Although greed and self-centeredness is the prevailing attitude of this world, John the Baptist said, “He [Christ] must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30 – ESV).
St. Paul said, “It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me” (Galatians 2:20a –NRSV). After being changed by his encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9), Paul died daily to self so that he could live for God.
While these men of God are great examples and role models for living out our faith, everyone I know seems to fall short of this level of self-denial. I know I do.
The only way to come close to living a life fully devoted to Christ is to be filled with the Holy Spirit and to allow Christ’s Spirit to live through us. We are not strong enough or good enough to lay our lives down daily except by the supernatural power of God working within our hearts.
Paul explained, “And the life I now live in the flesh I live by the power of the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20b – NRSV).
When we remember that the King of the Universe took on human form, lived a life of service, and then died for our sins, it motivates us to give back to Him. His love for us transforms us and creates new desires in our hearts – desires to love and serve God and those he sends our way.
The battle with our selfish desires will no doubt be a daily fight until we meet Christ face to face, but it is a battle that the Son of God will ultimately win – and in one sense has already won for us. His power and His Spirit are at work within each of us who call Him Lord.
Let’s pray for one another as we accept this challenge of giving ourselves more fully to Jesus.
Today, and each new day, may there be less of me, Lord, and more of Thee.