Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Finding Your Security

“It was just before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. The evening meal was in progress, and the devil had already prompted Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus. Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.” (John 13:1-5 NIV)

Insecurity breeds self-centeredness.  The less secure we feel, the more likely we are to focus on ourselves. Working with college students, I see this frequently.  They put a lot of focus on how they look, how many “likes” they get on Facebook, and what makes them happy.  When I was their age, I was insecure as well, so I understand.  And for most of us, insecurity can be a lifelong struggle. The truth is, it is difficult to get beyond ourselves when we aren’t secure in who we are.  Yet, if we want to follow Jesus, getting beyond ourselves is a must.

Jesus came into the world not to be served, but to serve (Matthew 20:28).  And He left us an example so that we should follow in His steps (I Peter 2:21). Following Jesus, then, means to focus less on serving ourselves and more on serving others.  But this is so much easier said than done, as evidenced by the vast majority of people around us.  Our bent is to desire to serve ourselves far more than others.  So what to do?

I think John gives us insight into overcoming the problem.  He says Jesus “knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God.”  In other words, Jesus was secure in His identity.  He knew who He was, and, thus, this enabled Him to serve others.  Security leads to freedom.  Jesus was able to do what He did, to endure the persecution and the suffering, precisely because He knew who He was.

So who are you?  According to Jesus, if you have received Him and accept Him, you are a child of God (John 1:12), a child of a God who loves you and can be trusted to take care of you (Matthew 6:25-33). If you have trouble focusing on others and serving them, it is because you don’t fully understand who you are.

Today, reflect on these Scriptures and the example of Jesus.  In order to follow Him fully, you need to know who you are, just as Jesus did.  And the more you do, the easier it will be to focus more on others and less on yourself.  

© Jim Musser 2016

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