Summary: When our mind is set up on the things of the Spirit, we will be “outward focused.” When our mind is set upon the things of the flesh, we re “inward focused.” Thanksgiving directs our attention toward God.
1. Review of Inside Out
a. We are selfish, self-centered and self-absorbed.
b. We turn to meeting our own needs and our own wants all too easily.
c. God doesn’t want us to be that way.
i. How do I know that? Because that is what is at the core of what we call sin – self.
ii. If you think about this for a few minutes, you will come the conclusion that at the core of your own behavior and motivation is yourself. Yes, you might do a few things for others, but most of the time, our attention is “inward focused.”
d. God wants us to become outward & others focused, not “me-focused”
e. This is because God Himself is outward focused.
i. Listen to this description of love:
1. 1 Cor 13:4-7 “Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”
ii. Love is not self-centered.
iii. God is love.
2. Previously on this subject of being turned inside out, I have spoken to you about letting what grips the heart of God grip our hearts.
a. We need to to feel what God feels. We need to let what stirs God stir us.
i. That is the work of the Holy Spirit.
ii. And we move toward that attitude by allowing God to show us what breaks His heart. (Poverty, people suffering)
b. We have talked about a number of other things as well and how they can help us see the world and our church and our lives differently.
i. How we need a renewed and changed mind about the world around us, even a different perspective about the Kingdom of Heaven being in the here and now.
c. But there is one thing we can do to change our perspective from being “me focused” to “God focused.”
i. It involves an act of the will and an act of your mind.
ii. The bible tells us that those who “walk according to the Spirit have their minds set upon the things of the Spirit” and that those “who walk according to the flesh have their minds set upon what the flesh desires.” (Romans 8:5)
1. When our mind is set up on the things of the Spirit, we will be “outward focused.”
2. When our mind is set upon the things of the flesh, we are “inward focused.”
3. So while Christians may be born of the Spirit, unless we learn to walk by the Spirit (which means to set our minds on the things of the Spirit), we will look like and act like the rest of the world.
4. Do you want to look and act like the rest of the world? I hope not.
3. This morning I want to share a biblical principal that will help change your perspective and the way you look at life, the way you look at yourself, and the way you look at other people.
4. To become an inside-out person, develop a thankful heart.
Bob Higgins Page 2 7/28/2007
5. The Power of Thanks. Before I begin to develop this thought, let me share a list of things housewives are most thankful for:
a. Thankful "For automatic dishwashers because they make it possible to get out of the kitchen before the family comes back in for their after-dinner snacks.
b. Thankful For husbands who try to do small repair jobs around the house because they usually make them big enough to call in the professionals.
c. Thankful For children who put away their things & clean up after themselves. They’re such a joy you hate to see them go home to their own parents.
d. Thankful For teenagers because they give parents an opportunity to learn a second language.
e. Thankful For smoke alarms because they let you know when dinners done."
6. What does a thankful heart do?
a. An attitude of thanks crucifies a prideful spirit.
i. At the core of Pride is the exaltation of “self”.
ii. We cannot look at God if we are looking at self.
b. When we give thanks to God, we turn our attention from ourselves to God.
c. Prideful people are ungrateful people:
i. Ungrateful people are ungrateful because in their minds (subconscious or conscious) they believe that they are responsible for their blessings or success.
ii. They believe that they have made themselves what they are, that they have earned what they have and owe no one else credit or thanks.
iii. The great Preacher H.A. Ironside was in a crowded restaurant. Just as Ironside was about to begin his meal, a man approached and asked if he could join him. Ironside invited him to have a seat. Then, as was his custom, Ironside bowed his head in prayer. When he opened his eyes, the other man asked, "Do you have a headache?" Ironside replied, "No, I don’t." The other man asked, "Well, is there something wrong with your food?" Ironside replied, "No, I was simply thanking God as I always do before I eat." The man said, "Oh, you’re one of those, are you? Well, I want you to know I never give thanks. I earn my money by the sweat of my brow and I don’t have to give thanks to anybody when I eat. I just start right in!" Ironside said, "Yes, you’re just like my dog. That’s what he does too!"