Losing interests

Philippians 2:19-24
I’m writing today’s devotional while reflecting on Judas. My sermon text this weekend is from John 12. Mary anointed the feet of Jesus and Judas didn’t like it. Now, I try my best to keep my projects separate. Many of you know, this daily devotional is one thing I write. I also hatch daily text messages. Those are apart from my Bible studies and weekly sermons. From time to time, I also post a few video ideas. And I need to get back on TikTok!

My goal is to keep that all from sounding the same.

At times, though, some ideas interact. So, even though the reading for today is from Philippians, I’m still thinking of Judas. Here’s why.

The apostle Paul loved the Philippian church. He wrote to them and wanted to hear how they were doing. It was his hope to send Timothy to them. Young Timothy was like a son to Paul. Certainly a spiritual son. The young man’s reputation was great. Paul said, “I have no one else like him.” Now, compare that to what Paul said about some others. “All of them are seeking their own interests,” he said.

I’m not sure who the them is. It could be certain preachers. We’ve all heard stories about those kind of preachers. But it may be a more general sense of the attitude of other Christians. Either way, their mindset was not that of Christ.

So, let’s think of Judas again. When Mary poured out the perfume to anoint Jesus, he questioned her. Why wasn’t that perfume sold and the money used to do some good for the poor? John 12 tells us Judas didn’t care about the poor. He was a thief who would steal from the group’s money bag. It’s clear, then, whose interests Judas sought after.

Now, how many times do you suppose we’ve taken from the money bag?

That sounds harsh, right? We’d never steal from the church. I’m glad you wouldn’t.

But I can’t help but think of so many of the conversations I’ve had in ministry. The ones where is was evident the interests of Jesus were not front and center. They happen a lot. As a result, we make a lot of decisions based on our interests. Maybe we do so with good intentions. Or we don’t realize how self-centered we can make our churches.

If we do not reckon with our selfishness, how much of a difference of attitude is there between us and Judas?

Stay blessed…john

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John Fletcher

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