Me, My Stuff and I
Luis Socarras

Sermon Summary:
Selfishness is an easy trap for us to fall into. We are naturally selfish and it takes work to focus our attention on others. We live in a culture that is dominated by self-love and rewards people for choosing to look out for themselves. Thinking about myself first and being self-centered is easy! It’s natural for me to be self-centered. But selfishness comes with a price. Selfishness is the enemy of relationships.  “I” is not in love.  Ultimately “I” destroys families, friendships, teams, rock bands, ministries. When we choose to make “I” #1, we are saying no to making others first.  We are saying no to love.  There is no “I” in love. Secondly “I” is always in the middle of sin and EVERY sin comes back to selfishness.  If you have a problem being patient its goes back to selfishness, A problem being kind… selfishness, not thoughtful… selfishness, anger… selfishness, lack of contentment… selfishness, not giving / generous… selfishness.
As Christ-followers, God is calling us to a higher standard. He modeled that standard for us when He poured out His life for us, even in the midst of our sin and betrayal of Him, He choose to pour out His life for us.

Community Groups Discussion Guide
Intro Question/ Ice breaker
How did you do on the selfishness test? Were there any questions that you weren’t guilty of?
Selfishness Test:  We are going to play a game of have you ever. (raise your hand)

Have you ever…
Checked your reflection out in a car window
Argued with your parents or siblings or spouse
Pretended to look at other people in a picture when you were only looking at yourself.
Quit playing a game because you were losing

– If you answered yes to any of these questions, you, just like me, have at some point been self-centered. And you need to hear this ☺

Diggin in…
1. Jesus was in full control of everything that was happening! Things weren’t happening TO Him, they were happening because He knew they needed to happen in order for His plan to take effect!

a. How does this truth change the way you view situations in your life?
b. How can this truth Help you be selfless when someone is being hurtful?
c. Did you have a new understanding of God’s love as a result of the love He showed to Judas in John 13 or John 18?

2. It is easy to be self-centered, but if we claim to be a Christian, a Christ follower, God has called us to a different standard. “be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”  (Eph 5:1-2)
God tells us, To love like Christ, to love others, to serve others with our lives, with our stuff, with our time, with everything.  

a. Do you look at your life and everything in it as a potential to serve others?
b. What areas is God pointing out to you that need to be chiseled away?

3. If we truly believe God is our King, if we truly believe that God is control of our life, if we truly believe God gives us everything and we owe Him everything, then we need to look at everything in our life as a potential to serve others.  With our time, items, etc… how can you love God and love others…..serve others?  

a. What can you do to love God and love others….serve others.....put yourself in second place?


 
Sermon

Good Morning!
 
I'm so excited to get to share this message with you this morning.
 
Pastor Larry is such an amazing pastor...

even to his staff and gives us the opportunity to preach to all of you.

It is an honor and a privilege to speak to you this morning
 
But it's been a difficult message to prepare because it, like a lot of other messages, has hit really close to home.
 
So for the last few weeks God has been steadily grinding away some rough parts of my own heart

so that I might be ready to deliver His Word to you this morning.
 
Its funny because a couple months ago

when pastor Larry talked about this series

my first thought was that I need to preach on patience

because I cant think of another human being that is more patient and kind and humble… than myself
 
No seriously I know that this is one issue that is a steady part of God’s chiseling away pieces of my calloused heart

so I wanted to preach this message because I knew He would work on me before I delivered it to you.
 
The result is that I am really excited about this message and can’t wait to dive in to God’s Word together…


So lets pray and get on with it…

To help us not listen to this message and read these scriptures and use them as a telescope for us to think about the people that need to hear this,

instead to allow the scriptures to be a mirror to reflect the condition of our hearts
 
 
In case you’re listening with your elbows this morning hoping the person next to you hears this message

I devised a test to help us check out our hearts.
 
 
Selfishness Test:  We are going to play a game of have you ever. (raise your hand)
 
Have you ever…
Checked your reflection out in a car window

Argued with your parents or siblings or spouse

Pretended to look at other people in a picture when you were only looking at yourself.

Quit playing a game because you were losing

If you answered yes to any of these questions,

you, just like me, have at some point been self-centered. And you need to hear this
 
 
Let’s be honest, it is a lot easier to be self-centered than others-centered.
 
The reason so many of us don’t serve, or don’t put others first is because we are all about “I”.
 
What do “I” want?  

What benefits “me” the most?  

Which will make “me” look better?

How can “I” get more stuff?
 
So that’s the title of my message this morning “me, my stuff, and I”
 
Thinking about myself first and being self-centered is easy!

It’s natural for me to be self-centered.
 
But selfishness comes with a price.  
 
Let me share just a couple of them with you.
 
 
1. There is no “I” in Love
 
When we put “I” first then no one else can be first…

and that makes it impossible to love;

because love is putting other’s needs ahead of your own.  
 
It’s almost impossible to have a true meaningful relationship with a person who only thinks about themselves.
 
The Bible puts it this way:
1 What is causing the quarrels and fights among you? Don’t they come from the evil desires at war within you? 2 You want what you don’t have, so you scheme and kill to get it. You are jealous of what others have, but you can’t get it, so you fight and wage war to take it away from them. Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it.  (James 4:1-2)
 
The cause or the source of all relational conflicts is simple: someone is not getting their way.  
 
As long as I put myself first, it is only a matter of time before I meet someone else who wants to be first and the result according to the bible is “fights and quarrels.”
 
Only one person can go first.  
 
At a door, only one person can go through the door first.  
 
At lunch, only one person can order first.  
 
Either I go first or I allow you to go first.  
 
If I go first and make you wait, there is the potential for conflict…  
 
But if I let you go first, there is potential for relationship.  
 
That relationship in God’s eyes is more important than you being first!
 
Selfishness is the enemy of relationships.  

“I” is not in love.  Ultimately “I” destroys families, friendships, teams, rock bands, ministries.
 
When we choose to make “I” #1,

we are saying no to making others first.  

We are saying no to love.  

There is no “I” in love.
 
2. Secondly, “I” is always in the middle of sin.  
 
Sin is when we miss the mark, we miss where God wants us to be.  
 
Every time we mess up and do the wrong thing, it’s because of selfishness.  
 
We choose to do what we want instead of what God wants… and because of this, we sin.  
 
Sin is an archery term.  

When an archer misses the bull’s eye or the center of the target, it is called a sin.  
 
For some of us, we are barely missing the target, for others, we couldn’t hit the ocean, we are so far off.  
 
In BOTH of these situations, we are sinning.  We are missing the mark.  
 
We are not living where God wants us to be.  
 
The reason we do this is because of “I”.  
 
“I” is always in the middle of sin and EVERY sin comes back to selfishness.  
 
If you have a problem being patient its goes back to selfishness,
A problem being kind… selfishness, thoughtful… selfishness,
anger… selfishness, lack of contentment… selfishness,
not giving / generous… selfishness,
 
 
When your parents ask you to do something and you don’t do it.  Selfishness.

When we have a chance to serve and don’t.  Selfishness.

When we date that person we know we shouldn’t. Selfishness.

When we gossip.  Selfishness.

When we have a chance to stand up for someone and don’t. Selfishness.

When we get too busy for God.  Selfishness.
 
 
We are basically saying “God, I am going to do what I want to do, not what you want me to do.  
 
So there is no “I” in love and “I” is always in the middle of sin…
 
 
It is easy to be self-centered,...

but if we claim to be a Christian, a Christ follower,

God has called us to a different standard.  
 
Eph. 5:1-2 “be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”  
 
God tells us, To love like Christ, to love others, to serve others with our lives, with our stuff, with our time, with everything.  
 
Christ followers: Do you look at your life and everything in it as a potential to serve others?  
 
And for those of us who haven't crossed that line and made that decision to follow Christ,

let me paint a picture of how Jesus Christ lived and what he is inviting us into.  
 
{John 13}
 
As you turn to John 13
I want to give you some context of what’s happening here so we will start in verse 2
Jesus is sitting down at the Passover meal with His disciples and this is the last time He will eat with them as a group. This is the night before He is sentenced to death on the cross. And He knows His time with His disciples is very short.
 
Read John 13:1-30
 
Jesus showed us something here! He showed that

this wasn’t something that was happening TO Him!

He was showing that He was in control of what was happening!

He had control of the situation! (13:3, 26-27, 18:4-9)
 
God gave Jesus full power/control over everything! (v3)

It wasn’t until Jesus gave permission for the enemy to enter in to Judas…

that he would be able to execute his plan (26-27)
 
We’ll see another glimpse of His power in chapter 18 but for now take my word on it.
 
Jesus was in full control of everything that was happening!
 
Things weren’t happening TO Him,

they were happening because He knew they needed to happen in order for His plan to take effect!
 
With that being understood…
 
Jesus had the full power to stop anything Judas was planning to do.

Jesus could have skipped Judas and said the person whose feet I did not wash is the betrayer…
 
BUT He didn’t…  He washed Judas’ feet.
 
Jesus was kind and loving to Judas despite the fact that Judas was already in process of betraying Him!
 
He not only washed Judas’ feet...

but He also spoke kindly to him and in such a way that none of the disciples even realized that Judas was going out to betray Jesus!! (13:26-30)
 
Think about this!!!...
 
When Jesus washed His feet...

Jesus was literally cleaning the dust off of Judas’ feet from his walk to meet with and plan the betrayal of Jesus!!!
 
In Matthews Gospel he records Judas meeting with the Chief priests and agrees to betray Jesus then the very next verse is the preparation for Lord’s Supper! (Matthew 26:14)
 
 
Now fast forward a couple of chapters over to John 18 and drop in with me…
 
Verse 2
Jesus AGAIN shows them that He is the one with the power in this situation. He asks them who they are looking for and they say Jesus of Nazareth and He says “I AM He”  and they FALL DOWN!
 
Again He asks them who is it you want
 
It is in this moment that Matthew records Jesus’ response to Judas as He is betrayed with a kiss ( that was the sign for the guards to know which one was Jesus)
 
Matthew 26:50 “Friend, do what you came for.”
 
Jesus didn’t come for Jesus.  

Jesus came for others.  

Just like me and you,
 
Jesus could have said, this life is about me.  Everything was created through Me and for Me! (John 1:1-3)
 
I’m the King!  But he didn’t!  
 
Instead he humbled himself and put others first.  

Jesus came to serve.  
 
 
And we are called to do the same thing.  
 
"3 Don't be selfish; don't try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. 4 Don't look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. 5 You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. 6 Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. 7 Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, 8 he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal's death on a cross."    (Phl 2:3-8 NLT)
 
 
Why don’t we serve?
 
The reason we don’t serve is because of selfishness.  
 
We allow distractions to come into our lives, stuff, responsibilities, entertainment, things, objects, people etc…  

and these things are not bad in and of themselves.  
 
The bad part is when we choose to pour our lives...

into our things and then there is nothing...

for us to pour into others.
 
We pour into ourselves because we think that will exalt us.  
 
It will make us better.  
 
It will make our lives matter, but Jesus had a different take on this.
 
Matthew 23:12  “But those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted."
 
What Jesus is saying is that those who are trying to make themselves into something

will become nothing,

and those who are choosing to become nothing by putting others before themselves will become something.
 
So what about you?  
 
Are you trying to be something?
or are you choosing to put others before yourself?  
 
We have so much potential to do what God asks of us!  “Potential”……. opportunity”  
 
He asks us in Eph. 5  (1&2) “be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”  
 
To love like Christ,

to love others, to serve others with our lives,

with our stuff, with our time, with everything.  
 

Do you look at your life and everything in it...

as a potential to serve others?  
 
 
 
If we truly believe God is our King,

if we truly believe that God is control of our life,

if we truly believe God gives us everything...

and we owe Him everything,...

then we need to look at everything in our life as a potential to serve others.  
 
With our time, stuff, lives…

 
Q: What can you do to love God and love others….serve others.....put yourself in second place
 
 
What would happen if everyone of us in this room took one day and said,

we are going to be nothing, we are going to take the “I” out of middle of our lives and focus on other people?  
 
For one day, we are going to pour our lives into others.  
 
What would happen?  
 
People would look at us differently.  

Our relationships would change.  

Our lives would change.  

Most importantly, we will become more like Christ, who humbled himself and poured out his life for others.  
 
 
Close:
There are some of you this morning who are living like this world revolves around you and you are pouring into you.  
 
If that is you, if like me you have a tendency to be selfish,

I am asking all of you to take 24 hours,

and to intentionally pour your life into other people.  For one day.
 
Because of our selfishness, we are separated from God.  
 
Jesus came to serve, and pour his life into others, and then he took it another step further.  
 
He poured out his life completely on a cross for you and me...

so that we could be filled with God, and have a relationship with Him.
 
Maybe this morning you’re thinking...

that’d be cool to experience love / acceptance like that...

...but I’ve messed up too much! I’ve blown it.
 
Don’t let the enemy deceive you into thinking your sin is too BIG for Jesus!!!
 
If Jesus could love and accept the man who ate with Him and lived with Him and was a part of amazing things with Him, the man who ultimately betrayed and ransomed His life for enough money to buy some land…
 
He can love you! He will accept you and He will restore you!!
 
God is not asking you to be good enough or do stuff to be accepted by Him.  

He wants a relationship with you.  

He is so others focused on you, that he was willing to die for you.
 
 
Listen to how the bible puts:
 
Philippians 2:3-8
Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being.  When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross.
 
 
We’re going to have a time of invitation,
That simply means that we want to invite you to respond to God’s prompting in your heart…
 
If you would like to come up front and pray with one of the pastors up at the altar

or if you would like to find out more about giving your life to Christ and what it means to be a Christ follower

we want to provide that opportunity for you to come.
 
Would you stand with me as we pray
 
And as we stand and the band pays I want to invite you to come
 
Pray



                    Community Groups

Summary:
Selfishness is an easy trap for us to fall into. We are naturally selfish and it takes work to focus our attention on others. We live in a culture that is dominated by self-love and rewards people for choosing to look out for themselves. Thinking about myself first and being self-centered is easy! It’s natural for me to be self-centered. But selfishness comes with a price. Selfishness is the enemy of relationships.  “I” is not in love.  Ultimately “I” destroys families, friendships, teams, rock bands, ministries. When we choose to make “I” #1, we are saying no to making others first.  We are saying no to love.  There is no “I” in love. Secondly “I” is always in the middle of sin and EVERY sin comes back to selfishness.  If you have a problem being patient its goes back to selfishness, A problem being kind… selfishness, not thoughtful… selfishness, anger… selfishness, lack of contentment… selfishness, not giving / generous… selfishness.
As Christ-followers, God is calling us to a higher standard. He modeled that standard for us when He poured out His life for us, even in the midst of our sin and betrayal of Him, He choose to pour out His life for us.


Intro Question/ Ice breaker
How did you do on the selfishness test? Were there any questions that you weren’t guilty of?
Selfishness Test:  We are going to play a game of have you ever. (raise your hand)

Have you ever…
Checked your reflection out in a car window
Argued with your parents or siblings or spouse
Pretended to look at other people in a picture when you were only looking at yourself.
Quit playing a game because you were losing

– If you answered yes to any of these questions, you, just like me, have at some point been self-centered. And you need to hear this ☺

Diggin in…
1. Jesus was in full control of everything that was happening! Things weren’t happening TO Him, they were happening because He knew they needed to happen in order for His plan to take effect!

a. How does this truth change the way you view situations in your life?
b. How can this truth Help you be selfless when someone is being hurtful?
c. Did you have a new understanding of God’s love as a result of the love He showed to Judas in John 13 or John 18?

2. It is easy to be self-centered, but if we claim to be a Christian, a Christ follower, God has called us to a different standard. “be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”  (Eph 5:1-2)
God tells us, To love like Christ, to love others, to serve others with our lives, with our stuff, with our time, with everything.  

a. Do you look at your life and everything in it as a potential to serve others?
b. What areas is God pointing out to you that need to be chiseled away?

3. If we truly believe God is our King, if we truly believe that God is control of our life, if we truly believe God gives us everything and we owe Him everything, then we need to look at everything in our life as a potential to serve others.  With our time, items, etc… how can you love God and love others…..serve others?  

a. What can you do to love God and love others….serve others.....put yourself in second place?