self-reliance and personal independence. Even when help and compassion are offered, so often there are strings attached and hoops to be jumped through: “If you do this, we will do this for you.”
That’s the view in 21st century Western countries such as the USA, UK and Australia. Sadly, it is not just within society that this exists, but also within the church and amongst Christians.
How opposite is that view, compared to the view of Peter and Paul in the Bible reading! It is as if we are denying the basic rule of compassion and mercy, which dictates that we, as Christians, are to be serving others, because they are also humans created in the image of God, loved by God and so should be loved unconditionally by those who proclaim to be God’s people – the Church. Denying that basic need to others is pure unadulterated selfishness and places others below our own selves.
Individualism within the church, lends itself to hypocritical behaviour and attitudes, which are inconsistent with Scripture and behaviour.
Individualism, where you as an individual are placed at the front of the queue, is not loving others and not considering others higher than yourself. It certainly could not be construed as serving other people to always place your own desires above all others. There is an old acronym JOY – Jesus first, Others second, Yourself last. So as we live our lives, let us be determined to be counter-cultural, love and serve others, being willing to listen to them and giving them practical support when we can.
Now a time, where I put before you a couple of questions for you to ponder and think about.
Q1. In what areas of my life do I usually put myself before other people and sin against them?
Q2. What impact could I make on my church and local community if I was more willing to serve and practically love others, rather than be served and supported by them?