Do you realize there is no “I” in the word “TEAM?” On the other hand did you notice there is an "M" and an "E." And therein lies the problem. While there's no "I" in “TEAM,” it's hard to get the "M" and the "E" out of it. Our sports teams, our homes, congregations, missionary organizations, Christian schools, and even church staffs are sometimes infected with various strains of the Disease of Me.
Remember the Apostle Paul's concern in I Corinthians 1:10-11 about the cliques in the church at Corinth. Remember the Apostle John's distress over Diotrephes in III John 9, "who loves to have the preeminence" (3 John 9).
Colossians 1:9 says that in all things Christ must have the preeminence. When it comes to teamwork within the body of Christ, we need to remember that there is no "I" in CHURCH, but there is an "I" in CHRIST. He is the only "I" that's important. Paul's slogan in Galatians 2:20 was, “Not I but Christ.”
Our Lord Jesus is the only one who should call the shots, plan the game, win the victory, and gain the glory. When Jesus says, "I…," it is with total honesty and full humility, as well as complete authority.
I believe there are two phases to full surrender. The first is when we come to the cross of Jesus, recognizing we are sinners deserving hell; and the second is at Calvary when we bow in humble contrition and acknowledge Him as the absolute Lord over our lives.
There is another kind of surrender and submission that's equally important — daily submission and everyday obedience. Every single day we have to make a conscious effort to acknowledge the lordship of Christ in all that day's actions, words, priorities, habits, and attitudes.
I've found that it's the attitudes that can sometimes be the most difficult. If I were to tell you some of the attitudes that I've observed in church members over the years, you'd be amazed. Every pastor encounters it, especially after years in the same church, but it's still surprising — the anger and selfishness and pettiness and touchiness.
Yet I have to admit there's one member more than any other with whom I have problems — and it's me. We all have to work on our own attitudes every day, keeping them under the Lord's control and under the Spirit's influence.
How easily we become angry, anxious, disgruntled, and dissatisfied, but it's a sin to remain in such a state. How much better to say…
Not I, but Christ, be honored, loved, exalted;
Not I, but Christ, be seen, be known, be heard;
Not I, but Christ, in every look and action;
Not I, but Christ, in every thought and word.
May God's blessing be upon you this week as you read and meditate from Proverbs 23:19-35 on the subject of “Should a Christian Drink Alcohol?” .
In His Amazing Grace,
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