Summary: Catch your balance. Steady yourself. Above is supposed to describe us. Don’t look down . . . DON’T LIVE DOWN!
Pt. 3 – Above Above
Above. When I say that word there are certain meanings that come to mind instantly. Above . . . perspective, looking down on, higher than. Above . . . prominence and higher in order. Above . . . distance. Above speaks to perspective and position!
We have been examining several Above passages. Above all guard your heart! Remember how we do that? We watch our mouth, eyes, and feet. Then last week we talked about living above below. Have you earned any doubt this week? Are you living so far above reproach that people assume your innocence before they assume your guilt?
Today I want to wrap this series up by looking at 2 more above passages.
3Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
(Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends. Don't push your way to the front; don't sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don't be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand.)
Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins.
1. We must be above above thinking!
Robert J. Ringer wrote a book, Looking Out for Number One. It was the best-selling book in America for 46 weeks.
When we take Jesus into our hearts our hearts should become open to others! Listen carefully to what Paul says . . . “Nothing done out of selfish ambition, conceit, value others, don’t be concerned with your own interests, but the interests of others.”
That is radical living. That is polar opposite to our “me first” mentality. Don’t cut in front of me. Don’t take what is mine. I will get mine first.
We must move above above thinking! We should value one another! Let me ask you some questions that might just reveal your value level.
When was the last time you actually came to church for what you could give rather than what you could get? Quit coming to church for you!
When was the last time you sincerely took stock of the fact that your disobedience in tithing, serving, worshipping or any other form impacted someone else other than you? We are tied together and what you do effects and impacts me!
When was the last time you prayed for someone else’s promotion more than your own?
When was the last time that you celebrated someone else’s blessing without secretly asking God why them and not me?
We have got to grow up to the place where we don’t just think about ourselves less, but we actually don’t think of ourselves at all!
Here is the prescription for a healthy church: ‘Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others’
I want you to hear me today. We must learn to value, prefer, each other to the point that I will begin to do whatever I have to do, at whatever cost to myself to see you blessed. Until we come to this level of maturity as believers we will never truly know the true beauty, power and fullness of living in the body of Christ!
We have too many consumers in the body and not enough producers! We suck life out rather than moving above above thinking and helping those around us.
2. Value determines treatment.
Reporters and city officials gathered at a Chicago railroad station one afternoon in 1953. The person they were meeting was the 1952 Nobel Peace Prize winner. A few minutes after the train came to a stop, a giant of a man - six feet four inches with bushy hair and a large mustache stepped from the train. Cameras flashed. City officials approached him with hands outstretched. Various people began telling him how honored they were to meet him.
The man politely thanked them and then, looking over their heads, asked if he could be excused for a moment. He quickly walked through the crowd until he reached the side of an elderly black woman who was struggling with two large suitcases. He picked up the bags and with a smile, escorted the woman to a bus. After helping her aboard, he wished her a safe journey. As he returned to the greeting party he apologized, "Sorry to have kept you waiting."
The man was Dr. Albert Schweitzer, the famous missionary doctor who had spent his life helping the poor in Africa. In response to Schweitzer’s action, one member of the reception committee said with great admiration to the reporter standing next to him, "That’s the first time I ever saw a sermon walking."