WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
JUNE 18, 2022
TOPIC: DON’T BE CONCERNED ONLY ABOUT YOUR OWN INTERESTS
BY T.O. BANSO
“Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others” (Philippians 2:4 New King James Version).
In 1 Samuel 30, David and four hundred men pursued the Amalekites who had attacked Ziklag, burnt it, and had taken captive the women and others there and went away with them. Two hundred men who had left Ziklag with David and others for the same purpose were so weary that they could not cross the Brook Besor and, therefore, stayed behind.
David and the four hundred men succeeded in their mission; they attacked the Amalekites from twilight until the evening of the next day. Nobody escaped except four hundred young men who rode on camels and fled. 1 Samuel 30:18-20 says, “So David recovered all that the Amalekites had carried away, and David rescued his two wives. And nothing of theirs was lacking, either small or great, sons or daughters, spoil or anything which they had taken from them; David recovered all. Then David took all the flocks and herds they had driven before those other livestock, and said, ‘This is David’s spoil’” (New King James Version).
David returned victoriously and the two hundred men who were weary and stayed behind went to receive David and the rest back. “Then all the wicked and worthless men of those who went with David answered and said, ‘Because they did not go with us, we will not give them any of the spoil that we have recovered, except for every man’s wife and children, that they may lead them away and depart’” (verse 22 New King James Version).
These wicked and worthless men wanted to cause division and disunity in the camp by wanting to exclude those who were weary and stayed behind from receiving part of the spoil of war. These men were selfish; they only considered their own interests. They didn’t consider the fact that these two hundred men were part of them but were only unable to go with them because they were weary, not because they were lazy or afraid. They didn’t deliberately withdraw from the war. What happened to them could happen to others among them another time.
David recognized the implications of the proposal of these wicked and worthless men. He overruled them because he wanted a united front. He wouldn’t allow the selfishness of some persons to cause unnecessary schism. “But David said, ‘My brethren, you shall not do so with what the LORD has given us, who has preserved us and delivered into our hand the troop that came against us. For who will heed you in this matter? But as his part is who goes down to the battle, so shall his part be who stays by the supplies; they shall share alike” (verses 23-24 New King James version).
This was a landmark decision by David. He acknowledged that God made possible the spoil of war that these selfish people wanted to deny the two hundred men from partaking of. God gave them the victory over the Amalekites without which there would have been no spoil to share. The Bible says from that day forward, he made it a statute and an ordinance for Israel that those who went to the battle and those who stayed by the supplies would share alike the spoil of war (verse 25).
Selfish people always seek to have everything or most things for themselves or exclude others. Selfishness and greed go together. Selfish people consider their interests alone and not the interest of others. This is one of the major reasons for the problems society is facing today. Some people don’t care what happens to others provided their interests are satisfied. This is not the Spirit of God.
The Apostle Paul says, “Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others” (Philippians 2:4 New King James Version). God’s Word Translation renders the verse thus: “Don’t be concerned only about your own interests, but also be concerned about the interests of others.”
This scripture does not say you shouldn’t look out for or be concerned about your interest, but it says this alone shouldn’t be your focus. You should look out for or be concerned about the interests of others also. In other words, don’t be selfish. This is stated in the preceding verse: “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself” (verse 3 New King James Version).
If everybody practices this and eschews selfishness, everybody’s interests will be taken care of, and society will be at peace. But this is not so. Many people are selfish; they think the world exists for them alone. Such people are not walking in love, for the Bible says love does not seek its own (1 Corinthians 13:5). 1 Corinthians 10:24 says, “Let no one seek his own, but each one the other’s well-being” (New King James Version).
Avoid selfish ambition, which prevents some people to get along with others or work well with them. Paul said in Philippians 1:16 that some people preached Christ from selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to his chains. Don’t be concerned only about your interests. Be considerate.
Talking about himself and his ministry, Paul said, “For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win the more; and to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might win Jews; to those who are under the law, as under the law, that I might win those who are under the law; to those who are without law, as without law (not being without law toward God, but under law toward Christ), that I might win those who are without law; to the weak I became as weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some” (1 Corinthians 9:19-22 New King James Version). Paul considered the interest of different groups of people so that he could win them to Christ.
Paul did not focus on his profit but on the profit of others. He said in 1 Corinthians 10:32-33, “Give no offense, either to the Jews or to the Greeks or to the church of God, just as I also please all men in all things, not seeking my own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved” (New King James Version).
Paul had a deep concern for all the churches (2 Corinthians 11:28). He said, “Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to stumble, and I do not burn with indignation?” (Verse 29 New King James Version).
God wants believers not to be concerned only about their own interests but also the interests of others. Romans 15:1 says that Christians who are strong ought to bear with the scruples of the weak, and not to please themselves. Each person should please his neighbour for his good, leading to edification (verse 2). Don’t be concerned only about your interests but also the interests of others.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and God raised Him on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like a palm tree and grow like a cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Lord, help me not to be concerned only about my interests but also the interests of others. I shall not be selfish but considerate, selfless, and generous in Jesus’ name. Father, help everyone not to look only for his or her interests, but also for the interests of others.
For over 800 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President of Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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