Summary: Sermon looks at the example of Jesus who put our needs first. It challenges believers to serve like Jesus.
How to live the Christian life series
How to have a Christ like Attitude
Part three of 12
Acknowedgement: Dr. Henry Schorr, Calgary AB
Good morning. Several years ago Stella Lieback sued McDonalds for pouring hot coffee on herself. Her grandson was driving the car with Stella in it. At her request he stopped the car so she could add cream to her coffee. She spilled the coffee on her leg and burned herself. Her lawsuit originally awarded her $2.7 million in punitive damages. The judge later reduced it to $480 thousand. That set off the Stella awards for frivolous lawsuits.
An example was in 2006, while shopping at a mall, a lady named Meckler stepped outside and was "attacked" by a rabid squirrel that lived among the trees and bushes. And "while frantically attempting to escape from the squirrel and detach it from her leg, [Meckler] fell and suffered severe injuries," her resulting lawsuit says. That’s the mall’s fault, the lawsuit claims, demanding in excess of $50,000, based on the mall’s "failure to warn" her that squirrels live outside.
Then there was the man that purchased a new motor home. He set the cruise control. Then he got up and with the vehicle moving at 70 miles per hour went to the back to make coffee. Then the vehicle crashed and went off the road. He sued because the owner’s manual failed to warn him of the risks of the motor home running on cruise control without a human at the wheel.
We laugh because these decisions are so absurd. How is it possible for judges and juries to make such decisions? Yet these are not the only things that cause us to shake our heads.
I have been a witness to many family conflicts. As an outside observer I wonder as I look back ‘how did things that turn out so bad.’
As we look at some churches we also wonder how did things get so bad? When churches are stressed young people think I cannot invite my friends here. The big people don’t even get along. My friends could care less if your Baptist or Pentecostal, or your arguments about the Bible and other things. My friends just need hope. They need love.
Many people have a house of conflict. Many churches are strained and off focus. They have a house of strife, even though people are just looking for hope and peace.
So for the next two weeks were going to be looking at ‘how to get along in the Christian church.’ So would you stand with me as we read this next section together?
Reading of Phil. 2:1-11
Paul is very concerned that this wonderful work that was started in Philippi would be destroyed by conflict in the church.
Nothing will destroy our joy faster than people not getting along.
Nothing will destroy our witness faster than disunity in the local church
God stands back and says fine, go at it. But I am not going to use you. There will be no witness. If we put the truths in this passage into practice it will bring peace and harmony to our lives. Paul is concerned that conflict be killed in the church. He knows that nothing destroys our collective joy faster than when we do not get along. I can walk into a church and know right away if they are getting along. He is going to give us four mentors to look at: Jesus, himself, Timothy and Epaphroditus.
In order to have joy filled life and a church useful to the master we must:
1. Maintain a Christ like perspective
We need to keep the big picture in mind, what we are here for. We often get buried in minor things in the church, style of worship, times of service, type of governance, budget differences, all secondary things; not one is eternal
We shake our heads and say how we got into this mess, whereby we disagree on so many things.
We must draw our identity from Christ; not from what others say. The flesh tempts you to prove to others how important you are. On the other hand the Spirit of God says rest in your identity in Christ. The flesh drives you to bring glory to yourself.
Then we focus on who we know, what we know and the degrees we have
We chase our dreams which often just bring glory to our self.
The flesh says ‘hold onto my rights.’
I am not what my resume says. I am first and foremost a child of the King.
It is not going to matter what people think of me at my funeral. What matter is what God will say about me. If were living for what others say about us were living for the wrong things