Summary: part 3 of a 5 part series on having the attitude of Jesus, Christ had an obedient attitude.
ATTITUDE # 3 (Having an Obedient attitude) (ALL my sermons use illustrations from sermoncentral.com and all scripture is NIV unless otherwise noted)
Writing this series of sermons has been a great challenge for me, and yet it has been some of the most rewarding research and time alone with God that I have had in a very long time. After making the decision to retire from a passion, I begged God to give me 5 distinct messages and allow me to step out of the way and allow His word to preach. The Word came, it was ATTITUDE and the verse was PHP 2:5, your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus.
We have already seen how the Word describes Him as a servant and a humble one at that. We have spoken of our need to serve and to humble ourselves before the Lord. Those two sermons stepped on my toes, they showed me how short I fall when it comes to acting and serving like the Jesus I claim. It showed me how much I have whined about my work when my Savior bled on a cross. It reminded me that I should be humble, for I am only a Christian because of what he did and nothing I have done. God’s Word has changed my life and my thinking!
This morning we speak of OBEDIENCE! PHP 2 tells us 2:8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death- even death on a cross!
Jesus, who is ALL God did not worry about that fact, He did not dwell on the fact that He could call down legions of angels, He did not dwell on the fact that mankind was and is not truly deserving of His actions and love. He HUMBLED Himself, became a SERVANT and became OBEDIENT, even to death on a cross.
WOW, now that’s OBEDIENCE - but as I have done in the past two sermons I must do today, I think it is important to understand what OBEDIENCE is and what it is not before we go any further.
Webster’s defines OBEDIENCE as: the act of following commands or guidance of; that act of conforming to or complying with . . .
So the first scripture I thought of was ROMANS 12:1-2 Rom Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God-this is your spiritual act of worship. 2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is-his good, pleasing and perfect will.
DON’T CONFORM to the pattern of this world, BUT be transformed!! How many people in this room have actually felt the transforming power of Jesus Christ in their lives lately? THE TRANSFORMERS MOVIES
(They become something completely different, CHANGED)
I think that it is important to speak for a moment of what REAL OBEDIENCE does not mean. Many people think that if they attend church and go through the motions of traditional religion they have somehow been transformed. That going through motions of ritualistic traditions changes their lives.
I’m thinking of a small-town church in upstate New York. They’d had a rector in that church for over thirty-five years. He was loved by the church and the community. After he retired, he was replaced by a young priest. It was his first church; he had a great desire to do well. He had been at the church several weeks when he began to perceive that the people were upset at him. He was troubled. Eventually he called aside one of the lay leaders of the church and said, "I don’t know what’s wrong, but I have a feeling that there’s something wrong." The man said, "Well, Father, that’s true. I hate to say it, but it’s the way you do the Communion service." "The way I do the Communion service? What do you mean?" "Well, it’s not so much what you do as what you leave out." "I don’t think I leave out anything from the Communion service." "Oh yes, you do. Just before our previous rector administered the chalice and wine to the people, he’d always go over and touch the radiator. And, then, he would--" "Touch the radiator? I never heard of that liturgical tradition." So the younger man called the former rector. He said, "I haven’t even been here a month, and I’m in trouble." "In trouble? Why?" "Well, it’s something to do with touching the radiator. Could that be possible? Did you do that?" "Oh yes, I did. Always before I administered the chalice to the people, I touched the radiator to discharge the static electricity so I wouldn’t shock them." For over thirty-five years, the untutored people of his congregation had thought that was a part of the holy tradition. I have to tell you that church has now gained the name, "The Church of the Holy Radiator." That’s a ludicrous example, but often it’s nothing more profound than that. Traditions get started, and people endure traditions for a long time. They mix it up with practical obedience to the living God.