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"I'm Third - Part One"

Date published: 08/31/2015
Romans 15:1 “We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves.” (NIV) 

   This top ten teaching of Jesus is the Achilles heel of almost every Christian. This teaching strikes at the core of a Christian’s walk with Christ by revealing Christ’s place in your life.  Today we will dwell on Christ’s transforming work in you and next week on pointing others to Christ through Christ in you.  

    Jesus taught non-stop about love, but love is a result of the root systems that feed it. The root systems that go against this Scripture are pride, selfishness, envy, unforgiveness, impatience, anger, and putting yourself as number one. A good root system that produces love in you will come from your relationship with Christ, resulting in putting others first, patience, generosity, pleasing others, and serving others. This requires the full breadth of God’s love in your life.

   2 Corinthians 12:9-10 says, “‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.’  Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.  That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (NIV)  Society wires you to put yourself first, defend what is yours, and to promote love, justice, and truth as Superman would say. Surely I can get this person straightened out by telling him his   mistakes, how wrong he is, in fact how stupid he is to quote Donald Trump! I can quickly enlighten him to what is right and how to do it, so that his life will be blessed by my divine impartation! In Mark 8:34b Jesus said it quite differently, “If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me.” (NIV) In the last day of Jesus’ life while contemplating the hardships He was about to endure, He instructed His disciples in John 13:14 on how they were to walk through life and endure their own hardships, “Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another's feet.” (NIV)  

    Romans 15:2 calls you not to trample others, but build them up, “Each of us should please his neighbor for his good, to build him up.” (NIV) Rom 15:3 shows how Jesus practiced what He preached, “For even Christ did not please Himself but, as it is written: ‘The insults of those who insult you have fallen on Me.’" (NIV) It was not easy for Jesus to put others before Himself. Jesus did so by placing Himself squarely in the center of His Father’s lap. His Father’s love and power sustained and supported Jesus not with the roots of selfishness, anger, hatred, envy, pride, but fed the roots of service, mercy, kindness, humility, so that He lived life boldly through the power of God. 

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.” (NIV)

Do you know someone who needs this message on dealing with problem relationships? If so, forward this devotion to them as a blessing for their growth in Christ.


Here are some Bible studies from Growing in Christ to help your transformative experience: “Deeper With God” and Hardship.” 

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