Summary: It is about the renewed attitude and Living like Christ did.
Christian Living – Part –II
Glad to share the word of God again on the first Sunday of the New Year. What a blessing for us that God has sustained us to see this year in spite of the difficulties we had been through. If this statement is true then the Lord has a purpose for us to live. I am sure you remember what I preached on the New Year’s Day, I talked about three kinds of living – empty, 50/50 and 100% living. This morning I want to bring an elaboration of the 100% living and I want to call it the Christ-like Living. For our meditation I have taken 2 scriptures the first one being the promise for this year (Isaiah 41:10) and the second scripture from Ephesians 4:22-24.
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
Paul writes in Ephesians saying – you must be made new in the attitude of your minds, in the book of Philippians it talks about the attitude like that of Christ Jesus, that He was willing to die for us and to die even on the cross of Calvary like a criminal. It is an attitude of the mind, a willingness to obey the Father and His commands. Psychologists also talk about attitude and they suggest it is attitude that marks the difference between success and failure.
A simple exercise to demonstrate attitude would be to pass around a paper with a black dot in it and people to respond to it, the usual response would be that people see the black dot very prominently and fail to see a mass of white around it. This is Gestalt psychology – the whole is important than the parts. It is a holistic way of looking at things. In a similar manner we need to look at things in the perspective of Christ and that is the putting on of the new attitudes. I want to bring in 3 such attitudes like that of Christ and see if we can apply to our own lives and have the promise of Isaiah 41:10 fulfilled.
Attitude – 1
Love like CHRIST
we love because he first loved us. If anyone says, "I love God," yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother.
The bible tells us that – He first loved us; this is, loving like Christ did. Love must be initiated and not waited upon. We must take the first step of loving and express it in a manner worth. Our problem is selective in loving, we have our own reasons for loving, maybe we love because they are helpful, good looking, have more money, is in a high position of power and authority, is influential, can be of some help sometime and the list can go. I would call this commercial love and not a sincere love that bible talks about. Sincere love is - loving someone with their inabilities, loving them in their poverty, loving them the way they are. Christ loved us that way and did not expect anything from us in return – an unconditional love. Sometimes we even find it harder to love our parents but you know what the bible tells us that we must honor the father and the mother and it is the first commandment with a promise of long life and enjoyment. It did not say love your good mother and good father, they can have any virtues but the bible commands us to love them the way they are. Initiate love – cause this is the only thing that does not diminish in measure as you keep giving. Let your love go on, as Christ still loves us with all our weaknesses and indifferences etc. Christ had no problem loving Judas knowing that he would betray, he still washed his feet. He loved Thomas and Peter with the same measure though Thomas doubted and Peter denied. Can you love like Christ did? Remember the scripture read to us in 1 John, if you cannot love your brother who you see, how can you love God who you have not seen if you continue to say so you are no less than a hypocrite. Therefore love like Christ did.