Summary: In Philippians 2 I see five bridge building attitudes-John Maxwell’s 5 things I know about people was helpful in the structure of this message.
OUT OF THE SALTSHAKER AND INTO THE WORLD
Part Three—Attitudes that Build Bridges
Sunday, August 5, 2007
Pastor Brian Matherlee
A tragedy took place this week in Minnesota. The bridge connecting the Twin Cities collapsed killing at least 5 and leaving several missing and many injured. Our prayers go out to the families of the victims and those still recovering.
I entitled the message for this morning weeks ago I don’t wish the tragedy in Minnesota to be an illustration that is insensitive towards the great hurts those people suffered.
The bridges I want to talk to you about today are vitally important to span the ever widening gulf that exists between the church and society. Why is it that our influence has increasingly diminished? We preach but don’t reach!
Let me tell you a story that ties together last week’s message on prayer and this week’s message. Years ago Loretta and I took our youth group to Toronto to work with homeless people for a week. Danny and Rhonda Garrett were our other two chaperones and before we left Danny had two significant things happen. First, he injured his foot and had to bring along medical supplies to care for it. Secondly, he prayed that God would help him see the homeless like his own brother.
• Danny’s foot problem meant we had medical supplies to care for the needs of a homeless man who injured his foot.
• Danny’s prayer was answered when the main guy we reached out to turned out to be John Michael Garrett.
In Philippians 2 I see five bridge building attitudes:
1. Everybody in the Body needs to get along with everybody in the Body (v.2)
a. Attitude-“No matter what I’m going to get along with my Christian family”.
b. People notice if we don’t get along
c. We lose sight of where we’re going & who we’re trying to help
d. Do we need to refocus on what is important? Our church motto is “Loving God, Loving People”.
e. Do we need to let go of some grudge or bitterness and forgive?
2. Everybody is somebody even if they’re not in the Body (vs. 3, 4)
a. Why are people valuable? Because God made us! We were created in His image. Everyone is precious!
b. I have heard many people speak of how worthless we are without Christ. God thought we were worth His Son! How valuable is that?
c. God loves everybody. Matthew 9:10-12, While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and “sinners” came and ate with him and his disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and ‘sinners’?” On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”
3. Everybody who serves shows somebody they care (v.7)
a. Attitude-“I’m going to seek, find and serve”.
b. Ecclesiastes 9:10, “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might.”
c. Look at the impact Jesus had in serving people.
4. Everybody who lifts up Christ helps somebody come closer to the Body of Christ (v.16)
a. John 12:32, “But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself.”
b. Last week a couple with two children and a grandmother stopped by for some assistance. They were traveling from Tennessee to Charleston, SC and I wondered how they ended up at our church. They had stopped several places and been told no or redirected somewhere else. The wife said they were at the light and noticed the steeple and decided to try once more. The cross still represents hope for people. If we don’t lift him up we have no chance to help change our world.
5. Everybody in the Body needs to be healthy for the Body to be helpful for everybody (vs.14, 15)
a. People notice hypocrisy, impurity
b. People can’t see things that don’t shine (like having mud all over a flashlight)
What impact has your attitude made? Have you been shining? Have you been building bridges? What can you do to build a better bridge for someone who needs it?