Summary: From Phillipians 2 - a sermon about brokeness and a heart set towards the cross
“For Heaven’s Sake – Have a Heart!”
Philippians 2: 5-11
Have a few colored glass bottles or glassware. Hold them up to the congregation, explaining that we often view ourselves, as we desire to see ourselves instead of the way God sees the work He is doing in us. We often view ourselves in a different light, the most positive light, the most “Christian”, the most “humble”, the most “good”. We see the work God has done in us and we acknowledge the potters hand – and we are grateful for God’s grace. Place the glassware into a bag and get out the sledgehammer. So we can become content in who we are very easily.
But then the Lord allows us to face trials (begin using the sledgehammer to break the glass into pieces) and turbulence…hardships and difficulties. He begins a work of brokenness in us. We may question God and ask Him “Why?” But be unable to see that He is changing us into a more beautiful vessel, which shines his light! Switch bags, reach in and grab the stain glass sun catchers and show that the broken pieces often are reassembled to make a thing of beauty but we have to allow God to do the work within us.
Brokenness is the pressure God uses to continually make us into the image of His Son. Jesus experienced brokenness – not because He had to – but because He wanted to – so that He may work His righteousness in us. When we go through times of brokenness, Jesus is using trials to perfect us into the beauty of His image. We then need to approach brokenness as Jesus did – through a heart set towards the cross.
Jesus set his heart toward the cross for our benefit. We need to remember what He has done for us so that He may work through us and change us.
[Orientation to the Biblical Text]
Lets turn to Philippians 2:5-11. I believe the text is calling on us to experience the heart of Jesus more deeply as He humbled himself and set his heart toward the cross. Read Text
You see, God calls each of us to pick up our crosses and follow Christ: To give as Jesus gave, to live as Jesus lives, to love as Jesus loves. In so doing God will take our brokenness and grant us great honor.
…And He begins this process by changing our hearts when we re-visit His cross.
I. [2:5-8] If you want to have a heart like Christ’s, then God will require you to set you heart toward the cross.
A. [2:6] Setting your heart toward the cross means GIVING LIKE JESUS GAVE.
1. Jesus did not demand his own way, though he was God, he did not cling to his rights – he gave himself wholly to the Fathers plan and will
2. If we desire Jesus’ heart within us – He expects the same. The first thing we must give to him is our proud, stubborn, unyielding hearts – our hearts must first be broken to do his will.
a) To give like Jesus gave means to die like Jesus died. Die to our own self and self -attitudes.
b) The willingness of Jesus to be broken for us is our motive to be broken to.
c) Though he is God – He gave himself for us. He let his glory go to take upon himself the form of a servant. The Creator –serving His Creation! Who can measure such grace! Even the angels in heaven desire to look down and understand such a thing!
3. To give God ourselves – so wholly and completely to our Father is to give like Jesus gave. Yes, we must set our hearts to the cross in the same obedience to the will of the Father that Jesus displayed when he set his heart toward the cross.
a) As we look honestly at our Christian lives, we can see how much of this self there is in each of us.
b) It is the self who tries and tries in our own power to live the Christian life. (“I’m doing, I’m trying, and I’m striving”). But it’s not us or anything in us! The wonder is that even our attempt to give ourselves to God is only a result of His divine work in us! Look at verse 13!
c) It is the self who is always irritable, envious, resentful, critical and anxious and worried. When Jesus gave himself to the Father He never once showed these characteristics of self.
d) As long as self is in control – God can do little with us but lead us to the cross!