By Todd A. Melfe
This present generation
has been dubbed by many as the ‘ generation of self ’, and rightfully so. We truly are living in a society where
most only think of themselves, and have little regard for others, much less the elderly, the sick, or any of the so-called
society cast-offs. Sad to say the only real family most care about are ‘me, myself and I ’, you know the big three!
At this point you may be asking how does this all fit into the life of a believer, or what does this have to do with the Church?
We are glad you asked! For the Word of God has much to say on this subject.
¶ Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness,
inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:
The pre-ceding scriptures
have to do with self discipline, not allowing the flesh or the works thereof rule the house, but the inner-man, the spirit
man. Let us look further at what the Apostle Paul said on the subject.
16 [This] I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not
fulfill the lust of the flesh.
17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit
against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.
18 But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.
Here once again Paul is speaking of the constant
battle that is raging in the life of a believer, and one is going to win out over the other, and that in turn will be the
strong-man which rules the house.
What it boils down to
is this, are we selfish? For what is in the heart will reflect in the entire life of an individual, we are a product of what
is on the inside. GENESIS 1:11
11 And God said, Let the earth bring forth
grass, the herb yielding seed, [and] the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed [is] in itself, upon the earth:
and it was so.
This is the Law of the harvest, every seed would bring forth of its own kind, it cannot bear of any other
but itself, you can’t take and plant a peach seed, and expect to get apples some day. Likewise, we cannot harbor and
nurture the flesh, and expect to product the fruits of the spirit of Christ. If the strongman is the flesh, then the works
of the flesh will be the pre-dominate fruits bearing forth in our life, but if we subdue the flesh then the spirit man will
win over, and the fruits of the spirit will be freely manifest.
The Church at Laodicea had these problems, it was a proud self-centered Church, and in their pride had actually pushed the
Lord Jesus to the outside of the Church.
14 ¶ And
unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning
of the creation of God;
15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I
would thou wert cold or hot.
16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor
hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods,
and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that
thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and [that] the shame of thy nakedness do not appear;
and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.
19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten:
be zealous therefore, and repent.
20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear
my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my
throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.
22 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
The amazing thing is that
the very word ‘Laodicea’ means; ‘rights of the people’, and how fitting! For historically the people wanted to rule in the Church, run things their
way, we see the same thing today in many of out churches, we have pushed Christ (the Word) out of the Church. We are not led
by the Holy Spirit, but rather our own self-will.
Sadly, enough the people were so blinded and caught up in their own
works of the flesh and selfishness, they did not even realize their condition, they thought they were rich and increased with
So what can we do? Let
Jesus be number one once again, in our personal life, our marriage, our family, our churches. Surrender our self-will unto
the Lord, and pray for the guidance and leadership of the Holy Ghost.
24 ¶ Then
said Jesus unto his disciples, If any [man] will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever
will lose his life for my sake shall find it.
26 For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole
world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?