I was reading the account of the time William Booth sent out his annual Christmas encouragement to his workers. Times were tough and the ministry didn't have much money, he only had enough to send one word, he chose the word "others".

This got me thinking of where we are in our present day culture. The bible says in the last days men would be "lovers of themselves". In our quest to be relevant to our culture, I fear our culture may have more influence on us then we think.

Our Christian walk can easily turn into a self help program or worse a self love program. Jesus speaks in Mathew about this reality taking people by surprise at the judgement when he separates the sheep from the goats.

Our ministry to the lord is linked with our ministry to people, probably more than we think. It's very clear when Jesus judges the nations many will be shocked at the revelation that the heart of God is for "others" this really messes with our me Christianity that most have come to know.

Yes we are called to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling and yes we are to love God first, but Jesus spoke much about laying down our lives.

In the Iraq war re enlistment has always been way up. The media never mentions this but it's true. Why do they re-enlist?

They re-enlist for "others" they go back to help their fellow soldiers, they fight for each other. This really needs to happen again in the church. The bond that is formed in battle is one that's not easily broken. It's a committed love that produces courage and trust, I believe this only comes by laying our lives down for others, for the vision Jesus set before us.

In this "what's in it for me generation" of self lovers we are called to be different.
We are called to love, to sacrifice, to go the extra mile, called to reach out at the risk of looking foolish or being rejected.

The gospel is an escape from the coming judgement, yes it's wonderful to live for God but our freedom is for others. It's not so we can just shake our "ankles" for the lord. It's not so we can just have a happy life until Jesus comes.name=

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