Summary: The first in a five part series on having the attitude of Jesus, Jesus came to serve.
ATTITUDE! (part one, serving like Christ) (ALL my sermons use illustrations from sermoncentral.com and all scripture is NIV unless otherwise noted)
In five weeks, I will preach my last sermon! Well, perhaps my last sermon, only God truly knows what He has in store for my life. I know we just celebrated the 4th of July, and I was asked if I had a patriotic sermon planned, BUT, independence day is a tough holiday to preach. I could compare the freedom we have in our country to the freedom Christians have in Christ. BUT, that has been done.
Instead, after prayer and careful consideration I am working on and preaching a series of sermons on, ATTITUDE. The Bible is chock full of verses and passages about attitude. Webster’s defines ATTITUDE as A: a mental position with regard to a fact or state B: a feeling or emotion toward a fact or state. What is our mental position about the state of our church? What does the Bible say should be our attitude?
Well over the next five weeks I would like to look into the scripture and see what it says about what our mental position should be about the church and kingdom work. I hope to preach this five part series, as a message from God Himself and not allow my feelings or emotions to enter into what the scripture says:
Therefore if you have you Bible with you this morning, the first place we must go is PHP 2:5 Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
This is where we start because ALL of us that have accepted Jesus as Lord of our lives MUST strive to be more Christlike! That may very well start with our attitudes. Attitude is the most important thing necessary for the proper growth of the church. Attitude is ALL about where we really are in our walk with Jesus, in our growth as a church and in what the rest of the world sees us as. If our mental position is not where it should be, the world sees that. So this morning let’s look at where we should be with our attitude, and the four weeks to come we will look at a different aspect of what our attitude should be.
Phil 2:6-8 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, 7 but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death- even death on a cross!
From just this passage we see three things important about our attitude:
SERVICE - Jesus took the very nature of a servant.
HUMILITY - Jesus humbled Himself, even though He is God, He humbled Himself
OBEDIENCE - Jesus did as the Father commanded
ACTION - James tells us, James 1:22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.
FORGIVENESS - Even as the Lord taught us to pray he told us how important forgiveness is, that we MUST forgive those who have hurt us if we expect God our Father to forgive us. SERVICE, HUMILITY, OBEDIENCE, ACTION & FORGIVENESS.
This morning let’s look at SERVICE.
Most everyone here is familiar with the verse where Jesus says; Matt 20:28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."
I want you to think about this for a minute, picture the person, celebrity, sports hero, or entertainer you think the most of. Now they come to your home and knock on the door, you open the door and after you pick yourself up off the floor, you invite them in. Now, they tell you to sit down and relax, and they go into the kitchen and whip up your favorite meal, they serve the meal to you, rub your feet, in general wait on you hand and foot. HOW WOULD YOU FEEL?
I think I would feel the way that Peter felt . . John 13:6-8 He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, "Lord, are you going to wash my feet?" 7 Jesus replied, "You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand." 8 "No," said Peter, "you shall never wash my feet."
I think we all feel that some people are too special to serve, but nothing could be further from the truth. It does not matter where we’ve been, or where we are in life, there is a way to serve the kingdom, and our Lord.
The whole area of service is a very important one in the Christian life. The importance can be seen in the difference between the Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea in the Holy Land. The two bodies of water are connected by the Jordan River in a direct north-south line along the Great Rift Valley. Clear, sweet water from underground springs flows into the Sea of Galilee. And the Sea of Galilee flows south into the Jordan. Galilee is a gorgeous, active lake, full of life that has sustained fishermen in the region for millennia. The Dead Sea, by contrast, is a shallow, selfish basin with no outlet. It hoards the water that flows into it. Some water evaporates, leaving behind brackish, clouded water so dense that swimmers bob like corks. The whole sea is dead. When we as Christians have no outlet of service, we too can become spiritually dead, and stagnant. Instead of our faith being attractive, life giving and fruitful, we become as off-putting as a stagnant pond.