The Bible is filled with heroes; men and women who sacrificed themselves and their families to extend the Kingdom of God. Most of these people had families who were never mentioned in the Scriptures. These men and women might be criticized as ignoring their families or even labeled as selfish leaders, but how does God look at these individuals?
Selfishness is defined as “doing the will of men including oneself.” Righteousness is defined as “doing the will of God.”
Selfishness is a characteristic of pride, whereas righteousness is a characteristic of God where a person lays aside their will or their family's possible desires and wishes to obey God. Jesus constantly denied his own will to do His Father's will. In Matthew 26:42, Jesus did not want to have to suffer as He did during His trial, torture and death on the cross, but He submitted His will saying ”...thy will be done.” Jesus expects His followers to choose God’s will over that of their own will or that of their families!
Matthew 8: 21-22: “And another of his disciples said unto him, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father. But Jesus said unto him, follow me; and let the dead bury their dead.”
Matthew 10:37-39: “He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.”
Matthew 22:37-38: “Jesus said...Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment.”
In the church today most Christians do not seek God's will in their decisions, although they would argue that point as they know mentally that God should be first in their lives. Instead, most believers put their families, wives, children, jobs, recreation, or even television ahead of God. This is the reality of the lukewarm church today.
Billy Graham, David Wilkerson, Charles and John Wesley, Billy Sunday, Charles Finney and many others, including the Apostles and Prophets of the Bible, would sacrifice family, freedom, and their lives to serve Jesus. Graham, Wilkerson, and others left their wives in the hospital in surgery over cancer because they knew God wanted them elsewhere at that time. These were not selfish businessmen who were in the ministry for a business or a job! These were true servants of God who served God sacrificially as God desires one to do.
Do we truly understand that the purpose of God through His church is to reveal His glory over all the earth? (Psalm 72:19) Do we realize that we live to serve God; not for God to serve us? The Bible tells us, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and all these things will be added unto us.” As we truly serve God and seek to do His will, then God answers our prayers and our needs are met. As we truly love God more than any other, then we can love our wives and children properly. Many men who live selfish lives to serve themselves and/or their families have very selfish, arrogant spouses and children. Quantity and/or quality time spent with spouse or children doesn’t guarantee a good spiritually healthy family.
If your family comes before God, then all you have is a selfish family who cannot serve God or others, but want their own way. This only results in fighting, divorce, firing from jobs, trouble with people, drugs, alcohol, incarceration, and so forth.
In mission and church growth conferences, many times they use examples of people, as mentioned above, who knew how to sacrifice greatly to do mighty things for the Kingdom of God. These men were not egotistical narcissists. They were men and women who, like Moses, Queen Esther and Paul, were servants of God, putting the Kingdom first over their personal lives and their personal happiness and will.
© 2014 World Ministries International