Summary: Seeing Jesus as our example in examining our attitudes
SERIES: “BE NEW”
A man received a parrot as a gift. The parrot was fully grown with a very bad attitude and worse vocabulary. Every other word was profanity; those that weren’t profanity were, to say the least, rude.
The man tried to change the bird’s attitude by constantly saying polite words and playing soft music, anything he could think of. Nothing worked.
He yelled at the bird and the bird got worse. He shook the bird and the bird became even madder and ruder. Finally, in a moment of desperation, the man put the parrot in the freezer to get a minute of peace. For a few moments he heard the bird swearing, squawking, kicking and screaming. Then, suddenly, there was absolute quiet. The man was frightened that he might have actually hurt the bird and quickly opened the freezer door.
The parrot calmly stepped out onto the man’s extended arm. Perfectly calm, the parrot said, “I am very sorry that I offended you with my language and my actions and I ask your forgiveness. I will endeavor to correct my behavior, and I am sure it will never happen again.”
The man was astounded at the changes in the bird’s attitude and was about to ask what had changed him, when the parrot continued, “May I ask what the turkey did?”
Phil. 2:3-11 – Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death— even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Two weeks ago, we started our first message series of the year: Be New. The first message in the series was about “New Birth.” When we commit our lives to Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, we receive a “New Birth” and become “new creations.” We get “new hearts,” sing a “new song,” and also get what we talked about last week: a “New Name.”
Along with a new name, we should also get a “New Attitude.” This new attitude is marked by several characteristics exemplified in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Ted Turner said, “If I only had a little humility, I would be perfect.” Benjamin Franklin once said, “There is perhaps no natural passion so hard to subdue as pride. Disguise it. Struggle with it. Mortify it as much as one pleases. It is still alive, and will every now and then peep out and show itself...Even if I could conceive that I had completely overcome it, I would probably be proud of my humility.”
It’s like the guy who was awarded the Humility Medal by his co workers. But they had to take it away from him, because he kept wearing it around every day!!
Mt. 23:12 tells us: “Jesus said, ‘For whomever exalts himself will be humbled, and whomever humbles himself will be exalted.’” Three times in the Bible it says, “God opposes the proud…” The second part is also important: “He gives grace to the humble.” I don’t know about you but I’d rather have God giving me grace, not opposing me
You’ve probably heard the old saying, “God helps those who help themselves.” First of all, that’s not in the Bible anywhere. Second, it’s not even close to being biblical in its thinking.
Dave Stone, Senior minister at Southeast Christian Church tells about Bob Russell, his mentor and the former senior minister at Southeast. “He hired me to start sharing the preaching with him back in 1989. The idea of having a preaching team where the pastor was less visible was unheard of that time.
When a church experiences dynamic growth, most preachers think, “This is because of me so I need to be up front more!” But Bob’s humble attitude said, “This is dangerous (to have a church focused on one man’s preaching), I need to be up front less.” And so he hired me, to preach a little more each year.
One day after I’d been here for about a year, we were in a car heading someplace and I said, “Can I ask you something? Was it tough to give up some of that spotlight and to begin to share your pulpit with a 27 year old kid?”