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May 23, 2022 8:00 am
Today on Fellowship in the Word pastor Bill Gebhardt challenges you to become a fully functioning follower of Jesus Christ.
So Paul says with humility of mind, doing nothing from selfishness or empty conceit. He says look we see how this is all that by itself regard one another as more important than yourself simple. Do not merely look out for your own interpersonal interest across the joining of today on this additional Fellowship in the Word pastor Bill Gebhardt Fellowship in the Words the radio ministry of Fellowship Bible church located in Metairie, Louisiana when pastor will for now is once again he shows us how God's word can be sure that this experience happened to you, but I am sure that it happens to me and that is that virtually every week that I'm driving out here in Metairie on the neighborhood going down West Esplanade. There's always somebody in a car in front of me who is sort of swerving back and forth. Inevitably we get up to the red light and stop and I find that they are texting me this past week to start reading about auto accidents texting.
It was alarming one third of all drivers have received or sent text while driving 18% of all drivers say they text on a regular or daily basis while driving 37% of all teenagers say that they text on a regular or daily basis when they drive and then the national safety Council had some pretty alarming statistics from the year 2002 to 2007 16,000 fatalities attributed to texting even more alarming, they suggest, from 2007 to 2012.
The number is likely to double 200,000 accidents a year are caused by texting while driving is disturbing is all that is. It really has nothing to do with my message because this has something to do with my message. When questioned about regular texting. The overwhelming majority of those who text on a regular daily basis, responded this way. I know that it is wrong and dangerous. But I don't care going to do what I wanted to know a completely unrelated story to the story but a similar point. Dr. David Allen is a Christian psychiatrist and he tells the story of a woman named Joan he said as a young girl, Joan Baskin, the glow of continuous praise. She was greatly admired for her beauty, her charm and her intelligence. She had all in her 20s and early 30s.
Joan was in her prime and men of all description sought her beauty was extremely important to her. In essence, her self-esteem and self-confidence became dependent on her good looks.
Joan married a couple of times, but neither relationship lasted because she said she didn't feel happy in them or filled unions did not agree very much.
However, because even into her late 40s. She was still in demand because of her exquisite looks. Then came the dreaded 50th birthday and by now Joan had started age.
She was all too aware of sagging skin and obvious creases and even though she invested in several plastic surgery. She was greatly disappointed with the results.
And although she was still very beautiful. To the outside observer in her heart she began to feel ugly. She dreaded her old age. Worst of all Joan felt at a loss socially because she was no longer the object of attention at parties or other social functions and aware that her youthful beauty was slipping away. She became less confident withdrawn and depressed. She lost her zoo order zest for life. One Saturday evening while visiting an exclusive resort. Joan tried to end her life by overdosing on sleeping pills over the course of a lifetime.
Her beauty had become her session. Her looks were her pseudo-God and as she grew older, her God shattered and she was forced to face the reality of who she was.
Then Dr. Allen writes this the most pervasive pseudo-God in our Western culture is the God of me or narcissism enhanced by aggressive marketing techniques and undergirded by self focused schools of psychology are fixation upon self has become a harsh taskmaster life is all about me how I look, my Joan what I want to do like those who text on her daily a regular basis while driving. Narcissism has become an American way of life way back in the 1970s Jewish writer Christopher Lasch wrote a bestseller called culture of narcissism and he was describing America and he said we are a people who live only for ourselves not for our predecessors or our posterity as America narcissists remember the story of narcissists. That's where it comes from the Greek myth, a young man named narcissists who was so handsome that all of the nymphs of Greece wanted his attention and he paid attention to, none of them because he was only in love with one entity on this earth that was himself.
In fact, one day when he comes to a pool was actually able to see his reflection in that pool and when he sees it, he is just overwhelmed with joy and he wanted so much to experience it fully that he tried to touch it but when he did. The ripples would always distort the image and that made him really sad and even worse when he sat by the pool.
We found out that when night came, he couldn't see himself at all and became really despondent so we set by that pool. Day and night.
No food, no water, and eventually became emaciated and died on the spot, and one that exact spot. According to Greek mythology.
That's where a flower grew, the narcissist flower. You can look it up. It's real. And by the way its toxic it only appropriate in psychiatry and narcissistic personality is described this way a personality disorder characterized by extreme self-centeredness and self-absorption fantasies involving unrealistic goals and excessive need for attention and admiration and disturbed interpersonal relationships.
According to Dr. Jane Masterson a book that was written called the narcissist and borderline disorders, wrote this.
These are the characteristics of narcissism, grandiosity, extreme self-involvement and lack of interest and empathy for others in spite of the pursuit of others to obtain admiration and approval from this is one of those rare cases where modern psychology and modern psychiatry have a very similar view of the love of me. The idol of me, or narcissism. The Scriptures have would you open your Bibles to second Timothy chapter 3, the apostle Paul in a very familiar text trying his best to prepare Timothy to minister to people just like you and me. So he says the young Timothy realize this. Come on, Timothy. You gotta realize this.
He said in the last days and that's the time. By the way, from the ascension of Jesus Christ of the second coming of Jesus Christ. He said in the last days difficult times will come. And then he explains why he said will men will be lovers of self, they will be lovers of self, they will be lovers of money, in fact, that in verse four. They will be lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God. This is kind of interesting if you really think about it because the first thing he said his men will be lovers of self, but that's kind of odd when Jesus Christ was asked could you summarize the Old Testament laws.
Could you tell us what are the greatest. He was very quick and he said shortly.
The love the Lord your God with all your heart mind soul and strength and love your neighbors as though yourself so it's pretty clear in Scripture that we are to have some sort of self-love. Love your neighbors as yourself.
But here Paul says difficult times are coming to Jude in a final whole group of people who love themselves. You see something's going on here.
They are lovers of self, they are lovers of money, will Paul wrote to Timothy in first Timothy six that God richly supplies all things to us and he is referring to the wealthy of us to enjoy. So there's nothing necessarily wrong with having money.
In fact the same thing would apply to be lovers of pleasure God richly supplies all things for us to enjoy twice call pleasure, but there's something wrong with this lovers of money, lovers of self, lovers of pleasure and then he says rather than lovers of God.
In other words, these are lobs that are exclusive loves the person who loves himself in this way, loves himself at the exclusion of everybody else, even God himself. People who love money in that way. That's why Jesus was so clear. Don't tell me you can love money and love God. He said you and a loved one and hate the other.
Eventually, because no man can really serve two masters. So the whole idea here, materialism, hedonism and narcissism, the lover of self and were those kind of people notice the kind of people we show up being.
He said, boastful as a narcissist and it arrogant revolvers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful and wholly unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, no self-control little haters of good, treacherous, reckless, and integrate word conceded.
He said we become conceited of all of the idols that we can be tempted to fall in love with. There is no I do when your life is great is you and boy it is very easy to fall into this. We were made for this. You see, since we have fallen nature's we just go like a moth to a light when it comes to make the whole world about yourself.
Everybody at work is there for you. Everybody on the buses there for you see everybody here is here for you. Everybody everywhere is here for you and we come by it naturally because our fallen nature and never heard of the toddler property loss Cape start toddler property laws and ear laws. If I like it is mine.
If it's in my hand. It's mine. If I can take it from you.
If I had a little while ago. It's mine is mine.
It must never appear to be yours in any way if I'm doing something or building something all the pieces are mine. It looks just like mine. It's mine. If I think it's mine, it's mine is yours and I steal it, it's mine, and by the way, if you doubt that, just go back to the toddler room in any Sunday morning and the laws are all employed. See, that's the way we are.
We are prewired for this idol of me this idea being narcissistic see men as always come up with ways of living life that are not the ways God said we should live our lives and we end up always falling short. The Greek said be wise no yourself.
The Roman said, be strong, you need to discipline yourself.
Religion always says the same thing be good conformer self. Epicureanism says we sensuous satisfy yourself education be resourceful expand yourself psychology. Be confident, assert yourself. Materialism be possessive, please yourself asceticism below me suppress yourself.
Humanism be capable believe in yourself. Narcissism be superior promote yourself Jesus Christ the unselfish, humble yourself, she Jesus Christ flies right in the face of all those kinds of ideas and he certainly flies in the face of narcissism to turn onto Philippians chapter 2 Philippians chapter 2, and we deal with the question, how do I cook overcome the idol of me. The apostle Paul writing from a prison to the church at Philippi in the first two verses.
He's telling the church something is very important to him.
Basically it's this I want you guys get along.
I really want to be unified.
That's what church should be.
I mean we all love the most important thing the river was Jesus Christ so mistake together on this. So Paul says. Therefore, if there is any encouragement in Christ and by the way when you see the word if in this case that's called in the Greek a first-class condition of the assumption. In other words, he mean since he means. And it's true he saying.
Therefore, if there's any encouragement in Christ and there is if there's any consolation of love and there is if there is any fellowship of the Spirit. Any there is and if there's any affection and compassion. I know there is pieces. You make my joy complete by being of the same mind maintaining the same love, united in spirit to be intent on one purpose is I want the church to be together with any understands.
The church is made up of individuals and I think apostle Paul understands that there's one thing that can really disrupt the unity of any group of believers and that is that some of them have the idol of me, some of them are narcissist. Some of them are self absorbed.
Some of them are selfish and so he starts out in verse three, and says do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit not owned by you, but when I read that and really looked at it. I thought boy I wish you would've said it differently.
I wish you would've said, but try not to be so selfish using that to make sense to me. Come on Bill don't don't be as selfish as you normally are. We then say that he said do nothing notice nothing from selfishness or empty conceit.
Never let selfishness or conceit be your motive. That's interesting here, these words selfishness. Re: Thea is the Greek word.
It's a lot like the English word, it means this lookout solely for your own interest and you really don't care what the consequences are anybody else you might know someone like that you might be someone like you ceases do nothing from that or empty conceit.
Now this is a great word as it is a compound word.
It's the word Cano Delsea. The reason is such a great word is don't see as always used to describe God. It's a word you know very well glory. You see it's glory. God is a God of adults. The glory he says do nothing and it's as empty conceit here. Cano Nokia Cano means empty empty glory King James version translates it vain glory.
In other words, it's just empty glory. It's glory that is proclaimed by the person who had thinks they have a boat it's evident to all the rest of us. They don't. It's just empty glory. It's the ultimate description of a person is a narcissist. He says do nothing like that. Highly exaggerated view of self, just like Joan had. You see, just like that.
He said do nothing from selfishness like all the people that say I'll do what I want, I'll text when I want.
I don't really care what happens. Anybody else. You see, that's the cultural narcissism and the reason he uses the word empty conceit. As Paul said in Galatians 6 verse three something very penetrating. He said if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself think about when anyone thinks he is something, when in fact he is nothing, he deceives himself boy for the believer in Jesus Christ. Who are we to think were something. Who are we to think that I'm something means clear in the word of God. You only saved by the grace of God in what you added to your salvation. Nothing you did all the work he did all you did was appropriated by faith. Even Paul said, you know I am I am I by the grace of God know anything good in me comes from the grace of God, so home I who am I to think this way have this empty glory about myself. He also says with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves.
Humility of mind. That's one of the most unusual words I've ever find in the New Testament, it is to Pino from soon a say how rare it is. It's not does not show up in coin or classical Greek anywhere.
It's a word to Paul made up. It's a New Testament word. It's a word never used humility of mind.
Paul says, humility in your mind and think about it. The reason it originated in the New Testament and on agriculture Greeks didn't think much of humility it and like it, and they certainly didn't like about the way you think they were proud for the way they thought they got.
That's a good quality and so Paul says with humility of mind, doing nothing from selfishness or empty conceit. He says not let me see how this is all that up play itself out.
He said this way. He said regard one another as more important than yourselves. So simple. Do not merely look out for your own in personal interest you're looking for the interest of others is not natural for us and not the way we were raised.
I mean it has been for certain generations, when no one had the pitching for other generations not so much to me, that's the problem when you spoil generation you run a very good risk of having a whole generation narcissist.
That's the way they think might Chuck's wind also sometimes God just helps you, he said, and I love this.
He wrote this about is only said it can become a way of life is is with Chuck Swindoll. One of my favorite pastors in the world what he says. He said I have found that just having a large family say for five kids is enough to teach us how selfishness vows up the works.
He said I recall and soothing.
I begin to have children. He said I thought two would be perfect. Alpha and Omega.
They said ideal, and then along the third game.
Not too many years later.
The fourth is not you need understand what kind of guy am I like my shoes spit shined rather than stepped on and scuffed up.
I like my close hanging in the closet in an orderly and neat manner rather than drooled on a wrinkled up his and I really liked my milk and a glass on the table not on the floor is. I especially liked my clean car with no fingerprints on the windows and no leftover school assignment spread across the floorboards.
So what does God do to help broaden my horizons and assist me in seeing how selfish I really am is a very simple, he gives me for busy kids. He said who step on my shoes and wiggle my close they spill milk on me.
They lick my car windows may drop sticky candy on the carpet. He says you haven't lived until you've walked barefoot across the floor in the middle the night and stepped on a full force on it. Jack and he says or a couple of those little legal landmines a put up his and I'll tell you.
You learn real quick about your level of selfishness.
He said you see this is not some kind of a deep casserole or theological subject were thinking about being unselfish is an attitude that strikes at the very core of our being. It means that we are willing to forgo our own comfort our own preferences our own schedule and our own desires for someone else's benefit. I love that forgo our own comfort own preferences is good for another pastoral giver on the radio ministry of fellowship in the world. If you ever miss one of our broadcast or maybe you dislike of the sum of the method one more time.
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4600 Clearview Pkwy., Metairie, LA 7006 if you would be interested in hearing today's message in its original format that is is a sermon that Pastor Bill delivered during a Sunday morning service at Fellowship Bible church visit our website FVC Nola.org that FVC and oh LA.O RG at our website you will find hundreds. Pastor Bill sermon. You can browse through our sermon archives to find sermon series are looking for. You can search by title. Once you find the messenger looking for. You can listen online work you prefer, you can download the sermon and listen at your own. And remember all this absolutely free of charge. Once again our website is FVC Nola.org forecaster Bill Gebhardt and Jason Gebhardt. Thank you for listening to fellowship in order