The sin principle they established was forever passed to every person who would ever be born. God sent His Son, Jesus, to die for our sins and to deliver us from them. He came to undo what Adam did.
When we accept Jesus as our Savior, He comes to live in our spirit, and if we allow that renewed part of us to rule our decisions, then we can overcome the sin nature. It doesn’t go away, but the greater one who lives in us helps us overcome it daily (see Gal. 5:16). That does not mean that we never sin, but we can improve and make progress throughout our lives.
Now, I haven’t overcome selfishness entirely, and I doubt anyone else has either. But I have hope of improving daily. I am on a journey, and although I may not arrive before Jesus comes to take me home, I have determined that He will find me pressing toward the goal (see Phil. 3:12-13).
The apostle Paul made the following statement: “It is no longer I who live, but Christ (the Messiah) lives in me” (Gal. 2:20, The Amplified Bible). Paul meant that he was no longer living for himself and his own will, but for God and His will.
I was greatly encouraged when I discovered that Paul made this statement about 20 years after he became a Christian. Learning to live unselfishly was a journey for him, just like it is for everybody else. Paul also said, “I die daily [I face death every day and die to self]” (1 Cor. 15:31).
Putting others first was a daily battle for him and required daily decisions. Each of us must decide how we will live and what we will live for, and there is no better time to do it than right now!
You and I have one life to live and one life to give. So the question is: “How then shall we live?” I firmly believe that if each of us does our part to put the welfare of others first, then we can see and be part of a revolution that has the potential to change the world.
At this point you may be thinking: What about me? Who is going to do something for me? This is usually what prevents us from living the way God wants us to live. It always comes back to “me.”
We are so accustomed to seeing our desires satisfied that the very thought of forgetting about ourselves even for one day is frightening. But if we can muster up the courage to try it, we will be amazed at the freedom and joy we experience.
For most of my life, I started every day just thinking about me. I thought about what I wanted, what would be best for me, and how I could convince my family and friends to cooperate with my plans. Then, whenever things didn’t go my way, I became upset, impatient, frustrated and even angry.
I thought I was unhappy because I wasn’t getting what I wanted. I was unhappy because all I was doing was trying to get what I wanted without any real concern for others.
Now I know that the secret to having joy is giving my life away rather than trying to keep it. My mornings are quite different these days. Now I think about the people I will come into contact with during the day, and I ask God to show me what I can do for them.
I set my mind to encourage them and to be complimentary. Just doing this helps me keep my mind off myself. I encourage you to start your days with dedicating yourself to God so He can use you to love and help others.
Consider praying something like this: “Lord, I offer You my eyes, ears, mouth, hands, feet, heart, finances, gifts, talents, abilities, time and energy. Use me to be a blessing everywhere I go today.” When you do, God will faithfully help you live to love others.
Joyce Meyer is a New York Times best-selling author and one of the world’s leading practical Bible teachers. She has written more than 80 books, including the popular Beauty for Ashes and Battlefield of the Mind, and her most recent, The Love Revolution (Hachette). She is also the founder of Joyce Meyer Ministries Inc. and the host of Enjoying Everyday Life radio and TV programs, which air on hundreds of stations worldwide.
For the month of August we are celebrating the 40th anniversary of Charisma. As a special offer, you can get 40 issues of Charisma magazine for only $40!