Saturday, July 30, 2022

They Will Be...Lovers of Themselves

They Will Be...Lovers of Themselves 
by David Brenneman 

"But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, slanderers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness although they have denied its power; avoid such people as these." 2 Timothy 3:2-5 NASB 

As the title of this post eludes to...this passage...tells us of things to look for in people. 

The first in this list has been something that I have been dwelling on for a few days.  What exactly does a lover of themselves look like?  What does it encompass?  What can it look like?  Do I possibly exhibit signs of this?  Do I see it in those whom I interact with each day?

One site I found said the following: "Self-love is a state of appreciation for oneself that grows from actions that support our physical, psychological and spiritual growth. Self-love means having a high regard for your own well-being and happiness. Self-love means taking care of your own needs and not sacrificing your well-being to please others."

It's interesting to see some of the synonyms of lover: addict, aficionado, buff, bug, devotee, enthusiast, fan, fanatic, fancier, fiend, fool, freak, habitue, head, hound, junkie, maniac, nut and sucker as per the merriam-webster website. 

Infatuation seems to also fit in these descriptions.  An oversized sense of self.  

I had heard someone tell me the kind of trap bodybuilding was.  You can get so consumed by it that you actually do more harm than good.  It can lead towards drugs and other things.  

We can be lovers of self very easily and probably don't recognize it as such.  

It was very interesting to read these verses as the verse of the day on "You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven." Matthew 5:14,16 NASB. 

If we look at both the focus if these verses and look at a lover of self...we can see two distinctly different people. 

When we walk in our journey called life, we decide who we are following, ourselves or God.  

Who we promote in life is who is more important, ourselves or God. 

Jesus said for us to take up our own cross and follow Him. Crucifying self. 

"And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wants to come after Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, this is the one who will save it. For what good does it do a person if he gains the whole world, but loses or forfeits himself?" Luke 9:23-25 NASB 

"Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wants to come after Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what good will it do a person if he gains the whole world, but forfeits his soul? Or what will a person give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and will then repay every person according to his deeds." Matthew 16:24-27 NASB 

Oh the contrast...we are shown in this world how to lift up self.  How to pour our energy into self.  How to puff up self.  That the image you project is what's important.  That everything. 

It had been the thing of recent years of what people identify as.  This too is an indication of lovers of self.  

We cannot share the throne of our heart. It's for God alone. The Psalms are replete with one after another of how God alone deserves our everything.  

Philippians 1:21-26 NASB "For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain. But if I am to live on in the flesh, this will mean fruitful labor for me; and I do not know which to choose. But I am hard-pressed from both directions, having the desire to depart and be with Christ, for that is very much better; yet to remain on in the flesh is more necessary for your sakes. Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all for your progress and joy in the faith, so that your pride in Christ Jesus may be abundant because of me by my coming to you again."

Isaiah 42:8 NASB "I am the Lord, that is My name; I will not give My glory to another, Nor My praise to idols."

Christ, not any aspect of us, is to be the center of our lives. 

We as humans can be the most obsessive of God's creation.  We can easily get wrapped around the axle on anything or anyone including ourselves.  We can convince ourselves of practically any thought or concept.  

We who are in Christ Jesus have a calling. 
We are placed in the body of Christ for a purpose. 

It's not about us.  It's all about His glory, His honor, His majesty. His Name, not ours. Our lives lived in such a way that people see our good works and glorify our Father in Heaven. Not a life that promotes us AND Jesus. Just Jesus. 

We are to be His workmanship. What is this?  It's Romans 12...being transformed into the likeness of Christ Jesus. Leaving self for a life that shows people Jesus. 

Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul and spirit.  Which by definition doesn't mean lovers of self. Paul defines life as living for Jesus.  

To say the least this has been an interesting post today in both looking at who am I promoting in my life and what I see in others. Is there any promoting of me AND God evident?  Me trying to share the stage with Jesus?

We have a calling in Christ Jesus and the absolute most important thing is to be true to that calling.  We are to be set apart. Psalms 4:3 NASB "But know that the Lord has set apart the godly person for Himself; The Lord hears when I call to Him."

Was given advice a long time ago when asked to preach. "Preach the Word!"

2 Timothy 4:2 NASB "preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; correct, rebuke, and exhort, with great patience and instruction." When people want to hear it and when they don't.  

We must take great care to not be lovers of self.  We must indeed, as Dr. John C Whitcomb was fond of repeating from Scripture "Let God be found true and every man a liar.". 

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