Going Deeper with the Message:
by: Andrew Archer
This Sunday, Pastor Josh kicked off our new series Relationship Goals, where we are looking at different qualities or characteristics that will greatly improve our relationships if we truly live them out. Being that it was Mother’s Day, it was fitting that the characteristic Josh looked at was selflessness. His encouragement was to focus on yourself less so that you can focus on others more.
He shared three things that selfless people do.
• Put others first and sacrificially meet their needs
• Do not seek credit for putting others first
• Fill their cup to empty it for others
That last point, “selfless people fill their cup to empty it for others,” really struck me. At face value it seems contradictory. If you’re selfless, you wouldn’t focus on filling up your own cup, right? The catch is that the only way we can pour out for others is if we are filled ourselves. The tension revolves around why we are filling our cup. Is it for ourselves? Or is it so that we might be able to bless others? Selfless people fill their cup to empty it for others.
Hopefully, we strive to be those people, but I want to go a step further and ask a slightly different question: What is in the well you are filling your cup with? I think another reason why we focus on ourselves more and others less is because the ‘wells’ we go to don’t really fill us up. Not only should we be filling our cup for others, but we should think about what sources we are going to in order to get filled up. Think about it like a car. Cars need gasoline to run properly. I’m no mechanic, but my guess is, if you put some Coke into your gas tank, you’re not making it very far.
In John 4:13-14 Jesus said this when talking to a woman that was drawing water from a well: “Everyone who drinks from this water will get thirsty again. But whoever drinks from the water that I will give him will never get thirsty again. In fact, the water I will give him will become a well of water springing up in him for eternal life.” Jesus is the source of living water. He is a well that will never run dry. He is the living water that can quench the thirst of your soul. In the same way that a car needs gasoline to run properly, we need to be filled up with the living water that only Jesus offers. Drink from the well that is Christ’s living water and allow your cup to overflow with Him.
Living out the Message:
The Least of These
By Michelle Lemley, Nursery Coordinator
My official title at Chestnut Ridge Church is Nursery Coordinator. I love snuggling the babies of our church, and while it feels like it’s been forever since they’ve been in our arms, I know that this job holds a special place in my heart. There is something so fulfilling about working for those who need you for everything. Don’t get me wrong, it can be really hard work as well. A screaming baby who can’t tell you what is wrong is enough to drive even the most seasoned nanny running for the hills—or at least a 5-minute bathroom break. But we forgive them and keep coming back, knowing that they need our love and care at those hard times more than ever.
The selfless care that comes from any childcare provider is literally life-giving. A baby is so helpless, and we serve them with no expectation of getting anything back from them, except maybe the occasional happy smile or giggle. And this is exactly what Jesus called us to do. To give selflessly, with no intention of benefitting from the gift. To put others first and sacrificially meet their needs.
Our Ridge Kids volunteers are some of the most selfless people I know. They sacrifice their time, and sometimes their eardrums, to care for the little ones of our church. They do not seek recognition or monetary gain. They serve our kids because they understand that selflessly taking care of the least of us is the most noble work we can do here on earth. And it benefits their parents too, giving them time to really focus on the worship experience being provided and earning a well-deserved respite from the sometimes all-consuming work of caring for kids.
This week, I encourage you to seek a way to serve others in this way. Find someone who cannot reciprocate your act of kindness—leave an anonymous gift for someone that you know could use it, do something special for a child or elderly person that they cannot do for themselves. As we empty ourselves by giving and doing selfless work, we take on God’s mission for us. As we deny ourselves and sacrificially care for those who need our help, we follow the work of Jesus on earth.
And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it.” Luke 9:23-24